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General Washington's Tavern Porter | Yards Brewing Co.

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280 Reviews
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General Washington's Tavern PorterGeneral Washington's Tavern Porter

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by SixpointJMH on 09-30-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 751
Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into the only available non-paper vessel, a ceramic mug.

a: Black with a thick tan head which receded to thin surface foam an dense lacing.

s: Slight dark malt.

t: Mild dark sweetness, hints of coffee and dark chocolate and some smoke. Sweet to dry finish.

m: medium with good body.

o: A tasty and easy drinking porter with a slight muskiness reminiscent of old-time taverns. Or am I just imagining the latter? No, and I like it.

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Photo of Boggdogg
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a merky looking thick black color with a nice tan colored head that fades quickly into a nice ring of lacing.
Smell is sweet to me with some malt tones, coffee and dark chocolate. I can tell just by the smell that this is a complex porter.
Taste is excellent. Extremely balanced between bitter and sweet. It actually tastes even better than it smells.
Has more body than most porters I've tried but maintains a nice smoothness.
Overall excellent. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, and pale yellow in shade. Texture-wise, it's not quite as uber-creamy as some porters. While retention isn't the best, a nice ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I really pick up a nice molasses note, mainly. Smoke, chocolate, and aniseed lie beneath. There are also nice touches of roasted coffee and dark fruit. The (relative) complexity of the nose is catching me off guard, in a good way; but it's a bit on the mild side in terms of intensity.

T: Molasses is the predominant note here, with stewed dark fruits secondary. Some licorice, herbaceous, and grape flavors help finish it off. The roasty/chocolaty notes are sadly muted, but this is otherwise a nice porter that's on the sweet side.

M: Since this one is on the sweeter side, I'm left wishing for a bit more body to help support it. Even with its more slender feel, it's not extremely drinkable. Another problem: it's overcarbonated. Nonetheless, it goes down fairly easily.

O: I cannot tell a lie: this is a fine porter. It's not up there in the elite tier by any means, but it's certainly not gross, either. Personally, I think it's a bit too licorice-y. Oh well, still worth trying.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yards Washington Porter was good....not spectacular. The beer poured an opaque black with white head that left a slight lace. The scent had hints of earth. The taste followed the scent....but I thought I got a bit of anise. The mouthfeel was medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall it was ok.

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Photo of antott0523
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, with a thin light brown head that completely disappeared. No lace.

Nose: Some sweeter malt notes of caramel. Some alcohol on the nose. Earthy notes of mushroom and moss,

Taste: Sweeter malt notes of toasted bread.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with mild carbonation

Overall: A decent porter that is not complex, but has a good flavor. Would not seek out again, but glad I tried, based on how much I liked the Chocolate Love Stout from the same brewery.

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Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, possibly black, no light gets through to be able to tell. It has a moderate tan head that has almost no retention, but leaves a little lacing. The aroma is mild with some dark roast notes and a little hint of alcohol sweetness. The taste is very roast forward with just a hint of earthy hops on the finish. There is a little silkiness to the mouthfeel and a slightly lighter weight to the body. An above-average porter from the first president.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (BO: 01062014 830 13:14 or 1/6/14)

A: This is a dark, dark brown with just a bit of amber and copper around the edges where the light shines through. Just a bit of lacing.

S: Roasted malts, with dark chocolate and cacao nibs. Slightly sweet.

T: Slight roast taste with that bittersweet dark chocolate taste. Also, just a bit of sweetness. You get a bit of that molasses as well. The only downside here might be the aftertaste, depending on whether you like that roasted aftertaste.

M: Very smooth with only a slight hint of carbonation.

O: This is a great porter and a great beer. I like to believe that George Washington would have been drinking something very close to this. I love weird/old stuff like this. I mean DFH's Ancient Ale series got me into beer. This has me very excited to try the other two ales of the Revolution.

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Photo of IronLover
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown in color with good clarity (you'll need a bright light of course). Poured with a short, rich, light beige foam that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Roasted malt and sweet toffee aromas with earthy, herbal hop and dark chocolate notes beneath. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth feel and soft carbonation. Dark roasted and chocolate malt flavors with sweet toffee up front and earthy bitter hops through the middle. Bitterness fades to roasted malts at the end as this finishes crisp and dry. Outstanding.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.93/5  rDev +29.4%
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 -0.8%
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 -0.8%
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 +3.7%
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 -0.5%
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%
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 -5.5%
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 +17.8%
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 +0.8%
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 +14.7%
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 +18.1%
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 +5.8%
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 +11.3%
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 +4.7%
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 +7.3%
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 +4.7%
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 +3.4%
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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General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.