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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

653 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 653
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 31
Gots: 80 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 653 | Reviews: 265 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of micromaniac129
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown or garnet in color with a small but dense foam cap. Appears to be nicely carbo'd but it's hard to tell. It is quite dark.
Smells thickly of rich malts toffee caramel and some roastiness. Hops are a non-issue here.
Tastes rich and sweet, you can definitly pick up the molasses sweetness. A dry finsh.
A full bodied beer here, it pours thickly into my glass and offers plenty of alcohol warming.
Good lacing through out this tasting.
It reminds me alot of what the base brew for Anchor Christmas ale would taste like before they add all the twigs and stuff.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle, picked up +/- a month ago at Yards Brewing's Taproom in Philly. The label has been updated since the above photo, now looking less 'Franklin Mint Collector Plate' and more 'National Portrait Gallery'. Poured to a pint glass.

Alc. 7% by Vol.

A: A nearly impenetrable blackness, which is to say darker than so many 'modern-day' porters... English Porter? This looks more like Foreign/Export Stout! I mounded finger of light khaki cream, holding strong and dropping gradually. Slimmer rings of lace, but I've seen plenty of porters that leave none - this deserves AT LEAST a 'good'...though I toyed with higher.

S: A lava-rock mineral nose, dry but sweetened all at once, ashy but caramelized, too. It's a pleasing smell, though not so big - regardless it's a nice scent especially from an oftentimes aroma-wanting style.

T: Sweet and filled with malt-roast. General Washington's molasses-laced recipe is really a wonderful way for Colonial Era brewing to meet 21st Century brewing, the heavy dose of iron/mineral is almost blood-like. Interesting stuff: a sugared but brashly dry and metallic flavor waltzing about. Tasty, albeit not for every imbiber.

M: Pretty well 'thin', truth be told, but wonderfully creamy and smooth. Twangy mineral sticks on the tongue.

D: I really do like the flavors and the interesting historic perspective (label-bragging about 'following General Washington's original recipe' and being 'brewed with molasses' = good move). Good enough to have again and again...but that'll take another trip eastward. If you're in the mid-Atlantic, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Gadsby's Tavern, a location Washinton used to frequent. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly dark brown with a bit of a garner tint. Off white head with some good lacing. Nose is pretty sting with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and a bit of molasses. The taste brings forward the roasted malt and some chocolate. Light to medium body with good carbonation levels. Drinks fairly well, especially being in a location where Washington himself used to hold meetings.

Photo of Soonami
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yard's George Washington Tavern Porter is a really nice English Porter. It is a dark brown, almost black with just some transparency when held up to the light. The beer smells very roasty with definite coffee and chocolate notes with some malt toastiness that is almost like a mocha with a bowl of oatmel. The beer has a molasses, caramel sweetness, medium roast flavor and a subtle bitterness. There is a jammy fruit character from the English yeast that melds well with the coffee. This is well balanced, without any dominating flavors allowing this beer to be easily enjoyed and many flavors to come through.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for the local extra!

Pours with a nice foamy tan head. Fairly dark body with a reddish-brown tint. The head reduces leaving a nice film and a touch of lacing here and there.

The nose is sweet. Picking up a hint of lactose, light smoke, and roasted, chocolate flavored malt.

The flavor is a nice balance of unfermented lactose sweetness and roasted dark malt. A faint hint of smoke on the malt and maybe a touch of dark chocolate. Fairly simple, but nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a touch of dark malt bitterness. Carbonation is good, maybe a bit prickly. Body is on the lighter side, but still good for a regular porter.

Drinkability is good. Nothing stands out or is complex about this porter, but its still an easy drinking beer with some good flavor. Easy to put back a pint or two.

Photo of Agold
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very dark, and pours with a about 1 cm of off white which dissipates to a ring around the outside rather quickly. Not bad. The smell is of coffee and caramel. It tastes a bit different from the other times i had it, when it was strong coffee and cocoa flavor. unfortunately, there is a little bit of a metallic note, but fortunately it is mild enough to not detract too much from the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth, and creamy with good carbonation. Great drinkability for such a heavy porter at 7%. It really is a great component of Yard's revolution beers.

Photo of magine
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug.

Pours a very dark brown, with some ruby shining through the edges. Has a thick tan head that settles to a nice bottle cap width depth and leaves a nice lace and chunk island behind. Good looking brew.

Brew smells sweet and malty; caramel, toffee, spices and dark fruits. Good tasty smell to this one.

Brew is silky smooth and very medium bodied. Has a dark fruit flavor; nutty, can taste a slight hop bitterness as well. Spicy and an almost burnt flavor. Finishes clean. Its thiner, spiced style makes it very unique and very enjoyable. Very drinkable stuff. Very good flavor.

Honestly this is one of the better, most balanced porters I have had. Looks great, taste great and can drink loads of it. Yards has another winner.

Photo of mralphabet
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Pint Glass.

A: Very dark brown with a hint of red. Good 1 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice layer with very nice lacing.

S: I'm getting some molasses and coffee with a slightly burnt malt.

T: Molasses and coffee are the 2 strongest tastes here.. more on the bitter side than sweet. Aftertaste is bitter coffee.

M: Sharp and a little over carbonated for a porter, also a little on the thin water side.

D: Not as porter like as I was hoping. Not a bad beer by any means just not what I was expecting. Worth noting because it is brewed from Washington's recipe... beyond that not much.

Photo of droomyster
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a beautiful, frumpy tan head that sticks all over the glass. Aromas a brimming over with molasses and spices like cinnamon and ginger. There's far more alcohol on the nose and far less roastiness on the nose than I normally like, but the uniqueness of its spicy bouquet has completely stolen my heart. This porter tastes (in order of flavor intensity) like sweet molasses, burnt sugar, Christmas spices, dark chocolate and general roastiness. Unlike any porter I've ever had. Intriguing stuff, for sure. I'm going to give this beer, along with Yard's Spruce Ale, as gifts to fellow beer geeks this December.

Photo of bump8628
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a thin wisp of light tan head.

Mild diner coffee, toffee, and some background caramel round out the malt side of things with some earthy hop flavor thrown in. Balance is towards the sweet side.

Having a pretty good idea of what the historic British Porters tasted like, I have a hard time believing this is any more than slightly close to George's porter. That said, it's probably my favorite of the "Ales of the Revolution" series.

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

Yet another brew courtesy of mymrnngjckt. Cheers Kevin!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH glass, this brew is surprisingly dark. This actually reminds me more of a robust stout than a porter. There's not a single beam of light getting through this bad boy. The pour was a bit rough, there was about a half inch worth of tan colored head that faded quickly, reducing itself down to only a thin ring around the beer. Lacing is pretty good, not really sticky but very thick and soapy.

Smell: Sweet, a mix of a little chocolate, a little coffee, and just a hint of dark fruit. Nothing is really standing out, everything is pretty well balanced.

Taste: Nothing really exploding on the palate here, getting some bitter chocolate with a bit of under-roasted coffee. There is a slight sweet, dark fruit kind of flavor hiding in the background, but it's very subtle at best.

Mouthfeel: Nice body, creamy, smooth, carbonation is perfect. Very well done here.

Drinkability: Not a bad porter, though I was expecting a bit more oomph. All of the flavors are very well balanced, though they are a bit subdued. I would say that if you are looking for an easy drinking porter, this is your beer. If you're looking for a "punch you in the face" kind of porter, there are better choices out there.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At the Coppermine Pub in North Arlington, NJ. Poured coffee brown, with one finger of tan-colored head, and good lacing. Smelled of bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, biscuit, and malt. Tasted of roasted coffee and very chocolatey, with a malty-sweet finish. Smooth, not overly-carbonated medium-to-thick body was very pleasant. Great session porter.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This compared favorably to the bottle version of the ale, which I'm quite fond of.

With each successive pour you're not rewarded with much head. Even with a little agitation from a vigorous pour, maybe a 1/3''. Same as the bottle and not surprising for the style. Syrupy, blackstrap molasses color which makes sense due to the molasses in the recipe. In any case, it looks like any ole porter with a richer constitution.

Smells wonderful. The balance between the malty, syrupy sugars and the subtle roasted bitter is quite inviting. It teeters on unrefined because the sweetness is almost cloying, but I feel it falls in line with the charm of this being a historical, homebrew recipe.

Easily one of the tastiest porters I've had. Despite the added sweetness, by way of the full-bodied maltiness and, I'm assuming, the molasses, compared to the average porter, the essential characteristics of porter are most definitely intact.

Goes down like liquid candy. No significant carbonation to slow you down. If you dig the flavor, you can put back several of these in one sitting, especially when pairing it up with a hearty meal - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, root veggies, for instance. I will admit, though, that the sweetness does grow to cloying after 3-4 without any food to intercede. But, nonetheless, this is one of my faves.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

How can you not like a brew with GW on the label? 12 oz bottle courtesy of bboyshatter, thanks man! Pours a dark ruby color with a thin layer of tan foam. Not much retention and a few trails of lace.

Nose is sweetly malt driven with plenty of chocolate and dark fruits. Some tobacco makes it to the party as well as a hint or two of smoke. Not bad so far.

Taste is an interesting combination of licorice, dark fruit, smoke and cocoa. I could see this as being a historically brewed beer with some high fermentation temps and maybe a little bit of wood from being cask conditioned. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), much to Martha's chagrin there are many better porters out there to choose from. Although, it is fun to step back and think of what the founding fathers drank and talked about nearly 250 years ago...fun beer, I enjoyed it.

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

Attributed to a recipe developed by George Washington. This porter is pretty much black as the ace of spades, but with dark ruby edges, topped off with a dark ivory head. The nose is heavy with molasses and chocolate, how I love those smells. In the mouth it is like drinking rich dark chocolate melted and lightly hopped. Yes it is that good! Another superbly well made and simple beer.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Darkish brown with hints of orange color and slight head.
S - Mostly roasted malt and dark fruits with an herbal backbone.
T - Could pick up some semi-sweet chocolate, licorice, roasted malt, and slight bitter oak followed by a bitter herbal sting to mask the alcohol burn. Sweet.
M - Kind of heavy and more bitter than expected.
D - Well I didn't like this more than the Tavern Ale but it wasn't terrible. Didn't expect it to be so bitter but since it was my 4th beer tonight it worked its way into my palate. If I seen the variety case again and had nothing else to buy I would consider it again.

Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a standard 12oz brown bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. Appears a dark brown color with some reddish hints and a lighter brown color around the edges. Tanned head initially presents itself about a finger strong but receeds fairly fast to just a thin layer of lace upon the top of the beer and slight lacing is evident along the glassware. Very pleasant dark roast aroma with scents of chocolate and some suggestions of dark fruit like plum. Taste is the dark roasty malt with flavors of bitter dark chocolate and a warming and noticeable flavor of alcohol. Slight bitterness from the hops is there in the flavor as well towards the finish. Medium feel with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is one very drinkable and enjoyable porter. Lingering flavors of chocolate and dark fruit almost like plums or rasins is left lingering in the mouth. Overally quite good and one of the better beers I have had from Yards. Well done.

Photo of deaconoflove
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Ap. Very dark w/ a coarse off white head. (Sitting next to a Guiness with a very finely textured head.)
Sm. Mostly molassas with malt, chocolate and coffee in there too.
Ta. Strong molassas, but still a very pleasant and mild beer. A very serious beer
Mf. Very thick and sweet and smooth.
Dr. A really good porter, but one will do it. It's too thick and heavy to have a bunch. I followed it with a Smithwick's.

Photo of turnstile
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the cask at Varga Bar in Philadelphia.

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with ruby highlights; a creamy one inch tan head sticks around till the very end. Phenomenal lacing all the way down the glass. Looks chewy and inviting.

Smell: Dark sugar aromas up front - molasses and dark brown sugar. Some dried cherry notes as well. Malts are sweet and roasty.

Taste: Molasses, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits, and roasty malts. Bitterness is minimal and finishes sweet. The complexities hide the ABV well.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with minimal carbonation. Built well with a medium body.

Drinkability: Exceptionally drinkable and therefore my favorite porter. No wonder why Washington was our first President.

It's undeniably best served from the cask at cellar temperature. The molasses involved in the brewing process makes it a great dessert beer or even a winter warmer. I'm content with just one, but if you happen to this brew in the cask soak it up while you can.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.90.

A: Deep chestnut brown with cola-like beige 2-finger head with decent retention and some large-bubbled, spiculated lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt aromas mingled with floral and herbal hops. I don't detect much of the molasses addition.

T: Good flavor if not the most original, but the flavor is reasonably robust with solid dark malt, dark chocolate, and black coffee finished with floral, earthy, spicy hops that are background but a nice complement. Alcohol is barely detectable with a mildly fruity finish. The molasses provides a little sting in the finish but not much else.

M: Reasonably medium-bodied with very low carbonation to give a slightly thickish feel overall. Aftertaste is dark malt and chocolaty.

D: A competent porter that was pretty good with good attention to malting and a nice hops finish. A little more molasses would provide more originality and sharpen the flavor a bit more, but, all in all, a good brew.

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

Pour - super rich and dark brown to almost black in color with some auburn highlights and a crazy thick head. Looks a draught pour!

Aroma - lots of molasses, dark rum, brown sugar, coffee grounds, fudge and some earthiness.

Taste - lots of cocoa, coffee, sweet molasses, caramel and brown sugar. Its sweet but nice and roasty as well. I really dig the added sweetness and the higher ABV. Plenty of robust toasty flavors to go along with the caramel and molasses (and hints of licorice). Lots of flavor! This is a great beer for in front of the fire.

Overall - Very nice porter, I really enjoyed this beer and wish I had more. A very pleasant surprise!

Would I buy more of it? - yes, I wish I could get Yards beers up here in MA. Next time I am in the Philly area visiting family I'll need to pick more of this up.

Photo of biglite351
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-reviewing this at home...

A - light coming in around the edges. Solid lasting white foam.

S - full and inviting. Stronger than I recall from the first review.

T - a little bitter but very full. A down turn in the after taste.

M - very mild tingle all over with a little extra at the top of the back of the throat.

D - drinkable but not at the top of the list.

It is odd to see how different my reviews are.

Old review:
Purchased at Wexford Ale House in Wexford PA. It isn't bad at all but not as deep of a flavor as I usually to for. The smell is nice but rather weak. Flavor is not bitter at all. Very mild after taste but it is rather good. Very dinkable. Not heavy so you cam enjoy a few at one sitting.

Photo of number1bum
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown and pretty close to opaque with a creamy two fingers of tan head. Keeps just a thin, not very full lace and a splash of stick here and there.

Smell is on the weak side although it comes out more as it warms. There is some sweet caramel as well as some cocoa.

Taste is more robust and consists of the caramel and chocolate as perceived on the nose. Roasted malt is on the low side as are the hops. It's primarily a smooth, flavorful combination of cocoa and sweet caramel. I do get a bit of dark fruit, like maybe cherry, in the finish as well. Tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is on the plus side of a medium body and is quite smooth, with a soft creaminess to it.

This is tasty stuff. Nice, easy drinking porter with a good deal of flavor. Very drinkable, and something I'd certainly pick up again.

Photo of klkatz
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First impression was the darkness. It really is dark... almost black like coffee.

The coffee sticks around in the smell and the taste too.

Smell is malty and coffee like.

Taste is malty, coffee almost smoky. I sensed kind of a nutty flavor too. Good, smooth, slow drinking beer. You'll want to enjoy this one on a cold night.

By George they've got it.
I'm glad I live in PHiladelphia and get can this anywhere.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

just visited Mount Vernon last weekend - the home of a man who really loved his Philly porter

a: one-finger khaki head atop the deep chestnut brown porter, good retention

s: dark roast, molasses, tobacco, toasted sugars, nice dark porter structure, smoky roasted malts - not advertised but it seems some smoked malt was employed, earthy hop profile

m: good carbonation level - just under medium, with a nice medium-full body

t: really like this - burnt sugar base with lots of tobacco and molasses, smoky roast accompanies a nice bitterness into the finish, complex and tasty

d: nice porter, abv a bit high perhaps

single from Whole Foods, Fair Lakes, VA

General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.