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James Squire Porter - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 112
Avg: 3.54
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dwarbi on 11-26-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 112
Photo of RBorsato
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with lots of ruby red color and a pillowy tan, light brown head which leaves sheets of lace. Coffee and cream aroma. Good balanced malt flavors: coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Light-medium bodied and creamy.

ABV: 5% (per bottle label)

Per M.J. flyer: O.G. 1250 / 12.7 Plato. Chocolate malt and Black Roasted Wheat. New Zealand Super Alpha and Australian Willamette hops (23-25 IBU). Brewed with a lager yeast.

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Photo of Crotor
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am simply delighted with this find.

It poured with an incredible head with excellent retention, settling slowly in a matrix of dimples. Ths, combined with the dark brown, slightly reddish color, made for an excellent appearance. It presented a slightly smoky, toasty, chocolate aroma. These characteristics were echoed strongly in the flavor, which was toasty and robust. A substantial body and lingering finish make for an excellent drinking experience. The grain bill for this beer must be a thing of magic.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am sampling this room temp bottle in a small tumbler.

The beer pours a rich brown color with clear ruby highlights. There is a small tan head of 1 cm that fades to an edge layer. Leaves tight lattice as it recedes. Aroma is chocolate and toffee with no hops anywhere to be found. I find the nose very appealing. First sip reveals a velvety smooth body and fine carbonation that rolls across mh palate. Flavor is similar to nose with some toffee up front that rolls to chocolate and finishes just a bit roasty. Very Very smooth and easy to drink beer. QUite a nice beer that I would buy again!

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Photo of mynie
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptionally dark and opaque, for a porter with such a low alcohol content. Slight hints of red shine through very slightly, at the bottom. Small brown head that sticks around.

Smells of roasted, earthen grain, rough dalt malt, and a big old chunk of milk chocolate. Very nice.

Tastes like chocolate milk upfront, moving quickly into a middle of roasted grain and a very slight, dry hop and then finishing on a wonderfully smoky end. Leaves behind a dry and bittersweet hop aftertaste and the remnants of some nicely rough porter malt. Wow!

A whole lot of flavor from a fairly small beer. The shelf life of imports at the place where I bought this isn't exactly great, and so this is probably even better if drank fresh. A true treat!

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Photo of neilcooper
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favourite beers. An outstanding porter. I've rated based on drinking the beer out of the bottle but it's exceptional on tap. Tried it at James Squire Brewery Alehouse at the Docklands when I was in Melbourne. Best beer I've ever had on tap. Phenomenal.

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Photo of Kulrak
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown color, but not quite black like stout. The aroma is of faint coffee/mocha. It tastes very chocolatey and slightly like coffee. Very sweet, no discernable hop flavor/scents at all. Its very smooth and drinkable. A tasty brew, but probably not one you could drink on a hot day or all the time. But it's great on a cold night like tonite.

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Photo of Anonmatel
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't mind this porter, neither does the bottle shop that i buy it from, they hide it from the rest of the beers, and i get a respectable dirty look from the owner everytime i buy some. Has a copper head, that looks alot like it has too much sediment running through it. but other than that i can't say a bad thing about this Porter. It's not as complex as some porters, but it's chocolate, caramel, slightly nuttish finish is still pretty good.

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Photo of sammiles
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my staple beers.

Love the colour of this one, very dark chocolate with a nice white head. Typical porter smell. Arguably it is not as complex as a good porter should be but it has nice chocolate notes and I rate it highly for its drinkability and sessional qualities, there are probably better choices but considering price and availability this is a standout.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with red-amber highlights. Clear with a low tan head.

Aroma of rich coffee, no burnt notes and little to no caramel. Roasty coffee continues into flavour. There's a faint underlying sweetness but the coffee predominates. Body is light-medium, carbonation is moderate and overall the beer is clean, perhaps a little too much so.

Also perhaps a little one-dimensional, there's not much to it other than the roasted coffee. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, of course.

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Photo of Finite
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: very dark amber, pushing stout colour. Tan head which hold out a little while and leaves only some lacing.

Smell: Coffee and toffee, maybe a hint of chocolate and alcohol.

Taste/ Mouthfeel: Smooth as, Great flavour profile. Coffee hits first with some hops following that and then smooths right out with a dark toffee flavour. Sealing the whole mix with a nice dry palette.

Drinkability/Overall: Very very easy to drink porter great beer. My first porter and I will have again for sure.

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Photo of WJVII
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a deep chocolate brown color with a medium bodied cream head that diminished very shortly after the pour. This brew had a strong smell of wild cherry and coco and coffee notes. The flavor was heavily chocolate and had a mild bitterness in the finish. There was also a sweetness that was unexpected. This had a moderate carbonation which fit the brew well. Nice work.

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Photo of Cs1987
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark with a thin head, which reduced.

Smell - A strong mocha scent with absolutely nothing to put anyone off.

Taste - See smell. This beer tastes great, just as the scent suggests.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, great aftertaste. Not quite as smooth as I was hoping.

Drinkability - Although porters certainly aren't fast drinking beers, this one is tasty enough to keep you coming back for more.

Overall - I may be quite biased towards porters, but they taste so good that I can't help giving them high scores. This beer is no exception.

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Photo of madvoice
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate in colour with a creamy head that lasts for a while and leaves some lacing on the glass. Smells very chocolatey and sweet. Smoky chocolate flavours with a slight bitter aftertaste. Nice mouthfeel with light fizz. Not a bad drop.

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Photo of aussielars
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a nice solid 20mm head that leaves lacing on glass. Head retention is above average.

Smell of sweet malt and nuts. Hint of molasses when beer started warming up (was poured a bit too cold).

Quite a nutty and sweet taste, not much hops in this one; very well balanced overall. Mouthfeel is light for a porter but unexpectably smooth with quite high carbonation.

A porter that goes down very easily -- it's very hard to stop at one.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From southeastern Australia's Malt Shovel Brewery comes the dark and brooding, but somehow bright and lofty, James Squire Porter.

Squire himself was quite the character. Arriving in Australia via convict ship after several arrests for minor infractions in his native Britain, he started brewing almost upon arrival in or around 1787. In later years, with the help of the governor (who wanted to promote beer over the demon rum) in 1802, he planted, grew, and harvested the first hops in Australia (1805). He's now known as the father of brewing there; and Malt Shovel is named at least in part for James Squire's "Malting Shovel" tavern.

There's an interesting licorice note to the James Squire that's found in both the aroma and the flavor, and which is probably attributable to the hops. Beyond that it's chocolatey and coffee-ish with an edge of burnt brown sugar. Some mild yeasty fruitiness flitters through as well, but it's pretty well eclipsed by the dark malts. It's medium-light in body, and gently crisp on the palate. A firm bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry and coffee-like.

Very drinkable, fairly light, and at an average alcohol content, the Squire makes a great session ale for a night out with the lads; or as accompaniment to a casual dinner with the wife or girlfriend - of which Squire had many, sireing at least 11 children through 3 women! And although no children were had, that doesn't include his last affair!

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Photo of WHROO
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nearly opaque, but good just see through its dark redness on the edge of the glass.
Minimal creamy head, athough happy with the lacing. Couldn't see any carbonation or line of bubbles, nuffink..
I love these dark beers...smokey aroma, chocolate & roasty.
Taste is ditto: Smoky, cocoa bitterness, dark chocolate (like the old cooking choc), finished a little bitter. All round nice porter & smooth.
Mouthfeel was creamy & deep - enjoyable.
I love porters as they have alot of the intensity of stouts, but are lighter & easier. This was a good porter for sure - Love the old porter style.

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Photo of dauss
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with a raised glass band at the base of the neck, with Maltshovel brewery written on it. Very long store on the label. No freshness date.

Appearance: Clear and very dark ruby brown, small tan head forms.

Smell: Sweet malty smell, brown sugar, and lots of coffee. Its like smelling light roasted coffee beans.

Taste: Start off slightly sweet, loads of coffee and some chocolate, slight acridness. Finishes very dry with chocolate. Very light on the hops.

Mouthfeel: this is a very thin porter. Almost watery.

Notes: Not bad, a little on the weak side in terms of flavor, but it is easy drinking. Dissapointed by how thin the beer was.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The deep mahagony /brown but clear beer looks the part
The smell and flavour are predominately burnt /roaste flavours but there is a distinct nuttiness in there.It has a complex of flavours that meld to give it a lot of depth and interest.
I should think that it would drink well over a reasonable period of time.

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Photo of packetknife
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Way too thin for a porter, have to say that up-front. Near black with a small dark-tan head. Roasty choclate and grainy malts. Has bits of coffee on the nose. If it wasn't so thin I'd really enjoy it.

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Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes taken on a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is nice dark brown mahogany color with reddish highlights and a ½" light tan head. For much of the beer sipping leaves some scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aromas all seem to be based on the roasted malts, with some chocolate, coffee and licorice present.

Taste: The flavors involve a touch of sweetness, some chocolate and coffee. There also seems to be a light touch of fruitiness (raisins?) and possibly a slight hint of smokiness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light bodied side with lots of carbonation. The finish is medium in length and ends dry and lightly bittered with hops.

Drinkability: I thought this was one of the better beers I've tried from Malt Shovel Brewing and while it wasn't an outstanding porter it was quite nice and went down easily. I'd surely have another, but that said, would not go out of my way to choose it over some of the others I've had.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Poured an impressive three fingers of fluffy light brown head, which disappated rather slowly. The colour is a near black, although where the light catches it, it glows a deep reddish mahogany. Nice.

Smell - 3.5
There is a faint expresso smell, along with the major scent of toasty to burnt malt. Very nice, but not quite as strong as I would have liked.

Taste - 4.0
Definitely a bit easier drinking than some stouts. There is very little hops or bitterness to speak of, just a smooth palate of malt and toast. The aftertaste is slightly burnt, with a character not dissimilar to a cheapish red wine.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Surprising light on the palate and quite fizzy at first, but this subsided drastically as I got nearer the bottom of the glass. Became near-flat a little faster than I would have liked.

Drinkability - 4.0
Not quite easy-drinking enough to sit back and knock back a few, and not quite interesting enough to warrant drinking a second. Still, for a beer of this kind it is very easy to get through, even if you are not a stout lover. I liked this beer when I did not like Guiness.

Another very good beer from James Squire! This is easier drinking, and more interesting to taste than most stouts. There is a small premium over mainstream beers, but for the quality you get it is more than worth it. This is an excellent beer for winter's nights, as it gives a real warming feeling, unusual for a beer than is not particularly high in alcohol.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

James Squire Porter – Bottle
September 12 2005
James Squire Porter pours a dark, ruby red-brown with, unfortunately, very little head. The smell consists of coffee and toasted chocolate malt flavours. Quite yummy.
The initial taste is a bit of bitterness thanks to the coffee and bakers chocolate-like. A good try at a porter. I’ve had better, but I’ve certainly had worse.

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Photo of istarilord
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's definitely a porter. Dark brown with a light head & malty smell

It is good and malty, with light chocolate notes. Not enough hops for my taste, but I'm beginning to think that's a personal bias. Fairly smooth drink, without too much carbonation.

Alright, but not amazing. I prefer James Squire's pale ale.

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Photo of jreitman
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid, drinkable porter. This beer is not a great porter, but a good solid one. Noticeable toasty/roasted coffee-like flavors. Fairly light in body for a porter.

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Photo of LauraG
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed during a "Beers of Oz" tasting my last night in Hobart, TAS. Poured samples for the other "tasters" and discussed tasting technique. Fun times were had by all.

Pours a very dark amber-brown with a creamy tan head. Looks like a porter. Aromas of dried fruit (dates?), coffee, with a slight astringency. Tastes of the same dried fruit plus a really lovely burnt-sugar sweetness, some soapiness toward the end, slightly "dirty" aftertaste. According to my notes: "verrrry nice." Highly drinkable, moreish, not too complex to want another round. Best beer I drank in Australia.

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James Squire Porter from Malt Shovel Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.