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Old Growler - Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old GrowlerOld Growler

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

150 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 150
Hads: 196
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.24%
Wants: 6
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 150 | Hads: 196
Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
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 (372 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (293 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
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 (345 characters)

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

On cask at The Cricketers, Clavering, Essex, UK.

Pours ruby brown with a loose off white head of bigg bubbles that leaves light lace. Nose is chocolate malts and winter spice. Soft cocoa and dark berry malts with sap hops. Medium body, a bit of chew, no stick.

Either a bit light and pale for an English porter or a throwback to the roots of the style. Still a very drinkable winter quaffer. (394 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Whiteside’s in Corvallis. Oddly enough I’d never seen Old Growler at any retailer in Portland. Never even heard of it. But I’m glad I found it because it’s really a decent brew. It bears little resemblance to contemporary American or English porters, but the label states that the recipe dates to 18th century London. Accordingly, I accepted the beer for what it is though I have no idea how authentic that may be.

My half liter bottle was dusty but well preserved. The beer immediately greeted me with a sugar-bread aroma while the body is very light for a porter and bloody red moreso than brown. There wouldn’t appear to be any unmalted roasted barley in this recipe and that strikes me as curious. The hops are very timid here and are strictly relegated to no more than logistical support in the bittering range. In fact, the taste suggests low attenuation and the brew is very mild bodied.

I find that this beer tastes somehow comforting (or am I just sentimental for old-style traditional designs?) The taste delivers plenty of sweetness and probably some good nutritional carbs. Nothing here is especially roasted and the beer would seem to draw closer to a sweet brown ale than to a Fuller’s or St. Peters. Ultimately a very clean and drinkable ale though not very porterly in the modern sense.

Note: this beer is erroneously listed as an American porter. It is anything but. (1,432 characters)

Photo of Morris729
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, color with little to no head and only a thin collar of tan lace. Nose is a bit subdued at first but becomes more pronounced as the beer warms with notes of raisiny port, molasses, cocoa, and black liquorish. Medium to full in body with a winey texture. Tastes begins with roasted malts and dark fruit followed by some unsweetened chocolate. Next is some smoky and earthy notes of burnt wood and charcoal followed by some mildly sour prune notes. A nice brew that should be drunk near room temperature. (540 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (411 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.09oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a deep dark mahogany with a thin and fading beige head.
The smell is of slightly burnt toast and brown bread.
A taste of coffee and dark roast malt are upfront. A hint of dark bitter chocolate and smoke peek through.
This brew is fairly hoppy for a Porter. Edgy citrus and a slightly sour tartness mix with a light tea-like bitterness. A mild piney taste is noticed in the finish. A hint of alcohol is present throughout. (476 characters)

Photo of Mark
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown, not black. Tan head retained fairly well, lacing a decent pattern in the form of rings. Not as aromatic as some porters, a faint but inviting chocolate like maltiness. Complex tastes that changed with each sip before settling down to a solid consistent chocolate toned taste. not too sweet and not too roasty, a real drinkable porter that some might not find assertive enough. I hope I can find this on cask during my upcoming trip to the U.K. (455 characters)

Photo of mgdeth
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Murky brown, with garnet highlights. Good off-white head, okay head retention, and good beer lace. Low to medium carbonation.

Smell - Chocolatey. For some reason this beer reminds me of the smell of a dark lager. This might be due to the lack of hop aroma. Still, it smells tasty and delightful.

Taste - This is a down and dirty, old-fashioned tasting porter. Rich malty and chocolatey taste. This is followed by a roasty coffee flavor. Malt is emphasized more than bitterness. There is a bit of astringency (that makes me think "hard water") as well.

Mouthfeel - Gritty, yet it is not super thick. The body is adequate, and is accented by the roasty flavor.

Drinkability - Quite quaffable, even with its strong flavors. This beer is easy to keep on sippin'.

Comments - This is pretty good stuff, and definitely worth a try. It has a few characteristics that remind me of lager beer, which is pretty strange. (936 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with garnet highlights, creamy tan head of foam.
Aroma-Toffee, milk chocolate
Taste-Dark roasted malt, subtle chocolate, coffee, faint tobacco note. A session able classic English porter. (193 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (1,059 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown beer with coppery/red highlights topped by a dense, light brown head of fine bubbles that reduced quickly to a thin lace. Nice stickage to the sides of the glass. Roasted maltiness leaves the most impression in the aroma, but there is a bit of chocolate and light fruitiness. Burnt, roasted flavour to start, followed by malty sweetness and finishes with a lingering bitterness. Bitterness is fairly mild but balanced, and comes from both hops and roasted grain. The body was a bit thin, but the texture was quite smooth and was aided by the medium/low carbonation.

500 mL brown bottle with best before date stamped on rear label. (651 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It comes in a brown 16.9 oz bottle with an angry bulldog in a spiky collar on the label. It pours a lighter than expected dark reddish brown that allows plenty of light to pass through. The tan head foams up quickly but fades a bit and leaves a nice layer on top of the glass, along with a trail of lace. The smell is fairly complex combination of chocolate, bread or biscuit, and traces of ripe fruit. The taste is also quite nice, with roasted flavors adding to the flavor of chocolate and biscuit. Unfortunately, it's a bit on the thin side. However, it's quite drinkable. All in all, a pretty good effort. (609 characters)

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Very typical, tasty porter in the English style.

A - Dark brown to black body with a medium sized off white head with a bit of staying power and some decent lacing.
S - Not very strong, but some light whiffs of chocolatey malts.
T - Subtle is the key, as it seems the leaning is with most British made beers. Malt-heavy as a porter ought to be, but not as strong on the spiciness as the American counterpart often is. A smooth mild flavor for optimal drinkability is where it's at with this one.
M - Not as strong in this field as porters can be. I'd mark it as slightly above medium.
D - Top marks here. Whereas some porters tange it up a bit too much for my liking, the Old Growler's smoother bitterness and subtle flavor make it easy to let a few of these slide down the back of your throat in one sitting. (817 characters)

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass on 7/25/09. From notes.

A- Very dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. Big creamy head that settled to about one finger and lasted the whole glass, nice lacing.

S- Roasted chocolate, a little sweet and a little coffee.

T- No one thing stood out for me, hints of a lot of things here- vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, a little smoke, a little sweet. Blended together very nicely.

M- Medium bodied, carbination was not noticable, very smooth.

D- Definitely could have a few of these in a sitting. I'll be looking to pick this up again. (596 characters)

Photo of Doiv
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this one is a real treat. It emerges from the pump as dark as an Old Peculier, and it has that very ashen, smokey feel that makes Old Speckled Hen so great.

This has an incredibly strong flavour, putting it somewhere between a mild and a stout. (If such a thing is possible!) It tastes dense and almost silty, with a very dry, crisp overtone reminiscent of Guinness Original. This is a real winner. (406 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (991 characters)

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany color. The head is dense, fluffy, tan colored, holds well. Lower carbonation. On the nose the aroma of rum, caramel, raisins, and molasses. Mouthfeel is smooth. On the palate the flavors consisted of dark chocolate, molasses, rum, brown sugar, caramel, coffee flavors. All of the flavors become more pronounced as the brew warms up. Overall a rich and filling porter… (390 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown no highlights just brown, nie fluffy dense tan head that leaves some sticky lace behing.

Aroma is toasted malt light coffee mingled with some nuts and a mellow herbal hop aroma.

Taste is toasted malt some nice nutty flavors thru out. Finish is nice hop flavors mixed with some light coffee hints and a light medium lingering bitterness. Very nice flavorable porter with nice lightly dry finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth mellow carbonation right at medium feel.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable flavorable English Porter. Want to thank my friend for picking me up some beers. (607 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  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. (574 characters)

Photo of AaronHomoya
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Growler appealed to me with its label featuring an English Bulldog on the front. The beer is a nice brown color with decent head. The aroma is roasted and malty. Taste is roasted, malty, chocolate and sweet with a clean finish. Mouthfeel is a good medium to light body with pleasing carbonation. A very drinkable beer at 5.50% ABV with malty, slightly roasted taste that's clean and goes well with food. (407 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice soft porter with good balance and flow.

Presentation: 500 ml brown capped bottle. Label with a seal presided with the rendered image of a mean looking bulldog with a framed belt, and red and gold touches. Brags about different prices with the back noting some historic background. Shows an illegible bottling code on the neck, and shows 5.5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Very dark brown pour with a nice, rich and creamy tan head.

S - Initial cola, with some coffee and malt, quite restrained nose.

T - Hmm, plenty of coffee upfront... Milk coffee, sweet touch, bitter touch in the finish. Overall malty with some toffee in the horizon.

M - Medium to medium-light body, with medium-low carbonation. Creamy and smooth...

O - It´s actually pretty pleasing and flows with grace.

Notes: The coffee sweetness is not exactly my thing but it is very drinkable and comes together rather nicely. A good brew. (927 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (610 characters)

Old Growler from Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.