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Old Eight Porter - Barley John's Brew Pub

Not Rated.
Old Eight Porter
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BA SCORE
86
very good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

t0rin0, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Barley John's Brew Pub (New Brighton, MN) on 8/12/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of burnt and reddish colored dark mocha head. This hangs around with some foamy richness around the edges, leaving some quality spotty lace all down the sides of the glass. Quite the angry look on this guy. The aroma is sharp in the nose with dark roast and coffee and is backed by a sticky twang of chocolate and caramel pulling up behind it. Some light earthy hop textures waft outwards out of the roast and round this out nicely.

Cocoa and toffee sweetness takes more of a foothold in the taste, mixing with dark roasted malts to coat the mouth with a dark and sticky tang before burnt and bitter notes rock the finish. Like the aroma, there is just enough green feeling bitterness here to add a little extra complexity to this but it's mostly covered up by the strong roasty presence in this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy sharpness that then gives way to a bit of chewy beef underneath which perfectly compliments the heavy roasted bitterness and sweetness in this.

Rich with roast and all around robust flavors, this is great Porter and despite the bigger body on this, it still stays very smooth and drinkable for 8%. Man, they have some well made house beers on tap here. Another winner from Barley John's!

Kegatron, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: fully black, near-opaque, with a short, yet substantial head above, toasty tan. Aroma: roasty, peppery, notes of anise, and bittersweet espresso, and chocolate.
Gritty, earthy taste, solid, rich character, loaded with malt, just a whiff of hoppiness, full-bodied. Easily drinkable, despite the higher-than-normal ABV. A very pleasurable porter, indeed.
I was just getting used to this one, when along came the waitress, unbidden, with free samples of Alfred's Porter, their step above, weighing in at 14%!
I'll try a full sample of that, next time, if I can, but I'll look forward to this every visit!

feloniousmonk, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +1%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for opening the growler...
Appears black with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bitter chocolate, dark fruit, and even a light whiff of banana somewhere in there.
Taste is that of a porter that is rich with chocolate, cream, truffels, and a touch of dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is a little rough around the edges but has some smooth, creamy, rich chocolate and sweetness.

weeare138, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't a Baltic porter, it's just big American porter. I actually found some similarities in flavor with their wild brunette. The cocoa flavor was very smooth (like so many of their beer seem to be). This was backed up by a light roasted flavor and not much else. It's just chocolate barley flavors that are a bit roasted. It's a deep flavor though, and well worth trying.

tempest, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

KAF, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't remember who provided this, but thanks! Via a growler at DLD, from notes.

Pours an opaque brown/red edges, thin tan head, nice lacing, pretty sticky stuff. Smell is sweet, very malty, great chocolate and coffee, bit of roast, very nice. Taste is similar, big malty sweetness, lots of chocolate, nice roastiness, touch of vanilla, solid balance. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, a porter I would be happy to have again. Thanks whoever it was!

Viggo, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub into tasting glass...A dark brown, almost bordering black. Light tan head with good retention and lacing...A roasty aroma that is nice, but I really wish it was stronger...The taste is really sweet, didn't see that coming at all, a little too sweet but smooth.

An average porter but worth trying as its one of the better regulars available.

jrallen34, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very thick and black, onlay a slight bit of red coming in on the edges, and you have to look hard to find it. light brown head leaves sheets on the sides which turns into some nice lace.

S - Nice chocolate and roast on the nose.

T - Light chocolate, nice roasty taste without any bitterness. Nothing offensive on this one at all, nothing standing out as great, but quite solid.

T - Creamy beer with low carbonation, very full bodied.

D - Highly drinkable at 8%, a solid beer I don't mind having.

AgentZero, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color is very, very dark solid brown, nearly black with a thin tannish-cocoa brown head that fades to a thin ring and small sheets of lacing. Smell is a good sense of dark roastyness and chocolate with a good coffee backing which seems to pick up and become more evident as it warms. Taste comes across way to soon and very uneven of coffee, chocolate and bittering hops, very unbalanced, almost enough for it to be enjoyable. The alcohol of 8% makes an appearance far to soon and is what really makes the flavors falter, it seems to get in the way of any taste.The finish is tolerable with light lingering dark fruits and sweet malts. Its overbearing in the start making this very hard to enjoy or finish. The richness trying to poke through is bogged down by uneven chocolaty bitterness that just never settles or shines like a good chocolate should and the coffee flavor seems like its a week old in pot with only about an inch of liquid left in it. Didn't like this one, seems like it could be better, perhaps next time I'm in at Barley John's I'll try it again sense it is a year round tap.

tavernjef, Aug 13, 2003
Photo of eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

eawolff99, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this a few times, but the wife ordered a half-pint at dinner the other night & they accidentally poured her a pint. Yeehaa! Dibs on the rest.

Pour is big black stallion, nothing light going on around here. Smell is excellent, big sweetness upfront, cocoa, strong roast.

Old 8 Porter is a benchmark other porters could be measured by. Huge waves of chocolate roll out over the palate, but they're restrained by a balancing shoulder of roast that keeps the cloy at bay. No smokiness detected at all. Smooth & easy drinking for a bigger porter.

Another offering that's simple, direct, & delicious. One of my favorite straight-up porters of all time, I'd put a glass of this up against most imperial stouts - & it would come out on top. Excellent beer.

maximum12, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler acquired in trade with kms399 (thanks!).

Poured a dark black with red edges and a smaller sized light brown head. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, lactose, vanilla, and some wood. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, wood, and light smoke. Smooth body. I glad I had a chance to try this one!

Notes from 2/3/06

hopdog, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev +1%

mattmarka1, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of Deuane
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with ruby highlights. Thin dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

S-Rich deep roast with hints if chocolate and a bit of alcohol burn.

T-Big, rich and roasty. Alcohol warmth with a nice backing of chocolate. Simply awesome.

M-Medium heavy body with BIG smooth, creamy roundness.

D-This would one of my porters of choice. Great stuff....like a roasty chocolate milkshake.

Deuane, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black brew with just a small ring of tan foam around the glass.

Nice sweet roasty smell with hints of smoke, chocolate and vanilla.

Roasty goodness that is so perfectly done. Chocolate, light smoke, hint of vanilla and a load of roasty malts. Maybe some oatmeal?

Silky smooth and full bodied. Just a pleasure for the palate.

Drinks so easily. Alcohol is undetectable, hard to believe this is 8%. I will have this one upon return and maybe even buy a growler.

jera1350, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of ADR
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap...Twin Cities Pub Crawl 2004...

Decent dark brown and opaque in its pout. Yellowish head, not more than 30 seconds in duration. Ring laces, simple in architecture. Definite bitter chocolate aroma, mildish oily hops, the beer's best feature. Medium mouthfeel, somewhat gravelly. Light chocolate, distinct anise, alcoholic sharpness start the flavor profile off, astringent and lingering finish, aftertaste is somewhat offputting. The sweetness is adequate in this beer, but the malt could have more interest and less sharpness, bittering is good, but I can't really jump on the bandwagon with this one.

ADR, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of Herky21
4/5  rDev +1%

Herky21, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of jsprain1
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very very dark brown. Head is thin and tan. Fair retention with a good amount of lace sticking to the glass.
S- The aroma is mild and tends a bit toward the sweet end for the style, though there is a bit of coffee ground aroma as well.
T- The flavor jumps out a little bit better. At first it's quite like milk chocolate, with a touch of sweetness lingering throughout, but there is a roasted, ever so slightly bitter coffee kick in the finish.
M- A bit thin for what I'd like out of a porter (especially if we call it a Baltic Porter). Carbonation is smooth. With a little more body it would be silky but as is it comes off a little weak.
O- A tasty porter, albeit one that punches a bit below 8%. Worth a try though.

jsprain1, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Hopstout
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Hopstout, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of brdc
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it at their place, poured into a regular pint.

Near pitch black, with a very short and not so long lasting tan head. Nice aroma, mostly roasted, coffee, chocolate.
A bit thin, but tasty. Mostly malt notes, the chocolate is a bit sweeter than the average, some hoppy bite at the end. Alcohol becomes more noticeable over time, but still does not interfere.
Easily drinkable, if not spectacular.

brdc, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of mmulebarn
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

mmulebarn, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of wisrarebeer
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley John's Brewpub.

A: opaque
S: roasted, dense malt - very good - almost barleywine like
T: thick roasted, syrupy, great Russian imperial stout type porter but Beer Advocate labels it a baltic porter which would be brewed with a lager yeast
M & D: dense but good and drinkable

wisrarebeer, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of DaveMiller
4/5  rDev +1%

DaveMiller, May 11, 2014
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Old Eight Porter from Barley John's Brew Pub
86 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.