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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 SleepyMonk
2.18/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from chilled bottle into a pint glass. Initial appearance is a very dark almost solid black beer with 2 fingers worth of creamy head that settles nicely with and leaves behind tight lacing. When held to the light however the black hue reveals itself to be a deep ruby jewel color.

A thin amount of roasted nuts and dark fruit but overall the beer does not unleash any thick odors.

Taste reflects the status of the nose; mild amounts of roasted dark fruits sitting level with a fairly average malt taste. Carbonation is heavier than one would expect and the mouthfeel is tainted by the unbalanced nature of rather bland tastes.

Quick Review: I have half a dozen of these and this is the first, now I'm concerned about consuming the remainder.

Probably best to give this one a miss

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.51/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured a black/amber with a beautiful craggy 2 finger tan head that melts ever-so-slowly to very thick, sticky lacing.
Aroma was almost non-existent...faint malts like are used in a Sam Adams Porter but lighter.
Taste is very light of toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness on the tail-end.
Mouthfeel is weak and very watery.
Aftertaste is thinly wet cardboard and toasted malt.
I suppose a good introductory Porter because there is really nothing offensive nor anything that stands out in this brew. Just very watered down, IMHO. Mostly it is the very, VERY thin mouthfeel that puts me off of this porter.

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Photo of Stew41
2.58/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours chunky. Nice medium chocolate brown. Stout like on the nose with roasted notes. Flavours promised on the nose don’t really translate but still drinks ok. A touch too fizzy for my liking. JS should have done better IMHO. Won't be back for this.

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep ruby red with a brown frothy cappacino-esque 2 finger head which dissipates quickly. Nice.

S- Raisin and coffee. Not detecting much in the way of chocolate on the nose.. Frankly, a little flat if anything.

T- Well, I am a little disappointed here. All this beer really consists of is roasted malts with little robustness. Ok, there is a nice, lingering bitter aftertaste but that's about it. Even the dark fruit aroma is barely present.. It's not actually unpleasant, I just expected a whole lot more from this brewery.

M- The first thing that strikes me is that this Porter is way too carbonated. Next, I found this to have little in the way of body.. Definitely not what I was expecting.

O- For such flashy advertising, I find this beer fails to deliver the goods. Mainly, the level of robustness was hugely lacking as was the mouthfeel in relation to the style. It wasn't a disaster or anything, just a bit underwhelming.

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Photo of rec
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A dark body and yellowish-cream head appear after pour, and cheap roast coffee paired with the smell of an actual brewery comes through strongest in the otherwise relatively uncomplex aroma.

The taste is overwhelmingly coffee, and unfortunately I just don't like it all. This falls into a similar category of dislike as Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which is something I couldn't actually finish a glass of due to the strength of the coffee taste. Strangely enough, the second taste distinctly reminds me of a local beef jerky I buy. So similar I feel like going and buying some.

James Squire's Amber Ale remains my favourite from Malt Shovel Brewery, with Golden Ale in a close second. While I can appreciate that this is a quality brew, I'm forced to give it a poor review due to my dislike for coffee, and the fact beer shouldn't take like beef.

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Photo of Raebies
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lightly carbonated dark beer with little to no head.. perhaps because I poured it straight from the fridge. Smells metallic and minerally. Nice smoky burnt caramel flavours, hint of chocolate and strong coffee aftertaste. Somewhat sour on the tongue and not very sweet, I feel it lacks the complexity of other beers in the James Squire range.

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Photo of Mustard
2.66/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "best before" or "bottled on" warning; no ABV %; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a highly carbonated mahogany; huge, cocoa-brown head; c-cup's worth of lace; excellent head retention.

Aroma: Mildly of chocolate and roast; faint hop bitterness.

Taste: Largely dry; bland notes of roast upfront and throughout; slightly sour with a mildly bitter finish; hints of chocolate; somewhat light bodied; thin mouthfeel.

Notes: Totally forgettable, if not somewhat off-putting.

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Photo of Dmann
2.83/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A unimpressive beer. This one had potential with its nice dark brown color, decent head and nice smell. But the taste was just average, with some slight coffee and dark chocolate flavors comming through. The beer would get a higher rating if it were not for the horrible mouthfeel. Thin, watery and over carbonated, this nearly ruined the beer. Pass.

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a slight orangey tinge around the edge. A little head with fairly good retention. Nice lacing, thick.

Nose has roasty notes with a hint of sour fruit. Nothing really out of the ordinary really, this is a very standard porter.

Taste is roasty and a bit gritty, like badly dissolved coffee. A bit weak, really. Unpleasant finish, like...Yeah, badly dissolved coffee. Mouthfeel is nice, quite full bodied, bit too much carbonation for the style. Apologies for a very unimaginative review, but I really think this is a very middle-of-the-road beer, quite unimaginative as a beer.

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Photo of rowew
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.65 oz longneck, nice looking label, lots of description on the label.

Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red around the edges, thin head fades quickly.

Smell: Coffee and a bit of hops. Slightly sweet with some roasted aromas.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel and hops, same roasted and coffee flavors.

Overall impression: Middle of the road porter. For the price most shops here charge, there are many better options.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.62oz (huh? - talk about precise!) bottle. Sported a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a firm, compact vanilla head that fizzled down to a cap, leaving gobs of lace behind.
The smell had aromas of roasted malts, some bittersweet chocolate and coffee in the nose, though not all that potent. Just kinda there and not meshing all that well. The taste was a blend of burnt malt, molasses, dark chocolate and old coffee. The finish had a touch of dark fruit also and a light, scampering bitterness that departed all too quickly. Again, the flavors seemd to have trouble playing well together as each vied for attention like little kids on a playground. The feel was medium-bodied (but leaning more toward light), thin and a bit watery.
Overall, a completely umremarkable brew. The flavors just didn't seem to get together as well as in other brews of the style. Nothing to wake up the neighbors about.

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Photo of fretlessman71
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Saw it, hadn’t seen it; couldn’t resist. ‘Nuff said.

APPEARANCE: Translucent brown with ruby highlights. Off white head, tight bubbles, pretty good lacing with strong ringlets as the liquid drops in level.

AROMA: Black patent stands out more than anything. Smells more like a good stout.

FLAVOR: Roasty biscuity black malt comes thru, just as in the aroma. Very little sweetness present; not much in the way of chocolate either. I’m inclined to say this beer is really a stout rather than a porter. Not a bad stout, though – kinda mild in that regard. Could it be that this is a true stout porter? Hops certainly come through, and not as flavorfully as the could have.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly acidic, but again, like a good stout would be. Med. weight.

DRINKABILITY: I could have a few of these, but truth be told, I was really in the mood for something more porter-like.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Enjoyable, but disappointing in the way that biting into a Snickers and getting a Milky Way would be disappointing. Less black malt, and LOTS more chocolate malt might improve this beer dramatically.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.07/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16oz cylindrical James Squire glass at 30 knots bar.

Poured with minimal off-white foam. Dark brown to black appearance with a hint of red on the outskirts of this. The foam dispersed quickly to leave a little crown around the edge of the glass.

Smell was a little restrained, partly due to the cool serving temperature. Some light coffee grounds are there with dark chocolate.

Taste has a modest amount of chocolate there, with the barest trace of the coffee.

Mouthfeel is pretty full for the size of the beer. The finish is made full with the chocolate flavour. Not a lot of bitterness, but it doesn't really need it with the gentle flavour.

A pretty average porter. Nothing there to offend, but not much to get hyped up about. Pretty modest, dependable and reasonably sessionable.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured light black, deep red colors with a thin white head. Dark fruit and chocolate malted aromas dominate. Very light feeling in the mouth for a porter, mouthfeel is a little thin. Roasted malt taste is light with a lingering bitter finish. Just not enough complex malts to be a great porter.

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Photo of diablo14
3.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

great looking beer, as most of malt shovels are, but often arent backed up for the rest of the trip. this porter is not a bad brew, but there are so many better. even emersons of new zealand's porters cane this one. again its better on tap than the bottle, but i havent drank it off the tap to rate it in that format.

sensational appearance of dark red and brown colors, with a lovely fluffy latte` like head. lacks a bit of punch in the aroma, standard hints of burnt grains. chocolatey elements also, but nothing really jumps out. it is fairly smooth tasting. nice gentle roasted flavor, chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of forest fruits and caramel in the mix. having said the word gentle in there, it says to me this just isnt full on enuff to be a porter, but is more of a schwarzbier. lacking the hop dryness or bitterness and a bit too light and bubbly to be taken seriously as a porter. despite this, its overall not too bad and quite drinkable.

there are better porters in this region, let alone the world. its not really an accurate description of the style. still its an inoffensively pleasant beer thats not a bad starting point for locals who want to drink dark beers that arent guinness.

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Photo of dill
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep brown color with a cream colored head which quickly receded. The smell was a bit sweet with notes of caramel and mocha. As it warmed the aroma of soy sauce started to come through. Taste was also a bit sweet with a bit of toastiness. Medium bodied with tight carbonation. This is an easy porter to keep drinking.

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Photo of Gusler
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour a deep ruby red color, the head spumescent, beige, the lace chunky. Nose is malt, caramel, lightly roasted grains, pleasant. Front is malt sweet, the top washy, the finish is modestly dry, minutely acidic, slightly hopped. Drinkable and a "Beginners" Porter, lacks a "Robustness", I like in my Porters, not bad mind you, just a bit "Thin-Wasted.

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the Portland Hotel.

Good Beer. Poured a dark brown with a medium foam head that dissapated fast.

You could smell faint chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste was of dry coffee and chocolate start with a hop middle followed by a dry coffee finish.

Not too carbonated. However I couldnt drink too many of these in one sitting.

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Photo of BierReise
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown colored with a thick frothy head. Excellent lacing with this brew. Aroma is similar to a dry stout, chocolaty with a good raosted malt aroma. Flavor is lacking a bit as it seems to me a bit thin and watery. Overall not a bad porter, could use a bit more flavor is all.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an nonic)

A- This beer has a brown walnut wood color to the body that is clear but a bit dense, although not as dense as typical porters. This beer has a tan head full of bubbles which is supported by a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- This beer has a light roasted malt aroma with a slight watery or iron note to it. There is a soft hint of cream and coffee when it warms a bit.

T- This beer has a carbonic acid taste before the taste of chocolate roasted malt comes through. There is a slight tartness to the finish of the malt and then a soft roasted bitterness in the finish that fades very quickly. There is a nougat hint that gets stronger as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- This beer is pretty thin for a porter and the flavor and smell if very light. It is smooth drinking but not much of interest is going on.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On the nose I got toasty wheat bread.

A too thin, almost watery mouth-feel immediately disappointed me, but as it moved toward my throat I pleasantly approved of it's nice slow-burn bitterness. I don't know if it's because I'm in Australia, but something in this really reminded me of Vegemite on wheat toast with butter that was rescued from the toaster on the verge of being burnt. Scraped black crusty-bits being wiped from a dirty counter-top with a rag that had been used to absorb a coffee spilled earlier.

Overall, decent, but I prefer a fuller bodied porter with less carbonation. I think perhaps Australia's warm weather accounts for the thinner, bubblier variation on this type of porter, or perhaps, I'm just giving a mediocre beer too much credit

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Photo of jcalabre
3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: chestnut brown with a quickly dissapating white head.
Nose: Moderate roasty/coffee aroma
Flavors: Medium bodied, w/ a roasted taste. Some nice maltiness w/ very little hoppiness. The carbonation has a bit of bite on the tongue. A better than average porter, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of koolk
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep dark red going on brown.

Nose is a little quiet. Typical notes of roast grains, caramel and some malt with only a touch of hops.

Decent palate that starts of with roasted/burnted malt flavours and ends with a good bit of bitterness. Light finish with touches of cocoa and coffee. Good, but not great, stuff.

Both this and the IPA by Squires are a little 'underdone' in terms of style. Would love to see this with a little more oomph.

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

This pours a very dark brown, a slight head but not a lot of retention.

Aromas of dark fruits dominate with a hint of chocolate.

The chocolate is more evident on the palate.

Good weigh to it. I find a lot of porters to fizzy but this is good.

Pretty good.

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Photo of Act25
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Much better at cash temp. James Squire (OZ original brewer) is kind of like their Sam Adams, at least as a brand legend character. But their beers are not as good and suffer from feeling a bit watery and mass. So far beers in Aus tend to be thinner and lighter and lower ABV than US.

A- Brown walnut color, not as dense as typical porters. Tan head full of large bubbles faded fast and did not lace much. (see thin, not sticky).

S- Roasted malt aroma with a slight metallic, iron ore note (rusty anchor stirred in cold coffee?) More coffee when it warms a bit.

T- Continues with the rust acid feel mixing with coffee roasted malt. Tartness to the finish of the malt which saves it. A goods light sipper. (but too thin)

M- Too thin mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- It's thin for a porter, without robustness.

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