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Old Growler - Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

Old GrowlerOld Growler

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%


Brewed by:
Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 148 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into pint glass, L1125 bottle code. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, cocoa, brown bread, molasses, light roast, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, cocoa, molasses, raisin, fig, light roast, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, brown bread, cocoa, raisin, fig, light roast, herbal, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, complexity, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a moderately creamy and slightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice English porter style. All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 22:06:19 | More by superspak
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Not as dark as I expected but for the ABV it's spot on. It's a fairly pitch black with a slight ruby hue at the base. Head was a 1/4 inch of mocha head that settles to a choppy lace ring.
S - Smells of mild roasted malts, some toasted almonds, a touch of sourdough bread, and some figs.
T - A very mild yet full flavored beverage. Getting vanilla sweetness, mild coffee hints leading to roasted malts, some toasted almonds, and a mild bittering finish of hoppy goodness. Flavors never get too sweet but I find it quite balanced.
M - Light to medium, somewhat chewy, a very tasty beer.

Overall getting this for $5.29 I find it somewhat overpriced. I have had better porters at a more affordable price.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 23:35:17 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle (new and better label), into a St. Bernardus snifter. It pours dark mahogany brown/black in color with a moderate size, soapy head. Ample sticky tan lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: A very appealing and lightly sweet medium roasted malt aroma with plenty of raisin and hints of hops and toffee,

Taste: also a nice mix of dark fruits and medium malts, with hints of vanilla, coffee (in finish), roasted nuts, caramel and toffee. Hits the mouth quite sweet but, just as I thought it would be clearly too sweet, the perfect level of bitterness from roasted grains and hops kicked in and shifted the balance, ultimately turning an ever-so-mildly bitter version of bittersweet. Long-lasting and exceptionally pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: very smooth but a bit too thin. Good, low carbonation level.

O: A very good English porter with exceptional taste and aroma. Improved a bit with warming despite starting at about 55F.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 22:10:27 | More by chinchill
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a large (500 ml??) bottle into a nonic, served at cellar temp.

Black as night with a souffle of thick, sandstone colored head. nice lacing.

aroma: powerful, wafts to my nostrils from 2 feet away. Darkly roasted malt, licorice, espresso, cocoa.

mouthfeel; light, ethereal.

taste: darkly roasted malt, black licorice, nice bitterness, coffee, cocoa and smoke.

notes: I've had many English Porters and this one ranks near the top. Aromatic, flavorful and very well balanced. Bitterness is slightly more pronounced in this one which is welcome to act as a counterpoint to all the other flavors zinging around my taste buds. This one is a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 01:21:10 | More by fx20736
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #61 (Feb 2012):

LOOK: Nearly pitch black

SMELL: Coffee, fudge, dried figs, brown bread, burnt sugar, nutty yeast, toasted bread

TASTE: Very smooth, medium body, bready, carob powder, dried plums, peppery, estery, mild charcoal, nutty, coffee, buttery, semidry finish

Brewed from a London recipe that dates back to 1750, this is one of those beers that novice beer drinkers should be forced to drink in order to experience the Porter beer style. Delicious. Serve at a cellar temperature to maximize your enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 17:39:20 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of DavidST
DavidST

Texas

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass, coded bottle date. This pours a dark brown almost black color with a large mocha colored head which has good retention and leaves a lacing. The smells are a little light, a slight hint of dark roasted malts, more toffee and perhaps a little nuts. The feel is medium. The taste is decent you get a got amount of toffee, some nutty flavors and then a little dark roasted malts.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 05:06:30 | More by DavidST
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown/black colour with a small head.

Smells nice, like toffee or treacle almost.

Tastes ok, solid mouthfeel but a bit too burnt for my liking.

Overall a decent beer, not great for my tastes though

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 15:39:38 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

...we should probably get this underway. It's a "platinum winner", and it feautres a small CAMRA logo and a bulldog in the middle. From the 500 ml format, on to the beer:

Nearly black with ruby red hues. The head on top forms an inch thick, is semi-creamy, holds up well on top and leaves reasonable lace. The English accent of aroma is unmistakable from the American counterparts. It features some interesting black licorice notes, and also smoked peat, banana, and charcoal.

There are some things to like from this porter. The flavors are mild overall. Roasted malt and traces of brown sugar start it off. Kisses of licorice and molasses, and later unsweetened chocolate finishes it out. It's medium bodied, on the smooth side, and is easy to drink.

Old Growler hits the mark with this dark offering. It's a reasonably choice if you're looking for a porter that's not so robust.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 05:15:52 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of DRC
DRC

Illinois

2.65/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into tulip glass.

Nice mahogany color with two finger head.

Aroma kind of lacking in this porter.

Weak beginning flavor, with a slight smokey nuttiness middle, and a slight cherry finish.

Medium body that leaves you wanting more.

Overall a weak porter for my taste, but I will give it another try.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 06:56:38 | More by DRC
Photo of stonermouse
stonermouse

Massachusetts

2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a deep brow with a nice head and lacing throughout.

When I was a kid, I went to work with my step father. He was a project manager for a defense contractor. We were there early, by 6am. We walked into the production area, where the production folks worked on hardware, which would make up the beginnings of the next fighter jet, helicopter, or some such thing. The area was sterile and stark. The aroma of this beer brought me back to that day. Strange, but true.

Shocked as I was, I continued on. And not surprisingly, this beer tasted like the smell. Rubber and industrial cleaners were prominent here, along with a touch of band-aid. Interesting, I suppose.

Mouthfeel was actually smooth and rich, and carried this strange variety of flavors well.

I have no idea what to make of this brew, so I'm marking it average. Some folks may love this flavor profile. For me, however, after it struck me where I had smelled these smells before, I couldn't go back. Interesting brew, but not for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 03:15:21 | More by stonermouse
Photo of diamondc
diamondc

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with a ruby tint. Short lived head, but lots of lacing. Half a fingers worth of foam lingers.

S: Strong toffee note, hazelnuts, milk chocolate, maybe a bit of raisin in there. Awesome.

T: Dark fruits really come out, slight roasted coffee note, anise, herbal-y earthy hop flavors at the end.

M: A bit on the lighter side, quaffable. Very balanced malt and hop profile.

O: Great beer, not over top, but worthy of multiple purchases.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 06:02:27 | More by diamondc
Photo of depechemode1983
depechemode1983

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark mahogany with red hues. Tan head thats somewhat like seafoam. Disipates quickly. No lacing at all.

S - Light burnt coffee, faint chocolate and an aroan of milk duds. Pleasant and light.

T - Roasted malts take stage. lots of chocolate nibs and roasted coffee in the taste. nothing complex just really great flavors straight forward.

M - Smooth an clean feeling on the palate. Carbonation is just right.

0 - Not a bad porter. Howerver at 5 dollars there are better picks out there. Worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 18:43:35 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of creamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, chocolate, and some coffee.

T: Tasted of malt, first and foremost, with notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee. A somewhat mild flavor, typical of English porters. Solid enough.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: There's nothing overly special about this beer, but it is a nicely made, drinkable brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 13:21:40 | More by avalon07
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip Guinness glass to form a reddish black pint with a thick slightly off white head that curtained the glass luverly.

The smell rather than aroma was slightly off putting marsh like peat and diesel.

The taste is a sweet treat though bonfire toffee as beer, cinder and treacle it is slightly cloying with the sugary taste and I doubt anyone could down this in one.

Heavy on the sweetness but nice if you hold your nose.
Would buy again and split a bottle with the missus.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 20:07:40 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of abcentfishing
abcentfishing

California

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth pour in tall mug, not to much head nice color with a malty, coffee smell a bit on the sweet side. The taste was smooth from the start and not as bitter as many porters on the first taste. Smooth and delicious, not overly strong in any way. Would be great with a meal, nice pot roast or maybe a french dip but unfortunately this is done as an after dinner brew. Something to plan for next time. Will for sure buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 02:00:14 | More by abcentfishing
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Very dirty brown pour, thin layer of off white tops it off.

Aroma, roast, chocolate, an earthy yeastiness.

Taste, It is nice and malty. Caramel, pecan, chocolates. There is fainter red and grape like fruits. Finishes a nutty cocoa, with a yeasty spice note.

Good lighter side of mid bodied and fairly lively. Still coats almost creamy. Drinks very easily. Spot on English style, brown ale porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 01:10:34 | More by Bung
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Farmer's Cabinet, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, a dark cola brown with a nice puff of off-white head that retained well and left just a bit of lacing behind. Interesting aroma kind of reminiscent of some of the sour porters I've been seeing around lately: dark roasty malts, yeast, dark dried fruits. Wasn't sure at first if it was off-flavored or supposed to taste that way, but reading other reviews, I suppose the taste is on. It wasn't that it was bad, just a bit unexpected. Resembled a typical porter with the dark roasted malts, and cocoa/coffee notes, hints of tobacco; but there was a definite yeasty quality, and an infusion of raisin and citrus flavors that almost made it seem like a tripel had been blended in there. Interesting. Medium-bodied, and fairly drinkable, but only if I was really in the mood to try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 15:05:56 | More by Rifugium
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a limited tan head. No retention, no lacing.

Nice dark roasted malt aroma, with hints of coffee, cocoa, milk, and grain.

Good up front roasted malt bitterness, leading to light sweetness (grain), some nuttiness as the palate clears, and a long malty finish. Coffee, cocoa, nuts, and light bitterness all intermingle.

Medium bodied, but very very smooth. All flavors flow together wonderfully. Carbonation is just right.

Good porter all around. Texture, taste, and aroma are a delight.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 04:35:36 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not gonna lie, pretty much got this because the awesome Bulldog on the label, lets see how this goes.

A- Pitch black body poured into my snifter. Light tan head builds up to a nice size and retains decently. It eventually falls to a cloud in the middle and a small ring around the sides. Small, plentiful spots of lace around the glass.

S- Not sure how old the bottle is, it should be pretty fresh. There is some kind of funky hint up front. The weirdness goes away with some warmth and opens up better things. Roast, burnt malt, caramel and licorice really come to mind. Yeast hints and grains as well.

T- An interesting flavor has notes of dark roast malt, cocoa powder, coffee and even tart dark fruit (cherries). I still get a good amount of anise/licorice, toasted nuts, grain and yeast bread.

MF- Moderately thick body with silky lower end carbonation. Creams up a bit on the palate and leaves behind a roast bitter tart feel.

A good porter for sure, not sure if it is the "Supreme Champion" like it says on the label but worth trying and really brings a nice English feel to the Porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 01:11:50 | More by cbutova
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, roast, malts,

taste: chocolate, malts, sweet

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice porter. easy to drink very chocolaty. glad I got to try it and Thank you mom for picking this bottle up since it had a bulldog on the bottle.

Cheers,l
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 02:58:27 | More by THECPJ
Photo of rcfunk
rcfunk

Texas

4.78/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This was exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted a good porter or stout and almost put this one back in favor of the tried and true Taddy Porter, but godalmighty, I am glad I decided to try this one out. It does not disappoint.

THIS IS A ENGLISH BROWN PORTER IN ALL ITS GLORY

I smell the chocolate malt up front but I can't ignore the delectable English Ale yeast esters bursting out of the glass. Those delicate esters alone make this beer worth it.

The taste is just plain balanced. Makes me want to chug it. Damn. I feel like a freshman all of a sudden. Anyway.

Yeah, so drink this beer and love it.

Cheers

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 01:02:49 | More by rcfunk
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big creamy head fades at a med pace with lacing, molasses rosy brown color.

Nose has a dry farmhouse like toasty malts, hint of roast and chocolate, bitter earthy roasty malts, hint of a dry like funk and chewy hops.

Taste is dry toasty stout, bit of chocolate malt, hint of bitter roast, light yeast and dry malts with creamy chocolate at the same time, chewy oats and malts, some bitter earthy hops, a dry irish stout flavor.

Mouth is med bodied, bit creamy, decent carb.

Overall decent, nice dry creamy Irish stout, light dry saison like farmhouse rustic almost funk.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 00:46:19 | More by jlindros
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Four finger tan head. Lasts a long time. The liquid is dark ruby brown where only really bright light passes. Some chunky lace remains on the glass.

Deep caramel aroma with some definitive sweetness.

My house guests found this beer to be a bit thin for the style, but I found it to be appropriate. There's a good dose of hop, but this story is about the toasted malt. An overall smooth beer. Relatively dry.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 22:39:22 | More by smcolw
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It is becoming a porter afternoon, it looks like. I am waffling between bottles and CANs of late, but simply as an effort to reduce some of my stock. Once the bottles are depleted, The CANQuest (TM) will re-assume its rightful focus.

From the bottle: "This SPECIAL PORTER from an original London recipe which dates back to the year 1750, is only brewed by the Nethergate Brewery in rural Suffolk."

The carbonation seemed a bit low, producing only a moment's worth of light-tan head before falling to wisps. This seems to have held up quite well in the BeerFrigerator, in evidence a deep brown color with cola highlights. Nose had a smoky anise quality, very nice. Mouthfeel was medium with tastes of dried dark fruit, smoke, charcoal, anise and dark chocolate in the mouth. I was liking this even more than the earlier Taddy Porter! Finish was semi-dry with an intense smokiness that not only stole the show, but lingered well after the swallow. The other flavors remained in evidence, but it was the charcoal/smoke flavor that dominated. Was it the (inadvertent) aging that created this? I do not know because I have not reviewed it fresh, but this was a winner!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 18:28:28 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label has been updated with an english bulldog on the cover. Makes sense.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. There's no mistaking it for anything else.

Sweet malt greets the nose followed by only a fleeting hint of cocoa and anything palatable.

Sweet and crisp with all the ambience of an English porter. Very little roastiness.

Body is too thin to fully enjoy. Just a hint of sweet malt lingers.

It's so very dull. Goes down easy with a whimper.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 01:13:23 | More by Brad007
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Old Growler from Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.