Old Growler - Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old GrowlerOld Growler

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

195 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 150
Reviews by DESTRO:
Photo of DESTRO
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep ruby with a nice tightly packed head. smells pretty tasty, sweet molassess, dark fruit. taste much like the nose. lightly sweet. a bit dumbed down. raisins, finishes a bit "metallic". thin in the mouth and just seems mediocre overall. one is enough for me, bummer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with a nice amount of amber tint with a thin head that leaves a thin lacing around the glass.A very fruity aroma off the bat with a bitter chocolate note coming thru after the beer sits for a few minutes.Alot of flavor to this porter from a nice juicy fruitiness to a chocolated malted milk to a dry earthiness in the finish.Hey this a very very nice porter light but not watery and alot of nice flavor, one of the better porters I have had in quite awhile.

Photo of RoyalT
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark brown in color with a tinge of red and a nice head.

Smell – There’s some big sherry and port scents in there. The toasted malt gives these a foundation, but this one has a very sweet aroma.

Taste – The toasted malt is a little more supportive in the taste, but the sherry still runs this show.

Mouthfeel – I thought this was the beers strong point. The sweet flavor and smooth character felt incredible on the tongue and cheeks.

Drinkability – Not my idea of a porter. It probably met the textbook definition, but I like my porter bigger and more complex.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown to black with a beige head. Aroma is English malts and hops with some roasted malts as well. Flavor is definitely English, with roasted malts, English hops and a slight bit of coffee at the end. Slightly bitter, dry finish. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation and very drinkable.

Photo of ADR
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clearish darker brown to coffee color...head is small and just a skim after 30 seconds. Deep and slightly rum/raisin aromas. Low carbonation adds to medium-bodied mouthfeel, slightly coating. Impressive bittering in the brew, flavors of brown sugar but also of some coffee and grape. Taste grows deeper the farther it gets in the mouth and finishes as java with a touch of a phenolic impression. It does tastes like an old recipe and reminds me of the days of blending roasty, smoky stout-like beers of low carbonation into a Porter. Interesting...

Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a Nonic)
A- This beer pours a deep black body with a hint of red in the glow at the base. There is a thick creamy light tan head that last for a good bit. There is a few tiny bubbles that pop of the side and glide up the glass.
S- The aroma of dark fruit and mellow roasted dark malt has a cola almost Dr. pepper quality with a tootsie roll finish.
T- The creamy smooth roasted flavor has a light cola taste to it. The dry finish almost taste flat bit it's more of a roasted quality. There is a faint spice note in the finish and the soft roasted fruitiness lingers for a moment after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft carbonation and no alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a nice flavor but it is just a bit to muted. This makes it easy to drink but just a bit more depth or character could really add some excitement. There are some very subtle characters that I just can't pin down but I think on tap or cask it might really bring those characters out.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

O.G. pours an oddly deep yet thin brown... word. It's dark walnut in color but thin enough to let light pass through easily revealing ruby and golden highlights. The head is a lackluster tan which doesn't last long and doesn't give anything in the way of character to this beer.

The nose is sweet and malty. Fresh milled grains mix with the caramelized scents of roasted malts. There isn't much more then those malts which is cool with me. I do wish they had a little bit more variation, perhaps some chocolate or coffee touches but it is a very satisfying aroma.

Taste is also simple and pleasing like the nose. Sweet caramelized grains with touches of toffee and a little earthy bitterness. Nothing jumps out at you in this beer but I don't think it needs any glitz and glamour. This is a solid beer and there is beauty in it's simplicity.

The mouthfeel is almost on par with the rest of the beer but I find the carbonation to be a little strong and the body a touch thin. Very enjoyable none the less. It's a good simple roasty beer that deserves a nod.

Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark reddish brown with a medium tan head with no lacing. The smell is pungent with dark fruit,raisins,molasses,and alittle chocolate. The taste is like the smell. Dark fruit,molasses,brown sugar,and roasted malt make this a very drinkable porter. The m/f is light and abit thin,but the flavors mix well making this a very easy drinking porter and a nice start on St. Patty's Day.

Photo of cokes
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shadow-laden tea under a bleached gray cap.
Slightly scorched herbal nose.
Toasty right away. Hints at cocoa, but stays too quiet. More of a branded tree bark. Earthy towards the middle. Light hazelnut sweetness, leaning ever-so-slightly in the prune and liquorice direction. Hopping is mutely substancial and very herbal. A burn barrel full of dried Autumn leaves.
This is relatively nice, but far too introverted.
Light bodied and boring, despite its monster drinkability.

Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seemed a cross between a barleywine and a Porter in aroma and taste. Easier drink than a thick stout. Tan brown with a modest amount of lace. And not overpowering as a barleywine. Nice, medium/bit thin mouthfeel. Malty, modest roasty. This works for the sum of its parts.

Photo of DRC
2.66/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep chestnut with a 2 fingers+ taan head. Very good lacing & good head retention

Smell: Slight maltiness (yawn)

Taste: Caramel & slight chocalate up front. Slight hop tea essences, then finishes fruitty, dry & choclatey

MF: Medium, well balanced & good carbonation

Drinks pretty tasty, but a shadow of the cask version I had in England in the early 90s

Photo of GRG1313
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thick, rich and firm khaki head. Nice looking.

Nose is roasted light coffee with plum tones and hints of cooked stone fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium but with a richness, creamy character and brightness. There is actually a "refreshing" quality to this which is a bit unique in my experience for a porter.

Flavors are assertive, albeit simple, roasted coffee, roasted grain and burnt toast, with an almost lemon citric front palate that goes to the bitter roast.

Finish is medium bitter espresso and lightly burned coffee. Nice drink and very appealing. You want to keep drinking it.

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not pitch black - poured a barely translucent brown with a tint of red. Had a good head retention but it eventually settled to a strong lace with a few mounds of foam here and there.

The aroma reminded me of maraschino cherries and light malts.
After a while the smell took on a gritty quality.

At first it had a dark fruity taste, sort of like strawberries or dark cherries. However, that flavor quickly subsided and took a back seat to the malts. The malts were a bit subdued. There was not much bitter hops.

M/F: Prickly carbonation. A very easy to drinking porter.

Overall I though the name and picture on the bottle were very appropriate. This beer had an "ashtray and cigarettes" quality - and I mean that in a good way. It reminded me of a smoky ol' pool hall. This brew made me want to smoke a cigar. It was not bad and I enjoyed the beer. I could easily drink a few of these in a session. I'd probably buy this again and would happily revisit it, but for now I'm glad I tried it - I'll be moving on.

Photo of goochpunch
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark ruby body with a thick ta head that comes off looking like foamed milk on a coffee. Leaves cheets of thick, raised lacing. Smells like chocolate syrup, with fainter coffee notes. Nice bready background. Flavor is of toasted malts up front and the flavors that initiate this remind me of a soft brown. Middle is vinous and of dark fruits. Maybe some pomegranate in there as well. Chocolate finishes this up with some raisins and dates. Aftertaste lingers on of strong coffee and light smoke. Mouthfeel is silky and the body is somewhere between moderate and light, though it leans towards the middle. This is really quaffable. Although this isn't the most interesting porter, I could session this.

Photo of AEK
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle poured into a Hobgoblin branded pint pot.

A. A clear, deep red bordering on brown ale with a light brown solid, rocky head.

S. Coffee and bitter chocolate

T. Black chocolate, bitter chocolate, dark fruit and some smokiness. A lingering hoppy finish.

M. Medium and good with a little carbonation.

D. A deliciously dark ale that packs a heavywweight punch in its taste. This is certainly a beer to enjoy.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light dark beer with a medium head with standard retention. Aroma is a mix of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste is a bit surprising with quite strong chocolate notes with nice roasted malt with subtle hops and a thin watery finish. Body was lighter then expected for a porter. Overall, this is like a light chocolate porter – not bad, just different I guess.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep maroon with yellow highlights. Small white head, falls apart quickly leaving minor lace.
Aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate dominate.
Flavor is sweet chocolate, roasted barley, some espresso notes. Finish leaves a lingering bitterness.
Very light in the mout, too watery for the style.
Drinkability is OK, nothing really too great.

Photo of BeerSox
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt .9oz bottle into pint glass.

Dark, nearly opaque brown creates a base for a light tan head that quickly fades to a thin cap with bubbly edges. Stringy lacing.

Roasty malts, a little bit of caramel, and raisins make up the aroma.

The beginning stars out with the bitterness of roasted malts, along with a bit of caramel, which lingers until the beer's finish. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Some more of the grainy character comes out toward the end.

This is an okay porter, but I have tried better from the other side of the Atlantic. This one has some odd characteristics, like raisin in the smell and a little bit of caramel. Worth a try.

Photo of vandemonian
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nethergate Old Growler is a nice, if sour, porter.

A: Black colour and hug 2 cm head that lasts. 4.5

S: Milky yeast with a hint of sourness. Maybe I'm going crazy, but I smelled cheries. 4

T: Has a slightly sour with some flavours I might associate with dried fruit. 4

M: Reasonably foamy and carbonated. 3.5

O: Very drinkable and tasty. 4

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle to pint glass. No date or batch number. $4.50 for the bottle.

A: Huge 4 finger light brown rocky head sits atop a dark brown nearly opaque body. Only when the beer is held in front of a light source is the clarity noticeable; ruby highlights appear. The head lasts forever and becomes increasingly lopsided. Excellent lacing sticks in chunky sheets that are punctured by BB pellet sized holes.

S: The aroma incorporates average malts of bread, toffee and the faintest toffee. Shockingly, the malts come across toasted, not even close to roasted. Herbal hops are light. There is a well placed heavy sourdough yeast component as well. The yeastiness is much more noticeable from the first pour. But much less on the second...

T: Flavors include dark fruits, currants, blackberry jam, strawberry, and woody with some tobacco earthiness. I noticed a brief metallic flavor in a few sips.

M: The mouthfeel is light...way too light. Nearly watery. Inadequate carbonation drags the mouthfeel score down even further. Nothing impressive in this department.

D: It's an easy drinking porter. Would be a satisfying dark lager. Plenty of room for improvement.

Photo of scooter231
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very, very dark red color- virtually opaque. Smell was a bit surprising- very raisiny, some coffee notes, a bit of chocolate. But mostly a fruity raisiny scent. Sweet.

Taste is still raisiny, but I'm also getting some grape tastes in here. Drier than I thought it would be- still sweet, though. Fruityness, but nothing too overpowering or painful. Mouthfeel is bubbly, medium-bodied, not tooo heavy.

Another desserty-type drink for me. Sweet and on the light side, a nice night cap. Not uber drinkable due to the sweetness, but I wouldn't grab eight of this one- one or two would do me just fine.

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Old Growler from Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.