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Funnel Blower - Box Steam Brewery

Not Rated.
Funnel BlowerFunnel Blower

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

31 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 71
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | 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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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 71
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (1,734 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; Best Before date is not printed on the label, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. Notes: according to the front label, this beer (supposedly the cask-conditioned version) was elected Gold, Winner, or Second Beer of the Festival on many occasions in 2009, esp. in Southern England.

A: pours a deeply dark brown hue with nearly no beer head, a signal that the beer probably is not well conditioned in the bottle.
S: lightly roasted and lightly sour with a wee bit of winey touch to it, while sweetness is limited to the notes like licorice, nuttiness and brown malts. Not bad, but not special – just above average.
T: not very assertive comes the foretaste, featuring light roasted malts/barleys and bitter licorice; gradually and subtly, the herbal&earthy notes of hops develop, but lend mainly a deepening bitter and slightly chewy palate than a hoppy taste to the overall flavour profile.
M&D: not very well conditioned in the bottle, as the carbonation is next to none, although it doesn’t mean that the beer is outright flat as the medium body and the certain degree of depth work to salvage the weak palate. Meant to be a Porter, this bottle-conditioned version strikes me as way too simplistic and lacks that vital edge of sour fruitiness or staleness which normally complements the roasty and malty compartments. Maybe the cask version is truly good, hence so many trophies, but this bottle fails to show the least of the glamour.3 (1,506 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (898 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
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. (599 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of kwjd
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (277 characters)

Photo of peensteen
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep brown colour, light ruby comes through in the light, one finger of tan head, spots of lace. Smell is of vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, light sugary notes, milky presence as well. Taste follows the nose, chocolate, coffee, roasty, nice vanilla presence throughout especially in aftertaste, lightly bitter, bakers chocolate. Carbonation is a little prickly leaning towards harsh, light feel and a bit watery, light-med body. Pretty solid brew, drinks like an iced cappuccino, quite nice. (501 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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 (408 characters)

Photo of TerryW
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A bit of a surprise and actually a fairly interesting beer.

Looks decent. Dark walnut pour with a substantial head that settles to a heavy cap and gives good lace.

Lots of vanilla in the nose, malt and sweetness. Unexpected and fairly appetizing once you get past the surprise. A little thin-bodied to drink. Taste of vanilla, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee. Slight bitterness.

Like something you might round up at your local coffee place. A decent enough novelty beer. (470 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the lcbo into a tulip. Colour is a dark brown, lacing is on the light side but has some good clarity and tan head.

S - warming, with a hefty dose of vanilla, sugar rock candy, caramel, lots of vanilla, some peach notes, some toasty caramel malt but mainly a robust deserty aroma.

T - pears, vanilla, and a good robust stone-fruitiness, some caramel sweetness that balances off some of the roastiness on the malts. Again a subtle bready toasty character but it has a lot of sweetness, a bit lactic and caramel like, with a good dose of vanilla. Finish ends a bit thin and bitter.

M - moderate bodied, a bit thin at points, with a subtle carbonation and generally an upfront profile on the palate with the initial sweetness then a lingering dry caramel (mild astringency).

Overall, this was an enjoyable session porter, but could be improved. I found it a bit heavy on the vanilla and sweet brown sugar notes, but it has a nice complexity and flavour in the middle and then gets a bit thin toward the finish. Roasty malts play a subtle and almost background to the crystal. (1,087 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (1,831 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.57/5  rDev -4%
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. (914 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (1,131 characters)

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.56/5  rDev -31.2%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of CanuckRover
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of Digimaika2
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (778 characters)

Photo of hotsudge
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick creamy head, but it slims fast.

Initial nose is chocolaty, then hints of vanilla and caramel poke through.

In the mouth, it's a little thin and uncomplicated. I would have liked a bit more complexity or layering of flavours in the mouth as it had with the nose.

Overall a good beer, I'd buy it again for sure if I was craving a Porter. (360 characters)

Photo of bryehn
3.98/5  rDev +7%
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. (865 characters)

Photo of benclimbs
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
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 (450 characters)

Photo of Stocean1
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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 (558 characters)

Photo of heebes
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (392 characters)

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Funnel Blower from Box Steam Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.