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Penn Quarter Porter - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Penn Quarter PorterPenn Quarter Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

101 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 101
Hads: 503
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
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: 503
Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont. Served in a pint glass.

Pours near black with a small mocha colored head that diminishes pretty quickly and leaves some sparse, spotty lacing. The nose is heavy on the malt with some chocolate, coffee, and roast dominating. Light toasted bread in the background. Light hop character there as well. The flavor is mostly roast with a bit of chocolate and espresso. Mild hoppy character in the finish, which is slightly bitter and dry with strong roast. Medium body with average carbonation. A bit thin-bodied for the flavor. Nice and well-rounded. (580 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a solid B of a porter here from dc brau, who keeps randomly showing up in colorado with no rhyme or reason or consistency. this porter is quite dark in color, bakers chocolate tone, but with excessive carbonation thats unflattering to most porters. huge roasted barley notes to this with very little else. i get some coffee in the smell as well as in the finish, and perhaps a light cocoa appearance, but this is a rather one dimensional brew. this is one of those breweries we get excited about because its new to our market, but one that has really yet to impress me with anything. this is a well made porter on all counts, but is definitely lost in the crowd. nice full body to it, but the carbonation level is way too high, especially or the style, and it feels like a soda. there is a great deal of bitterness from the grain too, maybe more than necessary. this beer is in need of some refinement, a six pack would be a chore for me, but its nice to see some new breweries coming into the colorado market these days, and i welcome them all. (1,045 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out almost pitch black with a frothy tan head that leaves a very streaky pattern of lace

Smell: Surprisingly ashy, with chocolate and coffee tones

Taste: Ash, chocolate and coffee, up front, with the hops building into the finish with a leafy, resinous character

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A surprising hop bite for this style, but I rather enjoyed it

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity (454 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In commemoration of a dark, mysterious and sinister occurrence, the death place of President Lincoln became the inspiration for an ale that speaks much the same language.

As prescribed, the ale is dark, nearly black but halts with deep brown hue and modest tawny highlights. A cap of mocha-stained mousse builds atop the ale and retains stubbornly and laces with isolated islands along the way. Its a very sturdy looking beer.

Bold aromas of heavy toast, charred wood, malted milk, and cocoa give a robust scent from the perspective of malted barley. A woodish note provide sight hop balance to the malt, along with a mild roasty twang that might hinge on tart berry scent.

Tasting similar, the Robust Porter greets the front of the mouth with burnt toffee sweetness, just ahead of light char, toast, strong coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Roasted walnuts and burnt pine gives the ale balance and intrigue. Heavy whipping cream provides fuller and milkshake taste in the middle taste before slipping into coffee-like bitterness to finish. Mild alcohol flavor extends with a taste of grape and berry in the distance.

Medium-full on the mouth- its carbonated sweetness provides a fully engulfed creaminess. But the sweetness quickly dissolves and the ample carbonation drives the roast and toast into a firm dryness. Mild alcohol warmth and slight roast-derived astringency closes the beer with pleasant spice and bite.

When thinking about what beer would best commemorate the life and tragedy that is Abraham Lincoln, I think that the Robust Porter makes perfect sense. It's tall, confident, and stately from sip 'til finish. (1,632 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

brown in color and nearly completely opaque. A huge brown head then rose up over the top of it and took forever to settle down, only actually fading depositing large amounts of side glass lacing.

Lots of wonderful coffee notes, fresh brewed coffee with that delicate sweetness added in that just made the whole thing really come together wonderfully. Smooth mellow taste here. Coffee right up in your face, smooth notes of sugar mixed in along with hints of light vanilla. Wonderful feel here with deleicate carbonation that avoided the too filling side of it (560 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours black, with a couple fingers of rich milk chocolate colored head. This maintains a smooth ½ finger, which coats the sides of the glass with creamy foam that slowly drips down the sides. The aroma is a nice flavorful blend of chocolate, toffee, coffee and ripe green citrus. The roast in particular here has a nice flavorful smokiness that stands out.

The taste is very similar, with a SMOOTH blend of chocolate, caramel, bitter leafy citric hops and then that same smoky roasted character on the back end which leaves this a bit charred and bitter on the finish. That finish never gets out of hand though, which I think stresses just how balanced and accessible the flavor profile is overall. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some initial crispness on the tongue before this spreads out into more of a bubbly creaminess that gives this a very drinkable feel.

Man, this was a TASTY take on an American Porter with a rich mix of delicious flavor and a smooth feel that had me gulping this much faster than I had anticipated. I’d be down for a glass of this anytime. (1,113 characters)

Photo of jlindros
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Split with rudzud as he mentioned. Bottled in 2012

Pours a dark mocha color fizzy head that hits a finger and fades pretty quickly, little lacing, pitch black color.

Nose is bad, probably infected, sour malt, sour fruit, faint roast and dark malt, little caramel, but mostly like a sour cherry.

Taste starts soured, infection soured, some light porter flavors with light roast and caramel, light acrid, creamy dark porter, light cocoa, but mostly sour cherry and soured malts. Fairly acidic too and tart. Finish the sour flavors at least die off, and its bready biscuit caramel with light roast char and cocoa lingering. The finish mostly gives glimpses into what the beer should have been, without the sourness.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, nice carb at least.

Overall it seems like it would be pretty good of not infected. But undrinkable and pretty bad with the sour infection. (887 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I don't know if this is past its prime, but it seems a little thin. It says it ages well, but at 5.5% I would have to doubt that. Nice character on it. Almost seems English in its interpretation. Fairly smooth feel. Easy drinker. Nice enough. Glad to try something from DC Brau, but will look forward to trying their cans more so than this. (340 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dark brown color where light only shines through the edge. Beige head that leaves a blanket of slippery lace.

Lots of coffee to the nose with absolutely no sugar or cream. Very bitter but no notable hop aroma.

Creamy texture with nearly no carbonation. Strong dark berry flavor behind the powerful mocha Mildly sour swallow. Short bitter dark chocolate aftertaste. (374 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 08/20/11 notes. Had on tap at RFD in Washington, DC. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, light chocolate, light bitter coffee, and toasted notes. Pretty ncie for a porter.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, cream/vanilla. Really nice, and a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a really nice porter and the best beer I've had from DC Brau so far. I'll be really excited if they move onto stouts after this one, and would certainly order it again. Worth checking out. (690 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a cold and still managed to enjoy this beer on draft at the brewery. Nice. Served in a plastic cup (seriously guys, make some glasses, I'll be the first to purchase one - a tulip too).

Beer is dark brown / black with a tan head, nice, one finger, medium and large bubbles, some lacing moderate carbonation.

Aroma is roasty and mildly sweet.

Beer is medium to light in body with a mild sweet leadoff and some roasty notes to the entire thing. The finish is moderately bitter, a mild coffeeness and some darker ashen notes. Interesting, a nice porter. I'd have it again. (577 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for the hookup on this. 12oz can into a standard pint glass. The brew pours black in color with a rich brown froth more than 2 fingers strong that fades leaving a wall of patchy lace.

The aroma is roasted and earthen with suggestions of coffee and slight citrus elements. A trace amount of mineral character is present along with a mild tingle of alcohol. All in all a fine smelling porter.

The flavor is roasted like coffee and bitter cocoa combined. Some earthen elements, minerals and slight citrus hop inclusion brighten things up a bit. A note of fruity alcohol blends into a mild anise and almost a hint of root beer or cola towards the finish. While the later character is strange, it is subtle enough to not distract.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Quite a tight, nearly flawless delivery here of a robust porter. Lots of flavor to enjoy and an abv tame enough that you can throw a few back quite effortlessly. Thank you for this Heath, it was tasty. (1,015 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 woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am becoming jaded in my travels as it now bothers me when I CANnot score singles and am forced into sixers (or more). Such was the case (but not a whole case) for The CANQuest (TM) at Magruder's in DC during my recent visit to my aunt and uncle. I saw a sixer on the shelf and a) knowing their no-breaking-of-sixers policy as well as my own CAN-in-the-hand policy, I pulled the trigger. Shortly thereafter, I was at Connecticut Avenue Liquors and they had several singles in their cooler! Grrr. CAN you say "Trade bait"?

From the CAN: "Limited-Release Robust Porter"; "Serve in a Tulip, Goblet or enjoy from the CAN"; "Please Recycle - Pack In, Pack Out"; "Penn Quarter Facts [:] Penn Quarter is most famous for Ford's Theatre, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, and his coat and hat CAN still be seen to this day."

I have been to Penn Quarter many times, but to Ford's Theatre only once, back when I was a pre-teen, to see a play with my grandmother and uncle. Ford's Theatre now strikes me as too touristy and I just pass it by on my way to the E Street Cinema, where I CAN have a beer from their snack bar to go with my popcorn as I watch films that will never come to the screens of Lancaster, PA. That's my $ .02.

I got a bit of a spritz across my fingertips on the Crack!, but nothing suggested that I should not CANduct an inverted Glug, especially since I had a shaker glass at the ready. They are optimal vessels for deCANting a beer and so I proceeded. The darkness of the foam allowed me to see a pseudo-cascading action as it transitioned from foam to beer. The end result was two dense fingers of deep-tan head with fantastic retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose was at once smoky and chocolaty, reminding me once more of my late-Pops' favorite - a Hershey's Special Dark bar. I eschewed them as a kid, but today, I get it. Bittersweet is much better than outright sweet, The head was slowly falling as I typed, leaving behind some great lacing, so it was time for my first draught. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching, but not quite achieving, creaminess. The taste was much like the nose - smoky and chocolaty, but I felt like something was missing. Do not misunderstand me. This was a fine porter, but knowing that the style takes so well to barrel aging and/or the addition of adjuncts, it felt like a blank slate waiting to be written upon. I have had one of the one-off versions of this before so I know from whence I speak. Finish was dry with a charcoal flavor that kind of lingered well past the swallow. How did that little bird get in here, anyway? Sorry, I CANnot resist. I know precisely which beer I want to review next as a result of this one! Thanks for the inspiration. (2,779 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 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 yourefragile
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On draft at CK.

Dark chocolate color with a quickly dissipating foamy mocha head. Airy, sparse lacing rings the glass. Roast dominated nose, with light cocoa and coffee and faint hops. Flavor is much more dependent on the roast notes and the malt and chocolate are only at trace amounts with a slightly hoppy, dry finish. Mouthfeel is the only real negative, as this is slightly over carbonated with a thinner than appropriate body. Overall, a solid porter, though not as complex as something like Edmund. I enjoyed the Public more than this but will happily enjoy this local again. (583 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Very dark, but transparent at the edges. Nice khaki head. Retains a thick collar and nice surface wisps.

Smell - Very roasty. Almost smokey. Some vanilla. Nice.

Taste - Still very roasty. Bitter chocolate and some smoke. Carbonation takes over and masks a lot of the flavors. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated. Lingering chocolate finish.

Overall - Pretty good and very flavorful for its size. (456 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 corby112
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and opaque with a two finger mocha head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Good retention, taking a while to settle and leaving streaks of soapy lacing on the way down.

Slightly smokey, deeply roasted dark malt aroma that's countered by sweeter, dessert-like lighter malt notes. Robust with hints of liquid smoke, burnt toast, dark chocolate and gourmet coffee bean followed by baker's chocolate, caramel, toffee and fudge. Well balanced aroma with the sweeter notes standing out a bit more as it warms. Smells good but nothing really stands out or elevates it above slightly better than average.

Lighter body than expected with tight carbonation and a nearly acrid, roasted dark malt flavor that lingers over the sweeter notes into a bone dry finish. Strong burnt malt/overly roasted robust coffee grinds along with some charcoal, oatmeal and bitter dark chocolate. Not overwhelmingly dry/overly roasted, however, with prominent sweet malt backbone. These sweeter notes really stand out as it warms with some toffee, caramel, light chocolate and alcohol. Not nearly as complex as the nose suggests and the sweeter, dessert-like notes are severely muted. Decently drinkable but lacks balance and complexity. (1,242 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer pours jet black, with a tall, foamy, dense, dark tan head that slowly settles into a solid surface coating. Aromas of heavily roasted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, hints of smoke, and earthy highlights. Flavors are robust and smooth, with a blast of mocha flavors, a solid chocolate backbone, and some bitter coffee highlights. The chocolate lingers through to the aftertaste, with roasted notes to highlight. The body is smooth and bold throughout, with a slick, smooth, slightly linger finish. Easy drinker and damn flavorful. Good porter. (594 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.6/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My first DC Brau Bottle... Big thanks to Kmccabe33 for a great trade!!... Thanks Korey!!

Poured into my standard slim tulip... good brown head.. little lacing and cap.. the brew is BLACK.

Nose shows dark malt.. hints of chocolate and lesser coffee.... some weird dark fruit phenols with warmth...

Ahhhh... tart... sour cherry... chocolate covered tart cherries... initial signs of infection... Wow.. sorry to be the bad-news guy... but this bottle is probably infected... dark malt is there.. and I already "know" that dark malt can sometime impart some tart properties, but this is too much by a long shot.

Very prickly carbonation... reminds me of the Laughing Dog Dogzilla infection a long time ago...

Things are mild right now... but the bugs are on the run.. I would suspect a mobile bottling line with problems that carried over to this batch. It is only going to get worse.

Don't delete this review... I want to see how things work out.... DC Brau is a good brewery and I expect that this SHOULD be a pretty damn good porter... but right now, find the culprit and take care of business.

3.5/3.5/2/2.5/2.5 (1,119 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From growler to shaker pint glass on 8/21/11
*From notes

A: Rich, blackout brown. A careful pour yields a massive 2.25 finger head. The lacing here is jaw droppingly epic. Literally, you've got gobs of the thick, sticky stuff rimming the glass.

S: Robust, charry black coffee, with a hint of bitter hop oil.

T: Black, pitted cherries up front, that give way to the brew's dark and malty backbone. Hints of cigar tobacco, dark leather, diced garden mint and freshly ground coffee all play a part in this complex yet utterly approachable, low ABV porter.

M: Incredibly rich and voluptuous. It's creamy beyond demand. The weight and carbonation are on point. Textured and inviting.

O: DC Brau's Penn Quarter Porter is one of the top two or three low ABV porters I've ever encountered. I can't say enough good things about this insanely drinkable brew. It's very clear that DC Brau is a brewery to watch, and I feel so lucky to in from the ground up.

Yet another stunner from Brandon & Jeff. (993 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: deep, rich brown hue, which lets no light through. Head is a thick finger of creamy tan foam with OK retention and not much in the way of lace.

Smell: slightly sweet malty aroma with a good chocolate character. It's got a nice roastiness, but not a big astringency, which I like. I'm a fan!

Taste: much roastier than the aroma with a little bit of burnt malt right up front. This subsides into a more balanced, but still quite roasty, porter profile. Bitterness is a little high, with hop character a little bit vegetal. Not bad; definitely robust.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess.

Overall: I find this beer quite drinkable indeed. I wouldn't mind if it were available here on the West coast. (789 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of strong coffee, eye opening. Taste is coffee, some bitterness, a bit smokey, enjoyable flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer, and if you are a fan of coffee, worth a try. (353 characters)

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