Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Slumbrew Porter Square Porter - Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)

Not Rated.
Slumbrew Porter Square PorterSlumbrew Porter Square Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

86 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 86
Hads: 351
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 13
Gots: 56 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerdepartment on 11-23-2011

Rich black porter with a unique blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted and nutty flavors. Brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate. Bold flavors from the cacao nibs and black malts are balanced with a special blend of pale malts, oats and wheat to produce a lush and lingering mouthfeel.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Slumbrew Porter Square Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 86 | Hads: 351
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Still rains on my parade that Somerville Brewing Company is brewed in Ipswich.

Opaque black even when held to light. Thick dark clay colored head strings up multiple layers of lace. Glass bottom retention.

Smells like mocha. I have sales meetings in the same same building as Taza chocolate and sitting there smelling my morning coffee and Taza chocolate and going over budget smells like this beer. But otherwise mocha.

Bold flavor, worthy of the "robust porter" title. Chocolate and roast malt with a little green coffee bean tinge Just enough hops to push the flavors forward.

My wife and I agree - it's like Founders Breakfast stout light. (650 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to portia99 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice black color, nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy light tan head, which does leave some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate, and toffee/coffee notes. The taste is very nice malty, and lots of dark stuff. Medium body. Overall a very tasty brew, glad to have gotten a chance to try it. (408 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Charles Street Liquors. I actually avoided the mead section long enough to buy some beers. :P

Served cool. Rounded pint glass pour. Cola-colored body. Wavering tan head.

Fuming, wafer-y scent. If I homebrewed, I'd probably point out the exact malt combo after the third try, smugly. Doesn't smell too much like cocoa. More like coffee & carob. And... prunes? The alcohol pokes through too.

Crispy carbonation & a soily feel are the first things I notice. Bittersweet & chalky chocolate. Fruity charred roast.

More like I sweet stout imo. I think this would of been extra tasty with some lactose. Someone Tweet that to them. My Jitterbug phone can't get online. (676 characters)

Photo of KarlosT
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this from a tap at the Amesbury Brewfest on Sept 2012

Dark translucent color

Smells of dark chocalate and coffee

Very nice drinkable beer. For me, not best in class in regards to Porters. A little 1 dimensional in taste, with a slightly sharp mouthfeel.

Personally, I prefer slumbrew's IPA (297 characters)

Photo of acevenom
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/2012.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours dark brown, almost black, whith a three-finger length tan head. Plenty of lacing is left on the side of the glass during consumption. There are aromas of dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and some alcohol. The chocolate aroma is strong. The chocolate is pretty strong in the flavor like it is in the aroma. I get some of those dark roasted malts and coffee. I do taste some of the alcohol. There's a nutty quality to the taste as well. The body is medium and is on the lower end of carbonation, so it feels a lot fuller than a porter usually does. The finish is clean, so it is easy to drink. This is a good beer. (666 characters)

Photo of ludachris
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Boston.

Pours dark even by porter standards with the body looking to be a viscous deep chestnut brown. A finger's worth of light tan/egg shell white head leaves thick legs of lace as it slowly dies down.

Cold coffee, espresso, and dark chocolate immediately come to mind. Rich hazelnut and light roast are thrown in there as well. The overall impression is strange and a bit off putting seeing that I equate it to wet dog. Picking apart the nose is a requirement for this beer, and even then, it still gives off a "damp" character.

A pronounced but not overdone roast is made prominent immediately. Nutty edges with a hazelnut center. Dark chocolate is etched into the finish with a splash of vanilla. This carries rich, dessert-like notes without being cloyingly sweet. I'm a fan.

The feel is my favorite part of this beer, carrying a light creaminess with a clean, lively feel. The weight of the body picks up in the finish.

A sessionable porter that carries with it classic porter characteristics. The nose was a tad off-putting at first but dipping into the taste I'd like a second pint. Thumbs up. (1,120 characters)

Photo of greenmonstah
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a dark brown with a finger of light tan head.

S - Aromas of roasted malt and cocoa, with milk chocolate. Big on the chocolate aroma.

T - Chocolate in big piles. Chocolate pudding and cocoa nibs. Toffee and slightly burnt caramel. Roasted malts and a sliver of pine needle. Chocolate milk.

M - Medium body. Low carbonation is ok. Wet.

O - A fine beer that is entirely chocolate focused. Accomplishes what it sets out to do with great aplomb... That said I wouldn't drink more than a single bottle (12oz) at a time or order more than one pint. Enjoyable but takes some effort to drink because it is so sweet and chocolatey. You would have trouble eating a massive chocolate bar just like it is a tall order to drink a lot of this beer. Very interesting, though. Could be great with some spiciness such as cayenne, and a bunch more roast. (880 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, dark brown with a light brown, fluffy, bubbly head that leaves behind a bit of lace and retention.

S: Heavily roasted malt, molasses, burnt sugar, chocolate, coffee, chicory and a bit of booze. Solid nose.

T: Great body and flavor. Huge roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, smoke, smoked meat, chicory, dark chocolate, slight alcohol. Everything a Stout should have but in a Porter, so it's impressive. Has the body of a Stout, as well. Most Porters I find to have a watery character. This beer has a backbone.

M: Smooth, slightly sweet, tons of flavor, right amount of carbonation. A bit cloying once the beer warms up a bit but that doesn't detract from it's overall deliciousness. Body is spot-on and flavor is top notch for the style.

O: A very well-crafted, flavorful and highly enjoyable American Porter. Great work Slumbrew! (836 characters)

Photo of Maxwell
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Poured into a classic pint glass from a 22 oz. Bomber)

This is a nice big bomber bottle with and industrial-weird feeling to its design. The things on the front look like red tinted satellites or kites or something, but I really can’t quite tell what they are, and the title-heading color choice of industrial gross green is a little slimy for my taste. I do like the fonts used though, both for the brewery name and the beer’s name, and the industrial style does go nice with the companies name (Slumbrew…) which makes for nice company theme with the bottle. Really though, what I want from this bottle is to understand what the things on the front are, but they just don’t deliver. The facebook advertising on the label, while young and hip, also kind of takes away from the bottle’s feel, though the light-window castle adds a nice feel. I suppose I might keep this bottle, but only as a bizarre oddity for the shelves.

The beer pours a midnight chocolate black with a big suntanned and frothy head that hangs onto the glass with big old bubbles and long winding trees of lacing that stretch out in bizarre geometric designs. The beer smells like malty cocoa nibs with almost stale chocolate touch in the main wafting, like semi-sweet baking chocolate. It’s hard to pick anything else up but the chocolate in this smell though. Faint roasted malts perhaps, but the nose of this beer is chocolate through and through. The beer tastes big and chocolaty, with those cacao nibs and cocoa powder being very strong and dominant in the beer. This beer is creamy and smooth on the tongue, with a slightly thick, drinking chocolate texture to it, but the taste is just all chocolate. It almost reminds me of the chocolaty feel you get from a Swiss Miss packet of hot cocoa, just slightly chocolatier. The beer leaves a very clean feeling in the mouth with slim trails of saliva, and a slight tingle from its hidden IBUs. The chocolate, however, over powers everything else, you do get slight ghosts and tingles at the beginning of the sip which suggests the malty beer underneath, but then the chocolate comes freight-training in and you taste no more of that. Overall this is a nice chocolaty porter, but it really isn’t much else. If you are looking for a chocolate tasting beer, this seems like a good place to go, as long as you are not look for too much of a beer flavor to go alongside it. The chocolate is overpowering and very much there, but it kills out some of the cool subtleties that might have been in this beer. It’s a great sipper with some interesting notes in it if you can dig them out, but I really am not seeing much of the heavy flavors that other reviewers are discussing, which I find odd... (2,729 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another beer I found on my Cape Cod vacation and perhaps my least favorite from the haul. The reason for that is that it came off as pretty thin in a lot of the reviewing points.

The nicest thing about this beer is its appearance in the glass. A rich, luscious, tan head rises to almost a full inch and, if you swirl it around a little, it will leave a coating on the sides of the glass. Unfortunately this does not translate into lacing.

Vinous booze dominate the nose with some vanilla and chocolate coming out as the beer warms up. But you have to work to get at the aroma as it's not very strong. You also need to work to drag out the flavors, as they're a bit thin. The vinousness continues on the tongue during the aftertaste, dragging some cocoa along with it. But the dominating element on the tongue is a burnt malt flavor.

The most disappointing thing I found with this beer was the thinness of the body. It bordered on watery and somehow still managed to throw some unwanted ash at you. If I were to guess, I'd say that last was residual from the cocoa. (1,070 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle shared by johnsense from RB, bottled January 2012.

Black with a creamy brown head. A bit of lace and solid retention. Nose is really roasty, dark malts that are almost burnt, some coal/tar also. Really roasty in flavour too, dark bread, bitter dark chocoalte and more coal/tar notes. A bit of caramel and perhaps even a bit of dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel, roasty wayyy into the finish with smooth texture. Kinda reminds me of a dandruff hair product I used to use (odd I know, but it contained coal tar in it) - a fairly good, albeit roasty porter. (564 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown coloured body. Lacey. Roasty aroma. Meets the style with roast, chocolate malt, good malt, some coffee and postum. Some off flavours of mold which could be lactic acid. Reasonable drinkability. Mouthfeel a bit like cereal.Different, though nothing to write home about. Second bottle I tried was much better, fresh from Maine. Was getting much smoother with coffee and acid not prevalent, more chocolate. (417 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown highlights to black in color. Pretty good tan head with moderate foamgae and lacing stickage.

Coffee, cocoa powder, and roasted bread crust and malted barley. Smells like tasty fun and rich pleasure.

Rich, yet dry earthy, chocolate flavor from start to finish. Coffee and pumpernikel bread crust roasted well, make up a bitter, but satisfying finish.

Easy to drink for the 6.5% abv. Full of flavor, just fun to drink and enjoy. (442 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Light cocoa nose and flavor is baked-bitter chocolate. Bottled Jan 2012, $6.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. (300 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was a black color. The head was small and tan, which nevertheless left a fair amount of lace.

Lots of chocolate in the aroma, both cocoa and milk chocolate. Also a good deal of roasted malt.

The taste followed the aroma. Sweet chocolate and coffee. The taste of coffee really lingered. I also got just a hint of toffee.

Medium-bodied, good depth.

Fun beer to drink. (378 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass. There is a nice black color. There is a light tan, creamy head. Good sticky lacing.

The aroma has a nice dose of chocolate. There is some roasty coffee in the nose as well.

The taste balances nice chocolate malt sweetness in the front with a bitter chocolatey roast filled finish. The bitter chocolate flavor is well integrated here. This is porter delivers what it advertises.

This is medium bodied with nice mellow carbonation.

I really like this. It's a little pricey so I won't revisit often, but it is good. (551 characters)

Photo of momobono
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy chocolate porter. Very nicely pairs the cacao nibs with roasted, toasted malt backgrounds. Chocolate is very present in the beginnings of this beer, and it ends dryly after filling your palate with a malt body true to its style. Goes very nicely with some strawberry shortcake, I might add. (295 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler, the beer is a very dark brown coloring that is black in its depths and almost auburn around the edges. Aromas of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and cocoa nib are blended into a smooth nose that refrains from being overpowering. Flavors are roasty and slightly smokey, with a solid blending of the bittersweet and creamy chocolate characteristics making up the majority of the palate. The body is smooth and dry, remaining light bodied despite the robust flavors. A bittersweet, slightly creamy aftertaste transitions into a smooth, dark, slightly roasted finish. Strong flavors on an easily manageable body make this a smooth drinker that can overpower in numbers, but remain sessionable if in low quantity. Good, solid brew. (763 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lumpy, slowly receding head. It leaves ample spider-web like lace on the glass. Dark brown liquid where only the dimmest of light shines through.

Smells like mocha with a serious dollop of cream. In the background is some bittering black patent malt.

Nice complexity of dark, bitter chocolate and burnt toast. The finish is surprisingly mild--it's slightly chalky with coffee and cream kicker. The body is on the light side for a porter.

Overall, this is a solid entry. I always give extra points for multiple flavors in a single tasting. (544 characters)

Photo of dsensale
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle poured into a goblet. It pours nice and dark with a caramel colored head.

Smokey aroma with a hint of chocolate.

This beer is delicious. The chocolate is very noticeable without overtaking the beer. Bonus points for sourcing the chocolate locally from another Somerville company - Taza Chocolate.

This beer quickly became one of my favorite beers, and with year round availability, I'm sure it will be heavy in my rotation of beers. (454 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown pour with a large dense light brown head adorning it. Retention is excellent, fades ever so slowly. Leaves big thick lines of lacing on the glass.

S: Wonderful chocolate aroma. I get both milk chocolate and some bitter baker's chocolate too. Surprising amount of bitter coffee to go with it too. Some caramel mixed in there.

T: Loads of chocolate and coffee up front. Coffee almost overpowers the chocolate, very prevalent. Fades out a bit into some roasted malt and caramel. Just a touch of smoke. Chocolate really comes to the forefront once it's fully warmed.

M: Smooth, creamy and medium bodied.

O: Very nice porter. Not as thin as some, and not as smokey as a lot can be (especially English style porters). Big hits of chocolate and coffee, definitely a must-have for lovers of one or the other. (823 characters)

Photo of gwalson
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slumbrew tends to concentrate on one particular ingredient of their beer. In this case, the "secret" ingredient is Taza Chocolate Nibs, which are used like dry hops; the beer is conditioned over a pile of these pre-chocolate bits of the cocoa bean. The beer is dark, and has the slightly bitter taste of a typical porter. You smell the chocolate essence and taste it almost in the background. This is not a chocolate beer; just a very tasty porter. (448 characters)

Photo of CraftVA
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a deep brown/black color with a finger of tan head. The color has a hint of reddish tones and there is good lacing.
S - The predominant scents that come through are chocolate, malt, caramel, and coffee; did I mention chocolate! It smells like a delicious cold dessert. Very pleasant!
T - This beer has a complex flavor profile with the semi-sweet chocolate and malt coming out in the beginning and a slightly bitter chocolate finish. A lot of flavor comes through from start to finish. You can really taste the coco nibs.
M - Rich and creamy, with a bit of a boozy kick. Just right!
O – Slumbrew has done it again for me! They’ve created a complex and delicious beer that pairs incredibly well with a steak dinner or a chocolate dessert (I know, because that’s what I paired it with). The Taza Chocolate nibs used in the recipe really bring out the chocolate flavor without adding too much sweetness. This is a beer I could drink with dinner every night. Really fantastic!! Well done! (1,010 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a freshness date.

LOOK: A pretty brown, dark yet the light shines on the edges. Good lacing all around.

SMELL: Burnt raisins, bread crust, leather, chicory, cocoa powder, dark berries

TASTE: Sweetness upfront, smooth, creamy, medium body, cooked raisins, cocoa nibs, coffee, molasses, modest hopping, warming alcohol, hop bitterness, roasty, semi-astringent, pulling dryness nearly puckers

Love that they use Taza in this brew but I think the nibs really dig in deep and don't let go. It is a good brew all together but the astringent quality gets the better of it. (592 characters)

Photo of sentomaster
1.78/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer was an awful mess. I was really looking forward to this based on the reviews, but it was terrible. The nose started out ok with a good smattering of English hops, but it really didn't go anywhere from there. No roast and no chocolate. Meh, maybe it tastes better....NOPE. lots more English hops with a thin chalky body leaves a tea like medicinal taste in your mouth.

This turned out to be one of only a few beers I've had to drain pour. I tried to drink it but it just got nastier and nastier. My buddy dumped his glass too. Maybe it was a bad bottle, I can't believe so many reviews could be so far off. (617 characters)

Slumbrew Porter Square Porter from Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
89 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.