Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

London Porter - Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
London PorterLondon Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

283 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 283
Hads: 446
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 34
Gots: 41 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 08-28-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 283 | Hads: 446
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Superior English style porter. This relatively expensive expensive bomber poured a black with lots of lace, some inteesting mocha head. Above average carbobantion, roasted barley quite well done.
Tasty and smooth consistent flavour, a delight with food or even by itself. Medium mouthfeel.

 289 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with a dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt and burnt coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with some slight cocoa bean flavors on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip along with a slightly acidic tartness. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but much different than other porters I have had in the past.

 563 characters

Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (practically black) in color and poured with a finger high dense light beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of chocolate and coffee in the nose along with notes of roasted malts and hints of smoke.
T: THe flavors in the taste are similar ot the aromas in the smell except that the roasted malts and smoke are more prominent and the chocolate is more subdued.
M: It feels light-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink because it's lighter in body but still quite flavorful. I would have no problem drinking more than one of these in a sitting.

 749 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tawny port color with a massive Belgian beige head that retains beautifully and leaves thick clumps of foam sticking to the nonic

Smell: Cocoa powder, tobacco and caramel

Taste: Opens with a chocolate flavor that adds a tobacco and caramel element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tobacco and chocolate flavors combine to provide a charcoal element to the brew; there is a bit of residual sweetness that also commences at mid-palate and builds through the finish that is somewhat fruity as well

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body but creamy with effusive carbonation that makes me think of a Belgian influence

Drinkability: While there is a lot to this beer, I find it is more interesting to describe than enjoyable to taste; I have now had it twice and each time there is something different that is a demerit - the first time, there was too much charcoal and the second time, too much carbonation

 924 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid and true Porter that shows a lot of balance and flavor without becomming over bearing.

The beer pours a dark bown (nearly black) color with lightly tanned head that has a lot of staying power. Timid on lacing, but high on retention.

Medium strength aromas are cocoa and roasted grain dominant with a follow up of grassy hops, malted milk, coffee, and timid nutty notes.

Flavors of cocoa, coffee and sweetened malts set the stage and become the dominant force of the beer. Malty goodness of toffee and caramel only provide support for the roasty and toasted notes. Herbal hop flavor begins to decorate the edges but never bring attention to themselves. Bitterness weaves in and out of the acrid dry roast for a balanced yet complex counterpart to the malt sweetness.

Quite full and rounded textures never push into heavy or chewy. Quite malty textured with a light dryness (from dark grains and hops) toward the end but the beer remains malt balanced.

Utimately a very good beer that is light on slight on complexity and velvety texture but is also flawless in it's design and exectution. Probably a slight dip in quality compated to Fuller's London Porter.

 1,169 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in Chicago. Served in a Mikasa chalice.

Bigtime gusher even coming out of the fridge. After it settled, I poured some into the chalice. Near black body with a thick off white head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose is a bit plain with some roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. A bit tame overall.

The flavor is really quite bland. Really mild with a touch of diacetyl. Really faint chocolate is there as well. Other than that, some roasted malt and that's about it. Body is quite light and carbonation is a bit low. Drinkability is okay, but overall there isn't anythin really impressive about this brew.

 630 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep black color porter with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of floral coffee notes with some dry and lightly bitter roasted malt and some subtle dark chocolate notes. Taste is also dominated by some floral coffee notes and some subtle black chocolate notes with some dry roasted malt notes also playing a major role. Light residual sugar can also be detected with no astringency and good balance overall. Body is average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid rendition of the style with good balance overall.

 586 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml caged and corked bottle. Once again, 'In the Meantime' echoes in my 90's retro-focused brain. Nice sextant imagery on the label, though.

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish amber hue, with three fingers of shiny, puffy, and frothy pale beige head, which leaves some funky, intricate sea-spray lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of dry, pithy cocoa powder, tanned leather, my wife's weird-ass Scandinavian salt licorice, ashy tobacco, a further smokiness that evokes charred black fruit - namely plump cherries and apple skins - a fresh coffee-tinted caramel malt, and a sour milk acridity. The taste is bittersweet chocolate up front, roasted bready caramel malt, some sultry lactic creaminess, a softened charred smokiness, gritty roasted coffee beans, and some leafy, grassy noble hops.

The carbonation is really quite unobtrusively innocuous, the body a sturdy medium weight, and silky smooth, with strongly creamy tendencies. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate and milkiness trumping the smoke and coffee in their communal lingering.

While not the chocolate overdose of some new world offerings, that is the whole point. This traditional incarnation displays the sour milk, and old castle trappings of smoke, coffee, and leather, doing so with a traipsing elan, one more and more easily found these days, thankfully.

 1,365 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of burgandy. It had a small, creamy, tan head.

S - It smelled nutty and of roasted malt. It also had a smokey presence.

T - It tasted of sweet roasted malt with a nice nutty character. It had a coffee-like flavor, too.

M - It was soft, smooth and creamy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an outstanding porter. One of the best that I've ever had.

 396 characters

Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with an amber hue with a creamy 1/2" head that sits nicely atop very good staying power.Very nice aromas of semi sweet chocolate,earth,even a touch or iron.A porter on the drier side,coffee and unsweetened chocolate,and quite woody mainly in the finish.There is a herbal (fuggles?) note that comes thru late even more as I drink more,nice creamy mouthfeel holds up to the dryish flavors making it very drinkable.Is it worth $11.99?Well not so sure about that but a very well done porter one of the better I have had in awhile.

 545 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest tawny that becomes glazed brick red when backlit with late morning sunshine. The head is the exact color of buttered wheat toast and is a clear indication that this is a quality ale. The cap develops an even more gorgeous texture as it deflates and is definitely no slouch in the lace department.

Maybe I'm used to American porters, but so far this beer strikes me as a brown ale more than a porter. The nose is further evidence. It's wonderfully toasted and brown malty and nutty and fruity and all the things that I like in my English browns. I won't mark it down, though, since I'm sure it's authentic. More importantly, I like it.

Meantime London Brown Ale is delicious, incredibly drinkable beer. Seriously, I had no idea that this is what porters used to taste like. Enough about style, on to substance. The flavor profile consists of brown bread slathered with tangy fruit jam and sprinkled with toasted English walnuts. As it warms, I pick up sweetened tobacco, caramelized sugar and cocoa. It's pretty evenly balanced, favoring sweet and sour over bitter at all points along the flavor arc, except, perhaps, the finish.

Now that I think about it, I seem to remember that the old porters were on the sour side. If so, then this one is right on the money. I'd like more of a roasted barley vibe, but then I'm probably asking for a more modern version when this one was so carefully modeled on a recipe from 1750. Points for authenticity must be awarded.

Although the mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, it compliments the rest of the beer's attributes very well. Since I'm trying to refrain from mentioning ways in which I'd improve what is supposedly a historically accurate beer, I won't say that I'd add more malt to fill out the body and to give the mouthfeel more creaminess.

Meantime London Porter is an excellent example of an old style porter that looks and drinks like a modern day brown ale. I'm not sure that I'll pick up another bottle, but I'm glad that I gave this endlessly fascinating ale a whirl in my pint glass.

 2,066 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark reddish-brown body with a fizzy, small off-white head.

Smell: Chalky, chocolatey aroma with plenty of roasted malt, some dark caramel, and a hint of licorice.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor with a more subtle bitter chocolate taste. Licorice and even hints of dried fruits. Only the very lightest of hop bitterness. Grows watery near the faintly sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Tasty AND traditional.

 470 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had their coffee porter and was impressed. Here is the London Porter.

A: Huge frothin head of 3 fingers in my tulip glass. It fades pretty quickly to 2 fingers and lots of big fluffy bubbles, but then slows down. It's a ruby brown with slight copper hue with very faintest light sneaking through.

N: Lots of sweet brown sugar to start. Then adds some roasted malts and the slightest touch of smoked. Some light dark fruits, and sweet malts. A very slight creamy stout aroma.

T: Starts somewhat sweet, with more brown sugar. Then gets a nice wave of smoked malts, very interesting. Then some spicy hops come through in the center, but not very heavy. Some nice roasted malts and slight creamy stout. Pretty light. The sweetness and spicy hops seem to contrast a bit and could have been blended together better. A slight sweet thick syrupy malt flavor with hints of alcohol, a step up for a British beer.

M: Pretty light comparative to the style, decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty sweet still, with lingering brown sugar and smoked malts. Some light bitterness comes through well, but still battles that sweet malty flavor. A lingering earthy bitter flavor adds a nice finish but an almost metallic flavor takes that addition away. The smoked malt addition is very nice.

 1,279 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/7/08 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a little hops.

T: The taste is decently malty and smoky with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate up front and then a strong flavor of dark fruit comes in. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this good beer to sip for a long while.

 676 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful champainge (sp??) like bottle. Not much off the cork pop

Pours deep red to mahogany with a 2" tan that drops off fast. No lacing, average head retention

Smell: Malty, smokey, fruitty

Taste: Toasty deep malt, peat smokiness, caramel. Finshes, malty, seet, slightly smoky & dry. yum

MF: Perfect, malt offset by all the othe flavors in play. great carbonation

Very drinkable & so out of type of what i expected...Worth the$9.00 a bottle IMHO. This is probably what porters tasted like in Dicken's day IMO

 527 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head. Nose is thick malts. Caramel is there too. Flavor is rich with malted caramel like flavors. Mild roasted tones. Smooth sweet edge to it. I think that defines this one: smooth. Smooth carbonation and a good liquid feel make this a nice one to try. Definitely worth it.

 309 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best by 4/19/2012. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, biscuit, nuttiness, roasted malt, toffee, coffee, toast, and light herbal hops. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of chocolate, roast malt, caramel, nuttiness, toast, biscuit, coffee, toffee, earth, and herbal hops. Moderate herbal and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toast, coffee, nuttiness, biscuit, and earth on the finish for a short bit. Great flavor balance and robustness, with good complexity and no cloying flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is well hidden as expected of 6.5%, with pretty much zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent porter! Great robust roasted flavors with nice complexity and balance; and very smooth to drink. Highly enjoyable porter, an easy winner in my books.

 1,172 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cage-corked 750 ml bottle:

There is a small freshness date, but it is unclear. It does end with "08", so it is good to sometime next year.

Interesting tidbit of Washington on the label...

On the cage-top it says "Remove cork, hold glass open side up, pour, taste, swallow". Ahh...good thing it comes with directions...

Pours dark brown with a thick, towering head that descends to a lasting cover leaving some lacing on the glass.

The smell is earthy, aniseedy, molasses with a touch of chocolate. Roasty smoke, in a Rauchbier way rounds it out and gives it a unique spin.

The taste follows the nose - earthy, slightly woody, molasses, anise, chocolate and hints of caramel/toffee. The Rauchbier-like smokiness gives it an interesting twist. Sweet finish but with a balancing bitter earthiness. Alcohol presence fairly well-covered.

Lighter side of medium. Fairly creamy, but could be more so.

I'll put this in the "interesting" category. Something "unique" and "different" out of England. As with all historic replica brews, I wonder how true to history it is - something we will never know. No matter - overall, I liked it well enough.

 1,145 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is brown with a mild haze and a huge tan head of small and large bubbles (seriously large) that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is lightly sweet with caramel with a mild roast like coffee.

Beer is sweet and light in body. Finishes with a subtle bitterness, a relatively clean finish. I really can get over how light this beer is. It is highly drinkable, a nice evening beer.

At the time of this review, this beer was #10 on the Top English Porter list.

 467 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is roasted malt with some earthy hops and some astringency. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some nuttyness. I also get some earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 263 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, best before date info etched onto the bottle. Pours very dark honey amber, with a dark tan head, leaves a long lasting thick film and a gentle swirl, creates splotches of lacing. Roasty nose. Notes here of more roasted grains, some smoke, vanilla, nice tasting porter. I'm no expert, but to me this tastes what a British style porter should taste like. Not overpowering, but still sturdy and flavorful. Nice bottle presentation, makes this one well worth seeking out, bring it to a dinner party and show some folks what a classy brew this is.

 574 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliantly clear deep brown color that shows a deep ruby color when held up to the light. The head is frothy and is a light brown color. The aroma is malty with notes of chocolate, fresh toasted bread, lightly roasted coffee, and a hint of astringent burn grain; the aroma is quite nice and enjoyable, though it is a bit on the subtle side of things.

The taste is lightly sweet up front with a palate that has a certain fullness to it, despite being quite light. The beer finishes with a dry burnt grain character and a solid dark chocolate note. Up front this tastes of sweetened black coffee, it also has note of biscuit malt and brown malt. The finish is quite nice, with a complex malt profile. Up front it is not quite so complex though, even a bit simplistic. The mouthfeel is too thin and the beer is a bit too sweet; both of these clash and downplay the nice malt profile, which is in the finish.

 916 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Meantime sure uses some of the coolest shaped little bottles around. 330 ml, on to the beer:

It sure doesn't look like the porters I drink here in California. More of an cherry amber color on its way to brown. The head is rocky and thick on top, shows very good retention. little lacing. Sweet....it smells sweet. There is some butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, and a kick of cough syrup flavored alcohol. Not a bad smell, but could be melded a bit better.

Old World porter all the way. Light doses of ground coffee brush across as a cherry/diacetyl combo coat the palate. This is about what I could expect in the style. Watered down toffee and caramel hit. Soft in the mouth, limited carbonation, a smidge "thin". Not hard to drink, though not a beer I'd have many one at a given time.

I've now had the London Porter and the Coffee Porter. Both leave good footprints in my memory, though the Coffee Porter's is a larger imprint (not that this is bad). But if you're looking for a taste of the past, this is for you.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark ruby brown when held up to the light. Moderate off-white head with good retention leaving light lacing.

S: Coffee and dark chocolate, some light turbinado sugar.

T: Mix of sweet and dark chocolate with a mild roasty character. Coffee is there, but in the background. The sweet/acid playful jaunt is intriguing and something I really enjoyed in this ale. Fantastic and delicious.

M: Light-bodied, fizzy to a point, but a nice long finish filled with dark malt.

D: I love English/London porters and this one is no different. With a more robust mouthfeel this one could rival Fuller's since the taste is there. A must buy, I don't know why I waited so long.

 692 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Drank on 30th Sept 2007 to celebrate the lives of John White and Micheal Jackson.

Dark brown 750ml cork and caged bottle, the best before date is smudged and unreadable, it was obtained in Dec 2006, so it aint too old.

Poured into a Duvel glass, the remaining half into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru tulip.

Both glases looked a picture, a very dark ruby red, almost black liquid filled them, a biege foaming head was apon the said fluid. I know it was ruby red, because when I held the glasses up to my chardalier I could see flecks of ruby red colour through the glasses.
The head soon left leaving a wispy scum on top, the bottle had to 'Phutt' to it when I released the cork, so maybe the dying head had something to do with that? No bubbles rising from a duvel glass, not normal at all.

The aroma was an incredible malty burntness, a crispy fried fruit cake smell (if there is such a thing).

The taste was the same as the aroma, someone's burnt the toast and dropped it into a fizzy drink. Far too sooty for my tastebuds, but I suppose that is what the brewer was trying to produce.

Heavy on the palate, the burnty flavours just wouldn't go away.

I am not going to slam this beer, but in my opinion it is very over rated and expensive for what it is. The marketing and packaging is top notch, the product however, doesn't live up to hype.

 1,342 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
London Porter from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
90 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.