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Shade Grown Coffee Porter - Real Ale Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Shade Grown Coffee PorterShade Grown Coffee Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

345 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 345
Reviews: 197
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 27
Gots: 37 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: assurbanipaul on 12-07-2003)
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Ratings: 345 | Reviews: 197 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep copper kissed brown with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left spotty lace.

S-Subtle dark roasted coffee aroma with a backing of roasted malt and a touch of caramel sweetness.

T-Quality deep, dark roasted coffee flavour up front with a solid malt backing. Gets better and better with warming becoming more coffee forward as it does so.

M-Medium bodied somewhat acrid with nice lingering flavour.

D-Nice stuff. Nothing over the top here but a solidly done brew that is subtle yet flavourful that is easy to drink plenty of. comes across in the end like a robust brown ale more than a true porter IMHO.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's no indication on the bottle lable that notes the "Shade Grown" title but it's the same beer in the end.

This Coffee Porter is a middle-of-the-road base of chocolate, pale, and a bit of roasted malts. Roast is intensified by the coffee additions which pick up a 'columbian coffee' nuttiness. Though the coffee is present, I have had regular Porters with as much coffee flavor and boldness. Bitterness is a good blend of hops and coffee resins with a bit of grassiness comming into the flavor hop flavor mix.

The beer is a dark brown color with some opaquness particularly around the edges. A loosely knit head falls apart under the coffee influence (a lot of coffee beers do this). Some lacing and foam holds onto the edges before completely disipating after a few minutes.

A grainy, tart-sour thing happens as the beer warms and carbonation subsides. I'm not sure if this is part of the beers character or if it is becaue I am drinking toward the tail end of the 'Best By' date.

The body is pretty light and could use a fuller, maltier, breadier mouthfeel. Without it, the beer seems thin as the carbonation is fleeting.

Thanks Exiled.

Photo of AlexMunse
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pored from the tap into a 16oz pint glass.

It pours almost completely black with no light showing through. (I've seen some people review that there was a deep reddish color showing through, but I was in a dark bar) An almost non-existant off-white head that dissipates quickly. Almost no lacing.

It smells strongly of coffee (go figure) and hops. A slight sweetness, but I can't get it. Maybe chocolate?

The taste is excellent! I assumed there would be coffee, but I didn't expect the sweet nor the bitter. The way that all the flavors work against each other, yet WITH each other, makes this a very interesting beer! Theres also a slight burned taste, maybe woodsmoke or something. Almost reminds me of a backyard barbeque. There's a very smooth finish with a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

It has a thicker than normal feel to it, but I wouldn't call it a thick beer. Very bubbly as well, but that's a good thing that, I think, works well with the strong coffee flavor.

This is the first time I've had this beer on tap and I think, while I wouldn't drink this beer every day, I will probably grab a pint at the bar if I see it there.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of 12.29.09. Pours a damn near black color with just a bit of brown showing around the edges. Fluffy brown head displays average retention and lacing.

Nose is well balanced with roasty coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and mildly burnt toast. I cant really find any hops in here, nor any yeasty esters...a very clean smelling porter.

The roasty coffee flavor is easily the most dominant flavor in the beer. Not much sweetness and there really is not an abundance of hop bitterness, but that seems to be ok as the coffee seems to lend plenty of it. It's a very smooth tasting beer, low carbonation helps the beer go down all too easily. A bit of mild fruitiness shows up as the beer warms to give it a much needed boost in complexity. This is a nice beer and one of the better Real Ale offerings. Fairly simple, but the smoothness of the beer and fresh, good coffee flavors make this a worthwhile and enjoyable drinking experience.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from whoneeds8 for winning SNF Squares Week 13, Thanks Maston!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

Very dark brown color with a small beige head that left a few spots of lacing.
Smells like fresh roasted coffee beans, very good.
Taste is all coffee upfront with some chocolate malt notes further down the line finishing sweet.
Medium bodied with a smooth, easy drinking feel.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade with TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a dark as night brown that borders on black with the faintest of brown highlights on the outer edges. Stingy tan head dissipates quickly leaving minimal lace. Smells of coffee and chocolate up front with a sweet milk sugar aroma in there as well. Lots of coffee up front in the mouth. Followed by some caramel, dark fruit, some sweet malts finishing with a long lingering roast bitterness. I though I might have found some hops in the taste, but then I lost them again. Mouthfeel is almost creamy bordering on watery. Body is kind of thin, I was expecting a bit more, and the carbonation is medium to high. Decent brew although I would have liked a bit more body. Maybe if I was drinking this in Texas in Aug I wouldn't be saying that. I certainly would turn down another one if it came my way.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the extras received in a trade with JFFoodie. I'll be doing business with him again!

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter. Freshness date clearly printed on the label.

Pours an inky black with a high level of opacity but with some visible mahogany glints showing through; a small off-white head makes a brief appearance before falling away to a thin ring and leaves behind no remnants of itself on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is mildly roasty and mild in general, with a distinct coffee note; some faint milk chocolate makes itself into the nose as well. Reminiscent of a Mocha Frappuccino.

Body is light and lightly carbonated. The faintest sweetness is detectable up front and around the edges, but a light roast is dominant though never astringent or overbearing. Toasted malt shows through in the middle alongside some mildly bitter hops, with coffee filling in elsewhere. The finish is light with just a hint of roast on the back of the tongue.

Quite drinkable and very well-balanced. This isn't some in-your-face bomb, for sure; rather, everything is well-rounded and inoffensive. A wonderful example of subtlety; brewed with Fair Trade coffee, it makes an altogether different statement as well. Very nice.

Photo of jdoncbus
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by date is 030710. Poured into SA turbulator glass. Color is dark brown leather belt with hints of ruby. Smallish head with minimal lacing; oily film sticks to glass.

Aroma is dark toasted malt and dark roasted coffee. Somewhat creamy smell with vanilla and fruitcake hops. A nip of pine and a dash of apricot.

Toasty malt dances with coffee; the coffee is not overpowering and finishes well with a nice helping of piney hops. A very crisp beer and very balanced throughout the tasting; nothing dominates. The carbonation creates a crisp and tart mouthfeel and is left with a dry, mild coffee after taste.

Very easy to drink and would recommend to a porter newbie. As mentioned the beer is precisely balanced which in my opinion makes it very enjoyable. Great for starting out the night or a nightcap; would pair well with some pastries. Another reason to visit Austin, Katz and Real Ale; thanks to my sis-in-law for bringing it north.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one for the after dinner drink as the kids opened theirr presents. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/24/2009.

The pour was nice, dark brown, nearly black in color with a nice little puff on tan colored head on top. Nice lacing as it drops down the sides leaving a broken crown along the top. Aroma is solid coffee, with light notes of lactose and touches of something sweet balancing in there as well. Rich coffee notes with light touches of sugar are the way to go here. Smooth, easy sipper as each taste seems to bring more of the coffee flavor up to the forefront. Lighter feel then I would have expected but with the more the adequete carbonation it really seems to work here. Easily drinkable as this one went down without a fight and forced me to move on to something else.

Again not the best coffee porter I have had, but I liked it. It worked as it was lighter then I was expecting but it was well put together and some good depth could be found.

Photo of angelmonster
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 1 finger off white head. Body is a very dark brown, almost black with some white floaties. Head retention and lacing were above average

Smell is of roasted malt, some sweet chocolate, and slight coffee. There is also abit of copper metal in there. Hops aren't present, wish coffee had more presence

Taste is of roasted malt and burnt, bitter coffee. Dont know if the hops have any effect on the beer or if the bitterness is just coming from the coffee beans

Mouth feel is above average. Body was on the lighter side for a porter and well carbonated. Head didnt add much to the body which was disappointing.

Drink ability was good. A sessionable beer for a hot Texas day. I love coffee beers and wish that the coffee had more presence. Wouldnt be my first choice for a coffee beer but worth a try

Photo of rudylaw
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my main man pwsoldier!

Really dark with next to no head.

Big time coffee in the nose. Similar to Peche Mortel in terms of strength. Not as well-rounded, but damn delicious.

This is all coffee. Nothing more, nothing less. Carbonation is fine; drinkability is fine.

If you're into coffee stouts, well worth seeking out. For the style this is solid stuff.

Photo of gory4d
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing. The smell is coffee, malt, berries, cocoa. The taste is mild, mellow coffee, dark malt, something savory like pan drippings, a bitter cocoa finish that's a little dry. It's well carbonated, full in the mouth. A beer to quaff slowly, the better to enjoy its subtleties. Glad I found myself in Texas in time for it.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coffee porter that actually pours and looks like black coffee. That's weird isn't it? If it weren't for the khaki head you might mistake this for a cold cup of joe. The froth dissipates to a small dollop of scummy looking bubbles floating around the murky dark brew.

The nose could use some improvement. It's not bad but there is a mild touch of burnt hair smell that is acrid and acidic like scorched coffee in an old pot. It doesn't stay long or linger through the whole beer, in fact it fades into a lovely roasted black malt scent. I have to admit that it's growing on me.

The taste is where this brew shines. Deep roasted grains flip flop between a sweet espresso and unsweet chocolate. The coffee is not over powering as in some other beers and you can't tell if the bitterness is from the delicate addition of hops or a subtle twang from the cafe.

The body is medium to full, not quite as thick as a stout but definitely heavier then a regular ale. There is a creaminess that lasts into the mild chocolate malty finish. Incredibly pleasing beer that I'm going to add to my regular rotation, while I can still find it.

Photo of GregSVT
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cask at the Plano Gingerman

A: Pours a deep hazy black with a big creamy tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. This is one aspect of the cask conditioning where the beer really gains a lot more points. The bottled version is slightly undercarbonated and this vastly improves upon that.

S: The nose isn't much different from the regular version. Lots of coffee and roasted malt.

T: Taste is also similar but there is a vanilla flavor along with the coffee, cocoa, and roasted malts.

M: The feel is the most changed on cask. Lots of creamy carbonation. Medium-Full bodied and delicious.

D: If only I could buy this in a bottle. I would buy it all the time. It's close to guiness as far as feel with more flavor.

Highly recommended if you can find it on cask.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I would like to go back and review this beer again at a later time. Right now, I am rather stuffed up in the head with the quick change in temperature outside, but this is beer #5 of a six-pack, so I can go somewhat on memory.

Appearance: Pours a dark black that is really a dark garnet when tilted to the light. There was a rather small head of tan bubbles that were tight and looked rather creamy on top. They didn't completely cover the beer, but still made a lasting impression.

Aroma: This is where my senses aren't the best. I can get the obvious chocolate and coffee notes, but that can be had just from the label. The beer is really clean smell ing overall with some toasty notes in addition to the more obvious aromas I mentioned earlier.

Taste: The flavor is really clean with all of the required coffee and roast, and some toasty notes all present like the aroma presented, but the thing about this beer is that it blends really well on the palate. Even with all of the "acid sounding" things in its name, the beer remains palatable and easily drinkable. I like the finish as it is only slightly sweet and lingers with the coffee notes and creamy-like slickness on the back of the throat for some time after the sip.

Opinion: Again, my senses aren't as sharp as I would like them to be, but this beer looked good for a review right now. Anyway, I am only one beer shy (now) of killing the entire 6-pack myself within 2-days, so I would say that it is a really good beer no doubt and dangerously drinkable. I would definitely like to drink this one again, and often. I may even consider this style of beer to have on tap here at the house once in a while. Very nice beer!

Photo of steve8robin
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from a good friend...

A: Appearance is perfect in color, but lacking in head. The head starts as a thin, white lace, but very quickly dissipates to nothing.

S: Smell is a very heavy coffee. Since I love coffee, the smell is awesome.

T: Aftertaste of coffee, but taste a lot of water in the brew.

M: Mediocre carbonation. Nothing special.

D: Good if you enjoy coffee. Otherwise, this is no good.

All in all, I love the coffee flavor, so I enjoy this brew. Once I taste it, though, is where the battle begins. Too much water and carbonation for my taste.

Photo of theghost3
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Real Ale Coffee Porter was one of the few regional beers I could find in Harlingen, TX, so I went for it.

Pours a deep mahogany brown with a 2-finger, fluffy light brown head. Minimal lacing.

It smells strongly of roasted coffee with some chocolate. The taste is basically coffee...quality, rich coffee. There are some burnt malt & chocolate edges to this, but still, this is essentially boozed coffee. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, slightly acidic.

Overall, this is a drinkable porter. I'm glad I had it around to keep me awake while in Harlingen.

Photo of Anthony1
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with amber tints at the edges. The beige head thins to a film leaving no lace.

The nose is predominantly coffee, with some chocolate. Sweet chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is a nice roasted, coffee bitterness with a bit of lingering fruitiness. Medium-bodied, moderately high carbonation. Some graininess.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.13/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mhewes for this extra in a recent trade. How did you know I love coffee beers? From notes.

Pours brown with some red highlights. 2 finger light cocoa colored head falls to nothing, no lacing or retention.

Aromatic coffee beans were apparent as I poured the bottled into my tulip. Very clean coffee aroma, not real edge or bite to it. Light chocolate malts and hints of dark chocolate.

Taste is kind of underwhelming. Synthetic coffee flavor, slight bitterness from the roast. Faint chocolate. This combined with the watery mouthfeel that was lacking substance was a bit of a disappointment.

Easy enough to drink, and I really wanted to like it, but there are a lot of better coffee beers out there. One and done.

Photo of Brenden
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this from JJFoodie and boy, am I glad he lives near this brewery I'd never heard of until we started trading.

This brew pours out a deep, dark brown with some clarity in the light brown highlights. A light brown head sits stiffly at one finger for a long time and leaves moderate lacing on the glass.
The aroma is strongly of roasted malt with smooth roasted coffee with a note of bittersweet, caramel and a creamy sort of sweetness.
The flavor is not as much like drinking black coffee straight up as coffee with creamer; much of the harshness, acidity or astringency that marks some coffee brews are blessedly absent here, making this one smooth and very enjoyable, especially with the flavors of cocoa and caramel rounding it out and a roasted grains flavor underneath, finishing with a light hops flavor to really even it all out.
The body begins rich and smooth in a full body, not losing much of that character even in a dry finish.
This is a great coffee porter.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.23/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. A generous extra from MiguelMandingo. Thanks Mike!

A: Pours a clear, but dark, brown body that is more translucent than expected against the light. Despite a vigorous pour, the light beige head is weak and barely rises to half a finger of thickness. It immediately collapses back into a collar and a thin scattered film on top of the brew.

S: Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate. Not a bad smell, but it took some agitation to bring it out.

T: Nutty bittersweet chocolate, mild roasted malt, and coffee. Even though I'm not a huge fan of coffee stouts, this is fairly well integrated into the main flavor and it complements the rest of the porter nicely. Except in the finish, where it becomes vegetal and disharmonious. However, after I let it warm above optimal drinking temperature, it becomes less vegetal and the roast comes out more to cover up the coffee's finish. It's not terrible, but it's not good.

M: Light-medium bodied, with low carbonation.

D: I hear these guys just started bottling their beers, so I hope to try more from them in the future. Right now I think this isn't worth getting again.

Photo of Mauerhan
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

cracked open a bit below room temp. dark brown with some lighter highlights. small tan head that falls flat quickly leaving little if no lacing.

smell is thin hints of watered down old coffee grounds. decent smell. nothing crazy but nice. as it warms it reminds me of an english brown. slightly nutty wih some sweetness. almost a candied walnuts.

taste is very thin. watery coffee dominates the mouth. nutty finish. good not great. alright to drink but I dont think I would visit again

Photo of Jayli
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from gramatton so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!!

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with some light passing through on the edges creating lighter brown hues just around the edges when held to the light. 1/4 inch of light brown head with a rigorous pour and recedes rapidly.

S: Nose is of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.

T: Taste is starts with a bitter dark chocolate, moving to a middle filled with roasted and a hint of burnt malts, and this finish is nothing but coffee bitterness.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, nice thick and creamy feel with a sticky finish.

D: Highly drinkable, nice blend of flavors, decent sessionable beer!

Photo of onmyslide
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, like a good porter or stout should be.

S: Obviously coffee, but it's definitely got sweet undertones that are not from the coffee.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, etc.

M: Great mouthfeel. Solid balance of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. I'm not fighting myself to stop taking sips deep into the glass (sometimes rare for me with stouts/porters!)

Photo of natelocc787
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this local brew. The smell was there-all brown sugar, supreme coffee and roasted malt character but it was thin and watery. Not too many porters I've tried SMELL this watery. Tastes of fresh coffee beans, roasted black malt and molasses.The taste was better, more flavor to it but as it warmed it became devoid of flavor and quality mouthfeel character. Often the sign of a bad beer is it goes flat and flavorless as it warms. Drink this one cold.

Shade Grown Coffee Porter from Real Ale Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.