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Pothole Porter - Half Pints Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pothole PorterPothole Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Half Pints Brewing Company visit their website
Manitoba, Canada

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.90% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: trevorwideman on 05-11-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent porter, forgot it was designated as a baltic porter, and that's a good thing as it was sweeter than expected in that style. I just enjoyed it as a very thick almost imperial porter. Nothing special in aroma which was average, but the mouthfeel was rich and the taste was rich and it was very drinkable.

Sammy, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Oakbluff: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry and roasted malt notes with some distinct notes of black chocolate. Taste is a mix between some quality black chocolate and some dry roasted and somewhat bitter malt notes. Full body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done for the style and not too extreme - I could drink more then one in a session.

Phyl21ca, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle - a great name for a Canadian-made beer, what with pothole season on deck.

Into my mom's old Michelob-branded chalice (I'm not kidding), this beer pours a pure black abyss, with faint amber cola edges, and two fingers of tightly foamy and creamy tan head, which leaves an awkward ring of cloud pattern lace around the periphery of the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of medium baker's chocolate, roasted caramel and toffee malt, bittersweet coffee au lait, muddled dark fruit, brown sugar, and a small whiff of metallic booze. The taste is more semi-sweet milk chocolate, toasty caramel malt and toffee pudding, molasses, subtle anise and earthy vanilla cola notes, mildly bitter coffee, and some tame earthy and leafy hops drowning silently in the background booze.

The body on this baby is where it's at - thick, unctuous, creamy, smooth, and full, with some rather softly rendered frothy carbonation. It finishes well off-dry, the chocolate malt and subtly bitter hops not quite in balance, ceteris paribus.

A very tasty, cozy, and warm Baltic-style porter - one whose origin story is even perfect for when there's still snow drifts on the ground in May. Dangerously easy to drink, I could surely put back a few of these before patio season finally pokes its head up.

biboergosum, May 13, 2010
Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from wordemupg - thanks man! Served in a Night of the Living Ales taster glass. This must be from 2009 as it had wax on the bottle.

A - Pours with a half finger of tan foam that settles to a partial ring and some light haze. Dark brown body that a bit lighter at the fringes.

S - Dark fruits, slightly vinous notes, roasted and lightly charred malt, and a touch of alcohol that seems about right for 7.9%.

T - Taste is very heavy on raisins, dark fruits, with a light touch of caramel. Finishes with a touch of dark chocolate bitterness. No alcohol in the flavor thankfully. Probably more of a 3.75 for me.

M - Slightly burnt tannic character to the medium body, and a dry roasty finish. Carbonation is moderate, but not harsh. Light alcohol appears late.

D - Decent porter. If I lived in Winnipeg this would be acceptable, but there are better options available to me in the here and now. Shares some flavor characteristics with Burly Wine, which is a surprise.

MasterSki, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle form wordemupg, 341ml into a tulip. Thanks Chris.

Pours just about black, some very deep reds around the edges when held to the light. Light head even with a fairly aggressive pour, tan head with a light crimson tinge to it - settles to a moderate head and retains well. Nose has rich chocolate and caramelized dark fruit notes, a moderately strong malt sweetness. Some nice coffee notes as well, brown sugar and caramel round it out. Taste has some dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, and some roasted/coffee notes. Good and not overpowering sweetness thorughout, and finishes roasty with some alcohol. Medium full mouthfeel, and fairly light carbonation - allows the body to shine. Smooth and easy on the gullet, and it warms nicely. Great for this time of the year. Solid stuff.

liamt07, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to oakbluff for sending me a couple of these in a trade.

Pours an opaque dark brown/black, thin tan head forms, quickly drops to a thin ring, not much lacing. Smell is neat, perfumy, some chocolate, caramel, lots of dark fruit, roast, alcohol, sherry, nuts, neat. Taste is nice, roasty, chocolate, bread, caramel, nuts, fruits, perfume and citrus/floral undertones, pretty interesting, some sourness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, pretty nice stuff. Thanks Scott!

Viggo, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Derek
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a Tan head, very little retention, some leg/lace.

S: Dark chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, rum, dark bread, licorice. Great stuff.

T: Dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, dark bread, coffee, underlying floral hops, light smoke & a touch of soy sauce. Good bitterness; alcohol has a nice warmth. I'm really liking it.

M: Fairly thick body is nice and smooth with a touch of acidity.

D: Quite drinkable.

Thanks for the trade Oakbluff!

Derek, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml cream colored wax capped bottle poured into chalice april23 2010

A very dark brown with a touch a red around the edges when held to the light, a thick two finger head has average retention and leaves patches of lace

S molasses, licorice and a little booze with some cherry perhaps?

T a little sweetness with some mild coffee on top of what I smell but the booze is well concealed compared to the nose

M fairly thick a little slick and creamy a highlight for this beer

D very easy to drink considering the strength, and an all around enjoyable beer that I will be drinking again

another winner brewed by half pints, cheaper then I expected at 4$ a bottle, still not cheap but reasonable for what your getting

wordemupg, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
2.63/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle poured into my Darkness tulip...A slighter darker than average coca cola with a disappointing amount of head, no lacing at all...Average aroma of peat moss, light coffee and a grain alcohol prominance that is distracting. Roast presents lightly...The taste starts alcoholy again, this is a disappointment in every aspect. Light bitter from alcohol but roasty or coffee.

Not sure what they were thinking here, but unsuccessful.

jrallen34, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from kjyost. Thanks for a second opportunity to try this. Some unfortunate crust around the cap, hope this isn't infected.

A - Pours black with some ruby red at the very bottom. Three finger fluffy light brown head. Good carbonation coming up. Spotty lace and a finger of retention.

S - Chocolatey, roast, coffee. Nice milk chocolate. Mocha. Dark fruit, sugar.

T - Milk chocolate, mocha, roast, coffee. Cola there too. Lot's of malt sweetness.

M - Good carbonation, medium body. Roasty finish with some bitterness and a chocolate flavour.

O/D - I liked the first bottle of this that I had much more. That said, this is still good. My grade will be a sort of aggregate of the two samples. The easy drinking nature and complexity of the beer are great qualities. While not being mind boggling, it's solid example of the style that really delivers while keeping the ABV below 8%.

tbeckett, May 24, 2013
Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was glad I was able to find a couple random bottles left over from the 2010 run. Cheers for the heads up wordemupg! I'm hoping that a bit of age might have mellowed the alcohol a bit.

A - Pours pitch black, thin layer of dark mocha head that dissipates quickly leaving a couple small islands and no real lacing.

S - Scent is sweet with molasses, black licorice, chocolate and raspberries with a touch of espresso on the finish. Pretty complex and I was a little surprised.

T - Yet another full flavoured ale from Half Pints. This one has some delicious dark chocolate, roasted almonds and some sweet espresso on the finish. The high ABV is very well hidden and only comes through slightly on the finish.

M - I was expecting this to be a bit more syropy, but it came through with nice full carbonation, filled the mouth, and went down smooth. It finished a tad dry, but not offensive.

D - Yet again another winner from Half Pints. If you're looking for mouthful of flavour, this one will not disappoint. This one boasts a ton of roasted and chocolate malts, some sweet notes and a nice ABV content. Highly recommended to any porter fan.

andrenaline, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle generously brought back from the 'peg by Colin - cheers man!

I'm excited to try this one because I've been after it for a good while and have developed an acute interest in Baltic porters. The pour looks the part with a very dark brown, bordering on black, body with ruby highlights. A thick creamy head gradually falls to a film, but leaves some nice streaks on the way. The nose has sweet molasses, brown sugar, a touch of dark fruit, chocolate and the warming presence of alcohol.

The flavour isn't quite as expected for a Baltic, and falls somewhere closer to a strong porter, which would be a mark against it for some people, but I find it so damn tasty that I don't care. The dark fruit is missing, and there's a bit of chocolate, oat and creamy coffee in its stead, which jives well with the standard brown sugar and molasses notes. There's also a bit of breadiness which is well suited to the big creamy mouthfeel of this brew. The alcohol in the nose is barely perceptible in the flavour, and this beer drinks far to easy for its weight.

Certainly a style-defier, but yet another very decent offering from Half Pints. This is the sort of Baltic porter that could become a regular of mine if it was available, and its perhaps one of the most drinkable I've had in the style, and it certainly has the best mouthfeel. Nice job!

bobsy, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a recent trade with oakbluff. Thanks bro!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours out brown and yields a small, medium-thin tan head that's overly noisy. Almost obnoxiously noisy. Quiet! Head quickly vanishes to a small ring. A very dark brown body with zero carbonation evident. A slight ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. Could be darker with a thicker, more persistent head. Could also shut up. Since we're short a "sound" category, we'll take that into account here.

SMELL: Muted nose on this one. Dark and roasted malts and a touch of caramel in there. Not bad, but not much.

TASTE: Dark malts, roasted malts, and a hint of caramel, following the nose nicely. Bolder than the nose as well. Some dark cherries and peppery spiciness at the finish. Mild and shorter lived aftertaste is relatively malty and sweet.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. A nice feel for sure.

OVERALL: A decent brew. Could definitely have a few of these, though I don't think the beer would be the focal point of the session. The look could use a little work, and someone should tell it to keep the noise down, but drinkable non-the-less. Thanks again oakbluff.

Jeffo, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of IronDjinn
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 341 ml brown bottle, short green wax seal around the cap. Pours out a deep dense dark brown, intense garnet hues when held to direct light. Creamy beige head that slowly settles to a thick cap.

Sweet dark malt in the nose, molasses and licorice, mild tart woody notes. Some dry dark fruit in the background, dates and figs.

Chocolate and molasses up front in the flavour, dates in the middle, dries out nicely in the finish.

Medium-full bodied mouthfeel, creamy smooth texture, sticky after the swallow.

Good approachable rendition of the style, not too sweet, not too acidic, worth revisiting.

IronDjinn, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of grub
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled july 18/08.

pours deep brown with a small dense light brown head. drops fairly fast to a thick ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. light alcohol. bit of roast. toasted multi-grain bread. dark and milk chocolate. light caramel sweetness. bit of coffee. light fruity character. just a touch of baltic sourness.

taste is good. roasty and toasty. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit. light caramel. coffee. bittersweet chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. light alcohol. nice light fruity character. just over medium bitterness level, mostly seeming to come from bittersweet chocolate and roast. the roast actually seems a touch high, but not overly so. after a while the roast starts to fade, either due to it warming or me just growing numb to it.

mouthfeel is good. smooth well integrated medium carbonation level. medium body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, hiding the alcohol quite well. with a touch less roast i'd love this one, but quite solid as it is.

grub, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Howlader, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - poured a very dark brown, almost black and almost impenetrable, with a decent tan head that retains okay and laces nicely
S - smooth chocolate and sweet molasses seem to dominate, along with roasted malts, and you get a hint of the stronger alcohol content
T - sweet sticky molasses taste, there is a subtle chocolate and coffee, roasted malts, and definitely an alcohol bite, maybe even a little too much
M - thick and chewy, a little bubbly, then a high octane tartness on the finish
D - the heaviness combined with the noticeably high ABV bring this down on the drinkability scale. The flavours are interesting and do balance well, but I don't see myself ever enjoying more than one in a sitting.

joemcgrath27, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of papat444
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kjyost for this one. Was going to have it with my supper (chicken nuggets & fries) but after a sip or two, i decided to keep it for dessert. Split with my wife.

Poured from a wax sealed 341ml. bottle.

Appearance: A dense, dark brown body with a light brown head. 3 full fingers worth of foam that last a good amount of time and leave some nice lacing.

Smell: Major chocolate nose with lots of dark fruit notes.

Taste: Semi-sweet chocolate with traces of coffee. Some dark fruits in periphery but i find overall the flavor to be timid.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with a full body that never feels heavy. Coats the mouth and doesn't leave.

Drinkability: Very easy to sip or gulp. I'll have it again.

Overall: A very nice porter that i wish had more depth of flavor but the overall result is positive and worth revisiting.

papat444, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of pootz
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade.

Pours a dense tar black beer into the glass with a billowing chocolate cap that laces the hell out of a glass.

Aromas of roasted cocoa beans, dark dried fruits and a hint of musty wood in the nose.

Big chew on malt in the front side then come complexity mid palate with figs, coca, smokey treacle, then a roasty semi sweet finish that leaves a sweet bready after taste.

Well put together top tier baltic porter.

pootz, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of chickenm
4/5  rDev +1.5%

chickenm, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of Proteus93
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think this is the first time I've picked up a beer from Manitoba! Somehow a baltic porter seems very appropriate for a place that can become a frozen wasteland sometimes.

A: Pours chocolatey brown, and ending up very dark in the glass... a very deep brown with a little sunlight able to illuminate some red around the edges. Head forms very nicely, creamy and khaki, just over 2 fingers tall with a pretty decent retention.

S: The smell of this one is intriguing... I don't go straight towards the standard coffee-like roast character that I would normally expect. Rather, a deep molasses scent along with some roasted malts and almost even a salty quality that gives it a surprisingly pleasant twist.

T: The flavour is quite robust... again, molasses and roasted malts stand out. A little bit of a coffee flavour slips in, but it's on the backburner. I find a bit of a hoppy bitterness in there as well, and that odd saltiness that I was even finding in the nose. It seems to add to the beer again, which I didn't expect... but I won't complain!

M + D: The full flavour almost plays a role in making the body seem a little bigger, if that makes sense. It's not big and chewy, ultimately being a little 'thinner' as baltic porters often are, but it seems to work well with the flavour. Alcohol is noted right on the finish, adding a little touch of kick and warmth at the end of each sip, especially as the glass reaches the end. Not bad stuff at all, and a nice take on the style.

Proteus93, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of Brabander
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Brabander, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of kjyost
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample today at the annual Burly Wine release, likely the last we will see of this beer (certainly of this batch). The keg had been aged for 2 years and they broke it open for us. I had this beer bottled when it was first released many moons ago and I can recall that I was ambivalent about it then.

I was poured a ~2 ounce sample (can't do more than that, it would be illegal). With a strong head (it was the top of the keg) that lasted as long as I had my sample for.

There was a nice light malty aroma, but without much other character that I was able to note. Tasting it though was a new experience. I was impressed. There were subtle roasted coffee flavours within a the lightly malty body. Reminiscent of Stir Stick without being nearly so aggressive. This is an eminently drinkable beer in its present state. I just wish I could have stuck around for more...

kjyost, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle brought my way again by eat - love having someone bring me great beer from Canada I don't have access to - thanks!

Pours a nice dark brown with cola highlights, a thin creamy head builds and leaves wisps of bubbles on top.

Nose is molasses and caramel, a hint of roast, perhaps a touch of alcohol as it warms, quite sweet though.

This is a pretty unique take on the style, not really fitting in anywhere. Some nice sweetness, blackstrap molasses, slightly burnt brown sugar, caramel. Not as much dark fruit or the richness I attribute to baltic porters. Very light roast, but some nice bitterness in the finish which I look for in a good American porter. Hint of minerals, rye bread, and earth which reminds me a bit of an English Strong Ale (Yukon Lead Dog was an apt earlier example). Perhaps lacking a depth of flavor, lush carbonation, slick, coating mouthfeel. Drinks quite easily for the ABV.

Interesting beer and another of Half Pints offerings that, while not wowing me, seems to be well made and focusing on the nuances of brewing a good beer. This is the type of beer and brewery that you wish was a local because you could easily reach for their offerings every night of the week.

ritzkiss, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of elricorico
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in the glass, with a fast pour creating only a thin khaki coloured head. Head falls to a ring fairly quickly.

Smells lean towards the sweeter side, with caramel and coffee the dominant aromas. Licorice and molasses noted on subsequent sniffs.

Caramel sweetness right up front, with molasses quickly following. Licorice becomes strong in the back half, sharing the finish with some herbal hop impressions. Tobacco starts to show as the beer warms. Plenty happening, stays interesting throughout the glass.

Fairly full bodied with light but slightly prickly carbonation. Has a way of coating the tongue.

Good beer from a style that I just don't see often enough.

elricorico, Nov 19, 2010
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Pothole Porter from Half Pints Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.