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James Squire Porter - Malt Shovel Brewery

Not Rated.
James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

80 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 112
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery visit their website
Australia

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 112
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
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! (1,455 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a pricy pick up today, but WTH? ($10 a sixer)

Pours a reddish mahagony with a 1/2" tan head. Some lacing & average head retention

Smell: Licorice, iron, chocalate & fruiityness in that order

Taste: Choclate & iron flavor up front, followed by a raisiny fruitiness. Finishes fruiity & more like a mild ale than a [porter

MF Thin to medium with a slight pricklyness

Drinks okay. not rich enough to meet my expectations of a porter, but better than lets say Tohoey's (sp?) dark. Still haven't found anything better than cooper from OZ. Would love to try this on its home turf (596 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby brown brew.

Smell is sweet with a solid basic grain smell. Lots of coffee and chocolate scents to this one, smells like a nice Mocha.

Taste is sweet and smoky with a clear sour under taste. Lighter flavor than most Porters has a definite cola flavor to it. Carbonation is stronger than expected.

Mouthfeel is certainly drinkable but light for the style.

A light drinkable porter, it is close to a porter soda in nature. Not a connoisseurs beer, but a refreshing darker beer. (505 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've gone a long time without reviewing this stalwart of the Australian beer scene. How did I get away with that?

Pours a nice red-brown-black colour, with a filmy head of cream-coloured bubbles. Retention is not so great, collapsing slightly to just a ring of edging. Looks supple and solid in the glass, however, and it has the body to create some bubbling in the edges when it's swirled. Not bad.

Pleasant chocolate on the nose, with a decent whiff of dark grain, and just perhaps a whiff of "Australian-ness" which I'm almost tempted to attribute to Pride of Ringwood hops. Surely not in this beer, though, right? Right??

Taste is pleasant on the front, with some sweet dark chocolatey characters, before all the sweetness drops right out of the palate, leaving a dry and grainy finish. A hint of that slight seltzer-acidity-slash-bitter-chemical character on the back which again reminds me of PoR - perhaps instead it's a generic Australian yeast stock. Whatever it is, it takes the edge off the sweet and dark genesis of the beer, which is something of a shame.

Mouthfeel is a tad too carbonated to my mind, but round enough with a pleasant lightness, that isn't quite thinness in the body.

It's a drinkable beer that I'm ever so slightly suspicious of. At least it's something worthy of drinking when all your other options are variations on Tooheys New. (1,367 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (897 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

345ml bottle poured into a mug glass.

A - Pours a deep brown with a thick 1 tan head. The head is long lasting and keeps a thin layer the entire time.

S - Slightly weak, nothing amazing. Some roast on the nose.

T - Roast malt is evident, a fair bit of chocolate and some coffee. Slightly acidic. Not bad.

M - Quite thick for the style, almost syrupy. Low carbonation but still acceptable.

D - Sessionable ABV, tasty enough and not so thick as to be a challenge, this is quite drinkable. (491 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a quickly fading head.
Nose shows lots of roasted barley, with sweet hints of chocolate and oats. Simple, but very nice.
Similar flavours, with roasted barley growing strong into a long-lasting finish.
Carbonation is a bit excessive, and the body is a bit watery. (286 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served with a nice small head and some lace. Very dark almost opaque brown. Nose is dark malt, a little dark fruit, a little hop, a little yeast, perhaps some coffee and roastiness. Flavors the same but with some significant sourness. Just a little too much. Velvety texture. Drinkable. Nice beer. (297 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.33/5  rDev +22%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.28/5  rDev +20.6%
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! (747 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

James Squire was one of the convicts that we Limeys shipped south in 1788. WTF?!?? 8 years later when he gains his freedom, low and behold he redeems himself completely by becoming Australias first master brewer - we still would not let him back though.

A darkish-brown body that has a ruby-red character. Pours with a massively foamed tanned head that laces really well and resembles Mount Everest as it collapses and settles. Aromas are average in strength and of dark chocolate cocoa with some roast malts. Tastes are of roasted malt and a light caramel coffee middle, some hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is good, and this beer is quite acceptable, But if I have any constructive criticism, it is that it is a tad too light and it could do with a little more body.

This is my first Review of an Australian beer, and it’s not even a thin watery lager!
Who would have thought it heh? – Those bloody convicts made good. (938 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to triple5 for this one. Shared half of it with my wife during our supper, homemade pizza.

Poured from a 345ml. bottle.

Appearance: Black like Coke with a decent amount of head that fades a little to barely a thin ring. Pretty much like most porters.

Smell: Strong brown sugar, almost burnt a little bit with some caramel. Quite delightful.

Taste: At first, it tasted a little like weak coffee but as it warmed, it became a little more flavorful with some chocolate and roasted notes. It's still nothing complex but it's still fairly good.

Mouthfeel: Higher than expected carbonation with a smooth feel. Good enough body for the style.

Drinkability: Not bad actually. I think once in a while is what would suit me with this beer.

Overall: Middle of the road porter with good enough taste though not as complex as the label would have you believe.. Worth checking out. (881 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice dark cola colour with good carbonation that leaves one finger head with subtle lacing here and there,it has aromas of malted chocolate and some subtle hops,it has an average mouthfeel with tastes of vanilla,chocolate,coffee and malted barley with a feint touch of hops,this is not a bad beer thats easy to drink but have had better takes on the style thats for sure. (389 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
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! (597 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.76/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, medium head. A lighter bodied porter. Rich roasted malts, subtle hops. Mild, but robust flavor. Chocolate malts, slightly sweet. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty with a slight chocolaty finish. Milder, lighter tasting porter, but a nice beer. (304 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Brown. Deep, well cooked brownies in the nose along with other roasted and toasted malt elements (chocolate, coffee). Tastes of roasted barley and its attributes (chocolate, cocoa and coffee) along with a distinct burnt malt element, notes of marshmellow and vanilla, and a subtle hop job. A tasty little brew on a Saturday night. (335 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not that great, but a bit thin for a porter, apparently this is the shit on tap, but i haven't had that privelige yet, i'll eventually try it on tap though........OK, now i've had it on tap. Much better, more roast and chocolety nuttyness with a dry finish. Still a tad thin, but pleasant, nice for session drinking. (316 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Portland Brewhouse.

A: Served a mahogany color with a good tan head that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some chocolate with a bit of coffee and a trace.

T: Tatse of roasted malt, dark chocolate with a bit of coffee. Nice bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and quite creamy. Nice balance.

O: Very drinkable beer. Nice take on the style. (395 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
2.51/5  rDev -29.3%
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. (614 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger black n tan. Fine head, which fades too quickly to a film. Little lacing.

Restrained aromas of leather, wood shavings, and chocolate, a little coffee.

Taste is malt - not too roasted - and dark chocolate well integrated. Smooth finish. Quite a moderatley bitter porter rather than the sweeter style to go with higher ABVs.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, carbonation a little high for style.

Overall a solid English style porter. Moderate flavour overall, doesn't build, doesn't overtake itself. Good beer-drinkers beer. Not the worst of the JS offerings either. (583 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with dark red tints when held up to light. Thick off white head that persists.
S - Sweet caramel maltiness with some hints of bitter dark chocolate and faint earthy/grassy notes.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with the sweet cara/choc coming through a little bit more.
M - A bit lighter that what I was expecting but still full enough.
D - Tasty and sessionable porter for these colder months. (423 characters)

Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (1,067 characters)

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