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Penn Quarter Porter - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Penn Quarter PorterPenn Quarter Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

103 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 517
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 53 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 103 | Hads: 517
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of Windigo
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of Phelps
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

Pours thick and dark -- black coffee in color with the consistency of creamer. The head is a dense khaki foam that recedes very slowly.

Beautiful aroma. Graham cracker, toast, earthy hops, tangy bittersweet cocoa. A splash of coffee grounds, malted milk, custard.

More bitter in the flavor. A light dusting of coffee grounds over dark chocolate truffles. Earthy hops. Dusty chocolate crumbles blow through the mouth after the swallow. A splash of heavy cream adds balance and tons of body -- rich, big but not heavy, creamy yet airy like whipped cream.

A pretty incredible porter here. Great roasty flavor, superb balance, nice creaminess. As the brewery says, it toes the line between porter and stout.

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Photo of corby112
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this robust beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was truly black. The beer poured a dark head very rich looking. The beer smelled nice and fresh. Yummy. Fresh cofee that is. The beer was a little sweet but not too bad. I liked the beer very much and would buy it again.

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Photo of KornWallace
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Date: 4/23/14
Location: Total Wine Norwalk
Glassware: Tulip

Appearance: The appearance is black with browned carbonation. There is both an opaque ring and some carbonation. The beer has minimal cling and resets quickly. Pours with little head.
Aromatics: Strong bitter and sweet chocolates and roasted coffee beans introduce themselves immediately when smelling this beer. Marshmallows, fudge, toffee also play a nice part in the aroma.
Flavor: The beer clearly falls in the Porter category for me as stronger flavors of bitter coffee, chocolate, a little bit of ash remind me of a nice pub. Not as sweet as I was expecting from aroma but the beer has good flavoring.
Mouthfeel: The body is medium to light with a little bit of chew due to chocolate and malt. The middle is watery and cleansing but the beer finishes ashy and bitter.

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Photo of 57md
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges. There was a full finger of fluffy beige head that dissipated rather steadily. The nose was roasty but there was also an acidic note. This offering is full-bodied and the flavor is bold. The finish is nothing but dry roasted bitter goodness. This is an excellent example of a standard porter.

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Photo of JayQue
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good and surprisingly robust for a 5% abv stout. Pours a dense dark brown color with absolutely no light coming through. Big frothy light brown head with good retention and thick lacing.

Smell is roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Fairly pronounced.

Flavor is strong. A good malty beer with the bitterness coming from the chocolate. A little coffee flavor as well.

The look, aroma and taste rival some Double Stouts. The mouthfeel is a bit of a disappointment, not because the beer is thin or watery, just that it is more like what it should be, rather than super rich like a 10% abv Double Stout.

This beer is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Omnium
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can > Pint Glass

A - Ruby dark brown with one finger of tan head with spotty lacing
S - Lots of roasted malt and nut aroma, chocolate notes as well.
T - Awesome flavor, big roasted malt, some coffee, lots of nutty flavor, almost a roasted peanut quality, big dark chocolates.
M - Creamy silky smooth texture, rich but not overly so.
O - Really good porter, solid stuff goin on here, if you love your porters roasty, this is the one for you. One of the most pronounced roasted flavors I've ever come across.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Full bodied porter with a lot more carb than I've seen on a porter. Deep rich chocolate color and a big cocoa head. Not a lot on the nose with some roast. Big roast character in the body. A little one note, but certainly a flavorful porter at a very drinkable ABV. A nice offering.

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can. Pours a brownish black with an inch of brown head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate and earth. The taste is more of those roasty malts followed by some coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Hints of smoke. Roasted malts and earth at the finish with some more bitter dark chocolate. Velvety, slick mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Overall, this is a solid Porter I'll be buying again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of CDAtkinson
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown, light brown head, about one finger.
Smell: Dark cherry, woody
Taste: woody, cherry, bitter chocolate
Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, but not syrupy
Overall: Great winter beer. This is a porter I'll return to, preferably with a peppercorn steak.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

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

Dark roast coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and caramel.

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

Full bodied, creamy, silky and smooth.

A flavorful, easy drinking Porter that's quite sessionable at only 5.5%.

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Photo of jhawth
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from can into a tulip. Pours a beautiful thick black with a chewy-looking, light tan two finger head. Decent retention, nice lacing.

Aroma: Mild chocolate notes, coffee grounds, roast malt notes.

Taste: Roast malt is more prevalent, followed by smooth and subtle chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth, light carbonation. Excellent.

Overall: Very nice, easy drinking porter. Not amazingly complex, but nicely balanced and well-executed.

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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.

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Photo of Durge
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thick black brown in color with a sturdy chocolatey tan head that leaves an impressive cascading lace behind. The aroma brings a definite milk chocolate with a hint of orange citrus wheat. Very nice but not too strong. The flavor follows with more bitter coffee blended with the chocolate. There's arguably some lemon edges and touches of malt sweetness. It's very tasty and leaves clear ashy charcoal at the finish. The feel is velvety with some chalky sensation and although it is a medium bodied brew it has a slightly aqueous quality as well. Overall this an easy drinking and very likable porter.

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-dark chocolate, dark malt, coffee, burnt sugar

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, mild bitterness in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-tasty and enjoyable porter, this one surprised me

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Photo of delta490
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a really deep dark brown. About one finger of fizzy mocha head that hangs out a while a leave nice lacing.

S- roast malt dominates and a little alcohol lives in the background

T- big roast malt flavor. A little but of coffee and some hop bitterness

M- a bit thin and fizzy. Not bad but not the best.

O- a solid but not outstanding porter. Would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer ours a dark tan head that is not very vigorous and appears to diminish very quickly. The beer itself is a dark black with hints of dark brown and obscure.

The beer smells different from other porters and resembles how a root beer smells like. Dark chocoalte with hints of roasted malts and coffee dominate the smell. The dark chocolate definitely dominates the smell with very little if any hop smell.

The taste is not as rich as the smell. The coffee notes come out very strong and dominate the malts as well as the dark chocolate. The hop taste at the end is fairly bitter.

Biting carbonation and a bit thin for a porter. The finish is fairly dry but not surprising given the use of coffee.

A decent porter and one that I might get again in the future.

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Photo of hagbergl
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance (4/5): A tightly bubbled head of two fingers sits atop a jet black body. Good retention. I particularly like the dark tan color of the head. Just an outstanding looking porter.

Smell (4.25/5): Roasted malt, dark chocolate and black coffee notes really dominate. This is quite a rich and intense-smelling porter, especially one that is fairly low in ABV. Perhaps the richest one I've ever smelled. I'm impressed, for sure.

Taste (4/5): Wow! Dark chocolate and light espresso flavors dominate. The roasted note doesn't stand out quite as much in the taste. Nice and rich and robust. A hoppier porter than most–the hop bite comes on late. You get a nice herbal/piney hit of moderate bitterness at the very end that combines really well with the roasted malts and bitter coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel (3.5/5): The mouthfeel unfortunately does not quite live up to the higher standards set by the aroma and flavor. It has a nice dry and roasty finish, but the body on the beer is thin. I would have liked a creamier feel than I'm getting here. I understand that it's a Robust Porter and not an Imperial Porter or Stout, so I cannot dock too many points. But placed side by side with Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald, it's clear that the mouthfeel could be better.

Overall (4/5): DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter is a solid beer and a good example of the American Porter style. It features intense chocolate and black coffee notes in the aroma and taste and a more aggressive hop profile than most Porters I've had. The only drawback here is the mouthfeel, which I thought was too thin, unfortunately. Still, it's a good beer worth a try.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
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!

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Photo of cleve00
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
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!

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Penn Quarter Porter from DC Brau Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.