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: 195
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 8.92%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 150 | Hads: 195
Photo of therica
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are others in this style that are better.

A= nice tar-dark color, very little head.

S= a bit on the brandy raisin side.

T= somewhat more watery than we expected. Modest molasses, raisin.

M= light clean aftertaste, slightly watery and light.

D= depends on why you're drinking it and with what. Not really worth the US $3.89 we paid for a bottle in late 2007. (368 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark brown with reddish hues and about an inch of tannish foam.

The smell has a pretty big nose of chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of coffee. Smells...um...good.

The taste has the chocolate up front, definitely milk chocolate as there's quite a sweet thing going on here. I don't taste much roasted malt, but there's some earthy tones and the slight bitterness I can taste reminds me of cocoa or dark chocolate. The flavours aren't huge here and I didn't expect them to be. Still, a little more assertiveness with those flavours would have been a plus for me.

The mouthfeel makes it to medium territory, the carbonation is on the light side, and it finishes slightly sweet, slightly bitter.

Drinkability? Tasty and easy drinking, I could put away a couple of bottles easily. For the price I paid for this bottle, US$1.50, it's a hell of a deal. Btw, the head sharnk some but there's still some left at the end of the session and lacing is above average. (976 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 tmitch75
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with mahogany highlights, huge creamy tan head drops a little but maintains 2-finger thickness quite well.

Roasty chocolate on the nose with a touch of vanilla.

Flavor is the same but roastier. Quite tasty. Creamy and smooth with medium body.

An excellent English Porter that I wish could be more widely available, I'm quite glad I came across it.

Tasted 7/28/08. (379 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB MAR 09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. The label says the beer is brewed to a 1750's recipe!

A: very very dark brown in colour, with some mahogany glows against light; the dark beige head retains a 1.5cm thickness very well, leaving even sheets of lacing behind.
S: the aroma upfront smells more like a Dark Mild, due to a strong element of treacle or dark sugary syrup, on top of sweet dates, sour berry fruits, and a light sour, resinous touch of hops, sweet dark chocolates, and prune juice all come to mind.
T: a smooth flow of not-overly-roasted black malts, semi-thick sourness of raisins and prunes precede aromatic black malts and caramelised walnuts, which develop further with jammy black plums and a mild touch of smoked red beans, gradually settling down to a semi-chewy bitter and early hoppy finish reminiscent of sweetened roast tea as well as English hops. Semi-sour undertone lingers, outliving the bitter-sweetness actually.
M&D: refreshing enough, but the fizziness and a slightly thin body still are not as natural as a real cask ale, leaving the palate disagreeing a little with the flavour profile; that said, a decent, light sour fruitiness threads through the flavour, true to the style of English Porter. Overall, this is still a very good take on the brilliant cask version, but the palate makes it slightly less fantastic than the real thing.

* Tasting Date: 12/08/05
Tasted this beer at the Black Bull pub near White Chapel, East London.
4 A: it pours a clear, dark brownish colour with a deep brownish, forthy beerhead slowly fading out, leaving scattered lacing...
4.5 S: rich aroma of dark fruits (like black cherries and black prunes) combined with "calcium pills"(!!) and slightly blue-cheese-like savoury note arrives at the nose... a port wine-like aroma plus overwhelmingly aromatic malty body sustains at the back. How distinctive nose this is!
4 T: rich, chewy mouthfeel of chocolatey malts, on top of a floral and grainy flavour of malts, while the calcium pill-like interesting flavour lingers in the long, warming finish...
4.5 M&4 D: this is a full-bodied porter with a silky-smooth mouthfeel consistently. Very different from the cask-version but very enjoyable. (2,226 characters)

Photo of stumac
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
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.... (292 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got round to buying and reviewing a bottle of this beer. Brown 500ml bottle, 5 months beyond its Best by Date. Poured into my new La Chouffe tulip glass twice.

Wonderful colour, Mahogany red with a tan head that sat for ages on top.

A chocolate aroma with toffee esters hit your nose, lovely.

Rich plum bread type taste (without butter on it). Almost creamy in the mouthfeel, very rich and heavy in its body. If I know of a better Porter I can't think of one right now, this is good.

Glad I got to have this in a bottle, just as good as the cask version, 4's all round again. (587 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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? (920 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at State Line in Elkton MD. Poured chilled into a tulip and sipped til just above room temp from a 16.9 oz brown bottle.

A - A dark mocha brown w/ a 2 finger band of tan. The bead is pin sized and lace forms nice rings the head is rocky topped.

S - A dark fruit and mineral odor w/ cocoa, plum and tobacco aroma w/ a hint of toast and wood. There are notes of spice and raisin in the nose

M - A dry clean texture w/ subtle sweet feel. The full carbonation gives this a refreshing texture w/ subtle spice and tinges of roasted and fruit textures in the finish

T - The flavor is roasted at first which gives way to fig and prune-like rich sweetness. The chocolate and coffee is supplemented by toffee and tinges of molasses. I like the toasted and raisiny brown sugar flavors at play here. The taste is deep w/ a woody complexity and very nice dry flavor as it a slight fruit mixed w/ roaste malt flavor behind.

D - This is a great tasting porter in the English tradition. I recommend this if you are a fan of Fuller's and Samuel Smith's Taddy porter. The drinkability is so nice since it is complex, deliciously smooth and earthy. The drinkability is enhanced for me by abv and this is quite the dark gem at the strength (1,241 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown with an average tan head. Nose had hints of chocolate with English malts. Taste was of roasted and English malts, chocolate, caramel, and really malty. It was very smooth going down and left me with a smooth malty and chocolate taste. A good porter overall, too bad I am not much on English brews because I cant stand English malts. (352 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of omnigrits
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice porter, full of flavour and depth, yet with a light, lively, and engaging feel and body.

It's very deep, dark red-brown that is almost black, with a thick, creamy tan head that lasts forever and leaves fairly good lacing.

The aroma is very malty, earthy, rather sweet with hints of toffee and fruit.

The taste is malty, very toasty, a bit earthy, a somewhat bittersweet, with a faint crisp tartness and definite, but mild, smooth chocolaty finish. There are hints of herbs and caramel, like home-made root beer. It is a little on the thin, fizzy side, which I was not expecting for a porter.

It's smooth, complex, and exceedingly well balanced. (672 characters)

Photo of Commandogeraldo
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great toffee and caramel in the nose of this one. Nice roasted coffee flavor in the finish. Some elements of molasses and plum as well. Overall, a nice brew, very drinkable, and I can see why it has as many followers as it does. Continues to be one of the popular items at my store whenever I can get it on the shelf. (317 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark black color with a two finger tan foamy head which did not disappear right away. Nice lacing in the glass.

Smell - Chocolate and malt.

Taste - Chocolate, coffee, molasses.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied. Rich and creamy.

Drinkability - Very good. I would recommend everyone who likes a good porter to try this. (344 characters)

Photo of Stimack
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pored to a nice dark brown color, hedging on black with a think lighter tan head. Head had some legs and left some lacing down the sides. The aroma seems light which I guess surprised me a little. What was there was chocolate malt in nature but seemed a little muted but was more noticeable than the very slight coffee note. The taste was good, nice malt flavors showcasing both roasted and chocolate some fruit like flavors are there as well which goes nicely. Easy drinking brew, quite smooth. Overall this is a solid brew, flavor really made up for the aroma IMO. The ease of drinking this one was nice, made you wishing for more. Not close to the best I have had but a solid choice. (696 characters)

Photo of shererjt
3.62/5  rDev -5%
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. (546 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 Jordan1985rec
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
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! (809 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (277 characters)

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 2" tan head. Head retains well at 1/4" and leaves a thin lace pattern. Dark brown porter.

S - Dark fruit. Molasses. Earthy malt. Light coffee.

T - Earthy malt - same as in the nose. More coffee, lightly roasted. Big cocoa. Molasses. Seems to be a nit of a smokiness later in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. Fairly complex flavor. a little light in body to me. (421 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of BanjoGasmic
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: very nice. rich and malty with lots of caramel, toffee, and toasty brown malt. Hints of chocolate, treacle, and roast malt adds complexity. Just a hint of paper indicates a bit of oxidation. Quite forgivable, but not necessarily to style.

Appearance: Deep Brown, but not black w/ ruby highlights when held up to light. Good clarity. Thin, transient off white head. poor retention (probably due to the age of this sample).

Flavor: Pleasant, soft caramel sweetness initially, which is quickly balanced by hop and roast-malt bitterness. Balance of malt and hop bitterness lends a nice bittersweet flavor, reminiscent of bittersweet chocolate. Finishes with a lingering caramel on the tongue, which begs to be washed away. Go ahead, have another sip. Slight paper note comes through in flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is about perfect, slightly on the low side, but enough to lighten the mouthfeel. Overall, the mouthfeel is a bit heavy & full bodied (especially for an older example), with a slight clinginess. Not at all unpleasant though.

Overall: Super drinkable. The aroma promises a thick and rich, almost cloying porter, but the flavor delivers beautiful balance. The use of brown and intermediate caramel malts adds a lot of authenticity. I could drink this by the bucketfull. I pick up no hop aroma or flavor, nor any fruit.

Note: this example was the Export strength 5.5% Growler, not the original. (1,435 characters)

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