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Harveys Tom Paine Original Old Porter - Harvey & Son Ltd.

Not Rated.
Harveys Tom Paine Original Old PorterHarveys Tom Paine Original Old Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

36 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 36
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harvey & Son Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: putnam on 07-28-2004

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml broad bodied brown glass bottle with a thin short stubby neck. The main label has a picture of Thomas Paine set against a black and gold background. Tom Paine was an English ‘radical’ by birth who eventually went on, so the legend goes, to assist in drafting the American Declaration of Independence and was to eventually die in the USA. Labeled as ‘Harveys Tom Paine Original Old Porter’, and listed at 4.8% ABV. No freshness date.

Appearance: A very dark brown body when backlit which becomes a dark black when it is not. A decent enough ½” light brown tan head slowly evolves and forms on the pour, but it eventually settles to a thin looking cap covering – but never breaks and is always uniform, and it does leave some nice looking lacing. Extremely finely dissolved carbonation remains firm start to finish.

Nose: Dark brooding nose is full and flavorsome. Sourness, Roasted Malts, Stale Red Wine, Milk Chocolate, Coffee and some Rum & Raisin.

Taste: A mixture of milky chocolate and fantastic flashes of sourness throughout. Dark freshly roasted coffee and some raisins here and there. Predominantly though, this Porter is all about the rum sourness, it is never over the top, or even off-putting – and it will not be to everyone’s taste - but somehow it lends a lovely Olde Worlde feel to this libation.

Mouthfeel: Smooth yet definitively Porter-esque in character. Above average feel is bolstered by the sourness and lots of roasted malts; all supported by a caffeine like injection from the coffee flavors.

Drinkability: Seemingly refined, yet harking back to a time when things were simplistic. Works well for me; the sourness is welcome and adds to the overall quaffability.

Overall: How things used to be. Well worth seeking out, but don’t expect the usual low profile bland offering, this one does not shy away from keeping the sourness where it should be, but it blends it impressively into a worthy English Porter.

This is definitely an English Porter “Old-School” style…..and I loved it. Recommended.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one."

--Thomas Paine


Opaque, melted dark chocolate brown with intense, sparkling ruby accents when viewed through bright sunlight. The smallish cap of dark brown foam would look more at home on a stout. It's a substantial one finger in thickness at present and looks like it'll stay for a bit. There isn't much lace (yet) since the head isn't giving any ground. Once the glass is nearly emptied of beer, there's an impressive, three finger swath of lace through its midsection.

The nose, while a little underpowered, is pleasant enough. Cocoa powder is first in line with a whiff of spice coming in second (I'll go with allspice). It also smells a little like musky fruit which, I believe, is due to a mild, but real, hop presence. Even though there isn't much to criticize, plenty of porters have this one beat in the aroma department.

At least Original Old Porter doesn't wimp out with respect to flavor and mouthfeel like so many 'traditional' English porters do. It seems to be a different beer on the palate than it was in the nose. It's now roughly equal parts coffee and chocolate with unripe fruit (read: sour) underpinnings. There's plenty of roasted dark malt on hand, well above average for a porter.

The sourness is pervasive, but isn't overpowering, and a counterbalancing bitterness appears on the finish to even things out. I'd like to see a bigger, firmer mouthfeel. Keeping style in mind though, it isn't that far out of line. The carbonation does its work quietly and effectively.

Thomas Paine, as the label reminds me, is the author of the influential pamphlet 'Common Sense'. The brewers seem to have taken that sentiment to heart in crafting a no-nonsense, traditional porter that lacks bells and whistles, but doesn't lack good, honest porter flavor.

Photo of yen157
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin tan head, dark, dark coffee body. Head reduces to wisps quickly. Dark rich nose with dried figs, raisins, and an warm milk. Very nice. Chocolate, some toffee, and coffee with a splash of heavy cream. Bitterness seems to be mainly from the black malt. Relatively thin body for a beer this flavor dense, but carbonation is light enough so that this doesn’t seem awkward.

This is what I like in a porter, not too big. Carbonation is a little too light, but overall this is quite good. I hope to come across this again, but Michigan is a little far to go for it!

Photo of MrSeth
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

There was no head from the first pour. A ring of unusual bubbles around the glass. A small tan head arrives very late. The body is an opaque black. The smell at first seems metalic. The malt shows nicely despite this with coffee and spice notes in there as well. The malt flavor is also nice despite the poor condition. And speaking of which, it's dead flat. I am used to porters having less carbonation than other beers, but this is too flat. The flavor is really good here so I will definitely get another bottle and see if this is just one poor example.

Photo of jdhilt
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a one-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep amber color almost black. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Nose is chocolate. Starts with a sweetish molasses flavor, finish is slightly bitter chocolate. $4.25 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA..

Photo of allengarvin
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ebony, with a quite thin film of foam.

Aroma: Slight chocolate-caramel nose.

Flavor: Creamy cocoa flavor, somewhat toffee-ish. Low bitterness, slightly fruity but mostly clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, but with very creamy & chewy body.

Not bad, but for the effort they put into making an authentic 19th century porter, with an original recipe etc, I was hoping for something that stands out a bit more. The weakest of the Tom Paine line (the Brown Ale is delicious though).

Photo of edchicma
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad brew, but a bit disappointing. Pours balck with a small chunky head. Smell was light with coffee and malt aromas discernible. Taste was mild, malty, with some medicial qualities. Tartness in teh aftertatste. Mouthfeel is light, with a refrteshing quality. Drinkability is fine, no doubt due to teh lower abv. Not bad, but not spectacular.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fully dark brown color, with slight reddish tints, under a thin tan head.
Aroma, nice and creamy, light, bit of cocoa, but perhaps a bit too less?
Taste: smoothness incarnate, light and breezy, for a dark ale. Flavors of cocoa and coffee reside on the palate, but don't trouble the tongue too much.
Decent porter, I guess, but I was hoping for more, much more, and I have to be disappointed, especially considering the price of the bottle.
Not going to return to this one, sad to say...

Photo of CRJMellor
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep, dark maroon with black tints. Thin but creamy head with a ton of gooey lace.
Aroma is slightly peaty and roasted barley hit with some french vanilla coffe and a biscuity note.
Flavor is light chocolate upfront moving to a flaked barley finish. Simple yet satisfying.
Mouthfeel is semi-sweet to start moving to a dry but somewhat thin middle and finishing wiht a roasted hit.
Drinkability is decent but nothing special.

Photo of Crosling
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty damn black.

Interesting and intriguing nose. Whiffs of apple cider, caramel and milk chocolate.

Non aggresive and certainly not offensive but there isn't much going on here. Front is mainly sweet and soft with some diverse earthy tones. Mid is lightly roasted coffee, some light dark fruitiness and milk chocolate. Finish has a hint of pepper, notes of grapes and a lingering dry, nutty and chocolatey presense on the palate.

Photo of putnam
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In conclusion...
After three "Tom Paine" brews I think I have a beat on the set. These are old-tyme, sweet, though balanced, low-acid beers for codgers with delicate palates and a tolerance for funk.
This porter delivers a murky, sweaty coffee and dirt bouquet before rolling over the palate with oily, tar pit crud flavors that are a real treat. There is never an edge - only unashamed, bowels-of-the-earth iron, iodine and sludge flavors. Lots of roasted walnut wood, soot and branch flavors are varnished with an unspeakable smoothness... almost like... mocha gelatine.
live this porter. it makes sierra nevada porter taste like Burger King coffee.

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Harveys Tom Paine Original Old Porter from Harvey & Son Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.