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Bad Elmer's Porter - Upland Brewing Company

Bad Elmer's PorterBad Elmer's Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

230 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 230
Reviews: 135
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 13.84%

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: zerk on 05-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 230 | Reviews: 135 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brutaltruth


3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown to black with light thin head and decent tight lacing. Coffee and tart berries on the nose, nice. Decent mouth feel, a bit thin, but then again this is a porter. Slightly chalky with light bitterness, hint of rye and roasted medium malts and coffee. Lingering bitter finish with lasting coffee taste. Not fantastic but far from bad. A decent session beer, but not outstanding in the porter category.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 22:00:36 | More by Brutaltruth
Photo of Bis4beer70


4.64/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance -– dark with a medium head...love the bottle/artwork too (the dude in the picture has a hipster-beard & a half!)...i want to try their 'Nut Hugger Brown' also but have yet to see it in the north part of the state (a cute little squirrel & his nut are on the bottle artwork, believe it or not)!

Smell –- lightly-roasted malts,deep, rich chocolate,espresso...maybe cherries, & even orange.

Taste –-The Porter taste!& lot's of it! my go-to porter! Delicious.Maybe even slightly better than anchor or bells porter (but not by too much).

Mouthfeel - medium-bodied & almost stout-like...but somehow, an exceptionally smooth Porter. I thought the balance was spectacular. Every Libra that digs Porters and dark beer should call it home.

Drinkability –- I can put these away too quick...so i have to be careful.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:52:44 | More by Bis4beer70
Photo of Cylinsier


3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a dark brown, minimal light penetration with a red glow, bit of tan lacing for a head.

Smells of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and a hint of fig over a roasted biscuit malt.

Brown sugar and fig over vanilla and roasted coffee with biscuit dry malts.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

A pretty good porter, I like the flavor and aroma in this one. The body leaves a little to be desired, but that aside quite enjoyable and easy to like.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 01:49:14 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours black as night with a small head that sticks around a good while. Lacing is ok. Scent is faint but mostly burnt malts. Taste is all burnt malts and a hint of smokiness. Flavors are somewhat bitter, but not too bad. Drinks light and easy. Not very thick and fairly highly carbonated, this is just about your average porter. Had this one a bunch of times, finally put down my thoughts about it.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 02:21:35 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of falloutsnow


3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Gift from KR, thanks
Date: Bottled 2013-11-??
Glass: standard US pint glass

Upland's Bad Elmer is a straightforward US porter that manages to combine a bit of sweetness with a heavy roasted and ashen barley flavor. Generally substantial enough to be pleasing, I still found the somewhat lackluster aroma and too-thin mouthfeel to be disappointing. An average porter that would be an easy choice for a roasted barley beer if other options were not available.

Pours a 1cm tall head of tan colored foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, leading to a mixed frothy/sponge-like appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting one minute in a decline to a thin film atop the body of the beer for the duration of the session. Lacing is good, with some thick patches of dots, lines, and wave-like patterns clinging to the walls of the glass. Beer's body is a dark amber brown color, with light revealing brighter, though still quite dark, amber hues. Carbonation visible near the bottom of the glass, where the body is transparent, revealing a high amount of carbonation with modest activity.

Aroma is mild, but at least it's present, yielding a mix of burnt sugar, roasted barley, dark chocolate, and coffee. Not bad at all, a bit weak for a porter, but there's nothing wrong with being average.

Flavor is of acrid roasted malt with an ashy component that also incorporates a bit of sweetness and cocoa into a few corners, but also has a bit of undesirable washed-out wateriness. Front of palate picks up burnt sugar and caramel-like sweetness with a hint of burnt toast in the background. Mid-palate experiences more upfront burnt toast and acridity from roasted malt with hints of cocoa powder and ashes (likely from a bit too much black patent malt). Back of palate tastes continued burnt toast and acridity from roasted malt, with hints of cocoa powder, ashes, and old coffee. Aftertaste of burnt toast, ashes, and acridity from roasted malt, with slight burnt sugar sweetness.

Beer is medium-light to light in body, a bit watery around the edges, somewhat surprising for a porter. Carbonation is of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth (2/5) and foamy (3/5) mouthfeel that's satisfying, though a bit more weight would be pleasing. Closes dry, with medium-high stickiness clinging to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 17:00:42 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of magictacosinus


2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Second offering from Upland that I'm giving a try. Had for breakfast with cornbread, ham, and other stuff we eat out here in the Midwest on a daily basis when visiting. Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is listed as "April/2013." A bit old, but whatever.

Pours a brownish tinged blackened color with a head that resembles a mocha of sorts, bubbles and all. Lacing is actually pretty decent on this one, in spite of the fact that head retention is not at all. A ring struggles to stay around, and somehow it does. Bubbles are pretty non-present, but it's still got a strong color that makes it somewhat appealing. Looks thinned in nature. Not very different from your average run-of-the-mill American porters all of the country.

The flavors are mainly of roasted coffee notes, slight brown sugar, and... Not much else, to be exact. Some slight robust toasted maltiness creeps in, but it's really the coffee espresso bean flavors that fight for recognition here. Otherwise, there's a bit of graininess, maybe some bitterness from the light hops at hand, but it's not complex - only assertive on what it intends to be.

The flavor ends up being a one-note flavor of ground, fresh coffee extract, combined with toasted malts and light grains that provide a smidgen of bitterness and simultaneously some sweetness. I wish there was more beyond the coffee, but there really isn't - biscuits, light chocolate, faded caramel and citrus. I'm looking too much into this thing. It doesn't help that it's slightly watery as a cold (albeit refreshing) glass of coffee. However, it did pair well with the hearty, greasy food to avoid any discomfort from consuming it.

A very average porter that doesn't try to take any risks, but doesn't bring anything new to the table as a result. I could enjoy this on an evening sometime, but there are far, far better standard porters at the same price available that provide a hearty but super flavorful experience in the process. If more of Upland's beers are of this quality, call me excited enough to crave their highly acclaimed sour fruit beers more than ever before.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 03:47:53 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of rlee1390


3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear brown when pouring, black in the glass, one finger white head, that doesn't last.

S-Roasted malt, almost burnt, good deal of candied sugar.

T-Overly sweet, that candied sugar from the nose is too much here and with vanilla it doesn't get any less sweet. Good deal of roasted malt and some chocolate as well.

M-Light, not much carbonation and watery

O-Way to sweet, way to much excess sugar in the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 01:34:15 | More by rlee1390
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I really like this porter. its a good example of the style, particularly as its evolved in America. it has a nice chocolate brown color and shortlived white head an inch high. the aromas is deep roast malt, bold, robust, almost smoky. there is some ashy burnt bitterness, and a soft nutty aroma as well to mellow it out. the taste is quite deep for a porter, probably closer to a stout in many ways, but drinkability remains. very complimentary to barbeque and dark chocolate cake I would imagine. dryer in the mouth, but full bodied and plenty bubbly. bitter in the finish, reminds me a lot of the smuttynose robust porter, but a little lighter on body. overall a good easy drinking example of what American porters have become, and a beer I wouldn't mind seeing make its way out to the Colorado market. I think it could fit in nicely here.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 20:42:32 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Knapp85


3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a nice looking brown color with a tan colored head on top. The lacing was thin and the retention was too. The smell of the beer is earthy and lightly roasted. The taste of the beer has a subtle chocolate and earthy roasted malts. There is a very light bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is dry, light to medium bodied with a good carbonation. Overall it's a decent porter, I enjoyed trying this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 01:49:58 | More by Knapp85
Photo of homebrew311


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay glass. Appearance is typical for a porter, dark brown, mainly opaque, minimal brown head, no lacing. The aroma features nice firm roasted malts and chocolate along with a touch of oatmeal and cream. Not much in the way of hop presence. Taste is somewhat thin in regards to the malt profile, a bit of toasty bread, a tad of hop bitterness on the finish. Carbonation is a little high and the body is a bit thin. Overall, nice flavors present and a tasty beer, just lacking in the robust category.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 04:28:17 | More by homebrew311
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 06/08/12 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC at their Upland event.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, nuts, light coffee. Very nice nose, I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, cream, bitter chocolate, light vanilla, light fruit. taste has less chocolate and more coffee.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body, awesome mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good porter. Looked and felt fantastic, and had a very good nose. Worth checking out, would like to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2012 19:08:21 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Solid dark brown pour, not quite black. Thin layer of cream colored head.

Aroma, toffee, peat, toast malt and some milk like chocolate. A little subdued, but not bad.

Taste, earthy caramel and toffee. Some peat and chocolate. Finishes with a slight roast and coffee.

A little lighter bodied, but it is not watery thin or anything. Low abv makes this very much a session porter. Thought this was solid, maybe a tad much caramel. Maybe more of an English Porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 04:37:22 | More by Bung
Photo of zeledonia


3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label says bottled October 2012. Don't think that's right. Maybe September 2011?

Pours very dark brown, effectively black in the glass, but clearer and lighter at the edges (where it looks coffee-colored). One finger of medium tan head, little retention, decent lacing.

Smell is a nice blend of sweetness and roast, though it's heavier on the sweet. Smells fine, but not all that interesting. Not much to it - just the sweet, slightly fruity malts, backed with a hint of very lightly charred wood.

Taste is better than I expected. It's sweet but not overly so, and it has more of the roasty notes I expect from a porter. A touch of bitterness gets stirred up late. But overall, it's just kinda bland, with little depth. As with the smell, it tastes like what I'd expect from an average porter. Which is... average, or maybe a bit better.

Mouthfeel is okay. Medium-light body, some carbonation.

I find this beer disappointing, though I can't say exactly why. I didn't have huge expectations, but I just don't find it all that enjoyable. It's kinda light (in body), kinda dark (in appearance and flavor), but there's nothing I can point to that I really like about it. I'm chasing it, looking for something to latch onto, but failing with every sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2012 01:31:50 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Treebs


3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to mattboyer182 for the extra. 12 oz. bottle served in a Surly Darkness tulip. Bottled February, 2012.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black with a one finger light tan head forming on the pour. The head subsides rather slowly to a nice thick collar. Some splotchy, soapy lace is left on the glass.

S: Milk chocolate, toasted malts and a slight dry roasted coffee are all present. There is a really nice sweetness on the nose.

T: The taste definitely takes a step back. Just some dry roasted malts and very mild chocolate. The flavors leaves rather quickly to some lingering pale malts. The sweetness from the nose isn't present at all.

M: A bit thin, almost bordering on watery. I wish the flavors would stick around.

O: The beer started off nice, but overall the flavor profile was rather weak and it was a touch too thin for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 00:58:05 | More by Treebs
Photo of Sean9689


3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Indy Tasting Room.

A - Pours dark brown, off-white head, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - Nice level of roasted malts, chocolate, some toasted bread. The roast is nice and is right-on for the style, enjoyable.

T - Simliar to the nose but a bit more chocolate and good amount of roast with light cream.

M - Medium, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A solid porter that easy to drink at only 5%. I really like my porters with a bit more alcohol and "oomph", but this goes down easily and is enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2012 17:58:58 | More by Sean9689
Photo of WoodBrew


3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried the Bad Elmer at a recent beer tasting party. The beer pours an opaque brown with about good offwhite head that laced nicely. The aroma includes sweet malt, earth, vanilla bean. The taste is primarily sweet roasty malt peat and hints of coffee. The mouthfeel is light in body and ok carbonation. For me, it is too light for a porter. Overall it is ok, but there are many porters that are better.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 23:26:42 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of tsauce2


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a globe glass

A: SRM is dark brown. Translucent. Head is very light tan, 1 in, dissipates to 1 cm. Medium carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Hops up front followed by roasted malt and carmel/brown sugar.

T: Hoppiness mixed with dark malt base and a light sweetness. Aftertaste is malty with a touch of hops and sweetness.

M: Medium body. Hops and malt create a mf that both stimulates the palate with hops and coats it with malt. Finish is a bit wet and of citrus, adding to the different sensations in the mf.

O: This beer is still good, but I liked it much better before the current ownership took over. While they have done many, many great things for Upland and Indiana beer in general, I miss the way this beer used to be. That said, this beer is hoppy up front, with a nice dark malt base and some sweetness. I drink it fairly regularly, but mostly to remember the good old days.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 07:05:47 | More by tsauce2
Photo of JGrooveDrums


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a very good beer, but I wasn't amazed. You definitely get all the aspects of a porter but, it's nothing to blow you out of the water. Good coffee chocolate taste, but leaves you with an odd bitterness. Definitely something I would drink again, but not anything special.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 07:35:58 | More by JGrooveDrums
Photo of jale


3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the tasting room in Indy.

A: Pours dark brown with 2 quarters of tan head.

S: Dark roasted malt, coffee and a bit of bitter cocoa.

T: Dark roasted malt followed by bitter coffee and bitter cocoa. Nice mild finish.

M: Medium body, yet thin for a porter.

O: Just an average porter.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2011 12:25:53 | More by jale
Photo of Viciousknishs


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark almost black brown with a finger of tan head. Poor head retention with no lacing.

S- hints of latte, cocoa powder and semi sweet chocolate blend in with a predominate roasted grain aroma. A touch of caramel and char on the finish.

T- slight astringent roasted malt flavor is the largest componet to this brew. Subtle notes of brewed coffee and burnt caramel on the finish.

MF- smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and soft average carbonation.

D- good drinkability.

Overall an average porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 03:57:42 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of loweball727


3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown/ruby, not quite opaque. Tan head after the pour but quickly disappeared

S - Very faint malty/roasted/coffee aroma

T - Initial taste is just as it smells, with a hint of a sweet, kind of chocolatey aftertaste

M - Color had me hoping for a full bodied beer but felt very thin for a porter

O - Overall it was a decent brew. Good porter for drinking when not focusing on all aspects of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 13:08:24 | More by loweball727
Photo of theRooster90


3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Upland Tasting Room Indianapolis

A: Dark dark brown with nice creamy tan head.

S: Little bit of chocolate, maybe some coffee, malt, small amounts of wood.

T: Smoky burnt chocolate with hints of coffee but barely any.

M: Pretty smooth, not much alcohol.

O: Pretty nice porter with decent complexity.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2011 18:54:01 | More by theRooster90
Photo of Tone


3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, alcohol, hint of oatmeal, hint of wood, and hint of dark citrus. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, slight hop, sweet malt, slight dry hop, hint of wood, and a hint of grain. Overall, good blend, body, aroma, and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 22:57:24 | More by Tone
Photo of inlimbo77


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into DFH Signature glass. 11/10 bottling date/notch on side of bottle.

A: This pours a deep brown with reddish notes, 1/2 finger tan head that dissipates quickly, nice tab lacing

S: Lots of chocolate notes, dark, roasted malts, some faint coffee espresso notes, not deep though

T: Flavor doesn't match the noses that I got, it's watery in consistency, roasted malts but don't get the coffee or the chocolate

M: Medium but actually quite watery

O: Good but nothing spectacular

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 19:22:35 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark chocolate mahogany, barely any light getting through. Fluffy 1 finger head that dissipates slowly.

S - Notes of chocolate and dark fruit. Very malty smell, don't smell a lot of coffee or anything, but definitely those dark fruits.

T - Taste has a good amount of coffer, bitter chocolate, and a touch of those fruits. It sort of finishes with a sort of overly bitter aftertaste.

M - Not as thick as I expect from a porter. Leaves a certain dryness in the mouth afterwards as well with a sort of bitter aftertaste.

Overall - I thought it was a decent porter. Not spectacular, and while elements of a great porter were there, I felt like it lacked in some areas that prevented it from being a really good porter. Would definitely drink again, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 20:02:04 | More by BeerBuckeye
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Bad Elmer's Porter from Upland Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.