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Contorter - Ale Asylum

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

205 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 205
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ale Asylum visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dirtylou on 04-27-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Inky dark brown body with a small, bubbly, sandy brown head. Not much lacing. Roasted malts, light coffee, and dark chocolate dominate the nose. Some minor notes of vanilla and charred wood. Grainy bitterness up front. Chocolate and peaty malt sweetness follows. Slight notes of coffee and oily, woody fruit. Moderate body with a lively feel. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 04:57:03 | More by alexgash
Photo of wspscott


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Pours very dark, almost completely black. A thin tan head leaves lots of lace.
S: Lots of chocolate with some dark caramel/toffee, no hint of hops.
T: The chocolate takes a back seat to some roasted grain along with what may be some black patent malt. A little bit of english yeast fruitiness in the background.
M: Creamy mouthfeel with a little bit of tannic astringency. A little too much carbonation to be "english".
D: Goes down very easy, a nice session beer for a cold winter night. A good example of an english porter. Well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 00:19:16 | More by wspscott
Photo of robbyc1


3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Rootbeer color cloudy look, nice tan head nice lacing.

Nose has chocolate malt all the way, very nice.

Good chocolate malt flavor, goes away fast, not much aftertaste, although it is very balanced, a bit watery. Roasty and deep, but the
feeling is that there chould be more, straightforward and good.

Lighter than expected, but solid, maybe a bit more carbonation than needed.

Very drinkable as a session porter, just not very complex, maybe a good dinner beer where the food shines over the beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 22:48:34 | More by robbyc1
Photo of blackearth


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Ale Asylum in Madison, WI. Pours a black body with a tan head that lasts. Aroma of dark roasted malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low carbonation. The main flavor is sweet roasted malts with a very low bitterness in the finish. Very good drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2009 16:43:57 | More by blackearth
Photo of Kegatron


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, unfiltered brown, with a finger of smooth milk chocolate head. Thin layer of retention skims the surface, leaving some light spotty froth back. The aroma is RICH with roasted chocolate malts and coffee, which possesses a sweet and smokey texture. Citric and floral hops give this some green tones in the nostrils.

The taste is much the same, with chalky chocolate malt sweetness giving way to plenty of hops, roast, and coffee. I'm also getting a good bit of citrus coming out as this warms. Earthy hops and burnt gains really linger strongly past the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a bit thinner, with some sharpness to the body but this was pretty easy in the mouth for the most part.

This really brought the roasted feel hard, with the type of burnt grains and coffee character that I really like in the style. The body could have used a touch more presence but for the most part, this was a one dark, tasty, and nicely drinkable Porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 18:39:57 | More by Kegatron
Photo of bound4er


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A firm pour produces a one finger tan head that quickly disappears. Dark brown in color. Leaves a small amount of lacing.

S - Roasted malt aromas with faint coffee and chocolate.

T - Roasted malt flavors up front - turns nicely bitter on a coffee infused crisp finish.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - This beer slides down pretty quickly. Having three or four in a night would not be a stretch, especially given its ABV.

Ultimately this beer gets lost amongst two world class Porters I have access to - Great Lakes Edmund Fitz and Founders. Still a worthy effort from an up and coming brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 01:47:40 | More by bound4er
Photo of Fartknocker


4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a globe glass

A- Completely dark and opaqu with a mocha brown head.
S- Very malty with a hint of chocolate
T- Again, very malty with none of the burnth or bitter flavor that I have had with some porters. Very smooth
M- nice carbonation, not too thick or thin
D- Very smooth for a porter, could drink all night.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 02:55:47 | More by Fartknocker
Photo of cdkrenz


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Extremely dark brown body with a very dark head too. His head is nice standing about an inch tall and fading slowly.

S - Long roasted malt aroma with hints of sweet chocolate. The aroma is inviting.

T - It has a burnt flavor that I really enjoy. The long roasted grains really allow for a good tasting porter with sweet accents at the beginning and the end.

M - It has a subtle coarse texture throughout that assists the beer's flavors.

~ The Contorter is another good beer from the Ale Asylum. My hats off to the folks in Madison for turning out a good, drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2009 18:37:15 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of MadTown1000


2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Strong chocolate smell out of the bottle. Pours an almost solid black with just a tinge of ruby-red transparency when held up to light. In a pint glass, it foams up to about an inch and a half of solid-looking brown-white foam, which settles over the course of a couple of minutes. The smell is not nearly so strong out of the glass as out of the bottle.

Taste, unfortunately, does not live up to expectations. The first note is bitterness, which the chocolate coming up next, followed up by heavily-roasted malt, and ending with more bitterness. A lot of fizz on the tongue as well. I wouldn't want to have many of these in succession... I might have another beer, but it would be ANOTHER beer. I generally like my porters sweeter and more full-bodied than this one - not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 00:58:13 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of wheatyweiss


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a deep brown, almost black. Head is toasted marshmallow colored and substantial. Head hangs around forever and laces the glass quite nicely.

Aroma is roasted dark malt. Big aromas of toasted bread, roasted malts, spit roasted meat and cocoa powder. Light hop smell creeps in on the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick. Smooth bodied, the carbonation is spot on.

Very nice English Style Porter. the chunk of flaked malt floating in the beer were attractive to my eye, but may turn some off. Drinkability suffers as this beer felt a little heavy for a session, which is what a Porter was meant to be.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 22:25:50 | More by wheatyweiss
Photo of tedpeer


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Poured black with a huge light tan head that subsided to a ring around.

S - Roasted scents, chocolate and coffee.

T - Coffee and chocolate with some lactose sweetness. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Moderate to thin, with nice carbonation.

D - Goes down easy.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 00:49:00 | More by tedpeer
Photo of drpimento


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pretty good beer; one of their best, I think. Poured with a tan head and some lace. Opaque dark blackish brown. Nice roasty malty nose with a little dark ripe fruit, cocoa, coffee, a hint of vanilla and chocolate. Flavor is very similar and yet fairly dry. In spite of the richness it's fairly drinkable. But at the same time very full flavored so other flavors in my mouth clashed a bit. Nice finish with no off flavors. Not too boozy. Label reminds me of Thailand.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 04:37:26 | More by drpimento
Photo of zeff80


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a foamy, tan, cappuccino-like head. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of coffee, roasted malt and chocolate. It also had some mild floral aromas.

T - It tasted of coffee with a slight bitterness. It had sweet chocolate and caramel flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth with a fairly dry finish. A medium-bodied porter.

D - This is a pretty good english-style porter. Easy drinking and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 22:07:54 | More by zeff80
Photo of ZAP


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well done porter....looks the part with a creamy tan head atop a black body...a very nice aroma greets my nose..roasted and sweetish...milk chocolate as well as some subtle coffee notes

Milk chocolate and roasted malts are the big players on the taste but the java notes become a little more pronounced...

Body is creamy and smooth and slightly thin...I don't exect regular ol porters to be high gravity monsters so this is fine with me...it really drinks easily and quickly....

Loaded with flavor and aromatics....this is an easy drinker and tasty porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 05:54:33 | More by ZAP
Photo of GbVDave


3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St.Feuillien chalice. Thanks to neubernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours a dark, burnt brown sugar brown color with barely a hint of light brown head that struggles to leave anything more than a few random specks of lace.

S: Aromas of heavily roasted malt, bakers chocolate, honey, cocoa powder, and a touch of lactose.

T: Flavors of bitter dark chocolate, dry/roasty malt, brown sugar, stale espresso, and a touch of licorice and cream.

M: Thin and very bitter and dry. The middle and finish become so dry, crackly, and burnt that my tongue partially lost the ability to detect flavors. Weird.

D: Nice roasted malt and chocolate flavors in the beginning that are squandered by the strange mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 23:28:01 | More by GbVDave
Photo of CaptainIPA


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with intertwined griffin-like creatures featured on the label. No freshness dating.

A: Pours black with a thin, cardboard-colored head with moderate retention and minimal lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, oatmeal, coffee, and a hint of honey.

T: Taste mirrors the nose: rich and robust with notes of chocolate and coffee, before yielding to suggestions of licorice. Finishes with a flash of molasses.

M: Silky smooth and slick on the palate with a prickling of effervescence on the tongue. Overall, somewhat thin-bodied for the style.

D: Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 15:25:53 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of wardough


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Thick, black with a nice head. Looks good so far. Head is more creamy than what I'm used to seeing on average porters.
S: Light chocolate notes.
T: Very light in body and light on the chocolate notes. Like I said before, very light.
M: Light, but nice and creamy.
D: A nice session porter.

Overall, a solid choice.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 02:08:24 | More by wardough
Photo of Oxymoron


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As in cutlery contorter? Pours a black hue with little color distortion when held to the light. A soft tan head with good retention, though eventually hid to the side of the glass. Limited lacing.

The nose is has a noticeable chocolate aroma but no real English notes. To start the malt has more of an American porter aroma with some chocolate notes and a touch of roast on the back end. Some lighter caramel and a hint of toffee. Clean yeast.

The taste comes out more than the nose. The malt is still top here with a slight lactic quality. Some chocolate and roast notes comes out equally. The toffee comes out more as well with some bready and nutty notes. Closer to style in taste than nose. The yeast is very clean with some minor notes but very nice. Some earthy hop notes but minimal.

The body is moderate. There is a slick quality that could be diacetyl but I didn't pick it out in the taste. Overall a good porter, easy to drink. Thanks to flyingbison for the trade.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 17:17:42 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of Bighuge


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black beer with a thin brown head. Couldn't get much of a head even with a vigorous pour... The lacing is sporadic. The nose is full of rich chocolate, english toffee, coffee bean and caramel. Flavor comes at you with dry cocoa powder and muddled and muddied fudge tones. Some nuttiness accents. Slight roasted malt character. And a chalky aftertaste. Solid and unique in the flavor department. Medium body. Good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 00:02:51 | More by Bighuge
Photo of hopdog


3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Ale Asylum Brew Pub (this one was 'billed' as their 'DisPorterly Conduct').

Poured a dark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of roast, caramel, and coffee. Tastes roast and coffee. Thinner body.

Notes from and tasted on 7/23/07

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2008 01:42:07 | More by hopdog
Photo of RustyDiamond


3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at Steve's Liquor in Madison, WI on 08/01/08. Very dark brown with red hilites at the bottom. Smallish tan brown head that quickly dissipated in my SA glass. Roasty malt flavor with a slight fizz of carbonation. Some bitterness felt with some nuttiness. Slight hopinesss felt on the front end.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 20:10:36 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body, roasty tan headstarts big, begins to crumble. Looks good for the part.

Wonderful aroma, roasty, warm, earthy, with trimmings of cocoa, vanilla, cream, & a whiff of nuttiness.

In the mouth, it's a drinkable delight. Cocoa and cream. Medium bodied, with minor underlying bitterness. (Probably less than I generally like.) Very smooth, very tasty. Also, mellow. And clean.

I'm missing some grit, though, I'm wanting a bittersweet, espresso-like edge. If you're looking for an easy-drinking taste treat, though, don't pass it by.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 09:41:51 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt umber with generous cherry highlights. The liquid is just short of opaque, but only when bright light is available. Atop the beer sits two fat fingers of toasted tan foam that is creamyfirm and somewhat sticky. Lace that is both extensive and attractive is yet another positive.

The nose hits the bull's eye. It's obvious that plenty of roasted and chocolate malts were used. So much so that I might have guessed dry stout if blinded. Here's hoping the beer tastes as good as it smells.

Contorter is good porter. It even tastes English in some indefinable way (maybe because hop flavor is on the low end). What hops were used are probably responsible for the moderate, back end bitterness. Or, the bitterness could be due to charred black malt. Again, this is as much an Irish dry stout as it is a porter. A fine distinction, I'll admit.

The flavor is similar to chocolate-covered graham crackers, iced black coffee and English Breakfast tea leaves. Actually, the second of those is most prominent. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that a small 'tea bag' full of coffee beans was added to the kettles. The finish is relatively clean and is at least quasi-crisp. Good stuff.

The mouthfeel is the only minor misstep. Very minor. When it comes to scoring, I prefer fuller over lighter in most cases. For an ale that tips the scales at an estimated 5.0% ABV, however, it ain't half bad.

Ale Asylum has done a good job with Contorter Porter. While it doesn't venture out of the safe, cozy confines of the style, it's tasty as hell and is unlikely to lose its charm over the course of multiple bottles. In fact, I could go for a few more right now.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2008 13:07:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought this a good, but not great, porter. I got some defect in the aroma, and the mouthfeel is a bit thin, which is forgivable as I think my mouthfeel expectations have been shaped by Imperial Stouts and Baltic Porters, so it is entirely possible my mouthfeel expectations are unfair.

Poured a deep black color, but appeared a bit thin. Head formed nicely, but didn't last long. Aroma was very roasty with a significant mercaptan presence. Flavor is straight roastiness, and quite good. Mouthfeel was just a touch thin.

I would recommend this beer. I bought this bottle at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 22:45:14 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery. 4.8% abv.

A: Black with a tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Coffee, brown sugar, bread.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, nut bread, good bitterness. Great flavour for its weight.

M: Moderate body is also impressive for its weight.

D: Quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2008 01:50:09 | More by Derek
Contorter from Ale Asylum
85 out of 100 based on 205 ratings.