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Shade Grown Coffee Porter - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Shade Grown Coffee PorterShade Grown Coffee Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

196 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 196
Hads: 353
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 29
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: assurbanipaul on 12-07-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 196 | Hads: 353
Photo of Myotus
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours with almost no head. Very dark brown in color. Aroma is of hops and coffee. Has a sweet, hoppy taste. The coffee flavor is not too prevalent and could be stronger. Overall, a pretty good beer. For a porter, not so much. If you are looking for a strong porter, look elsewhere.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This dark ale pours to a dark brown/reddish color and emits an aroma that is roasty, with touches of caramel and chocolate malt. The foam on this beer looks nice at first, but it falls apart rather quickly and it leaves only a little or no lacing.

Real Ale Coffee Porter offers flavors of earthy malts and hops, caramel, roasted malt, vanilla, and some coffee. The bitterness level is moderate and the taste switches back to that of sweet, roasted malt and light coffee in the aftertaste.

Real Ale makes several delicious seasonal/specialty beer products and this is certainly a tasty beer but there are also a few surprises. It isn’t as robust as I had hoped and the coffee flavor is not as intense as I expected. Part of the reason for my higher expectation was my taste experience with other Real Ale specialty products. I assumed, in a hopeful way, that this beer would be equally robust and intense, but I quickly discovered that it is not.

However, this isn’t to say that Real Ale Coffee Porter isn’t a tasty beer because it is and it’s the type of craft beer that will appeal to both the craft beer crowd and non- craft, macro- brew drinkers. It is highly quaffable, complex, and flavorful enough to earn an easy recommendation- just don’t sample it expecting a robust porter and you should be perfectly fine.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red colour, looks black until held up to the light. Head is cream-coloured, thin but able to be revived with a quick swill. Lace is not that clingy; sinks slowly down the glass. Nice; looks rich and inviting, like Richard Branson after a hit of MDMA.

Smells a little too sweet for my liking. Big grainy smell, almost raw without a lot of toastiness, although a light caramelised aroma hits later. Touch of plum, dates and red grape skins as esters, but mostly that sweet grain character. Decent, but can't say I'm a huge fan, and would really expect more... you know, coffee, from a coffee porter.

Taste is really rather similar, lots of sweet cereal notes. Puffed rice, hot cross buns on there, slight treacle glaze but a decent toasty note running down the back and a mild espresso flavour. A bit diminutive on the finish, there's a linger but it's all quite meek and muted. Slightly toasty and a bit sweet. Quite pleasant, but overall a bit lacking, yet tastes like it wants to be complex.

Yeah, a bit thin upfront but then regains some power towards the back. Drying, not hugely full.

Something's lacking, and I think it's heart. There's some high points and some lower plateaux. Not overall bad though.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Lawson's snifter. Thanks Dan (totoropanda) for this one.

A- Pours a hazlenut brown that appears mostly black in the glass, very thin beige head that dissipates fairly fast, some light spotty lacing, fairly minimal carbonation that doesn't last that long.

S- Espresso beans, malts, about average aroma strength, nothing too exciting.

T- Coffee, espresso beans, malts, a little bit watery, some light hops, a little bit more flavorful then aroma but nothing spectacular. Decent coffee profile, but nothing much else.

M- Medium bodied, fairly light carbonation, easy drinking, a little bit watery.

O- This wasn't anything too spectacular. Decent overall, but nothing that made it stand out that much. I enjoyed drinking this, but I've had much better coffee porters.

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Photo of GMB
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Real Ale's Shade Grown Coffee Porter, which is brewed with Katz coffee beans, pours a mahogany body that allows some crimson tones to shine through its middle when held against strong light. A slightly vigorous pour produces a massive cappuccino head. I find that Real Ale's beers don't yield much by way of froth. Perhaps I overcompensated a little. Oops?

The nose is not complex, but it is very appealing. Roasted malts and dark roast coffee shine through. Nice and clean.

The taste follows the nose exactly. Real Ale has done a nice job of incorporating an adjunct whose flavor is already suggested by bittering hops and roasted barley malt. The coffee is crisp, clean, and turns the beer's excellently roasted malts' flavors up a notch. But the beer's mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. It's too thin, and doesn't do justice to the richness of flavor that has been achieved here. More malt, perhaps?

Shade Grown Coffee Porter is a beer that I'll be drinking next year, too. But I do hope that by then the folks at Real Ale will produce a more substantial beer that's identical in taste.

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Photo of beesy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date of 01.15.13 into a rocks glass.

A - pours a medium deep brown with a finger of medium-dark khaki head. Looks fairly clear as it pours.

S - rich chocolates, roasty malts and sweet coffee.

T - coffe is very present throughout but not overwhelming. Starts out with rich milk chocolate notes and finishes with a sweeter caramel profile. Malty throughout.

M - medium bodied

D - easy to drink. Without being too fillin and with a good taste, this bottle almost disappeared before I could finish my review.

Overall, a nice, tasty, easy drinking coffee porter aimenjoyed very much.

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Photo of DevilsCups
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Founders Tulip.

A - The stream out of the bottle is a cola colored pour, but settles a nice black body in the glass. Thin bone-white to tan head. Settles to a nice soapiness layered on top. Standard looking porter.

S - Pretty nice aroma. Nothing outstanding. Milk chocolate with a coffee background. I would imagine a fresh bottler would have a bigger coffee note to it, which would benefit this brew possibly. I'm not too sure, as the milk chocolate notes are pretty nice.

T - Chocolate with a bit of sweetness up front with a slight coffee background. Old bottle, so I would imagine it's faded just like the nose. There's a nice bitterness that's either coming from the hops used or the lasting effect of the coffee. Slight metallic note. Decent.

M - Carbonated like a plain ale. Could use a softer bubble. This would be nice on nitro.

O - Standard issue porter methinks. Nothing outstanding, but a solid regular porter from an up and coming state.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a very flat looking pour, dark brown in color. smells of tobacco, coffee, hints of bourbon or vanilla. tastes like cold black 2 day old coffee.. toasted grains, coffee with a hint of sourness. something feels off, but the bottle is as fresh as it gets. feels like a light bodied beer on the mouth, but poured like a medium body. not much carbonation, no head, no lacing - and slightly off flavors.. not great things. i have a 2nd bottle of this, but i'm not sure it's worth it. it wasn't bad, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Photo of amart79
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Brown/black thin body with a small slight brown tinted head that dissipated as quick as I put the glass down.

S - strong vanilla and coffee bean notes with some maltiness thrown in

T - light coffee and malts, the vanilla is there but just slightly. fell just a bit short of the smell but very close.

M - a little too light for me, i prefer a little heavier body with the low carbonation. Does have some tingling on the palette and smooth on the way down.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for this bottle matt

The beer pours a deep brown with a finger width of a fluffy, tan head. There's good lacing, but the head falls flat quickly. Aromatics are strong and robust with big notes of chocolate and coffee - although there is relatively minimal roastiniess. Furthermore, there is very little hop/spice or bite from the alcohol.
This beer drinks much like it smells, but also has a certain amount of fruitiness as well. The mouthfeel is better than expected and its medium body matches the beer's inherent richness. The aftertaste left is a slight roastiness and fruitiness. Overall, this is quite a tasty beer that I would definitely drink again. However, it did not blow my socks off, so I probably won't pursue it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.6/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cheers very much to my bro Aaron for bringing this back from a recent trip to Texas. It seems Texan beers are rare in the parts of the US I ever get to visit.

Pours a disappointingly light looking brown colour, with oily hints at the corners. Head forms as a passive slick of film across the top of the glass. Body is also thin and light, but with a pleasing fine bead of carbonation. It's ok, but the negatives draw down the positives leaving it looking pretty average.

Nose is mild with filtered coffee aromas, and a touch of husky malt giving a twinge of grainy sweetness. Other sweet confectionery hints give notes of marshmallows and powdered sugar. It's not very full, and the coffee flavour seems lackadaisically layered on top of a relatively substandard beer otherwise.

Taste is also thin, with weak filtered coffee flavours riding along for the ride, awash a faint watery palate of nothingness. Slight raw beany character towards the back, and a slightly gritty finish like coarse dirt. Eh. Feel is particularly empty, letting even the purported marshmallow sweetness drop away to nothing.

A pretty disappointing brew, all up, and a sad initiation to Texan craft beer as far as I'm concerned. There are two more to come from Aaron's haul, so hopefully there's some redemption there.

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Photo of chocosushi
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cuvée des Trolls glass
A ~ Pours dark brown with a copper hue. Not much lacing..

S ~ Oatmeal with Brown Sugar, Wheat bread, & Caramel. I'm really not getting any coffee.

T ~ Oatmeal follows through with caramel & brown sugar following right behind. Cappuccino powder...barely. Hops are very mild & earthy. Coffee is so mildly expressed I feel I am not even tasting it. Nice prune notes for what it's worth.

M ~ Nice sweetness, but turns grapey quickly upon warming. Mo roastyness akin to a good Coffee porter. Carbonation is spritzy & doesn't worth with the thin frame of this beer. Faintly grassy.

D ~ Pretty drinkable, yes, but not wroth seeking out. No coffee here. Frankly I'm pretty disappointed. Thanks Brad for the opportunity!

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Photo of Crispy34
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I grabbed a bottle from work. I poured it into a pint glass.

A: The beer looks like a nice, dark porter. Has a lasting tan head.

S: Has a very dark and earthy aroma, and coffee as well.

T: The beer starts with the dark malt up front and finishes with the coffee drying out your palate, making you automatically wanting another sip.

M: A nice feel to it. A little body to the brew. The dry feeling could be a little lighter at the end.

O: Real Ale did a good job of describing this beer with the title.
It tastes very much like a porter with coffee in it. I wish the coffee would have blended a little better so the actual malt could show through more. A decent brew that gives you what it says it will.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a trade. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 2/2/2012. Pours slightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice fairly dense 2 finger khaki head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, and light herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with decent strength. Taste of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, toast, caramel, and light herbal hops. Slight bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, and rasted malts on the finish for a bit. Good balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy and smooth to drink; with hardly any alcohol warming present for 5.6%. Overall this is a nice and enjoyable porter offering. This one was past best by date, but maybe if it was fresher the coffee would be more prominent.

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Photo of bmwats
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A: Black. Pours about a 1 finger, tight and foamy, brown-white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a blanket of foam, and thick beer ring. Uneven, but thick lacing.

S: Rich malt, roasted coffee (not as prominent as I'd expected), a little dark chocolate, caramel, and black licorice.

T: Hearty malt, with a bittersweet flavor of licorice. There's a tinge of something of a synthetic feeling sweetness in there. The coffee is noticeably lacking.

M: Full and robust, with a heavy and slightly sweet start, and a dry bittered finish. Again, though, has something almost synthetic in there... Kinda' weird. Coffee comes out much more in the aftertaste, than the initial flavor.

D: Drinks very easy. Again, coffee seem MIA, but it's not bad at all just on its merits as a porter.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Deep, dark appearance, with a solid head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is coffee, chocolate, and subtle bitter and sweet tones. Pretty standard stuff for this style. Has a nice porter character, but coffee seems a little too subtle... almost absent. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went singles shopping at Central Market and this was one of the beers I ended up with. Cracked open the bottle and tossed it into a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter snifter.

The beer pours dark with minimal head and life. One of the more meh looking porters I've had. Was some interesting cascading bubbling action for a second there, but that's gone, too.

The nose has some good coffee in there. It's no Sputnik or Peche Mortel, but the coffee has a fruitiness and richness that's pretty nice. That fades into a finish that's almost cereal in its earthiness. Not fantastic on the finish of the sniff, there.

The taste is a bit better. Stiff the good coffee, but the strange earthiness is a bit muted. Still there. Finishes with a very light roasted barley flavor. Stays light and rolls on the tongue. Improves with temperature.

I honestly expect more from this beer. I've heard good things, but I can't help but think it's just meh. Maybe ABW's Sputnik ruined my coffee beer palate and my expectations are now too high.

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Photo of ms11781
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to RealZombieJesus. Best by 02/09/2012 printed on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a murky deep brown color with lighter brown hues at the edges and bottom of the glass. A thin tan head develops and falls rather quickly. A thin foam cap sticks around for a bit before also disappearing. Slight wisps of lacing are left on the glass but they also seem to dwindle with time.

The nose is made up of subdued notes of chocolate and some sweet malt. There is some dark fruit that struggles to peek its had out as well. There is no coffee detected in the nose which is disappointing from a coffee porter.

The taste follows closely with the nose with the addition of some roasty and nutty notes. The chocolate is up front again but it's quickly taken over by a big sweet malt character. Roasted malt saves the beer from being too sweet and there is a pleasant nutty characteristic in the finish and aftertaste.

Medium body with soft carbonation. There is a smooth, creamy mouthfeel to it. It's probably the best characteristic of the beer.

This one missed the mark for me. There was no coffee in the nose or the taste. The lack of coffee seemed to let other characteristics stand out when they probably should have been in the background. Considering this was consumed so close to the best by date my guess is that this is best when fresh.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz poured into a tulip

Appearance: 1 inch creamy white head with a black/brown body and sticky lacing

Smell: light chocolate with a full coffee and caramel finish, hints of dark fruits and some sugar show through

Taste: light roasted malts, chocolate and earthy tones supported by the coffee and a hint of prunes as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for the carbonation, the body could be a bit fuller as the carbonation really pops through

Overall: Slightly one dimensional, wish it was a bit more complex. A good beer nonetheless

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Photo of army01
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a pint.

Drinking the Real Ale Coffee Porter now. It's pretty good. Completely different than the Bridgeport Cafe Negro. The coffee is a little less pronounced and a less chocolatey, but very creamy. Completely different styles, and both have their strong points. The more I drink of the Real Ale, the more it is growing on me. Solid offering.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, brew pours a very dark brown color under a nearly non-existent head. Mild aroma is that of dark chocolate, roasted bready malt and perhaps a touch of vanilla cream. Enjoyed at a cool temperature, mildly acidic roasted dark coffee and creamy malt sweetness harmonize really nicely toward a tasty dry cocoa finish. Delicious brownie flavor comes to mind.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to DaveHack for this awesome extra that he had no obligation to provide. Poured into a snifter. Best by date of 2/2012.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A very thin cream colored head of about a quarter finger rings the glass. Some touch and go lacing on the sides of the glass. Disappointingly thing head.

S: Pretty good. Strong coffee, chocolate, roasted biscuit, and grain. I'm also getting faint traces of vanilla and some sweet fruit.

T: Pretty low key. Caramel and creamy malts with a light coffee presence. Nothing very assertive here, it is subtle and quite easy drinking.

M: Thin for a porter. I'd say this drinks more like a coffee-infused brown ale. Lots of carbonation, too much for the style. It's more crisp than creamy. Sweet flavors cover up any roasted characteristics. The body just seems way too light.

O: This was an odd duck. The smell was good and I expected a thick, creamy porter with some delicate coffee notes. What I got was an overly sweet, thin brown ale with some coffee roast on the back end. By no means is it bad, but the body as a whole was surprisingly light and rather thin. Coffee presence should be amped up quite a bit and the body should be fuller and creamier to meet the expectations I have for a porter. By no means a bad beer, but stylistically it misses the mark by a good margin.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A- rich, deep mohogany with minimal light penetration. A khaki head forms, then quickly recedes to a ring around the glass with a slight lacing left in its path.

S- coffee, pecans, and dark chocolate

T- coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a nutty roasted malt in the background.

M- a fair amount of carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. The overall texture definitely feels lighter due to the carbonation.

O- not too heavy, delicious in flavor, and lower ABV make this an incredibly enjoyable brew! Thanks to Texasclimber for yet another awesome extra!

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Photo of ballmouse
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on Jan 18, 2012. Best by Feb 09, 2012.

A: Nice deep, dark brown color with a good head. The appearance actually gives quite a good indication of the taste.

S: Can't smell anything really. Very faint coffee smell. Could be due to the age (I'm tasting a product that is sold during the fall during mid-January).

T: Love it. Extremely faint coffee (due to the age I suppose), but the taste is quite balanced. Not too harsh, but not too sweet either. Taste a good mix of chocolate, roasted barley, and hops.

M: I enjoyed this as well. It was not too thick at all, which made it a good 6% beer that one could enjoy a couple bottles of. Carbonation was very good and ensured a smooth drink. Could perhaps have a little less carbonation though. After all, this isn't an IPA (and I don't want it feeling like one).

O: Enjoyed this beer. I'd love to find it fresher though. I'm sure the coffee is much more apparently, and I'd love to be able to experience that dimension of the beer. Nevertheless, it's a very drinkable porter with some age on it.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in duck rabbit snifter from canadianghetto

another solid texas offering. This was from 2011 but I get the feel this is a) much better on draft and b) the coffee faded considerably in the bottle I had.

Perfect look - dark, deep coloring. Roasty, chocolate buttermilk head with billowy lacing.

Aroma had some of the coffee, but it was dominated by the roasted malts. The malt aroma itself was light, which made for a pleasant, but nearly unnoticed, aroma.

Good entry, rich malt taste but the body is a little bit light, which I've found in several of the TX porters that I've tried. Maybe its a regional thing but I like my porters to have a body that separates them from lighter fare.

The taste is lacking that coffee richness. Either a more bitter bite, or a gentle but full coffee presence. Neither is present in this bottle. The porter is good, it could be exceptional.


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Photo of BrewerB
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

miikezombie sent this to me in a recent trade. Originally I had this on tap at The Ginger Man in Austin and loved it. Have been craving bottles ever since.

Pouring into 3 floyds in glass. Deep mohagany-hued, good clarity. A thin light tan head formed on top but only retains partially. Lacing.

Prominent coffee beans in the aroma along with an almost equally intense semi-sweet chocolate. Slight earthiness.

More coffee in the flavor but this is more of a dark chocolate/espresso combination. Mocha-like but without overt sweetness. Bitterness is moderate and allows for a balanced flavor. Dry finish that leaves a dark toasted malt on the palette.

Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

Truly enjoyable coffee-flavored porter. Reminiscent of a dark chocolate, minimally sweetened mocha.

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Shade Grown Coffee Porter from Real Ale Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.