Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

275 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 275
Hads: 730
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 19.63%
Wants: 32
Gots: 126 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 275 | Hads: 730
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.

 1,182 characters

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.

 422 characters

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.

 600 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: 17 January 2013...Glassware: Yuengling pint...Occasion: The Blind Side on NetFlix--probably the last football fan to see this film (call it a Ravens aversion)...Appearance: dark burgundy body and a thick brown head; fits the bill for a porter, and an old-school one at that...Aroma: fragrant, lactic scent with a hint of peat that is indicative of a deeper flavor--rum and spices (nutmeg?)...Taste: malty, pleasant, smooth and lightly smoked--easily a win when considering the weighty 7% abv this beer's pushing...Palate: thick, creamy, full-bodied porter--much creamier than expected...Overall: Nice to know that goodbeer doesn't change much in terms of its recipes; this is my favorite of the the Ales of the Revolution sampler--and that is a Hancock-sized compliment! This takes its place among the Yuengling, Samuel Smith and Victory's offerings...

 858 characters

Photo of DeidreD
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a glass, served at about 50-55F.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful deep chocolate brown through which light barely passes. A short (1/4") light tan head formed but disappated quickly.

Smell - The first smell is brown sugar and molasses. A second whiff shows off the dryer features of the malt.

Taste - Like the smell, the first taste is also brown sugar. The molasses notes linger on the tongue, sweet without being cloying. It finishes with a roasty dryness that is pleasant but does not linger or become bitter.

Mouthfeel - Relatively light in texture, but significant enough to suit a porter.

Overall - I liked this beer a great deal more than I thought I would. I read "brewed with molasses" on the label, I knew I might be picking up a bottle that was way too sweet for my taste. General Washington's Tavern Porter is a nicely balanced example of the stylearhat is fairly easy to drink and I would definitely buy it again.

 948 characters

Photo of ranger60
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at Isaac Newton's in Newtown, PA.
Appearance was nice and dark the way I like it.
Smell was generally typical porter, but I picked up something pungent.
Very good taste, good overall flavors, a little coffee notes coming through.
Mouthfeel good, nice and smooth.
Overall, a very drinkable porter, not heavy at all.

 329 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is dark brown with a small (half-finger) tan head that leaves behind some modest splotchy lacing.

S: Roasted barley malt and generic sweetness - perhaps from the molasses that was used in the recipe.

T: Somewhat roasty malts with dark fruits - some prunes and raisins. Slightly vinuous. Molasses evident, bringing sweetness. I prefer my porters to be more roasty than sweet, so this one won't get a higher score than 3.5 from me. . . .

M: About medium in heft, the carbonation is pretty active but not sharp or intrusive.

O: My brother brought a case of these from PA for Christmas. A couple weeks later and there are only a few left - and I don't think I've shared any more than a bottle or two. So yeah, I've been enjoying this as a pretty easy-drinking porter that packs a decent punch at 7% ABV.

 855 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Clear dark red-brown with one-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Pretty good lacing.

S: Roasted chocolate and dark fruit.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Subtle notes of chocolate and dark fruit and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation.

O: I prefer other English porters like Fullers and Samuel Smith's Taddy. This one wasn't bad though.

 443 characters

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark, almost black, brown with a half-a-fingernail off brown head. Leaves a solid ring of lacing as the beer is consumed.

S: Roasted malt with a hint of coco and coffee bean.

T: Sweet roasted malt meets bitter coco and espresso bean with a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium (though light) and creamy with a dryer finish.

O: While the body could have a bit more heft, this is a very good porter. The aroma is decent, but the beer shines in its flavor. It almost seems too sweet at first sip, but the bitter finish balances the beer nicely.

 578 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma here is predominately of roasted malts, with a touch of cocoa and sweetness. Definitely predominately roasted, however.

Taste follows the nose quite well...pretty big roasted notes fill the body of the beer in a rich way...there are dark chocolate notes as well alongside the roasted malts...with a hint of sweetness there as well.

Pretty good porter...robust but not too roasted or bold. Solid offering.

 413 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- Black with a three finger tan head head.

S- Nutty, roasted malts, cocoa, some coffee, touch of dark fruits.

T- Roasted nuts, coffee, roasted malts, some cocoa, touch of fruits.

M- Light to medium body, somewhat creamy.

O- This a great porter and the best beer I have tried Yards. Nice complexity. Would love try this on cask. Definitely will pick this up again!

 407 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark color with a huge rocky white head, looks appealing.

Aromas are light, some cream, cocoa, and roasted nuts.

Taste is full flavored, nutty, with notes of cream, cocoa, and coffee. Finish is earthy, crisp and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is nice, plenty of body, smooth, with nice carbonation.

Overall, a solid porter, well worth trying,

 355 characters

Photo of KajII
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Nonic Pint glass]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a slight ruby hue and a large (2-3 finger) tan frothy head that possessed awesome retention, finally reducing to a thick cap which produced excellent streaky lacing.

The aroma was bold and roasty with some dark bread malts and a pungent leathery yeast with notes of dark chocolate, molasses and dark roasted coffee.

The taste was a malty, roasty and bitter-sweet with a big molasses note early on, then progressed into a much bitterer taste with a large dose of roasted coffee and a creamy chocolate presence towards the finish. The flavor lasted an extremely long time proceeding the swallow with a rich creamy bitter-sweet taste left to linger on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a solid medium in body with an extremely creamy texture and a moderate carbonation.

Overall a very tasty straight forward Porter, with a ton of creamy roasty flavor...


 967 characters

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: A thin caramel colored head with a rich, dark chocolate body. This is how a porter is supposed to look.

S: Strong aroma of coffee grounds. Heavy chocolate notes with very toasty malts. Through all that, you can still smell the alcohol. This should be fun.

T: Very nice classic porter. Bold toasted malt flavor hits up front. Semi-sweet chocolate with a bit of coffee. Nice little bite on the finish.

MF: Surprisingly crisp. Solid body, but lighter than you'd think. Lingers a bit on the back. Medium carbonation with just enough body.

D: Excellent, given the strength. No wonder we won the Revolution. If you’re ever in a war and one side’s drinking this while the other is drinking tea, bet on the side fueled by this beer every time. Big flavor, but surprisingly light body makes for solid drinkability. Much lighter than the flavor would suggest. Overall, very nice composition. I love it when a “novelty beer” delivers above and beyond expectations.

 1,002 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany in the tall glass. An attractive head on the beer. More of a highly roasted brew than the burnt black of many Porters. Aroma of dark caramel with a hint of licorice in the nose.

A little of the sweet malt greets the lips, followed by a lot of dark malt and a dry finish. The hops give a pleasant bitterness to the aftertaste. Fairly rich mouthfeel and full of flavor. Some dark fruits, a touch of prune and blackberry along with the lightly charred barley. Rather grainy in a pleasing way.

This whole series of "Ales of the Revolution" are far from gimmicky, and the three I've tasted are each excellent in their own way. From the 12 oz bottle bought at Food and Friends.

 687 characters

Photo of Ryanm1
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 3rd of the Three of my reviews of the 'Ales of the Revolution'.

Although this is in that pack it tastes nothing like the other two. This is dark and a bit heavier although maintianing the median ABV of the group. Nothing is transparent when poured into a glass and the foam is white. My least favorite of the 3 AOR but can be found on draught at the City Tavern.

 367 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interestingly this is one of the few beers I much preferred from the bottle than from the tap, and I’ve had it on draft at the brewery more than a few times. Not sure why that should be but the bottle opened my eyes a bit after feeling a little disappointed in the tap version after each sampling.

Pours like a good porter should; rich black color, a decent-sized off-white head with good retention and lace. Roasted malt aroma with subtle coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes. Mild floral hoppiness buried somewhere underneath it all.

The flavor pretty much follows the nose, with perhaps a deeper chocolate malt and molasses taste and overall sweetness than the aroma lets on. Good bitterness and char aspects as well, some coming from the hops and more from the roasted malt flavor. Very balanced and tasty. Semi-dry finish.

Medium bodied and carbonated with surprisingly, a smoother, creamier feel than I recall the tap having. I’m not a fan of overly carbonated, prickly porters and this one was smooth and soft enough in the mouth to be very pleasing.

 1,067 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown/bl ack body with Coca- Cola highlights. Four fingers of bubbly light tan foam. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is lightly roasted coffee with a good shot of milk in it (the coffee that is).

Taste follows the nose. Big coffee, cut with milk, and an undercurrent of chocolate. Earthy hops. Good balance.

Medium-plus mouthfeel. Smooth, a little slick.

A tasty solid porter. Another impressive item for Washington's resume.

 424 characters

Photo of Neorebel
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle states that it's color is a deep garnet... and I find that I rather agree! You can see the light coming through towards the bottom of the glass... a beautiful color, and it has a mountainous, pillowy head that sticks around for quite a while, never fully receding. Aroma - Roasted malt, toffee, vanilla cream, milk chocolate, and perhaps the faintest bit of hops. In the flavor I am picking up coffee, molasses, and definitely some hop bitterness in there. The beer coats the mouth very well and tingles as it goes down. The ABV is imperceptible, however. Overall I would recommend this. The bitterness to the finish adds a ruggedness to the character of what would have been an average porter.

 705 characters

Photo of mooseo
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Dark black with a thin tan head.

S - Potent aroma of coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, and a touch of dark fruit.

T - Roasted malt and sweet molasses up front, followed by notes of coffee, dark fruit, and earthy hops. The hop profile is stronger than the nose suggests. Finishes with bitter chocolate and burnt malt.

M - Medium bodied and creamy with low carbonation.

O - Nice complexity and balance to this porter. The alcohol is hidden well. Overall, an excellent sipping beer that only gets better as it warms.

 548 characters

Photo of tone77
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts, molasses, some notes of coffee, a touch of alcohol. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a pretty good beer.

 254 characters

Photo of jwhancher
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a variety case of Yards' Ales of the Revolution. Have had this one before, but it's been a few years and I wanted to try this lineup once again. Poured this into a snifter glass.

A: Pours what seems like a solid black. Once held up to the light, it appears somewhat like a muddy dark brown. Has a nice decent quarter inch off-white head. Label art on the bottle is great.

S: Smells of molasses with a bit of some spicy hop character. The molasses lends a sweet syrup character. Also, some roast malt & perhaps some black malt. Smells a tad bit solventy from perceived alcohol.

T: Tastes dry with noticeable molasses notes. Has some faint roast & black malt notes as picked up in the nose. Perhaps the faintest of chocolate or crystal malts in the background. The dark malts lend themselves to the perception of some dark fruit: fig, dark cherry, and maybe plum.

M: Feels medium to medium full. Dry and somewhat bitter. Carbonation seems fine.

O: I really appreciate what Yards has done with this brew. It takes me back in time and makes me wonder what the founding fathers must have drank. I think Yards executed this one flawlessly and it's a fine interpretation. Being in Philly, I also can't help the fact that I can find this one real fresh.

 1,257 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoy porters. My favorite is Ballast Point's Victory at Sea. That is an amazing beer.

I poured Yard's Tavern Porter into a pint glass. It looks pretty good. The core is black with brown tint at the edges. The foam was minimal with a light brown coloring. This head recedes to a scum quickly that holds on. The scum left some very nice lacing in the glass.

Off the top I smell a bunch of roasty qualities. You also get a bunch of malt presence. I also pick up a little bit of sweetness. This is almost like a light coffee roast.

The flavor is less complicated than the smell. I just get some coffee in each sip. I wish that the smell transferred better to the taste.

This is a good beer. There is very little differentiation between this porter and the average porter from many other breweries. It was good to have this after a very long day, but on it's own I wouldn't go out of your way to find a bottle.

 920 characters

Photo of keanex
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass from a 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date.

A: Almost opaque clear garnet with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates.

S: Licorice is heavy, very fruity on the nose with hints of molasses. Smells good!

T: Slightly roasty with a black licorice slightly coming through. Slight molasses and fruits coming through. This is a bit confusing really. It's okay but I'm not thrilled over it.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation.

O: This is an okay beer, I won't buy it again, but it's very cool to try an old historic recipe!

 565 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours dark, almost black with a large head which takes several minuets to dissapate and lacing which remains in the glass throught.

There is the strong smell of coffee, chocolate and molasses. With a "smoky" quality.

The taste is pretty much like the smell with the chocolate and the coffee alternating for attention on your taste buds. There is only slight bitterness, much less than most porters.

The mouthfeel is a little thin and malty.

The taste that is left in the mouth after swallowing is that of chocolate and coffee with a "smoky" quality with a hint of bitterness.

This is an excellent porter for a cold winter night. If Washington did brew a beer similar to this it was definitely worth fighting for.

 728 characters

General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.