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Old North Mocha Porter | Lake of Bays Brewing Company

very good
14 Reviews
For Trade:
Old North Mocha PorterOld North Mocha Porter

Brewed by:
Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Roasted barley and chocolate malt lend this porter its full, rich character, and the addition of locally roasted coffee takes the flavour profile still further. Brewed in collaboration with Diesel House Coffee Roasters, The Griffin Gastropub and SAVOUR Muskoka, this porter is a fitting tribute to the Old North we call home.

Added by SebD on 10-29-2012

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 51
Photo of ChrisCage
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- This pours an oily, thick black color that is quite opaque. The head is creamy in appearance, starts out around two fingers thick and settles nicely into a thick, dense film over the beer....it is caramel colored. The lacing is very nice too with thick clumps of foam that slowly slide back into the liquid...carbonation is too hard to see what is happening.

S- This is a very pleasant smelling beer, with initial hints of black coffee and dark chocolate, suggesting what they say this is....a mocha porter! Earthy burnt malts, vanilla bean pods, caramel/toffee sweetness and some burnt almond nuttiness....the finish is of lingering soil, faint licorice, and mellow hop bitterness.

T- Heavy roasted dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, some toasted marshmallow sweetness.....burnt toffee/molasses and some Earth tones....roots, licorice, cocoa powder....very similar in flavor overall to the aromas...very nice....a little more on the palate than a standard porter!

M/O- Medium/full body and very smooth carbonation that is on the south side of aggressive! This is a nice winter porter that will fill a tummy up rather quickly, hence, I don't believe it is a highly drinkable ale, but super nice to enjoy with friends....well above average....perhaps a little pricey for what it is though....

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coffee, Cacao Nibs, Toast, Treacle

A wicked smooth beast, the addition of coffee is subtle but melds well with the chocolaty tone from the roasted malts. This all adds up to produce a mocha-like flavor throughout. Big and bold yet a pleasing sipper. Dark fruit and bread in the middle but really mellow—we never really notice the 8 percent ABV

STYLE: American Porter | ABV: 8.0% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #98 (MAR 2015)

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle - no hockey player associated with this one.

This beer pours a rather solid black, with subtle basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and bubbly mocha brown head, which leaves some adequate crooked webbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of gritty dark chocolate, toasted caramel malt, sharp cold coffee, warm vanilla, pithy nuts, and tame leafy, weedy hops. The taste is once again big on the medium/milk chocolate sweetness, with some decent artisanal (sure, why not) coffee mixed in, black licorice, a lessened roasted caramel maltiness, more nutty vanilla, and some understated leafy, weedy, and somewhat perfumed floral hops.

The carbonation is quite low and hard to perceive as a going entity at times, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, a wee bit of char the only threat to it and a small burgeoning creaminess. It finishes well off-dry, the cocoa, vanilla, caramel, and wispy coffee not really seeming interested in calling it a day.

A pretty tasty and straightforward porter, the mocha component much more replete with chocolate than coffee. No biggie, as I'm more of a fan of that skewing than the alternative, and could see this as a beer simulacrum of your Irish coffees/hot chocolates that abound up here in the Great White (Old) North during the current prolonged season.

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Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Just picked this up at the LCBO in Kingsville, so it appears that it's still being brewed. It's listed as 8% on the bottle as well.

Really roasty aroma, fair bit of malt, but not too sweet smelling. Solid flavour, sturdy bitterness with chocolate and roasted malt to back it up, sweet but not overly sweet. I like the balance and the focus on the roasted and kilned malt aspects rather than just sugar to play with the bitterness.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $10.00 for a 750ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well with a mighty POP! Pours almost no head at all. Nearly black color

S- Not a lot here. You would think a porter would have a nice nose to it but very very light

T- Very light. Almost a Guinness. Not good. Light coca

M- Not very good. A bit chalky but otherwise a Guinness.

O- A WAY overpriced Guinness plain and simple. Glad I only bought 1.

Food Pairing

I tried this ok porter with... Moose Stroganoff. Very good


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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent mocha porter from Lake of Bays Brewing. Pours a thick brownish black with a light tan head and nice lacing as beer dies down. Nose of roasted grains, coffee, crème brule, molasses, vanilla, and sweet malts. Taste is excellent with deep roasted grains interplaying with sweet malts to the front. Coffee and mocha flavors hit the back and sides with a lasting coffee coating/light bitterness from the roasted grains. Mouthfeel is smooth and seductive, carbonated but not overly done. A most excellent porter. Cheers.

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Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown almost black with a ruby tinge when held to the light. At that point it looks clear filtered, with no carbonation though its hard to see. Four fingers of tan brown head, fades in a few minutes and leaves a little random lacing.

S: Toasted stout like character, coffee, dark chocolate, creamy mousse like quality, snow. There’s also a bean or legume like quality to this, like canned kidney beans.

T: Coffee, toasted roasted malt notes, a fruitiness like a red plum. Light hoppy bitterness lends well to the coffee.

M: Medium thick bready body, medium low carbonation, powdery slightly burnt dry finish.

O: Very much up to par with good American porters.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 ml bottle to a pint glass. Bottle marked BB April 24, 2014.

This beer looks good out of the bottle. It pours a deep dark brown with a fluffy off white head of perhaps three fingers. When the head breaks there is decent lacing and a thin wisp of foam left instead. The smell is roasted malts, coffee and some vanilla. Taste brings forward the concept of mocha with a nice blend of coffee and cocoa flavors coming through strong with toffees as well and a slight bitter finish. The feel is thin, almost watery, but the carbonation is good.

All in all, not a bad beer. I think the biggest issue for this beer is the mouthfeel. The thinness of it just seems to let down the other aspects. While I liked this beer, I did not $9 like it, and that is also a concern. The price point seems a little high for what you get in return.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before April 26 2013 and served slightly chilled. I think this is the brewery's oldest seasonal, as I recall seeing it long before they added the 'Old North' appellation - but I must admit I've neglected to try it until now. Was I correct in passing on it for the past few years?

Pours a deep, black cola colour with slight tinges of crimson under the light. Atop the liquid is seated two fingers of puffy, light tan-coloured head, almost like the marshmallow fluff you get on top of hot chocolate. It recedes slowly over the next few minutes, coating the glass in gobs of lacing as it evaporates into a dense, half-cm cap. The aroma is enticing, and while there is a good dose of mocha and black coffee, the backbone of roasted malts, vanilla and nuttiness is not overpowered by it in any way.

Tasty stuff, and nicely balanced. Toffee, mocha and cocoa come through initially, with a dark chocolate vibe underlying much of the flavour profile. Roasted barley malts and coffee beans are next in line, with the finish comprised of a mixture of espresso, vanilla and dry cocoa. This one isn't complex but I absolutely love the finish/aftertaste; it strongly encourages small, quick sips, and the light abv is highly conducive to this. Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation that gives a slightly stronger bite than I'd prefer (a very minor quibble). One thing I'll really compliment this one on is its drinkability, which it owes to a combination of its nice balance, light nature and overall yumminess.

Final Grade: 4.01, an excellent A-. Old North is a good porter, but I'm still not sure it's '$9 a bottle' good. This brew (and the similarly decent-but-pricy 10 Point) would be better served with the tallboy can treatment, or at least 6-packs in the 13-14 dollar range. This is a tasty beer, but I just can't justify making it a regular purchase when there are cheaper, equally tasty porters and stouts out there. Probably this brewery's top offering, and a good choice for a dinner party - particularly if there's some sort of roast on the menu.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle purchased as a single from the LCBO booth at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear burgundy brown brew. Head fades gradually, with sticky lacing. Aroma is mocha, as advertised. That's already better than some brews lately.

Taste is sweet dark malt in the front, mocha in the middle, and light to moderate bitterness in the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe even a bit thin, and drinkability is great. I'd look for this one again when in the Great White North.

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Photo of decimator
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5.2%.

A - Poured nearly black dark brown with a thick tan head. Head has lots of lasting power and there's plenty of lacing. This is how a dark beer should look like.

S - Black coffee upfront with a backing of cocoa, vanilla, and toasted grains.

T - Light sweetness, some toasted grains, dark coffee, and light hoppiness. Finish is mostly coffee.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, drying finish.

O - Simple yet delicious flavour. Easy to drink.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black, two thumbs of mocha head, solid retention and nice sheeting lacing.

S - Fresh roasted coffee, dark cocoa and hints of black licorice and vanilla.

T - Flavour is nicely balanced, not overly bitter from the rich espresso flavours and dark cocoa, a mild sweetness comes through alongside the vanilla and leafy green hop notes.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness and stickiness.

O - Nicely balanced, easy drinking and deliciously flavoured. This stuff isn't overbearing and offers up a solid flavour profile without overwhelming the palette. Well worth a try indeed!

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Photo of Groulxsome
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle, last year it was just "mocha porter," best before Feb 28, 2012.

Looks: Dark brown with a thin one-milk-coffee coloured head.

Smells: Chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee liquor.

Tastes: Lightly roasted coffee, followed by some subtle chocolate from the malts - it's not a sweet chocolate. A speciality malt driven, balanced, and dry porter.

Feels: It's a little light in body with a fairly light carbonation.

Overall: It's a nice coffee porter which has stayed away from being too sweet, but it's a little thin, the coffee isn't really as present as I'd like, and overall its not as assertively flavoured as I might have hoped. At $8.95 (LCBO) a (750 ml) bottle I would expect a little more robustness, a little more body, and more complexity.

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Photo of SebD
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a thin beige head that dies down fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, nuts and vanilla.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some chocolate, coffee, sweet roasted malts, some nuttiness and light vanilla.

Mouthfeel: It has a med/high carbonation with a slightly watery and light overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

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Old North Mocha Porter from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.