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Old Growler - Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Old GrowlerOld Growler

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

190 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 5
Gots: 5 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kew
4/5  rDev +4.4%

kew, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of kwalrus13
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

kwalrus13, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of creamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, chocolate, and some coffee.

T: Tasted of malt, first and foremost, with notes of chocolate, coffee and toffee. A somewhat mild flavor, typical of English porters. Solid enough.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: There's nothing overly special about this beer, but it is a nicely made, drinkable brew.

avalon07, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Telestic
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Telestic, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

EmperorBevis, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of abcentfishing
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth pour in tall mug, not to much head nice color with a malty, coffee smell a bit on the sweet side. The taste was smooth from the start and not as bitter as many porters on the first taste. Smooth and delicious, not overly strong in any way. Would be great with a meal, nice pot roast or maybe a french dip but unfortunately this is done as an after dinner brew. Something to plan for next time. Will for sure buy this one again.

abcentfishing, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Very dirty brown pour, thin layer of off white tops it off.

Aroma, roast, chocolate, an earthy yeastiness.

Taste, It is nice and malty. Caramel, pecan, chocolates. There is fainter red and grape like fruits. Finishes a nutty cocoa, with a yeasty spice note.

Good lighter side of mid bodied and fairly lively. Still coats almost creamy. Drinks very easily. Spot on English style, brown ale porter.

Bung, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Rifugium, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

OtherShoe2, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not gonna lie, pretty much got this because the awesome Bulldog on the label, lets see how this goes.

A- Pitch black body poured into my snifter. Light tan head builds up to a nice size and retains decently. It eventually falls to a cloud in the middle and a small ring around the sides. Small, plentiful spots of lace around the glass.

S- Not sure how old the bottle is, it should be pretty fresh. There is some kind of funky hint up front. The weirdness goes away with some warmth and opens up better things. Roast, burnt malt, caramel and licorice really come to mind. Yeast hints and grains as well.

T- An interesting flavor has notes of dark roast malt, cocoa powder, coffee and even tart dark fruit (cherries). I still get a good amount of anise/licorice, toasted nuts, grain and yeast bread.

MF- Moderately thick body with silky lower end carbonation. Creams up a bit on the palate and leaves behind a roast bitter tart feel.

A good porter for sure, not sure if it is the "Supreme Champion" like it says on the label but worth trying and really brings a nice English feel to the Porter.

cbutova, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 1 finger mocha head

smell: chocolate, roast, malts,

taste: chocolate, malts, sweet

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice porter. easy to drink very chocolaty. glad I got to try it and Thank you mom for picking this bottle up since it had a bulldog on the bottle.

Cheers,l
The CPJ

THECPJ, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of rcfunk
4.78/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This was exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted a good porter or stout and almost put this one back in favor of the tried and true Taddy Porter, but godalmighty, I am glad I decided to try this one out. It does not disappoint.

THIS IS A ENGLISH BROWN PORTER IN ALL ITS GLORY

I smell the chocolate malt up front but I can't ignore the delectable English Ale yeast esters bursting out of the glass. Those delicate esters alone make this beer worth it.

The taste is just plain balanced. Makes me want to chug it. Damn. I feel like a freshman all of a sudden. Anyway.

Yeah, so drink this beer and love it.

Cheers

rcfunk, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  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.

jlindros, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

smcolw, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It is becoming a porter afternoon, it looks like. I am waffling between bottles and CANs of late, but simply as an effort to reduce some of my stock. Once the bottles are depleted, The CANQuest (TM) will re-assume its rightful focus.

From the bottle: "This SPECIAL PORTER from an original London recipe which dates back to the year 1750, is only brewed by the Nethergate Brewery in rural Suffolk."

The carbonation seemed a bit low, producing only a moment's worth of light-tan head before falling to wisps. This seems to have held up quite well in the BeerFrigerator, in evidence a deep brown color with cola highlights. Nose had a smoky anise quality, very nice. Mouthfeel was medium with tastes of dried dark fruit, smoke, charcoal, anise and dark chocolate in the mouth. I was liking this even more than the earlier Taddy Porter! Finish was semi-dry with an intense smokiness that not only stole the show, but lingered well after the swallow. The other flavors remained in evidence, but it was the charcoal/smoke flavor that dominated. Was it the (inadvertent) aging that created this? I do not know because I have not reviewed it fresh, but this was a winner!

woodychandler, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label has been updated with an english bulldog on the cover. Makes sense.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. There's no mistaking it for anything else.

Sweet malt greets the nose followed by only a fleeting hint of cocoa and anything palatable.

Sweet and crisp with all the ambience of an English porter. Very little roastiness.

Body is too thin to fully enjoy. Just a hint of sweet malt lingers.

It's so very dull. Goes down easy with a whimper.

Brad007, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of vandemonian
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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

vandemonian, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
3.9/5  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.

Daniellobo, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

GRG1313, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of jjboesen
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a basic English porter that is brewed from a 1750 recipe by Nethergate Brewery, a very small brewer in Suffolk. (Incidentally, my bottle pictures a fierce looking bulldog on the label.)

It pours a quick head that crowns a body of pitch black - there is little carbonation and a minimum of lace. The nose is overwhelmed by strong waft of molasses while the palate receives a hearty molasses bite that fades into a subtly sweet maltiness. The Old Growler's mouthfeel is a bit chewy; yet, the body, itself, is suprisingly light. a smoothly balanced example of the style. Grrr!

jjboesen, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

rhoadsrage, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'Supreme Champion of Great Britain', eh? Must be good then if the label says it is so...500 mL bottle pours a very dark brown color and shows a few highlighted edges. Head is a rich and creamy tan color and displays decent retention and great lacing.

Nose is pretty nice, rum-soaked dark fruit with some chocolate and chalky minerals. Pretty bold for the ABV and right on for the style.

Taste has many of the same attributes as the nose and has a chocolate covered raisin flavor that is pretty typical of a British porter. Some roast comes out as well as some lighter fruit, almost like a melon salad. Very tasty beverage and finishes pretty dry despite a decent amount of sweetness up front. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a touch of chalkboard to it. While I think I like Taddy Porter from Samuel Smith's a little better, Old Growler is a very good beer that I could drink again and again. I am quickly coming to realize that English Porters might be in my top 15 favorite styles.

twiggamortis420, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

LacquerHead, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of juju7
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

juju7, Jul 01, 2010
Old Growler from Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.