Old Viscosity Ale

Review Date 5/10/2020 By John Staradumsky


Lately, sad to say, a lot of beer has been getting dumped. They say you donít cry over spilled milk; spilled beer is another story. Or, wasted beer. Coronavirus has a lot to do with some of it. All over the country, bars and restaurants have been closed for a few months, and now have vast quantities of spoiled kegs on their hands. Brewers, too, have this same problem. Unsold kegs and tanks of beer no one is drinking. Some brewers, like Boston Beer Company, are getting creative and distilling the beer into hand sanitizer. Smart, that. Still, only a small fraction of kegs end up like that.

For my part, Iíve been dumping old beer, too. Really old beer, though. Iím not the only one, either; Iíve seen posts from my beer geek friends doing the same (some of them, anyway). Most of this beer was not aged intentionally, itís just that I drink a lot of beer fresh on tap at breweries and beer bars (Taco Mac anyone?), and sometimes my beer at home gets a little long in the tooth. Since coronavirus has us locked down and Iím not going to those places, Iím going through the old beers and drinking them if theyíre good, dumping them if theyíre not.

Some beers, though, I age intentionally, and one of them was a bottle of Port Old Viscosity Ale I found in the back of one of my beer fridges the other night. I canít say I intentionally hung onto this bottle, a bomber with a ďbottled onĒ date of 8/8/13, for this long. I did, however, know this one would age out nicely. Imperial stouts generally do.

From the label:

Everyone always asks us, ďWhat kind of beer is old viscosity?Ē We have to pause for a minute here as there are restrictions about how you can and canít describe beer on our labels. Since youíve already asked, weíve decided to tell you that itís thick, as in my chest just grew a wool coat sort of way. Itís dark and sludgy like the old 50W oozing from the crank of that old truck. Beers like Old Viscosity are revered like old school pieces of equipment we know and love. The ones that cause people to say, ďThey donít build them like this anymore.Ē We know youíll come to love and appreciate everything about Old Viscosity even if we never tell you exactly what kind of beer it is.

I am here to tell you exactly what kind of beer Old Viscosity is. First, it is one that ages well when stored properly. It is a beer that Port calls ďAle aged in oak barrels.Ē It is a beer of strength 10% by volume. It is a beer I canít recall how much I paid for, and in fact is no longer sold in Georgia. You can buy a 19.2 ounce can in California for $6.99. Port calls it a ďDark Strong AleĒ, but I call it an imperial stout.

Port Old Viscosity pours to a jet-black color with a moderately thick head of creamy tan foam and a woody dark chocolaty nose. When I popped the cap, I took a whiff to see what I would get, and my nose was instantly hit with an oak plank, or so it seemed. The wood aromas were that powerful. Taking a sip, the beer is thick as crude oil in body (hence the name), dark bittersweet chocolaty, hinting at roast and charcoal, vanilla, and oodles of toasty oak. It finishes very roasty, very woody, with a soft booziness.

My bottle was utterly amazing, a true sipping beer to be sure. I did not want the bottle to end. I would love to buy more, if I could, though having tasted it once, itís very unlikely I can be patient for 6 and a half years again.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned