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London Porter - Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
London PorterLondon Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

428 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 428
Reviews: 279
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 32
Gots: 34 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 428 | Reviews: 279
Photo of Jmamay22
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle conditioned porter is meant to recreate the porters created in England around 1750. I'm not intimately familiar with brewing history, but I'm up for turning back the clocks. Hopefully it is a worthwhile vacation.

This porter pours from an impressive 750mL bottle. The beer is a hazy and somewhat opaque tawny ruby brown. Nice creamy tan colored head that leaves some occasional sticky lacing.

Smells somewhat yeasty and fruity. There's a heavy dose of malts and chocolate richness. Reminiscent of the Belgian take on stouts, but without the spices.

Taste is very complex, well balanced, but clearly in favor of the sweeter variety. Taste moves from sour fruits (not in a rotten sense, but in a pleasant Belgian image) to chocolate and coffee sweetness. Incredible depth of taste and I find it surprising that it is not higher in abv due to such an amazing flavor.

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy and on the heavier side of medium bodied. Consistent with the flavor and style. Highly drinkable with only 6.50% abv, but the single 750mL bottle served as a good cut off point.

Fit for a king or George Washington. I have no idea how accurate the replication is, but this is an amazing brew. A porter of this stature would serve well as a staple in any bar.

Photo of TexIndy
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle with a freshness date into a pint glass. It was a dark brown with ruby highlights. It had an average sized beige head that settled into a thin collar. A little lacing and carb. The aroma was roasted malts, some chocolate and smoke. The taste was good with a nice smoky feel with coffee and chocolate tones. Good mouthfeel. Overall, this is a really good porter. I enjoyed the smoky twist and could see a bottle going down every few months. Highly recommend. (4, RR, T, Y)

Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour from the 750ml cork and caged bottle is a deep clear brown to almost black with significant ruby highlights, head is light chocolate in color, the texture creamy and the size exceptional, as it fades to nothingness, the lacing provides a firm sheet to surround the glass. Nose has a nice toasted grain aroma, sweet with hints of toffee and bittersweet chocolate, quite pleasing to the nose and eyes. Start is pleasantly malty, sweet with just a hint of hops, top is light to moderate on the palate. Finish is benevolent in its acidity, the hops amiable in their spiciness, sweet to the end with a dry aftertaste, quite a nice Porter, having sampled a few of their beers, they seem to be an excellent brewery

Photo of goochpunch
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a ruby tinged cherry finished wood with a creamy, khaki head which leaves little bits of lace. Smell has notes of dried, dark fruits, fresh berries, chocolate, cane syrup, and coffee. I can pick up a touch of smokiness. Flavor is very full and rich with more fresh fruitiness coming out over the dried ones, but I still surely pick up some raisin and dried fig. Nice mix of breadiness with the sweetness reminds me of biscuits and cane syrup. A touch of cherry presses on through the middle along with some big chocolate. Finishes with roastiness of coffee. Aftertaste lingers on and on with big emphasis on cane syrup, preserved figs, and coffee (all this reminiscent of breakfast). Light twang in the finish as well, to mention. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight, has a gentle carbonation, but can be just a bit sticky. Drinkability is fine, but the sweetness could hold me back. Delicious beer, but I don't know if I'd pay this much for it again.

Photo of dnichols
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured two six ounce samples into a cocktail glass (not optimal but necessary give I was distant from glasses more suited to this brew).

I don't know where to begin! The taste is so simple, yet so complicated. It's toasty, burnt, smooth, earthy and delicious!
It's absolutely excellent!!

A: I poured a dark rich brown with a tint of amber when back lit. The chocolate brown head was marginal and short lived. There was little to no lacing.

S: There was a powerful aroma of burn chocolate. There were toasty earthy notes and a burst of sweet plums.

T: The flavor was distinct and welcoming. There was a toasted, almost burnt chocolate flavor complemented by an earthy grit that gave the brew substance. It was hard finding the alcohol it was so well hidden (plus there just wasn't much there to find at 6.5% ABV).

M: Medium to full body with a semi sweetness on the front end and a dry dark plum finish.

D: I enjoyed about a half pint and would have gladly gone for a couple more if they had been available. I'll have this porter again.

Comment: I like the trend in craft beers to find historic recipes. This porter was rich and complex. Hat tip to the brewery.

Photo of CharlieMopps
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A moderate pour yielded a solid three fingers of thick head. Retention was above average, with some dense lacing. Color was a near-impenetrable black with mahogany highlights.

S: Roasted malt and scaled-back espresso and chocolate notes are evident.

T: The initial base is light in body with a roasted malt character, but eases off for a crisp, hoppy bitterness that cuts through in the middle. Finish leaves lingering hops with the syrupy malt residue on the back of the mouth.

M: Light to medium body, generous carbonation that bubbles up on the tongue. As mentioned above, there is a crispness that comes from the carbonation.

D: While perhaps not my absolute favorite interpretation, this is definitely what I think of when I hear the world "porter." Seems like all the ducks are in a row on this one, with the taste and mouthfeel matching the historical porter flavor profile.

Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as the african night, smells good to the last drop maxwell house. The taste calgon takes away to a land of deep malty, chocolatey, roasty toasty, goodyness. The triangulation of belgian sensiblities, english personality, and a german attitude gives this beer its unique 32 pieces of flair to keep you coming back.

Photo of BucBasil
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretasting notes: Broke this one open to commemorate 2 special events: firstly my 50th review on this site, and also to celebrate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first victory of the season.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the extremely classy 750ml bottle. Pours a great looking, amazingly deep ruby color with a good 2 finger tan head. No lacing.

Smell: Aroma is of rich molasses at first glance that turns into a sort of caramelly smell. Malt profile is ridiculously deep, revealing dark and rich aromas. There's a light chocolate note towards the end. Not overpowering, yet satisfyingly complex.

Taste: Medium body starting with a fabulously chewy malty note that reminds of caramel and dark chocolates. There's also a pleasant cola note in the middle. Sweet, milky coffee on the midpalate with a satisfying and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated but finishing extremely smooth. Strikes a great balance.

Drinkability: Tore through this 750ml bottle easily, but best taken pretty slow to savor the complex malt profile here. I'll definitely be buying this again to punctuate special occasions.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. This bottle conditioned ale pours a dark brown color with a perfect off-white colored head into an imperial pint glass. Good head retention here and some nice lacing also. Aroma is of sweet chocolate, toasted nuts, brown sugar, smoke, a bit of fruit, and a touch of hops in the background.

Taste is more of the aroma with the toasted, nutty, malt flavors showing through and some of the brown sugar sweetness noted in the aroma as well. Finish is slightly bitter and fruity with a smoked peat pressence as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, and has a nice carbonation level. This porter is extremely drinkable. A very good english porter, and I will purchase again despite the slightly high price tag.

Photo of allengarvin
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color, ruby-tinted when held to the light, with a quickly-fading tan head. Sweet caramel fills out the aroma, with a toffee, chocolatey undertone. Taste has some nice roasted malt character that didn't show up in the nose, together with a little bitter dark chocolate flavor and a low hop bitterness. The finish adds a nuttiness I didn't notice before. Body is a bit thin and watery, giving it a bit of authentic Britishness, I think.

Not bad, but at $9.95 not a beer I'd like to sample too often. Fuller's example is more affordable by volume, and at least as good as this.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium brown with ruby highlights and a then tan head

S - Toasted malt, nutty, biscuit, slightly fruity.

T - Fresh baked bread with homemade jam spread on it. Roasted nuts, milk chocolate, hint of smoke.

M - On the light side and lightly carbonated but it works. Could use a bit of creaminess maybe.

D - This definitely shows signs of brown ale and scotch ale but that just makes it more complex. I am guessing this is what old time porters drank like. Very nice.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear and almost opaque with mahogany hues and a full wispy light tan head that fades fairly quickly. Some lacing follows. The smell is a creamy milky tootsie roll chocolate. Medium bodied, light textured, the mouth feel tingles at first from the carbonation then it gives way to a smooth creaminess. Full flavored, the rich malty taste is lightly roasted with notes of semi-sweet chocolate. A roasted latte lingers lightly in the finish. A nice drinker. Really glad that i had the opportunity to sample this one.

Photo of shroompod
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml champagne bottle. Cork came out a little to easy. Small head, very little lacing.

Smell has a muted roasted/black malt profile.

This beer has a nice coffee, chocolate, and malt flavor that has just enough hop bitterness to keep it from being cloyingly sweet.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich. This seems to be under carbonated, but this may be an English thing.

Overall this beer is a pleasure to drink, 750ml might be enough.

Photo of bort11
3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 750 ml bottle pored into an imperial pint glass. Tall fizzy head which was not really expected for a porter. Doesn't leave much lacing at all. Color is a dark ruddy caramel shade.
Smell has a chocolate and brown sugar aroma. Sweet and malty. Taste follows smell and adds a little toffee flavor. There is a sweet burnt bitterness.
Mouthfeel is a little thin and fizzy. Taste makes up for it, but still, for a porter I generally like a little more body.
I shared this with my wife, and she really liked the flavor, so I would probably get this again to share with her.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown color with some ruby highlights. 1finger of brown head that leaves no lacing.

Smell is faint. Some bready malt and grape jelly.

Taste is not what I expected. Old school porter for sure. Bread and jam with a tinge of sourness in the finish. It seems to be a combonation of flavors you'd find in a porter and those in an old ale.

Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall, an interesting beer. They did a good job of recreating the old porter, but I think I prefer the newer versions. Still worth trying for sure.

Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with nice red highlights big fluffy brown head that falls to cap leaving sticky lace on my glass.

Aroma is lots of caramel/molasses some nutty notes whiffs of roasted malt, coffee with chocolate hints along with nice hop presence and something a little strange. Strange might be hard water aromas a little metallic maybe hard to pin point but not bad.

Taste is nice rich caramel brown sugars abounding nice roasted malts more evident in the flavor. Nice coffee with good chocolate notes ride on a light effervescence carbonation spike. This is a real porter nice rich flavors but not trying to be a stout at all. Very enjoyable even though I enjoy big porters also.

Mouthfeel is about right on for a porter nice almost creamy but not full more medium on the right side. Carbonation seems to spike in the middle lifting the roasted flavors to the front then mellows for the finish, nice.

Drinkability is good the only thing bringing it down is the price. A nice enjoyable treat from a good brewery.

Photo of Cascadia
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a truely unique beer. It pours a much lighter, almost brown ale hue of burnt carmel, with light ruby red corners when held to the light. The appearance is decieving, because this is a full-bodied porter. It smells more yeasty than most porters I've tried, but the roasty malts do make their way to your nose, readying you for the tasting. The taste is very special, nice burnt sugar and roasted coffee notes, some sourness (that is completely welcomed in my opinion) and a nice hoppy bitter aftertaste. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, overall a very good beer, one that I will be trying again soon. Meantime is making some very good brews, check 'em out if you see them.


Photo of jed314
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured dark brown with a minimal head. Aromas were mostly of roasted malts and some subtle dark fruits. Flavors were of sweet roasty malts and some interesting mineral and earth notes. Not as full bodied as i was expecting but it still maintained a great balance.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of rm0312
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle - Poured a head that was light brown and the body a nice dark brown. Aroma was malty with coffee, caramel, and chocolate. Flavor was sweet from the chocolate and lightly bitter and hoppy. Very smooth. Great finish. Tried this at a beer tasting and purchased a bottle right after the event. This was a very good porter.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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London Porter from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
89 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.