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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

331 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 331
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 28
Gots: 32 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 | Reviews: 196 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz hand bottled bomber. Thanks to Deuane for splitting this. I believe he received this in a recent BIF. Poured into a snifter.

Pours black with a thin head of mocha colored foam. Great looking flareup leaves some nice patchy lace back. It takes some aggressive swirling at first but I finally get a nice enough release of roasty coffee character. It's not overly burnt or acrid smelling, with the overall bouquet coming off as more sweet in the nature, thanks to some backing notes of caramel and chocolate.

The taste gives it up much easier, with a largely toasty feel, courtesy of coffee and roasted malts. The coffee character seems to have a pleasant fresh aspect to it, with more mellow notes of chocolate and toffee sweetness balancing out some of the bitterness and light astringency in the back. The mouthfeel is lighter medium feeling with a softer carbonation that gives the flavors an easy flowing feel.

Not much to complain about here. This was a solidly done Coffee Porter, with some nice roasty accents and balancing sweetness. An easygoing body helped this one go down well. I've been wanting to try this one for a while and for the most part, it didn't disappoint.

Kegatron, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of PDXHops
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to goatgoat for this Texas treat.

Although it was tapped a week ago, there's still plenty of carbonation left based on the hiss. Nice looking very dark brown body with ruby highlights. About a finger's worth of cream colored head. The head mostly disappears after a couple of minutes, but there is some lacing.

Nice dark malt and coffee nose. Not acrid, bitter coffee, but pleasant "lotsa cream, lotsa sugar" coffee.

In the mouth, the coffee is also pleasant and not dominant. There's some general sweetness, chocolate and vanilla in the background, and also a nice dark malt backbone.

Mouthfeel's a bit on the thin side. Moderate carbonation.

Overall impression: Very enjoyable and drinkable porter. This is my idea of a good coffee beer; the coffee is definitely present, but doesn't overwhelm everything else.

PDXHops, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of spaceycasey
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark brown that only lets the smallest hint of light through with a creamy, creamer-laden coffee colored head.

Aroma - rich coffee, chocolate malt, not hop aroma perceived.

Taste - moderate coffee with coffee malt flavors (distiguishable from coffee flavor from actual coffee) and chocolate. Sweet, smooth, balanced. No obvious bitterness.

Mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, full bodied.

Drinkability - very high for a beer as full bodied as this. Drinkable enough to make it the exclusive beer of an entire session.

spaceycasey, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 1/15/2007 (Tap @ Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks, Houston, TX):

Pours a dark brown/black colored body, with a small head, off-white in color. Has a strong aroma of coffee, and some malts. Has a watery palate, and a coffee taste, but not too strong. Good taste, roasted.

jujubeast6000, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of JonathanL7890
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with 1finger head
Brown foam. Dark not pitch black
Aroma. Lots of coffee. Smells like a frappucino
Taste. Nice chocolate coffee flavor. Not much. Hop presence
Mouthfeel. Fair. Chocolate taste lingers.
Drinkability. Very.
Best coffee porter I've had. One of real ales bestbeers IMO
I wish this was available in bottles and year

JonathanL7890, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Alamo Drafthouse on 6th street while watching The Wrestler (excellent film...go see it!).

I'd been excited to try this beer ever since moving to Austin at the beginning of the year, and finally found it after a few close calls (Opal Devine's had ran out). Pours a dark, seal brown hue with a light tan, frothy head that retains well and drapes some attractive laces of foam down the pint glass. Aroma is a blend of dark cocoa powder, dusty earth, and lots of roasted coffee beans. Very enticing--can't wait to sink my teeth into this one.

Wow. This is a near-perfect melding of both the Porter and "Coffee Beer" styles, with a rich chocolate and toffee malt presence that gives way to coffee roast mid-way through the sip. A tinge of bitterness from the hops and java pulls through on the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side, and slightly undercarbonated, but the lighter body brings some refreshing qualities that I hadn't expected. Overall, I found Shade Grown to be an easy-drinking, highly tasty coffee porter, and a beer that I look forward to having again soon.

wagenvolks, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of midaszero
3.15/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Opaque brown black with a small coffee head and good lacing

S - Tiny bit of a coffee scent but not much

T - Malt with a little coffee. Kind of smokey

M - Light medium body that is a little watery with medium carbonation

D - Enjoyable but not as strong of a coffee presence as I was hoping for

midaszero, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of omnigrits
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You don't often get to drink cask beer in Texas. It's kind of like what Dudley Moore said about the number 84 bus through Dagenham - if you see one, jump on it, even if don't need to go where it goes - you don't know when you might see one again. This is a different matter though - I'm very familiar with Real Ale's Coffee Porter, but I've never had it on cask before, and it doesn't disappoint.

A good strong whiff of coffee comes from the glass and is nicely reinforced on the tongue. Some might find this a bit overpowering but it suits my palate very nicely. Some will also find the beer 'flat', but it's cask beer, so don't expect high carbonation from it. When the kegs start arriving in a few weeks you can get your CO2 fix.

I know that I'm still going to be tasting this beer for a few hours after drinking. In fact it's a little too easy a drink. I'm back to the bar to get me another one.

omnigrits, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of JDV
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was just what I wanted it to be. Had on tap at the draught house.
Pours a rich opaque black with a small tan head. Smell is beautiful. Perfectly roasted malt, mild but well roasted coffee beans, bittersweet to dark chocolately goodness. Smooth in the mouth, and carbonated nicely to cut into the slightly thick mouthfeel and a deliciously roasted coffee/ chocolate/ caramel bittersweet rich flavor about it. A touch on the sweeter side of porters which I like, but not cloying at all. Bottle this stuff already, so I can share the love!

JDV, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of RickSawyer
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap @ Boondoggles. Dark chocolate with carmel tanned one finger head that holds well for the whole pint. Struggle to pull much more from the smell than some roasted coffee and a light sweet milk chocolate. Taste is solid, starting off with soapy bitter coffee hints working alongside some sweet earthy chocolates. I do wish this would coat the mouth more, was a bit watery and slick. Overall, a great sessionable porter f/ Real Ale.

RickSawyer, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Ginger Man in Austin and thought it pretty good.

It was black and opaque with about 2cm of cream-colored head. Aroma was roasty at frist , with some coffee notes. Flavor was dry roasty with some coffee notes, but not a lot of depth. Mouthfeel was quite dry and good.

I would recommend this beer. I had it on-tap at the Ginger Man in Austin.

BeerBelcher, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of EPICAC
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at The Dancing Bear Pub in Waco.

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

Smell: The nose is predominantly coffee, with some chocolate.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is a nice roasted, coffee bitterness with a bit of lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderately high carbonation. Some graininess.

Drinkability: Very tasty.

EPICAC, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of beerdiablo
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This seasonal release from Real Ale is draft only until their bottling capacity is expanded now that the new brewery is up and running.

This is a rich, robust porter with a dry,slight vanilla finish. Brewed with organic hops, malted barley, making a tasty brew.

You'll taste coffee and toffe as you drink this - it would pair well with rich/sweet dessert foods or fine after a heavy meal. Be sure to find a bar/pub where a few kegs are kept on hand so you can get this fresh as it's best when first tapped.

beerdiablo, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of goochpunch
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the dark corner of the Houston Gingerman, this beer almost appeared black with a mocha head that had solid retention. Smell is big on coffee, of course, that mixes well with the roasted malts. Some underlying chocolate and toffee are present. Has a pleasant ashiness in the nose. Taste doesn't skimp on the coffee, but I never feel it overpowers the base beer like some other coffee porters/stouts I've had. While it is strong, it works more as an accent rather than taking the center stage. Has a nice dryness and astringency in the finish. My overall complaint was the relative thinness to the flavors as they seemed to die out towards the finish rather than lingering on. Mouthfeel is slightly lighter than moderate in the weight of the body. Carbonation is a bit lively, but not spritzy. Really good drinkablility. Real Ale's best offering, I would say.

goochpunch, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2 finger head that lingers for a long time.

Smell is very strong of cofee with some roasted chocolate malts pulling through. Nice sourness in the back to balance with a nice undertone of tofee.

Taste is of cofee. It dominates some of the other stuff going on that coincides both with the nose and palate, but it makes for an excellent beer.

This beer is fairly smooth and highly sessionable if you like good coffee. Coffee dominates this beer and I love it.

jasonjlewis, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Stark obsidian in color with a large tan head, and thick, scattered lacing.

Aroma: Rich coffee and bitter cocoa notes, with undertones of roasted barley.

Taste: Coffee and strong cacao flavors dominate the taste from start to finish. Later in the taste, dark, roasted barley notes appear. The is a faint, but noticeable herbal hop presence at the close of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth and quite full, soft and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A superbly-crafted and very drinkable beer, particularly appealing as a cold-weather beer.

Sampled on tap at Uncle Billy's in Austin, Texas on October 13th, 2007.

Pegasus, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark coffee brown color with ruby highlights and a foamy beige head that holds well and leaves sheets of lace down the glass

Smell: Roasted malt with plenty of black coffee aromatics

Taste: Roasted malt and dark bread up front with coffee flavor joining, mid-palate; after the swallow, the coffee tones persist although there is an odd mouth-puckering acidity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice porter with good coffee elements but I wasn't as crazy about it as some other reviewers

brentk56, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of Washburne
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Trinity Hall Pub in Dallas in a pint glass

A - Just beautiful. Looks black and opaque at first glance, but once I'd got some way through it and could tip it a little to look at it against the light, shows to be a very dark, chocolatey brown. 1/4 inch light brown head lasted until the end, leaving small amounts of lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of coffee on the nose with roasted malts. I detected a very slight chemical note though, which detracted a little.

T - Nothing chemical here, just plenty of coffee and, given the name, a surprisingly large amount of bitter dark chocolate. Not quite as full-flavoured as the Fuller's London Porter, but seeing as I'd happily give that a 6 for taste, this very much earns the 5.

M - Very smooth and medium to full-bodied. Didn't find carbonation to be the problem that a few others had commented. I assume that's just down to who is serving it though.

D - Slips down very easily and left me wanting more. Were it not pretty late, I'm sure I could have quite easily had at least one more.

Washburne, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of AlesRTasty
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this fine ale during my first visit to the Gingerman in Dallas.
A - dark, opaque with a tan creamy head
S - like coffee, the name doesn't lie. roasted malts over power pretty much all
T - it taste fantastically like coffee. many roasted malt overtones with chocolate characteristics
M - smoothish, medium carb and medium body. I thought at the time it was served too carbonated
D - I started off with this one and i enjoyed it so much i had to have more. I love this brew.

AlesRTasty, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of dungaree
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one at Flying Saucer in Houston. So when it got to me it had no head. Served in large pilsner glass. Very dark, actually opaque. Smelled of coffee! Yum. For a while I wasn't into porters but after this one I'm reinvestigating them. Tastes of coffee and maltiness. Two of my favorite flavors. Very, very drinkeable. Thoroughly enjoyed. Another hit from Real Ale.

dungaree, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of chadspivey
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

drinking a pint at the gingerman as I write this.... I know, I'm a dork

A: Can't really find a light source that makes this beer anything but opaque. Nice head, maybe quarter to a half inch. Light brown head that dissapates in less than a minute. It leaves those clumps of big bubbles on top, i love that.

S: Not a very strong smell, maybe the beer's too cold. Smell chocolate and coffe. More coffee than chocolate, which is cool.

T: say now, that's alright. could definitely see this one aging well. Delicious coffe aftertaste. I feel like theres more coffee in this than any coffee beer i've ever tasted. And it's blended very nicely. It's got acoca-cola flavor that really ties it all together too, so nice.
I wonder if there's caffeine in this...

M: I wouldn't change a damn thing about this mouthfeel, it's simply perfect. Creamy, smooth, but with excellent amount of carbonation. Perfect mouthfeel, hence the 5.

D: Just keeps getting better. Hands down, I could drink more of these than real coffee, and I'm a man who loves his coffee.

chadspivey, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this out as part of the best flight of beers I've ever experienced at the Flying Saucer in Addison, Texas. Definetly a local beer that I would not get the chance to try to often. Unlike other coffee/mocha porters, this one comes through with its taste and smell like real coffee beans. Couldn't be session beer and would probably not buy a sixer of this, but pretty good nonetheless.

Backer2004, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of HardTarget
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Gingerman Austin

Aroma: Cold coffee sweetened with a touch of malt

Appearance: Clear ruby brown glass barely covered with a thin tan head that left wisps of lace.

Flavor: So smooth for a coffee porter. Nice round profile starts with a dose of black coffee that is quickly sweetened with milk chocolate then fades out with a great black patent taste. The black patent isn't harsh or biting at all, just the full flavor of the grain. There is also a coca-cola taste thing working that just lends to the drinkability.

Mouthfeel: Medium thin body with low carbonation level

Overall Impression: Real Ale does it again. This is a great beer with really nice flavors working together to be more than the sum of their parts. For not being a porter fan, I'm happy to sing this one's praises! Strongly recommended if you're lucky enough to see it

HardTarget, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the table black with a translucent quality and a white frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was strong chocolate and coffee with expresso, caramel and dark fruit aromas thrown in for good measure and added complexity.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee and some roasty expresso flavors. Also present was a light caramel maltiness, but the beer was never sweet.

The finish was dry with lasting chocolate and expresso into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium and just almost a bit on the thin side. This was a darn nice porter, someone let me know when the throw this in a bottle.

Draft at Flying Saucer in San Antonio.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of maxwere
4.88/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark to black in color. Looks very similar to guinness, only the head doesn't stay around as long. The taste is amazing if not unexpected. This beer is a must for coffee lovers... a joy to drink. The best Blanco Real Ale so far... like nothing else I have ever had. You owe it to yourself to try this beer while its in season.

maxwere, Nov 09, 2005
Shade Grown Coffee Porter from Real Ale Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.