Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Old Growler | Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
150 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
150
Ratings:
197
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
Old GrowlerOld Growler
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 150 | Ratings: 197
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.

 480 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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 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.

 618 characters

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.

 488 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a bottle of this beer and pouring into a pint glass. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige head foaming up and fading quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is rich chocolate candy bar and some cocoa powder chalkiness too. Very rich on the nose.
First sip reveals a smoooth texture and very light carbonation. Flavor is roasted malt up front and some chocolate. The finish is slightly grassy hops. The body really thins out to almost watery on the finish. While this doesnt really do it for me I know it is typical of ENglish porters.
Overall this is a tasty and easy to drink beer. Just dont expect a robust brew!

 642 characters

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

Poured into a nonik glass. Pours an opaque very dark brown with a quickly fading tan head. Very lightly roasted cocoa nose. Malt comes through more prominantly with the taste: toasty, medium-dark-chocolate sweetness, some roasty bitterness but low hops, with a nice undercurrent of fruitiness. Finish is mostly clean with slight lingering maltiness. Body is a little thin, but that's often typical of porters. Crisp texture.

Not my favorite style by far, but this mostly hits what I count for "English porter".

 513 characters

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...

 896 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this beer. It is has a strong chocolate/coffee impression, but has a decent bitterness in the beer. The aroma is again of coffee/chocolate. The body on this beer is spot on for a porter, and I can see why it has been awarded the titles in the UK it has achieved.

 277 characters

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.

 767 characters

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.

 352 characters

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.

 294 characters

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...

 554 characters

Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
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 lackenhauser
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice ruby, brown color. Slight head that quickly dissapears. Low aroma-not a lot there really. Some roasted malt not much else.. Slight oxidized smell like its off the bottle cap. Good malty and roasted flavor. Almost a cross between a porter and the nuttiness you would find in a nut brown ale. Good blend. Slight lingering chocolate tinge. Nice body. A very drinkable beer and a damn good British porter. A nice change from the US micro versions you get all the time.

 474 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a limited tan head. No retention, no lacing.

Nice dark roasted malt aroma, with hints of coffee, cocoa, milk, and grain.

Good up front roasted malt bitterness, leading to light sweetness (grain), some nuttiness as the palate clears, and a long malty finish. Coffee, cocoa, nuts, and light bitterness all intermingle.

Medium bodied, but very very smooth. All flavors flow together wonderfully. Carbonation is just right.

Good porter all around. Texture, taste, and aroma are a delight.

 510 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Unique thin neck brown bottle with an abv listed at 5.5% in the smallest possible font on the front. No date noted. My label art differs from the picture; mine shows a bigger white bulldog and a silver neck label proclaiming a platinum metal from the BTI World Championships. Imported by Manneken Brussel Imports Inc., Austin Texas.

Aroma: Rich roasted malts, hint of coffee, chocolate, hops, and toffee.

Appearance: Deep brown/black mug with thick clear brown edges. Head is creamy and tan and gives curtains of thin lace.

Flavor: Rich flavor! Good dose of chocolate malts, nice hop level gives just a taste and keeps the beer very well balanced. I get just a hint of Fuggle hops, which I’m happy for as I don’t care for Fuggle. Hints of wood dark fruit give this some nice complexity.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture, low but firm carbonation, medium body, slow fading linger.

Overall Impression: A lighter porter, easy to drink, nice unsweetened chocolate and hop balance, easy on the eyes… hard to find anything wrong with this one. I’m not a porter fan and I liked this, but again, it’s a lighter porter. So: a porter for non-porter lovers.

 1,178 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
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 hardy008
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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 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

 263 characters

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.

 361 characters

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.

 665 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with an off white head from a brown bottle featuring a label of an English Bulldog. Aroma is all chocolate. Taste is chocolate, some coffee notes, a little bit of raison. Reminds me of chocolate covered raisons. I like it. Definitely worth a try.

 280 characters

Photo of pootz
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 5.5% version. Poured a lovely dark cherry cola color with a respectable tan cap that goes to a sticky lace....delicious aromas of smokey figs. Low carbonation. Front side is mild, smooth sweet roasty malt pronounced....great mixture of fruity tastes, burnt toffee and some juicy lemony hops that ride in the background to keep this porter from becoming too sweet...finishes up fairly clean with a wonderful bready-sweet lemony tastes...A nice porter....one of the best I've tried for being very smooth and drinkable...well put together. like a casked draft porter from the 1800s Recommended.

 599 characters

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...

 427 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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

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