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General Washington's Tavern Porter - Yards Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
General Washington's Tavern PorterGeneral Washington's Tavern Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

272 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 272
Hads: 718
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 19.63%
Wants: 32
Gots: 120 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SixpointJMH on 09-30-2003

Detailed in a letter from the General to his officers during the war, Washington’s recipe employed molasses to aid fermentation and give rich caramel notes to this robust, roasty ale. The recipe reflected his admiration for Philadelphia-style porters, especially those brewed by Robert Hare (whose original brewery stood just blocks from where ours is now). Our Tavern Porter, inspired by Washington’s, is dark, smooth, and complex with just a hint of dried fruit in the finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 272 | Hads: 718
Photo of Uniobrew31
4.93/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Porter is one of my favorite style's. This one is a standout. Perfect porter profile, sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Subtle hop profile. Nice head and great finish TRY THIS BEER!!!! Its a great…nay the best porter in PA. I would put this up against founders and great lakes for the best representation of the style. I am glad I bought this case. I will be savoring it this winter!

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color (black when viewed from afar) and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of sweet and smoked malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts along with nutty and chocolate malts and notes of smoke towards the finish. A light amount of sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely easy to drink and has an interesting mix of aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Nate139
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, very dark brown around edges. Tan brown head that dissipated quickly

S - Malty chocolate, subtle coffee notes

T - Strong chocolate and coffee, faint dark fruity (almost cherry like) taste at the end

M - Very smooth, medium bodied

O - Pretty good beer all around

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Photo of fourstringer
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith pint glass. Moderately aggressive hand. Didn't see any date on the label or bottle. Apparently this is ol' GW's original recipe. Would it taste better in a powdered wig and wooden teeth?

A: Very dark amber that appears mostly black from afar. 1 finger of light beige head with ok retention. Light lacing.

S: Roasted malt with dark chocolate notes. Lighter coffee. Slight presence of piney hop. Faint molasses. Honey. Smoke.

T: Roasted and rather smoky malt with a pleasant nuttiness. Gradual transition to a moderate hop bitterness. Dry finish. No alcohol of note. A little tang on the back end.

M: Moderate carbonation with a moderate body. A bit more fullness wouldn't hurt, but feels smooth.

O: I enjoyed this. Well balanced with good scents and flavors. Texturally, kind of thin on the palate, but very drinkable.


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Photo of jjboesen
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is part of their "Ales of the Revolution." It is a robust porter based on George Washington's own recipe - apparently, our first president liked to tipple as he also had his own distillery. The spongy vanilla head head immedialty dissipates ( a metaphor for removing the crown from our shores?) to leave sketchy lacing olong the glassrim. The body is a dark ruby color that is impervious to light. There are pleasant notes of cocoa nubs, molasses and malt. The palate is tickled with semi-sweet chocolate whisps, while the mouthfeel is balanced enough to belie a 7% abv.

A delicious beer, by George; is it no wonder we all carry pictures of him in our wallets.

Note: This beer was tasted at the Yards' Brewing Tasting Room on January 18, 2014.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown. Sudsy beige cap. Looks like a porter.

Sharp earthy bitterness and staled floral hops. Malty roast is roasty, but flatlining. Not the malts, nor the hops want to take over... and that's called balance, folks!

Flavors open up with a rich smoky malt backbone, all-of-a-sudden robust roast, meaty char, dark chocolate, bitter French roast coffee, earthy hops, hints of spearmint, and English malt toffee. Utterly ridiculous how good this tastes after the dud of an aroma.

Nice rolling carbonation on the tongue. Body full of wealth and richness. Feels great.

Kickass beer! Why was is so hard for them to evidence the goodness in the aroma? A fault is a fault, but it's still a 4.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 8/21/2013, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 12/26/2013. So 4 months of age. Part of my recent drive to try a bunch of porters..

Pours a light cola brown colour, with a 1 finger length of tan head that dissipates quickly into a thin collar. Not much lacing, just spots of it. All in all, a decent porter that doesn't look awful thick.

Smells very good- molasses jump out, plus some chocolate, bits of coffee and some roast malts. Its actually smelling sweeter than a typical porter. I'm enjoying the smell of this porter.

However, this doesn't come together quite that well. Lots of molasses, toffee and butterscotch in this. Some roast malts in the background, hints of coffee and chocolate. But this is a very sweet porter. It's not what I'm used to, but if this is a historical recipe, well this is more like a dark barleywine that isn't quite a barleywine.

Thin bodied, OK carbonation. Quite watery on the palate, a decent earthy-mineral bitterness on the backend.

Its interesting and different than most of the American porters I've had recently- perhaps its a reflection of the English porter style. Its not as roasty or chocolatey as it is straight up sweet with molasses and toffee. It has a little more in common with barleywines than it does stouts, indeed. I won't try this one again, but it was definitely an interesting change of pace for porters.

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Photo of Otto_Maddox
4.49/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not a huge porter fan, but this beer just delivers. The history of porter fascinates me, especially when it comes to the colonies. So it is no surprise that Yards has nailed it as far as provenance is concerned. They did their research and putting all packaging aside, I'm willing to bet that the taste of this porter isn't too distant from what was being proffered in Philadelphia pubs during the revolution. How that taste was made is a different story.

Great beer and happy to have had it.

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Photo of jifigz
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer is a deep, dark brown that, when held up to the lamp in this dark room, is evident that it is not black. The head was a fluffy mocha brown that lingers for quite a while once it dissipates quite a bit and shrinks down to about a 1/4 of an inch and then just refuses to leave. The aroma is slightly coffee and chocolate like with cola notes in it as well. The initial flavor is light which gives way to a healthy mixture of toasted grain flavor and a very sweet, candy like chocolate flavor. The coat-tails of this one is a decent punch of bitterness that balances the other flavors nicely. The MF is a rather fitting medium bodied brew. It doesn't finish overly dry and retains plenty of residual sugar.

This ale drank better than all of the others of this beer I drank out of this case (this is my last one.) I'm sure that it is because I'm actually thinking about it and not hitting several up with friends and catching a buzz, but this isn't too bad of a porter at all. A pretty respectable beer from Yard's (who I am not USUALLY overly impressed with.)

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled August 2013 from bottles in pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, thick tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: Strong coffee aromas, with some toasted/burnt hints.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt and hops. Dominated by toasted malts, but with some coffee and chocolate taste as well.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but smooth.

Overall: Great porter, very close to a stout. Best if you enjoy a combination both strong hops and malts. One of my favorite porters.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this beer already? I've been drinking this for years now...

Poured into a chalice glass, color is dark brown to black, opaque; head is tan and huge! laces very well and lingers very well.

Smell is roast, light sweetness, light coffee and cacao, touch of grassy hops. Pleasant and not off in any way.

Taste is a step up from the scent, stronger notes of roast, coffee and light chocolate malts - nothing overpowering or overdone, but suitable to the concept that this is what GW was drinking. Solid bitterness to back up the flavors, maybe some earthy notes.

Mouthfeel is very solid, slightly strong on tongue but expected for the type of brew, solid carbonation.

Overall, this is a great beer, to style and unique at the same time. Porters are always under-appreciated. Even better brew on cask or at the brewery.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

English style porter poured from 12oz bottle into standard pint glass. No bottled date that I could find.

Looks pretty nice, black body, 1" creamy colored slightly frothy head. Head dissipated to 1/ inch covering but lasted throughout. Not much lacing.

Smell was pretty enticing. Roasted, but not heavily so, malt, with hints of chocolate.

Taste - Hey, this stuff is good! Very soothing delicious malt flavor, none of the harsh bitting you get with some porters, just a little tingling around the edge of the tongue. The flavor doesn't linger for a long time on the tongue either. Some might think of this as a weakness, but I found it very pleasant. Goes down smoothly, a good session beer if you can handle the 7.0abv. Can see downing these pretty quickly.

Mouth was mild, some might say thin, but I found it to be most pleasing.

Overall, a very nice mild English porter. Apparently Washington had this brewed for his troops. Hope they were as pleased with it as I was. (Even though I'm british :)

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: pours a pitch black color with a three fingers of an oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved into a finger of head that covered the entire top of the beer in luscious foam.

Aroma: Lots and lots of roasted malt and coffee beans, dancing with some faint dark chocolate aromas. Also present, but in more slight amounts are vanilla and caramel. Beautiful!

Taste: Very malty up front with some nice dark bread flavors. This is a serious malt bomb which is perfect for a malt fiend like me. The beer is very roasty too, with some nice sweetness in the middle, of caramel or molasses, before being replaced with more roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel: very, very creamy and smooth, like roasted chocolate milk. Very silky and luxurious on the palate. The beer clocks in at 7% ABV, which results in a slight alcohol presence on the palate.

Overall: Damn this is a great beer! One of the better porters I’ve had in fact. According to Yards, this beer was created using George Washington’s own recipe. If that’s accurate, our (I’m American) first President made a damn great beer! I’m continuing to be impressed with the Yards Brewing Company. I'd love to see what the bourbon barrel-aged version of this beer is like!

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Photo of lsummers
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich black with a frothy off white head. Looks delicious.

Smells reminds me of some dark fruit notes like that of a Belgian dark ale. Roasted oats and some subtle sweet toffee.

Taste is well balanced. I again get some dark fruit notes in the taste that was apparent in the smell. Very nice molasses and burnt sugar notes. Slight coffee light character on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy and mildly carbonated. Feels rich but still drinkable. Not too heavy.

Overall, this was a nice porter that definitely has some qualities of that of a belgian dark ale. This one stands out, and I'll definitely try this one again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yards Ales of the Revolution variety pack. Twelve ouncer into pint glass.

Pours black with light foam. Clear on top. Light coffee nose. Malty. Chocolate layers. Smooth classic porter taste. Subdued bitter where chocolate/coffee pokes through. Very smooth. Really good porter.

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Photo of Durge
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep, thick black appearance with a decent tan head that settles a bit but holds on for a healthy trail of lacing. The aroma offers relatively mild malt with nuances of charcoal, coffee and grass hops, but relatively polite overall. The flavor jumps in with smooth cocoa-coffee and maybe a touch of diluted licorice. Impressively gentle on the palate yet offering a pleasant grassy hop edge that blends tastefully. I don't think it's too much more complex than that, but this is very solid and highly drinkable. It's medium bodied with a satiny, smooth feel including delicate carbonation. Very much recommended, an any time porter!

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Photo of Omnium
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours brownish black, huge fluffy sand colored head, with a wall of lacing.
S - Toasted grains, caramel, chocolates, bread and biscuit malt and some earthy herbal hop undertones.
T - On par with aroma, nice hint of smokey roasted coffee beans, some malt sweetness, a little honey, and a decent bitterness from the dark earthy hops in here, some pine and spruce notes as well.
M - Good full feeling porter, resonates well with your taste buds, but doesnt overwhelm you like some porters.
O - Decently complex but traditional and full feeling, good porter, would like to have on tap for sure.

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a very dark brown where if you look at the base of the pint in my picture it is actually quite clear with a tan one finger head that remains as a full ring and center cap on top of the beer and leaves a very nice wet lacing pattern on the glass.

The aroma is of molasses, caramel malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, a hint of bread and sweet dark fruit with not much in the way of hops, maybe something piney, but so distant that I can't make it out.

The taste is a very similar profile as it's nose. In fact, just reread what I wrote above and add in a mild bitter finish that balances the beer almost perfectly if not perfect (to keep it from being overly sweet) and leaves you slightly dry and in complete anticipation of the next sip! A slight peppery tastes lingers as well and there is no hint of the high 7% ABV content of this beer.

Mouthfeel is definitely creamy, smooth, slightly sweet and very full in body. The carbonation is just under moderate and refreshing. Mildly dry finish.

Overall, I would like to say that this beer is world class. I think that some may argue with that assessment on the grounds that it may be too sweet with too much molasses or somehow doesn't completely fit with the grain bill. But it seems to me that this is a pretty broad category in beers and allows for such differences. I'm going out on a limb here and calling this 5 out of 5. It's so very complex, sweet yet dry, balanced with the only hint of the ABV being the warming feeling in my stomach. World Class!

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Photo of Segelstrom
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - poured to a slight head that was not retained. almost to a color of stout.

S - very close to a stout w/ dark notes of chocolate.

T - very flavorful. better then most porters but then it tasted closer to a stout (a good thing)

M - carbonation just about right

O - worth revisiting this.

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Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tan head. Black in color.

Flavors of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Big malt profile. Has a creamy lactose characteristic as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

A nice porter that was easy to drink. Nothing out of the ordinary but solid.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from growler into a pint glass

Appearance- Pours a deep brown color with a bit of ruby red shinning through the brew. Upon pouring there is a one half finger cream colored head. The smallish, but thick head fades over about a 4 min time span to leave a great level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The smell is heaviest of roasted malt and some coffee. With these more roasted aromas there are aromas of sweetness. The sweet is largely of toffee as well as some hints of molasses and prune. Other aromas of a light nut and some cocoa are there as well, rounding out the aroma rather nicely.

Taste – The flavor begins with a strong roasted malt flavor and some smoother caramel sweetened coffee. Some light vanilla and a molasses come to the tongue shortly after the initial taste. As the taste advances further the coffee begins getting more bitter in nature. Along with this bittering comes some flavors of a nutty nature as well as some British earthy hop flavors. At the end of the taste a brown sugar and a bit of a warming alcohol taste join the coffee, roasted and now stronger earthy flavors of the brew to leave a complex, moderately sweet, and bitter roasted flavor that leaves a very satisfying mark on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly lower than average side for a porter of 7% abv with a carbonation level that is a bit on the lower side. The lower carbonation is fantastic for the roasted and slightly bitter flavors of the brew, although a slightly thicker body may have helped these flavors along a bit more.

Overall – Quite a delicious brew. The flavor has lots of transitions with all of them being relatively smooth and un-abrupt. Other then the somewhat weak creaminess/body, it was quite a nice brew.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into taster

Dark nutty brown color with a thin layer of tan head bubbling on top. Fades into a slick of filmy retention with a couple spots of lacing on the glass while tasting.

Roasted grainy dark malts with nuttiness and a some hints of dark chocolate. Bready with caramel sweetness.

Malty and roasty up front on the tongue with some dark chocolate and cocoa. Lightly sweet, nutty and a touch warm. Decent balance with some soft warmth, bread crust and toasted grain.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, creamy and smooth on the tongue. This is one of the better Yards offerings with a nice feel and more pronounced flavor than some of their other brews. I'd be curious to see how the barrel-aged version matches up.

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Photo of cbutova
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Last of my Yards to review until I go back to Philly.

A- Bottle poured into a pint glass with a body that is about as close to black as you can get, just a few hints of brown around the edges. A foamy, creamy head forms to about two fingers in size and has good retention. Thick piles of lace form around the glass.

S- Roasted barley and nutty malts come to mind first. Not the most heavily roast porter but at a medium level with some cocoa hints. Smooth caramel, dark fruit and toffee as well.

T- A nice complex malt profile, somewhere between a Brown Ale and a Stout, which is what I tend to look for in good porters. The grains lend notes of roast barley, cocoa, caramel, toffee, toast and some sweets. A good amount of dark fruity, mineral and raisin flavor in here too.

MF- Lighter end body which I find with a lot of English style darker beers. Has a somewhat oily and creamy feel with moderate carbonation. Not much bitterness, hops in the background of the beer entirely.

Solid Porter with an English feel in the malts and yeast. You can taste the influence of Great Britain on this early American recipe, luckily we threw them out and now brew our own styles of beer.

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Photo of thlayli87
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with two finger cream-colored head. Good thick lacing.

S - Grassy and herbal notes, grainy toasted malt.

T - The flavor is much maltier than the nose. Good balance of sweetness and maltiness. Bitter coffee-like finish.

M - Creamy and thick with slight chalkiness.

O - Pleasantly surprised with this one, as I have been underwhelmed with virtually everything I've had from Yards. But this is pretty good.

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Photo of socon67
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark black pour with a white foam that settles quickly to a trhin line. Clumps of lacing on the glass.

S - Scent of dark chocolate and a slight hint of smoke in the smell. Latent roasted malt notes.

T - Sweet falvors of sugary chocolate and some notes of toffee. Finish has a nice malty flavor and some refined smoky feel.

M - Feels lighter than its ABV; almost a tad thin. Minor carbonation and a slick feel on the taste buds.

O - I like many of Yards offerings and htis is another goodie. a mild porter for those who like the dark malt flavors without a heavy bodied beer. Pretty enjoyable.

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General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.