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Penn Quarter Porter - DC Brau Brewing Co.

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Penn Quarter PorterPenn Quarter Porter

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BA SCORE
88
very good

101 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 502
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 5.58%
Wants: 13
Gots: 48 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co. visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: starrdogg on 05-12-2011

Penn Quarter Porter is our first in a line of draft-only limited-release beer, and it's a robust porter! In the way that The Public is on the line between a pale ale and an IPA, this is on the line between a porter and a stout - with chocolate notes and a dry, roasted finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 502
Photo of McHiggins
4.88/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finest porter I've ever had. "Chocolate" always sounded fake in descriptions of beer before I tried this one today. There is a sizzle at the end, the kind of zest that reminds me of peppered chocolate. Not bitter, not sweet, not so dark you can't taste the light inside. Absolutely superb. My new all time favorite porter. You should move to DC just to be close to a fresh keg of this stuff. (391 characters)

Photo of CapitolCrusher
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i think DC Brau was the first real experience that made me knew i was hooked on the good craft beers

this beer is no exception, i love it

nearly jet black beer with a little bit of head on it, poured out of my growler at home :-)

roasted malt aroma and some chocolate too, even there is some spice and nutmeg in there, kind of weird but i like it! :-)

oh wow what a nice taste, especially in the end there its real smooth nice dark character without the annoying ashtray flavor so clean

overall this is one of the best if not the best local beers right now in DC I salivate when I think of it (597 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours pitch black, completely opaque, with 3 full fingers of chocolate/caramel colored head that lasted for quite a while before dissolving into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Massive aromas of dark chocolate and coffee. Some subtle notes of freshly baked dark bread, but it’s almost completely overpowered by the coffee and dark chocolate. Slight caramel and burnt sugar notes too.

Taste: Like the aroma, the predominate flavors of this beer are dark chocolate and coffee. Actually there’s a lot of coffee flavor in this beer, bur surprisingly, and thankfully, none of the coffee bitterness. The beer finishes with the dark chocolate and some mild sweetness. Some slight tobacco flavors too. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-thick and creamy. Chewy. Coats the mouth well!

Overall: Goddamn, this is an AWESOME Porter!! I really enjoy the roastiness that this beer has, and the wonderful balance between the coffee and the chocolate. One of the best porters I’ve ever had! (1,068 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can poured into nonic pint

A: Dark and rich looking nice slightly mocha head

S: Nice roast smell with some chocolate and licorice very rich aromas

T: nice roast flavor some licorice and slight bitter chocolate

M: very lush and thick creamy very nice feel

O: This is a winner a great porter very thick and it comes in a can that is awesome. (352 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.66/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: On top is two fingers worth of dark beige head. Underneath is very dark.

Aroma: Heavy dark roasted coffee, roasted walnut, twinges of smokiness, very faint chocolate, dark roasted malts.

Taste: Roasted coffee, traces of vanilla bean, nuttiness, smokiness, dark roasted malts with a few charred hop notes. It starts with a crisp bite and finishes silky smooth much like a chocolate malt.

Notes: Well what we have here is a bit of a dark horse in the world of American Porters. I was not sure what I was in for but dam this is something tasty. Not only would I pick this one up again but It's one of the best American Porters I have ever had what a treat. Cheers to D.C Brau for this gem of a beer. (722 characters)

Photo of Windigo
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the can and into the rather large snifter.
Lighter weight pour than expected, effervescent, faint carbonation present - thick, mocha head over an inch plus - Almost sugary, hickory, slight almandine aroma.

My first taste was cocoa, small amount of sea salt, creamy mouth feel and taste, not too heavy or syrupy. The middle of the palette is typical caramel hops and that gives way to the expected coffee bitterness, still cafe au lait, the slight bubbling carries the butteriness through to cut hard acidic earthy bitter taste short.Lacing is a little chunky, but I drank it so quickly, not entirely certain it had tie to set up.
*The light carbonation was different but I really enjoyed the effect it had on the brew overall.

Lacing is a little chunky, but I drank it so quickly, not entirely certain it had tie to set up.

My best friend had been crowing about this local brew for weeks and I have to admit I'm excited about it as well. Beautifully made beer that I plan on sharing with other beer geeks. (1,013 characters)

Photo of cleve00
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Porter? Stout?

Appearance: Poured Dark Brown/Black with a creamy 3 finger beige head that lingered for a few minutes.

Smell: Heavy odor of long roasted coffee with some maltiness. Nothing offensive at all.

(I am a RIS lover and the taste is great for me.) Taste is just like the smell nuff said, so I loved the smell. Medium body and carbonation, I did not find this thin but rather hearty for what it was. Bitterness was appropriate and pleasant. Dry finish

Solid! I wish this was not limited. Thanks DC Brau! (515 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Bold, roasty maltiness, some liquorice, milk chocolate, vanilla.

L: Very dark black, fairly thick. Tan creamy head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Dark chocolate and cocoa, very cream like tasting. Medium herbal bitterness leading to a ore creamy maltiness with some dry coca and roastiness. Finishes semi-dry with a touch of chalk. Some dark fruits and vanilla as it warms.

M: Medium full creamy body, almost has a texture of a milk stout.

Very bold and creamy for 5.5%. Just fantastic, my favorite from this brewery. (526 characters)

Photo of localone703
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now here's a great porter. Tan head is all pillow-y and inviting. Smells and tastes like robust yet smooth roasted malts with dark chocolate first, then maybe some coffee.

At 5.5% it goes down a little softer and lighter in the mouth while still having a full roasted character and just the right weight on the tongue.

This goes on my list of good dark beers to have with hamburgers or steak. Or chili. Or a big waffle with lots of butter and maple syrup and a side of bacon and eggs. That's the brunch for me. (512 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a deep, dark brown/black. A flimsy cap of khaki colored froth topped the liquid. The head quickly faded to a clingy ring of foam.

The aroma was interesting initially and got better as the beer warmed. French roast coffee came through strong. Good amount of dark chocolate. Some distracting, metallic notes were apparent, but they dissipated with time. Sweet cream and vanilla notes were detectible well. Touch of smoke and roast.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was quite robust. Rich, smooth and remarkably well balanced. Strong roasted and caramel malts appeared on the front end. Creamed coffee and semi-sweet chocolate notes competed for dominance. Nice shot of vanilla. The beer finished moderately roasty, smoky and dry. The dryness was just enough to keep the beer balanced but not so much as to shock the palate. To my liking, the hops were kept to a minimum.

The mouthfeel was amazingly lush, creamy and smooth. A fine, moderate effervescence lent the beer an amazing suppleness.

The brewer's note states that Penn Quarter Porter falls somewhere between a standard porter and a stout, and this description is spot-on. Porters rarely get any better than this. Definitely seek it out. (1,278 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap poured into a shaker pint at Pizza Paradiso DC.

A small cocoa like head is given, kind of foamy and tiny. Lots of carbs from the bottom but they are hard to see against a very big dark classic walnut body bordering on black. Collar stays throughout drinking, minimal lacing, and top of head gets pock marked.

Great bouquet on this brew. Simple quality coffee with a touch of heat and roast. Small milk chocolate sensation almost powdery and dry, getting into Ovaltine. A real mish mash of things going on here.

Taste is almost at first notice borderline silky. Small sweet cola hints in mid palate turn to instant Quick breakfast drink. The finish is all coffee and chared carbon and charcoal that is pleasant. Has a muted soda pop feel and slightly prickly. The carbonation on this is a little bit odd, but not so bad that it ruins everything.

Well what can I say, they pulled off a good classic American porter, very tasty indeed! (947 characters)

Photo of DapperGrowler
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell: Smokey; roasted; coffee

Appearance: Dark brown with a brown head; nice lacing.

Taste: Bitter on the front and back with bits of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: this beer has a nice feeling on the pallet.

Overall: This is a good beer, I would drink it again but it is not the best porter I have tasted. (316 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my Devil's Backbone glass. It poured pitch black in color with a thin, frothy, tan colored head to it. Great looking beer of the style. Great head retention as well.

The aroma shows a lot of roasted malts to it with both milk chocolate and dark chocolate coming together nicely. I get a little coffee to it as well in the aroma. Very rich, flavorful and appealing aroma overall.

The taste also really mixes the sweeter, malty flavors with the bitter, roasted ones nicely. Caramel and milk chocolate come out a little more up front, while roasted coffee and dark chocolate linger into the finish. It has some bold flavors, but the balance between them is really well great. The flavors were really good, but I thought they were fantastic relative to the lower alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and silky feeling, which I love for the style. Carbonation is moderate. Overall, I absolutely loved it. It was bold, flavorful, balanced, but what really wowed me is it's only 5.5% abv. It definitely has a ll the flavor of much bigger, imperial beers. This was spot on for my tastes, I can't think of many porters I'd choose over this, and probably none under 6%. I really hope they can this and put it in 6 packs. (1,249 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. The taste is big and malty, nicely roasted and smokey. In the taste, big coffee flavor with vanilla and char rounding it out. Mild bitter, piney hop character with mild citrus, but the big roasted malts work here hinting at cocoa and vanilla. Medium to full bodied, well carbonated and smooth. Overall, this is a winner. A great porter. (384 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a mug. Pours pitch black with a nice brown head. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and very slight fruitiness. Tastes of slight berries with a very strong coffee. Beer is full bodied lighter carbonated but very drinkable. Overall, a very good beer. (272 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from the brewery poured into a standard pint:

A: Deep, dark, impenetrable brown. The pour yields a thick, creamy two and a half finger dark brown head. As the head settles to a half finger, it lightens to a tan, light brown color. Neat trick. Thinly beaded lacing completely coats the inside of my glass. Very impressive.

S: Coffee roast and biscuit malt with a chocolatey sweetness to balance things out. Assertive roast character without ever losing its mellowness. Very nice.

T: Wow is that smooth. Creamy chocolate and coffee roast coat the mid. Just as the hops make their presence known on the back, sweet biscuit malt takes hold and ties things up in a nice, neat package. It's light and flavorful at the same time, with all of the flavors very well integrated. Excellent job guys!

M: Very well-balanced. As mentioned earlier, it incorporates the chocolate, coffee roast, biscuit malt, and hop flavors well. Each gets a turn to shine, but never dominates, which makes this beer a fun one to sip. Carbonation is right. Maybe just a touch on the light and sweet side, but it is a session beer after all.

O: Grading to style, this is one of the best porters I have had, and something the guys at DC Brau should be very proud of. Would love to see some version of this get a barrel treatment down the road. It's not quite Edmund Fitzgerald, but it is damn close. Flavorful without being overwhelming, sessionable without being bland, I can only compare it to Rise Up Stout (a great beer in its own right) as a dark, relatively complex sessionable ale. If you're in DC, do yourself a favor and find this on tap. (1,631 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Jet black with 2 fingers of creamy tan head. Excellent retention.

Nose
Dark roast coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and caramel.

Taste
Dark roast coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. Caramel, brown sugar and cocoa nib. Touches of raisin and date.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied, creamy, silky and smooth.

Overall
A flavorful, easy drinking Porter that's quite sessionable at only 5.5%. (419 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pqp is a deep, opaque mahogany brown in color, floating a thick, crema colored head with great retention and lacing

s: a complex roast-centric nose featuring earthy, deeply roasted barley, dark cocoa, charred wood, and coffee; earthy and deep, really like this

m: carbonation just under moderate, body medium-full, creamy and smooth mouthfeel

t: a bold, richly flavored porter - big roasts, cocoa, and dark coffee all make an appearance, some caramelized sugars underneath dark chocolate and roasted barley to start give way to drier, more charred flavors midway, finishing with a burnt earthiness and clean bitter

o: a top notch porter - lots of varied roasted characters that come together to form a creamy and well-balanced beer; huge flavor for a low-moderate abv porter, and drinks well as a result (810 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Side of the bottle "Penn Quarter Facts: Penn Quarter is Most Famous for Ford's Theater. Where President Abraham Lincoln's Coat and hat can still bee seen to this day." I've actually visited and it's pretty amazing how much history that tour has to offer, totally worth the visit if you're in to history.

22 oz. bomber poured into the lager version of the Sam Adams perfect pint glass. A nice hard pour has the liquid coming out close to black in color, but has some deep mahogany highlights. Nice coffee with a small amount of cream brown colored head that erupts pretty high, but has mostly small bubbles to it. Better than average lacing on this one.

Smell is very good, SUPER roasty. One of the more robust porters of this low ABV that I've had the pleasure of sniffing out. Lots of coffee with some mild chocolate, but an additional sweetness I can't quite put my finger on.

Taste is equally as excellent, and big for just a 5.5 ABV. Again, super roasty. Coffee flavors arn't as strong as the smell, but plenty present, sort of mixed with a fudgy chocolate without being too rich and decadent. In the back there is sort of a very weak creamy vanilla flavor that's not too strong, but it's present, maybe that's the sweetness I couldn't pick up in the smell.

Mouthfeel is really good. It's big and heavy, sort of like an imperial stout, but not so strong. Has all the strong roasty and flavorful. Smooth, rich (but not too rich), and slightly silky feel with a good carbonation level. Nice finish and super drinkable, very easy drinking porter. I think I'd rather see this in six packs though. This bomber was a nice treat, but I could see how it could get a little old and wouldn't mind having a bottle (or can) on my own that wasn't a bomber. Great beer, have one more bottle that I'll be cellaring. (1,811 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big thanks to portable for this treat. enjoyed from a dc brau can glass.

bottle from 2012

a - brew poured watery black with an insane head that filled about half the glass. the head was frothy and foamy and a deep tan if not creamy brown. really thick and frothy. looked like a milkshake. the head hung out forever and left chunky lacing in the few spots that it dissolved.

s - robust roasted malt. has a crispness and a char to it, but more of a milky thing than a charcoal char. really pleasing.

t - very soft. roasted black malt. stale coffee. soft bitter bakers chocolate on the finish. cooling.

m - crisp and easy drinker. brisk. almost milk stout, but with a char.

o - overall a really nice porter. very classic and tasty. good char without being too much and nice subtle chocolate notes. (800 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff.

The beer appears dark coffee brown with a quarter inch of oily tan head. The aroma brings dark roast, malt, coffee, chocolate. Smells nice. Great flavor. What a solid beer. Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Good stuff. (267 characters)

Photo of irrevjim
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look; black chestnut, 1/4 inch head, leaves nice lacing
smell; sweet nutty coffee tire fire, minor notes of sugars and esters
taste; imperial porter light, very nice roasted coffee and toffee notes, nicely balanced bitter and sweet malts, hop kiss, really yummy and drinkable
overall; a delicious full flavored accessible american porter, wish they made more (358 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found a can for 3 dollars at the House of 1,000 beers. Into a pint glass.

A - For such a low ABV this beer sure is rich and thick. Very pitch black with no hue at the base and the head is excellent well of a 1/2 inch that settles to a thick lace ring. Very sticky.
S - Very rich porter with some chocolate malts, ashy roasts, herbal hops, and some dry yeasts.
T - Somewhat herbal, very smooth dry finish like woody. Taste of balanced chocolate malts and ashy roasty. Tasty.
M - Simple, sticky, slick and creamy. Medium bodied goes down smooth.

Overall a very well crafted porter. I would pick it up again. (607 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso - I really hope this gets brewed again and put into cans!

A: Opaque and very dark brown (nearly black) with a fairly substantial tan head. It's a great looking beer and appears to pretty carbonated.

S: Smells of roasted malts and chocolate. Aroma is not hitting me in the face, but it's nice and somewhat low-key.

T: Alright, I'm impressed! This is incredibly flavorful for a beer so low in ABV. It's got a lot of chocolate with a nice roasted malt finish. It's very smooth and not overly bitter, which makes it extremely drinkable for a porter.

M: I have to say that this was the most impressive aspect of this beer. Oftentimes porters end up a little too thin-bodied, but this one had a very full body, and combined with the very nice carbonation made this a pleasure to drink.

O: Another very impressive effort from DC Brau. I'd say this is a step up from the very tasty Public Pale Ale. Porters are not typically my favorite style, but this one wasn't your typical porter and seemed to be somewhere in between a porter and a stout. It's incredibly flavorful and very easy to drink at the same time, a great combination. (1,175 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

About a finger plus of dark brown foam, mostly dense and tiny bubbles and quick to dissipate evenly across the surface, the lacing actually has better stickiness than expected, thin but wide splotches. The liquid is just about black or at least the darkest shade of brown, impenetrable like a stout, hard to gauge the bubble activity within the glass. Rich and densely packed nose of dark chocolate, coffee, malt and caramel, black cherry and plum fruit scents, touch of bracing quinine and iron flecks, clean on the whole, sufficient roast that it doesn’t seem overly sweet, again very good fullness and length. In the mouth it is full-bodied as well with an overall dry texture. This accentuates the earthiness which at times has a volcanic soil aspect, metallic. Here too it seems herbaceous but not necessarily in a hoppy manner. The chocolate, mocha, coffee has a good toast to it, not as dominant. Hits you with a burst of something like Cherry Coke. The carbonation is not obtrusive while churning at a steady rate. Vague praline like nuttiness. Presents moderate complexity while taking pains to cover all the basics of the type. Decent drinkability too. Nothing to quibble over. (1,189 characters)

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Penn Quarter Porter from DC Brau Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.