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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

195 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 150
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red color with a small 1/8" head of tannish bubbles. The head only sticks around for 20-30 seconds to reduce to just a small film across the top of the beer.

Aroma: A reserved coffee like roast component is the first and most noticeable thing you notice at first. There is some subtle but noticeable hops lingering in there somewhere along with some toasty British malts to really round out the aroma.

Taste: The flavor is much sweeter and fuller than I expected from the aroma. It has a syrupy sweet caramel component that I didn't notice in the aroma at al. The roast plays a more supportive role to the sweet buttery malts. There is some noticeable hopping going on here, but for the most part, they let the malt run the show. The finish is definitely ruled by the malt, and the roast makes only a small contribution to the lingering flavor. It leaves you with a sweet impression.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. It is a little sweeter than what you traditionally get with a Porter...and I would put this a little closer to a Brown Ale. It is a tasty balance of British malts and hops with a bit of roast thrown in for good measure. I would drink this beer again...but I doubt that I will seek it out.

Photo of mdagnew
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim..

Poured almost completely black with just a hint of brown around the edges when held up to the light. Tan head poured pretty bubbly and frothy then faded quickly to thick wispy covering... some light lacing...

Aroma - Strong chocolate, lots of roasted malts with a slight hints of smoke and leather, coffee, slightly sooty, some cola traces, no real sweetness, very faint dark fruits - some plums and blackcurrents...

Taste - Very nice lightly roasted chocolate malts mixed with cappuccino coffee notes, again some faint smoke, light dark treacle sweetness, cocoa, some roasted / burnt nuttiness, earthy, light vanilla, some date fruitiness...

Feel - Fairly smooth with just a little sharpness underneath... medium / full bodied... fairly quaffable...

Overall - A pretty straightforward porter... nothing earth shattering but well worth a try...

Photo of DavidST
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer evacuates the bottle and pours a transparent deep incarnadine color, the head minute in size, the texture spumous, and the color a light tan with the lace a filmy slip to conceal the glass. The nose has a light toasted grain aroma at the front, slight sweetness in the middle and the end fresh and clean to the senses with the start nicely malted with a touch of caramel sweetness, top is thin in its feel. Finish is bearably acidic, the hops judicious in their spiciness, very dry aftertaste that lingers on the palate, a drinkable and light English Style Porter.

Photo of AlexJ
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Growler pours from the bottle a dark, coffee hued color with a creamy head the color of chocolate milk.

Aromas of chocolate, coffee, raisins, port, and oaky vanilla are present, but a bit on the subtle side.

Chocolate and coffee are the main flavors, accented by a plummy raisin taste and countered by a nice floral hop finish.

The body is light and almost thin, yet retains a creamy smooth texture. Definately a middle of the road porter, light enough for drinking on a hot day.

Photo of AleHunter805
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of champ103
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with some ruby highlights. There is a beige head the recedes to a one finger head and leaves some sticky spiderweb looking lace.
S: Musky and funky malt. Lots of chocolate and coffee. A typical porter aroma.
T: Chocolate and coffee again. Lots of roasted malt. Nice, but is a bit typical for the style. That being said, I will take a typical porter over just about anything.
M/D: A bit thin and watery with a soapy and oily character. A medium body brew that is pretty damn smooth and easy to drink.

I like this beer. This is one of my favorite styles, and I could drink this anytime of the year. I have had better, but I would not hesitate to drink this again.

Photo of shererjt
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear, very deep red with a moderate-sized beige head. Nose was rich chocolate/coffee with a lot of malt and some alcohol. Medium body. Fair amount of chocolate flavor present and an underlying acidic tartness. Leaned slightly to the malt side but pretty well balanced. Mellow. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both above average. Would suspect this is drinkable enough to make a good session beer.

Overall, a solid English porter. Don't think it rivals the all-time greats, but I enjoyed it. I might bump the roasted character up a tad.

Photo of popery
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Growler pours a just barely translucent burnt umber to auburn (sorry, I just discovered wikipedia's color entries) with a creamy tan head. The aroma has a strong caramel malt character. It's quite sweet with hints of stone fruits. I'm not getting much of that normal ashy character that I enjoy in most porters, but it's certainly not a bad beer. The aftertaste seems a touch off, but I can't exactly say why. There are some funny English hops in there, but they certainly aren't the stars. I had this beer marked higher (nearly across the board) after initially tasting it, but the sweetness is really wearing for me. My tongue is almost numb as I get to the last quarter of the beer. It's an interesting beer and I'm glad that I tried it, but the first sip was way better than the last sip, and that doesn't make me want to run out and get another. Like many English beers, I would love to try it fresh from a cask.

Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Jordan1985rec
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Often in America it is hard to come by a truly exquisite Porter, at least in the average beer/wine dive. I popped into a local little place on the corner near my house and I was in the mood for a Porter, I grabbed up a couple of these (1 Pint Bottles) and headed home. I poured the beer into a traditional pint glass (Imperial, not paltry 12 0z) and was blown away by the deep, rich colour of this beer. I have had a few of the different large brand attempts a porter; Serria Nevada, Yueng Ling etc., but this was by far the best I could find. The head was decent, nothing to get too excited about, but not bad. The taste was wonderful, very rich and creamy with those coffee and chocolate nodes that porter fans adore. All in all this was a real surprise and I am definitely going to pick this beer up again!

Photo of DoubleJ
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of Pegasus
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany color, verging on ebony. Although its difficult to discern, there are a few slow-rising bubbles. The head is small and tan-colored, it slowly settles to scattered patches of foam. The lacing is quite good.

Aroma: Earth and smoke notes vie with dark fruits, molasses and dark bread for dominance of the aroma.

Taste: Begins with a brief sweet note, soon followed by molasses, coffee, bitter chocolate and wine notes and a slightly dry finish. Interestingly, there is a subtle sting of carbonation throughout the taste.

Mouth feel: A bit thin, but certainly not bad.

Drinkability/notes: Quite wonderful, should be sipped slowly and savored, like a fine whiskey. I think that it would be particularly inviting on a cold day.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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

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

Clear reddish-brown in color, small creamy light tan head that doesn't last, some lacing. Aroma of dark roasted coffee and malts. Light body, thin and soft mouthfeel. Smokey coffee and chocolate flavors, with a light burnt bitterness in the finish, somewhat watery but tasty and very drinkable.

Photo of TheSarge
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This produces a half finger thick tan head, from a vigorous pour, which dissipates quickly though it has nice lacing.

The aroma is of faint coffee and metallic characteristics.

Mouth feel wise it's prickly upfront, but has an oily slickness that helps the palate to stay moist.

Overall this is a decent porter, which I was surprised by with the lack of appearance and aroma, and is somewhat complex.

Photo of GClarkage
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

07/27/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn, in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Medium black in color, opaque. Watered down chocolate milk colored head. Very large bubbled and about a 3/4 inch rise upon pour. Medium ring of sticky lace remain.

Smell- Nice aroma of milk chocolate malt, a bit earthy with a touch of enlish style hops.

Taste- Damn, this beer would have brought down the house if it didn't have this annoying metal tinge to it for the entire beer. The milk chocolate was very large for a porter of this modest abv. Quite nutty and with a nice hoppy flaovr happening.

Mouthfeel- Miedium carbonation level with a slight taditional british hop aftertaste. Nice chocolate aftertaste as well.

Drinkability- Without the metal, this would have been a very solid porter, even with it here, it was quite drinkable. Maybe an off bottle?

Photo of sinistermadman
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crimson hued dark brown in color with a slight head that all but lasts a couple of seconds. Smell is of toffee or caramel with a chocolate nose. Aroma is somewhat faint. Medium bodied with a slight to moderate level of carbonation. Taste is of chocolate/caramel malt with a slight citrus tinge. Malt flavors preside over the other ingredients. Drinkability is derived from the subdued nature of flavors, which is not to say it is a good thing. Mouthfeel is somewhat slippery or dare I say watery. Could be a bit more aggressive with the flavor profile. Worth a try but there are plenty of other more interesting and more assertive examples of the style out there.

Photo of Kromes
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with some ruby accents. A thick tan colored head that leaves some lacing down the glass.

S: Roasted malt and a really big dark fruit aroma....almost a hint sherry.

T: The initial taste merges with the aromas. It has a hint of the dark fruit sherry at first and then is quickly taken over by the roasted malt and chocolate flavors. The finish is sweet and roasty and a touch fruity which is good.

M: The mouthfeel is light, not that much carbonation which is good for a porter and makes for easy drinking.

D: The taste is ok. The low carbonation makes it drinkable.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of juju7
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All round a decent representation of an old school porter. Chocolate, bitumen and cocoa on the nose. Surprisingly thin in the mouth given the ABV. A little grainy and powdery, some more of the cocoa. Fairly pleasant though not particularly memorable. Would have again but not at theprice I paid-$9 500ml.

Photo of whynot44
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark reddish brown, almost opague, with a quick disappearing ivory head that retreats quickly to just a ring.

The aroma is fruity - raisins, stewed plums - with coffee, coca cola, maybe a hint of dark bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malt.

The taste is heavier on the coffee with a certain burnt or smokey tang up front, the raisn/plum hits in the middle with a caramel, nutty, dark chocolate finish and a lingering roasted malt aftertaste.

Light/medium bodied. smooth textured and easy to drink. A different but respectable English porter.

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of JustinSparks
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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