Funnel Blower - Box Steam Brewery

Not Rated.
Funnel BlowerFunnel Blower

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 9.87%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Box Steam Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: benclimbs on 03-04-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by MeisterBurger:
Photo of MeisterBurger
2.56/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a dark ruby topped by a nice thick head of foam. Specks of lace remain.

Aroma is pure chocolate and cardboard. Mild roast.

The taste is the same. Dark and milk chocolate with a bit of roast and oxidization and vanilla. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is very light and incredibly watery with a goodly amount of chalky carbonation.

This is one of the weakest porters I have ever had, more like an English Dark Mild Ale than a porter actually. Maybe a brown ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle picked up from the LCBO. I've been off beer for a couple of weeks, so I figured a nice porter would suit me just fine.

Poured into a nonic. Dark chestnut brown, leaves a thin but stable head full of large bubbles and lacing residue.

Nose is dark coffee, nuts, caramel, toffee, bittering hops.

Decent porter flavor, would rate this higher as an English mild actually. Finishes with hop bitterness coupled with roasted coffee. A bit of sweetness up front. All the flavors are there.

The mouthfeel is disappointingly thin, and the carbonation is quite harsh. Silky and smooth, this beer is certainly not. Pity.

Turn down the heat on this brew and you'd have a serviceable porter. As it stands, the thin mouthfeel and strong carbonation made for a very burpy pint, and detracted from the beer's more positive attributes. Might try again just to see if I picked the wrong bottle the first time round.

Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from Lidl, Bristol - Pours dark brown. No discernible head. Initial strong carbonation which subsided to medium. Smell - coffee, chocolate overtones. Taste - sweet , vanilla, coffee, slight bitter feel. Not bad porter.

Photo of BGDrock
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Appearance: very dark brown, almost opaque; thick, layered head that sticks around a good time

Aroma: jumps out of the glass with rich nuttiness; also getting roasted scents, caramel, and some smokiness

Taste & Mouthfeel: first taste is incredibly creamy and smooth - great mouthfeel; roasted taste with elements of smoke are coming through as promised by the aroma; dry finish with just the right amount of bitterness; medium carbonation

Overall: like a less creamy Guinness and with more flavour - a great late fall brew

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle from LCBO. Appreciate small breweries and lower a.b.v. Pours a large retained beige head on black body. Mild roast, the taste is roastier than the smell. About average mouthfeel, although a bit thin for the style. Pretty simple really, only a little hops, much more malts. Decent drinkability.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great pour, nice big fluffy off-white head over near-black beer. Good sticky lacings to the finish.

Quite a sweet aroma. Dark chocolate and vanilla combine for a milk chocolatey character. Tempting.

Bitter roast right up front gives way, quite slowly, to chocolate and vanilla. Bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel is off. Too much carbonation, at odds with the flavour profile.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pitch black, solid tan head dissipated consistently and slowly to a thin covering
S - roasty malt and coffee aromas, some nuttiness and licorice
T - strong roastiness, some bitter sweet licorice, mild coffee with a slightly burnt finish
M - relatively light with a dry charred feel
O - strong dark flavours are generally pleasant, I typically like my porters with a little more booze, but this works well

Photo of heebes
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on the first chilly fall day.

Pours a dark auburn with a finger of fluffy light tan head. Nose yields roasted malts, barley, light chocolate notes, some sweetness from the vanilla. Taste is very smooth and inviting starting with the creamy subtle vanilla then showing its robust porter dark malts. Sweet on the sip, thin in the finish but overall a very satisfying beer. A decent try.

Photo of Stocean1
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a big three finger head with lots of carbonation bursting out of the bottle - some lacing with little retention - reminds me of pouring a can of coke - dark caramel brown colour (like coke)

S - burnt malt, caramel, vanilla and dark fruit

T - burnt malt, chocolate, vanilla, caramel with some grassy hops

M - light to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation - bitter aftertaste - still relatively smooth

O - a very nice porter although I would prefer it to a little less carbonated and perhaps a little creamier - certainly worth another go though

Photo of paxkey
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

great label design on bottle.

poured in a chalice this beer produced no head as is typical of the style.
looks like cola in the glass. dark burgandy/black opaque.

the aroma is fantastic. roasted notes are prominent with chocoalte, and vanilla dominating. smells like desert.

more carbonation than i was expecting. gonna let it warm up a bit. noticing the beer is a bit watery. starts out sharply acidic with a bit of the caramelly desert like roastiness in the middle but definitely finishes watery with a bit of roastiness lingering but still kinda watery.
the alcohol hits harder then expected for a lower abv.
warming up definitely brings more flavor to the beer with an improved lingering roasty bitterness,
however the sharp acidity of the carbonation and the slightly watery mouthfeel sets this off as just midling for me. based on the great aroma was expecting better things.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a clear dark black color porter with a large slightly off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light dry coffee with nice vanilla notes. Taste is a great balanced mix between some light roasted malt notes with light dry coffee with no astringency and some lactose notes with perfect notes of vanilla. Body is bit thin but considering the ABV that could be expected with good carbonation. Very well brewed with great complexity while retaining good drinkability factor.

Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a black/brown colour with an average size fizzy dark beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, smoke, roasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation and it feels slightly watery. I can taste chocolate and malts mixed with some roasted nuts and a smokiness. However all of these flavours are very light. It finishes with a chocolate and malt aftertaste with a slight amount of lingering bitterness.

Overall – While the beer is very drinkable, it just doesn't have anything exciting going on. The scent was probably the best part, but unfortunately it doesn't taste as good as it smells. I'd pick something else up next time, especially considering the price.

Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before August 2013.

Dark brown, almost black with some burgundy translucence around the edges when held to the light. Mocha head with moderate density, dense creamy retention (almost like a whipped topping) and a solid coating of lace. Nose has a whole lot of vanilla bean, lighter roast and a milky/cream character. Taste has some dark malts, light roast, a bit of roasty tartness and the vanilla, although present in flavour, doesn't sweeten this up all that much. Faint coffee flavour. Mild bitterness, body is creamy. An alright beer that does well on the nose but doesn't have the palate to match.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Aug 2015. Glad to see another brew from these guys being brought into Ontario, as I rather liked the Dark & Handsome I tried a year or two ago. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a dark, mahogany-copper colour; not quite opaque, with some amber highlights. It's crowned with just over one finger of soapy, light beige-coloured head that soon evaporates, leaving behind a frothy cap and collar, as well as a nice curtain of lace. Subdued aroma, which offers up notes of roasted malt, espresso, vanilla and caramel, with suggestions of toasted nuts and ripe orchard fruit.

A very serviceable, straightforward porter. Roasted grains, caramel and brown sugar provide the bulk of the backbone, with baker's chocolate and a light note of coffee also contributing. A hint of milk sugar sweetness, like you'd find in a milk stout. A touch of vanilla, plum and light smokiness also come through, with the finish characterized by a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and lightly astringent charriness. Medium-light in body, with fairly assertive carbonation levels that provide this porter with a somewhat livelier mouthfeel than I tend to prefer. A very minor complaint, though - this stuff is quaffable as all hell.

Final Grade: 3.95, an impressive B+. This one grew on me a little as I made my way through the glass, forcing me to bump the taste grade somewhat. Box Steam's Funnel Blower is really a very well-made session porter, providing exactly what I want from this sort of beer in ample quantities. If it were available locally I could definitely see myself grabbing a few more bottles, as it's not always easy to find a good English-style porter around here. Give it a shot; you probably won't be blown away, but if you're just in the mood for a solid session porter, you can't go wrong here.

Photo of bryehn
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely deep brown colour with ruby highlights visible when illuminated. The off-white coloured frothy head can barely be contained by a pint glass. It burns off quickly, but leaves a healthy film and lace behind.

Smells of dark malts with a solid chocolate tone and a rather sweet vanilla backing that reminds me of a waffle cone.

Bitter chocolatey taste with a sweet vanilla backing and an almost burnt, toasted quality to it. Has a really fresh grain or grasslike taste to the finish and I pick up a hint of candied cherry.

Typically thin porter body with a medium carbonation. Very dry, almost puckering aftertaste balanced by a chocolate syrup-like residue with a dark coffe note.

A very, very good porter that I'm sure I'll pick up again despite not really liking the style. Could be a nice desert beer or even as one for an English breakfast.

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle picked up from LCBO for $3.95 CDN. A bit on the pricey side, but liked the artwork and the beer looked interesting. Worth a try. Served fairly cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Nice dark brown chestnut color with a good looking khaki head that is 1.5 fingers. Head also looks foamy and frothy and has good retention time leaving some lacing around the edges of the glass.

Smell - Coffee and caramel mixed well together, however neither scent is really potent. They doe meld together in a way that is appealing and the nose comes out a bit more as the beer warms.

Taste - Bitter coffee flavor with a nice dose of vanilla and caramel. Ends up her really well here. Leaves a slightly bitter coffee / dark chocolate aftertaste. This description doesn't quite do the beer justice as the interplay between these flavor profiles while not terribly complex is brilliantly done.

Mouthfeel - Rich, velvety smooth, succulent yet refreshing. Really nice cleansing texture.

Overall - Nice porter that has all the elements of a good porter, rich decadent and filling yet no so much that a few of these couldn't be consumed.

Photo of jrenihan
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best Before July 2012

Beer is very dark brown, essentially black. Two finger widths or so of beige head. Lots of bubbles, even in the beer, sticking to the glass. Head is not very active, but the bubbles suggest a lot of carbonation. Little lacing, moderate retention.

Smell is roasted malt, toffee, vanilla, cocoa and some coffee. Nose is slightly bitter.

Taste is similar to the nose, but watered down by a very light body. Vanilla sticks out for me, along with the roasted malt and cocoa. A bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Body of the beer is too light. While I was not expecting a heavy imperial stout, this beer was lighter than expected and cut the flavour for me. Quite carbonated for the style.

Overall, pretty enjoyable. If the carbonation was toned down and the beer made a little thicker, I think it would be quite good indeed, as the flavour profile is nice.

Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark ruby red, thumb of small bubbled mocha head, solid retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Nutty almond and chocolate notes, touch of vanilla and toffee.

T - A tad bitter, but the chocolate and coffee notes are tasty. The vanilla comes through, but rather subtle with a touch of smoke. Unique and certainly tasty.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes can come across a tad thin, but by no means offensive, down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Pretty tasty with some solid flavours and some unique characteristics. Worth a try indeed.

Photo of MattyV
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent cola colour, with a small mocha head that is not all that dense at first but then slowly tightens into a nice cap on top. Aroma's on the sweet side, full of roasted malt, cocoa, and a tiny bit of sour/metallic twang. Tastes of roasted barley, chocolate, and earthy hops, a bit underwhelming. Dry finish with a slight sour bitterness provided more so from the hops as opposed to the roasted malt. Body feels a bit thin and the carbonation feels too aggressive--missing the soft luxurious mouthfeel. This will probably be a one and done for me, I much prefer (and at a better pricepoint) Fuller's London Porter.

Photo of kwjd
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown colour with thick pale tan head. Some very mild lacing on the glass. Smells of some nice roast, coffee, vanilla and faint chocolate. Flavour has some roasty bitterness with some vanilla sweetness. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a porter. Overall a nice beer.

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We tend to think of vanilla as white but vanilla pods (and the flavoured liquid extracted from them) are in fact a deep brown colour, much the same as this beer. Funnel Blower lets off an excess, not of steam, but of foam. The beer's surface is protected by a thick, sponge-like coating that even manages to stick to parts of the glass as well.

Unlike the brewery, I wouldn't call the vanilla sweetness "subtle". You can tell right from the first sniff that something's up. I concede, however, that when contrasted against smoky roast malts vanilla tends to take on a slightly different kind of tone; I don't think of sweet pastries when I smell this, rather flavoured coffee.

Funnel Blower is a beer that, to most people, would be considered delicious. In this regard, I am certainly like most people. While it doesn't have a tremendously rich character, the porter contrasts bitter and sweet in such a way that rolls coffee and dessert into one. Chocolate isn't much tasted, however. Mostly barley, maybe a bit of lactose.

Unlike other breweries, Box Steam didn't use their vanilla porter to go chasing after those with a sweet tooth. Instead, they've kept the beer very much grounded in, well, the beer world. It is bitter and showcases plenty of roasted barley and mineral water qualities that are not found in cakes or puddings. Guinness drinkers aren't alienated.

A very interesting start leads to a fairly conventional overall impression. Despite the vanilla accenting, Funnel Blower doesn't steer far from the pedigree of English brown porters. It is merely a medium-light beer with moderate biscuity and roast flavours. That doesn't make it a disappointment, mind you. In fact, it's certainly something I'd buy again.

Photo of ADZA
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the darkest brown hue with a one finger khaki head that doesn't even say hello before vanishing and a feint rim not much happening at this club from the outside but the smell of sweet vanilla bean,golden syrup,milk chocolate and toffee are slowly enticing me to wait the big line and just like thinking on entry maybe it wasn't worth it with this overcarbonated light body feel but the taste of dominant vanilla,cream,milky coffee and roasty milk chocolate bittersweetness make me think ill stay another hour and then I'm outta here and now I've seen inside I won't be coming back soon cheers.

Photo of Digimaika2
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep crimson red with a two-finger foam head which appears slightly creamy. Decent retention with good lacing down the glass.

S: Dark roasted coffee, cocoa, dark fruits (plums & cherries), a fair bit of vanilla, and traces of smoke. Enticing.

T: Tastes are more low-profile than the aromas indicated. Subdued hints of bittersweet chocolate and dark coffee coupled with a dose of vanilla. There's an appealing faint sourness towards the finish which levels out the vanilla sweet.

M: Light body with a moderate amount of carbonation. A good roasted dryness is present from start to finish.

D: I'm enjoying this quite a bit for an English Porter. The subtle sourness that contrasts the vanilla is making this quite crisp and easy to drink. Will be picking up more.

Photo of benclimbs
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had on cask at JDW pub - commercial rooms here in brissle.

had some other shit ale i sent back before this - was very relieved to get this one instead.

pours black with a nice thick head and some nice lacing.

smell is all vanilla and malts...really good, subtle brandy notes in there, really amazing nose.

taste is more of that egg nog brandy character with a pleasant coffee like finish and some slight bitterness - a great drinking beer. wow

Photo of Agent1
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A deep, dark brown with a thin, beige head. The retention seems rather poor and dissipates very quickly. Not a very active beer. Once this calms down in the glass, one can see faint bubbles making their way to the center of the glass, creating tiny specks of head. Nothing impressive here.

Smell - Light smokey notes, with an overall presence of butterscotch, candied caramel and molasses. Nuts and lightly roasted coffee beans come to mind. Vanilla is also present, although do not smell authentic. Very different compared to most Porters.

Taste - Vanilla, baker's chocolate (hops create this effect), smoke, roasted malts, nuts, wood and cherries (create an acidic quality) and whipping cream. Brown sugar is noticeable, too.

Mouthfeel - A bit bland. Although the smokiness tends to jump out here and zap the tongue and roof of the mouth, it quickly fades and does not manage to stimulate all parts of the palate. You can definitely notice this beer on the roof of the mouth, mostly. Not terrible, but not great, either. This lack body.

Overall - Not quite a full-bodied beer, this seems to lack mouthfeel more than anything. Unfortunately, this really disappoints and is one of the biggest shortcoming, in my opinion. One thing that works to this beer's advantage is the butterscotch taste notes and the hop characteristics. These really help to round this Porter out. Despite the accolades displayed on the side of this bottle, it is an easy-drinking, fairly simple porter. That being said, it does not blow me out of the water. Perhaps there was hype around this beer that I am failing to see? Either way, pretty tasty.

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Funnel Blower from Box Steam Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.