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
Photo of stonermouse
2.42/5  rDev -36.6%
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.

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 stumac
2.73/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours totally dark brown with a slight brown tinted head. the nose is caramel, roasted malts and sweet malts. in the palate, there is metallic malts, cocoa powder, vanilla bean, sweet malts. its medium bodied, low and smoothe carbo, very "thin" tasting. Im not the biggest English Ale fan....

Photo of Naes
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This porter pours out almost black with a one finger light tan head. There is little lacing and the head does not retain all that well.
The aroma has that leathery smell that usually implies that I will not like this porter. There are however, chocolaty tones surfacing as the beer warms.
The flavor is much better than I was expecting based upon the aroma, but does not stand out as exceptional. There is a good presence of chocolate malt and coffee tones and I detect some dark chocolate near the finish followed by a slight hop presence.
Mouth feel is medium in body and is a bit under carbonated.

Overall, this is an average porter.

Photo of TerryW
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark cola colour with a short head that very quickly leaves the glass, no lace.

Smells of coffee, chocolate and malt (maybe some prunes) and comes across the same way on the palate. Bitter finish. Kind of one-dimensional compared to some others of these I've had. Medium bodied.

Nothing special, but nothing to cause me to turn it down flat, either.

Photo of Brent
3.02/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark cola color, with a good deal of light penetration observed around the edges. Aroma was a bit vinious, red wine and dark fruit. Not much head even on vigorous pour. Mouthfeel was moderately thin. Up front, the beer boasts a medium dark-roasted malt flavor, and a firm, non-aromatic hops bittering lands at the back of the tongue. The beer dries at the finish. The beer bills itself as a "traditional English porter," so I wouldn't expect it to be loaded up with hops or carry an unusual malt load, but, even so, this beer lacks substance. Seemed to have more in common with a mild brown ale than a porter.

Photo of canadianbarman
3.02/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

**Please remember that I am a rookie reviewer who is only trying to learn the art of beer appreciation**
--Upon pouring I noticed that the head did not last and ws minimul to begin with. It poured an almost 'cola like' colour, with a hint of purple when looking through into the light.
--It has a very earthy smell. The first thing that came to my mind was coffee.
--Not a bad taste. I found it to be very sweet, then almost changing into almost bitter. I guess kind of an earthy taste.
--I have been a lager fan for years and have just started to dabble into porters and stouts. I have had better tasting porters than this one. There are other porters I would drink before this one again.
**Thanks for reading

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Cellared for One year. Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with one finger of off-white foam. Soap bubble head drops quickly, but leaves specs of lacing and retains a cap of foam to the finish. Toasted caramel flavor, with some black patent and chocolate that give depth to the flavor, but the malt profile is still too mild. Distinctly bavarinan hop aftertaste, sligthly dry and creates a nice balance. The body and carbonation are light, lending a smooth mouthfeel, but much lighter than a typical porter. A strong bourbon aroma overpowers anything else, perhaps this was aged in whiskey barrels? This may also contribute to the solventlike finish, that is more astringent than acidic or vinous, and becomes harsh near the end.

Photo of GreenCard
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: mahogany, good clarity, spongey layer of tannish foam, stands of lace

Aroma: bananas, chocolate milk, hazelnuts, hint of coffee and malt

Flavor: cola, roast, banana peels, a bt nutty and some hints of dark chocolate, slight sweetness, vegetal hop flavor, finishes dry with a tangy roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, minerally, a bit warming

Other comments: Sort of a weird one. The banana-ness seems out of place, but I suppose it makes it interesting.

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.

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 Shiloh
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a brew to my liking but either is the style. It pours a very deep brown with a limited head and some minor glass ring. The body is medium/full and the aroma is clean. The taste is pleasent enough, starting with a sweet bakers chocolate progressing to a bitter chocolate finish. I am sure it is an aquired taste to which I have not been elavated to, at least yet.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sharp, slightly tannic Porter that pours a deep dark ruby-brown with minimal head. You definitely need to let this one warm awhile until it settles down a little. Glad I tried it but I won't go out of my way to get it again.

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 WesWes
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a sweet malty scent that boasts of pale and roasted malts. It's light with some burnt toffee notes. The taste is average. It has a smooth malty flavor that seems a bit light, but goes down easy with some residual sweetness on the finish. It has a funny aftertaste, like molasses or wet cardboard. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but nothing I'd buy again. I don't really care for the taste.

Photo of beerguy101
3.36/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, large head. A Medium bodied English style porter. Mild malts, slightly roasted. Very mild hops. Malts somewhat chocolaty. A mild tasting porter, typical of the English style. Lots of flavor. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Photo of omnigrits
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one on the recommendation of a fellow stout/porter drinker.

Not as dark as some porters I like to drink such as Sierra Nevada or Sam Smith's Taddy. More light coming through the beer than I would expect, revealing a deep amber colour. A good quality light brown head that lasts to the end of the pint. Plenty of caramel in the nose with some chocoalte maltiness. Both the taste and the feel are disappointingly thin. I'm not looking for fireworks here, but I like a beer that lets me know I'm drinking it, and I have to say that this one's a bit lacking in that respect, sadly. Definitely better than your average brew, but not a great beer by any stretch of the imagination.

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 feloniousmonk
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9 z bottle, from a 1750 recipe, so they say. Frothy tan head, aromatics are mild: cocoa, nuts. Color, a dark brown. Some hoppiness, good malt, very smooth and easy-drinking. It's just missing something in the character department. There's very little of the flavor I enjoy most in a good porter, that deep, dark, but smooth blend of coffee and chocolate. This version's on the mild side.

Photo of depechemode1983
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of BeerFink
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown, pretty close to black coffee. Topped by a quickly dissipating, anemic looking white head. Aroma is more complex than I would have expected. Coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley, with some fruit and a little nuttiness. Quite a bit of caramel in there too. Some alcohol presence in the nose as well. The first thing I notice as I sip is the thin mouthfeel. Taste is actually decent, despite the almost watery mouthfeel. Bitter chocolate and roasted barley, some coffee dominate. Some nutty qualites are apparent, and a hint of fruit. English hops are present in a subdued state. Finish is dry and coffee like, along with slight tannin astringency. Not a bad porter, but not outstanding in any way. Overall, I would describe it as thin. For some reason I have an image of English soldiers drinking this and cursing about it.

Photo of isubsmith
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, dark reddish tints. Off-white head. Some lacing.

Nose: Chocolate, roasty malts. Fainter than I would expect for a porter. A bit of carmel.

Taste: Not bad. Chocolatey coffee flavors up front. Lots of malt. A mild hop finish.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable. I've had better porters, but this is still pretty good. Definately worth a try at least.

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 bennetj17
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Only a faint head of foam, color is dark brown/amber, as you can barely see through it. Smell is a bit faint, with notes of licorice and coffee. Taste is dry, coffee flavored malt. Hops low. Finish is somewhat bitter and carries a strong of strong fresh coffee grounds. Medium body, well carbonated. Drinkablity is nice. A little more robust/complex flavor might make this a great session porter, but for now its just decent...

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Growler is one of the lightest porters that you'll ever see. Non-opaque reddish copper with bright orange highlights capped with a less than firm beige head that doesn't linger as long as it might. Neither does it appear to be all that sticky; therefore... almost no lace.

The underpowered nose has notes of dark malt and dark, dried fruits such as currants and figs. Maybe a whiff of carob, but no dark chocolate or coffee; it's just not *that* kind of porter. The flavor is bolder and more outgoing than the nose, but this beer tastes more like a dark lager than a porter.

My taste buds register flavors of heavily toasted malt, dark toffee and the same dark fruits mentioned above. The body/mouthfeel is overly thin (acceptable, makes it drinkable) and overly fizzy (not acceptable). The finish is modestly bitter, dry and tea-like.

The label informs the drinker that this is 'a traditional English porter' and that the recipe is 254 years old. That's traditional by anyone's definition. Be that as it may, Old Growler isn't really my thing. Simple to drink? Sure. Stands out in any way? Nope. I'm sure that there are adherents to this type of porter in general and this beer in particular, but I'll give it a friendly, respectful pass.

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