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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

642 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 264
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 28
Gots: 69 | 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: 642 | Reviews: 264 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donniecuffs
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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 +14.2%
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%
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 +8.1%
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 -1.6%
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 +5%
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 +7.6%
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 +17.6%
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 -4.7%
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 +5.8%
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 -4.2%
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 +4.5%
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 -1.8%
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 +5%
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

Photo of treehugger02010
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this bottle in the Ales of the Revolution variety case that I purchased at Bryn Mawr Beverage in Bryn Mawr, PA. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is dark brown in color. The head was two fingers tall, ok lacing, good retention and tan in color.
Smell: The aromas are sweet coffee, almost tart and winey.
Taste: The flavors are strong roasted coffee, grape and boozy alcohol.
Mouthfeel: The body is medium with an edgy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: This is a good beer.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker: two fingers of tan, loose head that drops to a dusting over a very dark brown that you can pretty much round up to black. Deep ruby highlights & thick lacing.

Smells of sweet cherries & mild cocoa powder wrapped in a subtle chalky mustiness. The cherry is more like cherry flavoring, like a cherry milkshake. Just a little whiff of hot cinnamon.

Taste is a combination of the cherry flavoring & a very light caramel, followed by a mellow roastiness. Just a tiny bit of bite, again cinnamon-like.

Feels on the thin side, "aqueous" I guess is a positive word for it. Small biting sharpness, just nipping.

Some pretty interesting stuff going on here, not expected in an English porter but definitely not off or unpleasant. That said, I didn't enjoy it as much as I would've a more conventional porter, but was intrigued to have something off the beaten path. Pretty tasty & smooth nonetheless, I could see going through 2 or 3 of these until the novelty wore off.

Photo of mdfb79
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A dark brown color with about an inch of brown head with no rentention. No carbonation evident and lets no light through.

s - Smells of roasted malts mostly, with hints of coffee.

t - Pretty mellow but coffee is the major falvor hear. Also tastes of roasted malts.

m - Medium body with little carbonation, this porter is pretty smooth.

d - A decent porte; nothing great but not bad at all. I thought it was a little lacking in taste and pretty mellow, but still pretty decent. I'd try this again but not go out of my way to.

Photo of bob3701
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Shaker pint. Clear deep dark walnut color with red highlights, close to being black. Very thick creamy tan head that ever so slowly goes to a thick foam with pretty good lacing. Not much in aroma to say very neutral. I enjoyed the taste, a good example of a porter. I thought it was going to taste more stout-like but I was pleasantly surpised. Big carbonated bubble tickled the tongue. Hints of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts. Very drinkable. All in all a pleasant experiance.

Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Whether or not its true I don't know, but the idea that this is brewed using George Washington's own recipe is pretty darn cool...

A - One fingers worth of mostly even frothy tan head with a few large bubbles mixed in... A dark brown color with a very distinctive cranberry hue... One receded there is an almost full lace with a a couple of crescent shaped voids closer towards the edge of the glass... A varied mix of carbonation... Some is slow and clings to the sides of the glass towards the bottom and much quicker carbonation rising through the center of the glass towards the top...

S - A slightly roasted malt aroma... Whiffs of vanilla and molasses... Very subtle hints of dark fruit...

T - Roasted malts... Hints of faint wood... Overall rather bland...

M - Loaded with carbonation, probably a little too much... Chalky... Medium to full bodied... Ever so slightly on the thin side...

D - Again, I love the concept... Beer brewed using the recipe of the founding fathers... However, I'm very glad brewing has come a long long way since then... An average at best porter, that is drinkable in a bind, but there are many other offerings to choose over this one...

Photo of mgbickel
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. A sliver of tan foam that may be mistaken for "head" formed, despite an aggressive pour. No need to comment on lacing... The body is stout-esque...thick and black. The lack of head makes this look like a glass full of used (heavily used that is) motor oil.

Weak nose - faint hints of coffee, molasses and roasted malts. The aromas increased slightly as the beer came to temp., but still not impressive.

The taste matches the nose...in flavor and strength. The only flavor that jumps out at you is the molasses. There is a pretty decent black coffee after taste however.

Medium mouth feel; slightly oily with little carbonation.

This is drinkable, but nothing I would go out of my way for. Pretty average.

Photo of zoso1967
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, almost black, pretty much opaque. Nice slightly tan head, but somewhat poor lacing. The aroma was not too pronounced. I got some dark sugar like sweetness and a hint of roastyness but I was a little underwhelmed. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by the taste. The first thing that struck me was that it did not have as much roasted malt and coffee like flavors as some other porters. I could taste some nice burnt sugar sweetness that mingled with the malt, as well as a touch of bitterness. I found it to be very pleasant and thought that while the body was a bit fuller than many other porters, it was quite drinkable. I definitely found this beer to be more than just a novelty, and recommend it to those who find most porters a bit too roasty for their taste.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Appearance: Pitch black with red highlights. Big foamy head recedes fast to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

Smell: Smells like molasses, dark chocolate and coffee. Mild citrusy malt.

Taste: Tastes like a nice dark molassesy porter. Its brewed with molasses and it also has a nice espresso component on the back end.

Mouthfeel: A little over carbonated and thin on the palate.

Drinkability: This is easily a session porter for me. It should make its way into my porter line up. Not as good as some of the porters i have had, but its a good winter drinker.

Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at a random bar in West Chester, PA.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate and good amounts of dark molasses. As the beer warms hints of nondescript fruit come out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light roasted malt flavors up front are soon overtaken by brown sugar and molasses. Midway through the sip hints of dark chocolate enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending. As with the smell, fruit flavors come out as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is solid. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass however I'm not sure how much I want another.

Overall I thought this was a decent porter that was a bit on the sweet side and suffered a bit from the fruitiness as it warmed. Don't avoid but don't seek out.

Photo of billzee
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Pours dark brown almost black color with two finger tan head that recedes quickly. Roasted sweet malt notes and molasses. Sweet dark chocolate and toffee taste with dry finish.
Full body with light carbonation. Very smooth.

Photo of tim9887
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into goblet

Appearance: Deep dark brown; 1/4" of off-white foam, turns into fine lacing

Aroma: Sweet; molasses/chocolatey character in the nose

Taste: Dark chocolate, semi-sweet. Little hop character.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, quite boozy

General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.