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Naval College Old Porter - Meantime Brewing Company Limited

Not Rated.
Naval College Old PorterNaval College Old Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 28
Hads: 108
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.34%
Wants: 13
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 07-20-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (49) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 108
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a walnut brown with a thinner tannish colored head atop,a lighter porter in color.Deep brown sugar and caramel in the nose,the brown sugar element really sticks out,somehow it doesn't coming off cloying though.the feel is a little thinner than i was hoping for for a porter this size.Caramel and treacle flavors with a some raisin,the roast is there but subdued compared to American versions in my opinion,it doesn't seem as "big" as it is.I like it but maybe not as much as most,again I do like it.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this up at the Cloverleaf for the first time last night, having never tried a beer from Meantime before and not being terribly experience with English Porters. I always had the impression that they were low in alcohol and heavily roasted but this one was quite smooth and a bit stronger than I was accustomed to. The complexity of this was a plus as well as this was just more than a dark, roasted beer!

Nice ruddy brown hue to this that let in a little bit of light around the edges, with a smooth pour and roughness to the hue that would be expected for a beer of this type. I was intrigued by the aging in the Bruichladdich Octomore Barrels and it certainly kicked in once I gave this a whiff. Wood and peat combined with a strong roasted overtone and a fair amount of booze. Once I gave it a taste, the cola-like stickiness took over on top of those flavors, giving this a nice depth that only improved as this warmed up. Lots of dark malt could be found here and there was a good punch to this as well, even though the alcohol meshed in well with everything else.

While not a beer that one could chug down, this was worth savoring for a long session. Like the Innis and Gunn beers, I love how the aging process made the beer stand out from other similar offerings but there was still enough carbonation present to keep everything from becoming too heavy. English in feel through and through, this was a Porter that would be worth seeking out, even for those who aren't into Scotch. A solid brew in every sense of the word!

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Photo of KJHB
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a 1/2 pint tasting glass. Drunk from 45-50 F.

Appearance in the glass is a fairly clear dark chestnut brown with ruby and copper highlights, 2 fingers of almond/tan head which lasts for a moderate amount of time.

Aroma is a combination of malt, sweet toffee and fruity esters (some which are reminiscent of a brown ale) with a mild roasted grain character. No discernible hop character.

Flavor is exactly as it smells, caramel, malt, toast, a mild green apple tinge (brown malt?), mild roasted character, and a very slight raisin aftertaste indicative of an aged dark ale. Sweetness upfront which is followed by a mineral dryness characteristic of English beer.

Mouth-feel is spot on... not watery at all, but light to medium with character. Moderate carbonation which adds to the dry prickle at the end of each taste and makes me take sip after sip.

Overall, a damn good brew! I wanted to see what flavor changes occurred at a warmer temperature, but it just went down too smoothly. My father and I both agreed, we shoulda' grabbed another bottle! If you happen to come across this beer, buy 2 or 3, you'll be happy you did!

Note* I was initially confused by the brown color of the beer (I thought porter was supposed to be dark?) until I looked up the BJCP style guidelines for English porter and found two classes - brown porter and robust porter (dark to black and stronger). I wrote this review as if it was the former since it did not specify on the bottle.

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Photo of avalon07
2.98/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, off white head that lasted an average amount of time. OK lacing.

S: A muted aroma of malt, coffee, and not much else.

T: Tasted of light notes of coffee, chocolate, malt, and an almost medicinal quality. A very thin, uninteresting flavor. No ingredient ever seems to be assertive enough. Not so great.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: It's kind of hard to figure why this beer has such a high rating. It's bland, watery and not particularly well done. Could have been better.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Atlas World Grill in Iowa City. Served in a 12oz goblet today, 10/7/2013.

Review #283.

An opaque, dark black body with a beautiful mocha head, served at about 1cm, with good retention. Finally drops into the beer, leaving a mocha collar and nice rings of lacing as it goes down.

Smells great. A bit smoky, rather charred and very roasty. Lots of black coffee flavours and a bit of that espresso bitterness, mixing in with some sweet milk chocolate. Really smells great, and only gets better as it warms up.

Flavour profile is that of a typical English porter, but with some oak on it. Earthy, roasty, nutty profile with a good bit of coffee flavour and bitterness and chocolate, even some dark fruits come out as it warms. Everything melds together quite well in this one.

Medium bodied, a little watery but not terribly so. Very good carbonation, creamy and easy to drink. Gets sticky as it warms up, good dry finish that is refreshing. Drinks like a bigger beer than it actually is.

I like porters a lot and this is what I envision to be a solid representation of the style. The earthiness I assume is coming from the English-style hops (EKG, etc.) used in this, which gives it that flavour profile I enjoy as opposed to the American hops trying to make it more floral and citrusy. This delivers on all counts and isn't difficult to get here. Recommended for anyone who enjoys porters.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle with a best by date of 23.05.15.

Poured a dark cola brown with a sand colored head that started out rather voluminous and then settled down to a nice collar on the beer. Nicely carbonated after being cellared for a year or two. Respectable lacing on the sides of the glass.

Nose consists of loads of dark and milk chocolate, earthiness, peat, and hints of whisky.

Taste consists of roasted dark malt, bitter dark chocolate, and caramel. Also picking up the whisky--slight hint of the 8% abv. An overall earthiness.

Mouthfeel is substantial and incredibly smooth--like velvet.

This is a special porter.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown, pours thin with a ridiculous thick tan head maybe two finger's length off the body.

Smell: This is one potent brew. The smell, let's take that back...the aroma this beer pushes out is that f'n good. Strong rum scent with wood barrel type notes with hits of caramel.

Taste: Sweet rum taste like sweet coffee with light milk and hits of brown sugar. There's a vanilla aspect to it that hinders it. It's good at first but feel like it's just a notch too much...still very good.

Mouth: Medium bodied, smooth like dessert. Sticky...no complaints.

Overall: Very good porter, in fact one of the best I've had in recent times. I have one more bottle and guess I'll be waiting till the next day off I get to finish it. I hope you all enjoy this gem. Salud!

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/23/2015. Pours clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, biscuit, toffee, dark bread, coffee, clove, oak, light nuttiness, peat smoke, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with big complexity and balance of dark/roasted notes with moderate oak/smoke presence; and good strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, toffee, biscuit, coffee, dark bread, clove, oak, light nuttiness, floral, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, toffee, dark bread, coffee, oak, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of roasted/dark malt flavors with moderate barrel presence; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent oak aged Baltic porter! All around great complexity and robustness of dark/roasted flavors with moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Damian
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1pt. 9.4fl.oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
BBE 23 05 15
Served in a pint glass

Dark brown/black appearance. A super tight, creamy and bubbly, light tan head capped the liquid. The head faded to patchy lacing.

The nose was super smoky. Dry, roasty and peaty. Some powdery yeastiness. Strong espresso and chocolate notes. Woody with hints of oak.

Roasted malts and smoke dominated the flavor profile as well. Hefty dose of espresso. Some bittersweet chocolate notes. Touch of brown sugar. Slightly fruity. Raisins and plums were noticeable. Nutty. The finish was roasty and slightly bitter. Somewhat boozy, but in a good way.

The mouthfeel was super creamy. Smooth and supple. Medium bodied for the style.

Meantime's Naval College Old Porter is fantastically flavorful and amazingly quaffable. The Scotch barrel aging lent this beer an outstanding smoky quality and terrific overall complexity.

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Photo of Brenden
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown like most of its line of porters, this one may have a little more murkiness in its depth but is the same otherwise. The small brown head that develops caps at just over half a finger and drops until it consists of a tighter, creamier, more compact head. It leaves a pretty good amount of patchiness.
Peat comes off on the nose, exceptionally level with the perfect smokiness that's not too heavy but shows its presence. Alcohol is noticeable but gentle, coaxing rather than demanding. Some semi-sweet cocoa and a hint of plum waft out underneath. Dry woodiness, oaky, mingles with toast, caramel & toffee sweetness, and just a touch of brine for an exceedingly complex and deep aroma.
...and it certainly translates on the palate. This is as much like a fine, delicious sipping Scotch as any beer I've ever had. Peat, smoke, roast, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, brine, plum: it's all here. Absolutely delicious, complex, delicate, and balanced by oak that's both taste and texture, I want another bottle to sit with on my porch while I smoke a good cigar.
The alcohol smooths out the carbonation in this medium-bodied brew, and the wood lends a semi-dry character to the finish. Very nice.
Want to know how to barrel age a porter (as opposed to, say, an Imperial Stout)? Pretty much like this.

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Photo of themind
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This may be the best porter I have had to date. Pours a creamy generous head with a woodsy scotch aroma. The abv is hidden well as the beer is not " hot " at all. I very much enjoyed this brew and would buy it again. Porter lovers will embrace this beer. The scotch and smoky flavor will knock your socks off!

Bottom Line: Top notch porter!

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Photo of popery
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a fairly dark brown. Looks black from the side view of my full glass, but color is evident when looking down into the beer. I can't see any cloudiness, but it's hard to tell. Smallish light brown head. Good lacing. Aroma is a mix of caramel, cocoa, roast and a complex barrel character. The base beer is rich and full of toasty and roasty malt flavors. There's a big coffee note on a sweet background of gooey caramel and treacle. The scotch barrel is strong and carries a punch of wood, smoke, brine and booze. I've tried a couple Octomore expressions and enjoy that peaty beast of a whisky, but your mileage may vary on this beer if you're not a fan of Islay peat. The brine and smoke are just lovely. It's a shame that more beers don't get to see scotch barrels. The beer tastes similarly. Lots of roast, peat smoke, coffee, brine, molasses, and chocolate. It also adds in some dark malt fruitiness. The barrel comes through clearly and helps to dry out the sweeter side of the beer. Smooth mouthfeel. Low-ish carbonation, though pretty normal for a strong porter, particularly an English one. Lingering aftertaste of coffee, cocoa and peat. Very nice beer. Meantime is an excellent brewer, and it's great to find a both a good strong English porter and a good scotch-barrel aged beer. Over time, I imagine the barrel flavor would recede a bit and more of those fruity dark malt flavors would come out.

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Photo of brureview
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich dark coffee color in a pint glass. 1 Finger head.

Very strong vanilla wafting from the head.

The mouth feel is lightly carbonated.

Highly complex taste: coffee, vanilla, plum. As the beer warms, the coffee wanes, and a peet flavor becomes apparent. The beer is aged 24 months oak aging in used Bruichladdich Octomore( Islay single malt) barrels.

There is mild bitterness. The complexity on the back of the tongue is excellent. This is a sign of an excellent beer.

Overall, a first rate English porter. Serve warmer 50-55.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into A'chouffe tulip at lazy boy in white plains, ny. Pours a deep black with 2 fingers of creamy off-white head. Nice roasted bitter malted aromas with some barrel and woody notes; some boozey bourbon/scotch. Great roasted peaty scotch flavor...nice and smooth and unique. A very good beer.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this back from Austin with me.

Deep rich mahogany. Creamy espresso head that lingers and lingers. Purty.

Hints of molasses and bakers chocolate with a creamy balance. Yum.

Toucan Sam (it follows the nose... never mind). Burnt malts with a creamy rich chocolate that pokes through as it warms. Strong molasses initially but mellows as it warms

Really tasty. Glad i picked it up. Would love to get it again. Definitely pick it up if you come across it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, and malted milk. Taste is much the same with a slight smokey and woody flavor on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice smell and some great flavors.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

corked and caged 750ml into a wine glass.

a - pours a deep, dark brown but lets a little light through when held up to a lamp. formed a finger's worth of rocky, tan head that calmed slowly to a thin film. leaves behing big chunks of lacing in the glass.

s - chocolate malt, soy sauce, cola, fig.

t - chocolate and pale malts with lots of other little things going on. has notes of cola, faint dark fruits, a bit of black malt, a faint spiciness and also an 'old' taste which i imagine to be a very controlled level of oxidation. bitterness is mild at best. malt forward without being overly sweet. everything blends together quite well.

m - lighter side of medium with adequate carbonation. medium co2 profile. faint alcohol warming in the finish.

o - oddly, i don't get any of the scotch, barrel, or peat characteristics noted in other reviews. still a very nice beer and very drinkable, but on the expensive side for what you get. to me, this is what a porter should taste like.

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Photo of kdb150
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 6 oz. tasting glass from the tap.

A - typical porter, very dark brown. Despite a fairly vigorous pour, it came with minimal head. Looks like a big porter. Nice.

S - notes of oak, smoke, whisky, vanilla, chocolate, with hints of tobacco and leather. This smells terrific.

T - wow. Smoky, peaty scotch permeates throughout, but is not overpowering the way one would expect; this clearly benefitted from such a long time in the barrel. Roasted dark chocolate is also big in this, and the vanilla/oak from the nose are in perfect balance with the scotch flavor. This is without a doubt one of the very best tasting beers I have ever had. Amazing.

M - pretty thick, this one coats and sticks around, leaving a fantastic aftertaste. Low to moderate carb works very well here.

O - this is a phenomenal beer. I've been looking out for beers aged in scotch barrels as a break from the standard bourbon, and this is only the second I've had, from a brewery I've never heard of. Well, they've knocked this one out of the park; balancing a smoky, peaty scotch so perfectly with a beer has to be an incredibly difficult task, but everything here works together in harmony. I'm loathe to give any beer a perfect score, but I'm tempted to with this one. Unbelievably good.

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Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had never heard of it before, a bartender recommended it, couldn't be happier! The beer came in an eight ounce glass and was as dark and rich a color as I have ever seen. The smell was strong on the smokiness with a nice crisp scotch/cardboard smell mixed in as well. The taste, well, it was amazing. Wonderfully rich oak and smoke notes with heavy cocoa, alcohol and paraffin tastes as well. Almost tastes like a good scotch or whiskey mixed expertly with a nice porter. Wonderful beer that I will be seeking out whenever possible!

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Photo of JLebowski
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Listen, I know what you're thinking, "This guy just gave a beer 5.0, a fucking perfect? He's either drunk off his ass, a huge homer, or way too overzealous."

My rebuttal and explanation:

Appearance: What do you look for when reviewing a porter? A liquid that's dark in color? A nice mocha colored head that isn't pathetically pee-wee Herman sized and actually has some actual depth to it? Well, this beer looks great, beautifully dark with some substantial head.

Smell: Wow, the barrel aging is amazing, the peat-type scotch scent is strong and...guess what? Perfect. Combine that with the chocolate and coffee smells, and you've got a perfect smell for a BA porter. Not to belabor here, but lets think about this, its a Porter aged in Scotch barrels, in an ideal circumstance, how should it smell? Exactly. 5.

Taste: The peat-scotch taste is boldly present, with coffee, mocha, vanilla beans perhaps, and some amazing fudge browniesk(just go with it) chocolate.

Mouthfeel: So, this is a Porter, in my experience, Porters are generally less think/creamy than stouts and in THIS ONE INSTANCE, this Porter succumbs to the weight of the stout standards. Wait, whats that? This amazing beer IS a Porter, wow, I was so enamored with it I assumed it was a stout. The mouth feel is a little less than full but is VERY smooth with carbonation that leads you perfectly into the scotch after-taste.

Overall: Whats left to be said? I gave this beer a 5, a MF'n perfect and I stand by it completely. There is NO DOUBT that for a Porter, this beer is the fucking pinnacle, the god-damn summit, the peak, the climax, the meeting of A+S+T+M.

If you enjoy scotch and porter/stouts, then buy one. Actually, don't, don't do it. Don't buy one, buy as many as you can. I spent 9.99 on this beer and I would easily spend twice that on a regular basis and three times that on a special occasion.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet at SmallBar - Logan Square.

I almost mistook this one for the M&S Hospital Porter (as it's known as Hospital Porter outside the US due to labeling restrictions), but this one was brewed by Meantime for full release (rather than just for M&S) and was aged for 24 months in Bruichladdich Octomore barrels (as opposed to 4 months in Islay casks from MacLeod's Distilleries). The more you know. It pours a deep black-brown, highlighted in dark garnet, topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa, roasted malts, light whiskey, and very light vanilla bean. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light coffee notes and hints of charred oak. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid porter, but one whose barrel treatment hardly comes through at all, leaving a strong sense of disappointment. As far as porters go, though, this one is still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Greenplastic615
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap @ Khyber Pass in Philly - 8oz into a snifter.

Pours a dark-brown (nearly black) with minimal head. Smells (and tastes) smoky and peaty; scotch-like. The barrel treatment on this is quite well executed.

Really enjoyed this one a lot, and will try to seek out a few bottles for the cellar.

***Edit - had this a second time from the bottle and was not nearly as impressed as I was with the draft version***

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Photo of socon67
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Good Life, Massapequa NY

A - Black pour with a rich brown foam that is lively but dissaptes fast. Rings of lacing on the glass.

S - Scent is of chocolate and dark malts. There is a strong smell of smoky peat malt which is very cool. Gives a subdued bit of smoke in the finish.

T - Rich porter that is heavy with malt and cocoa. Could easily see this as adult Ovaltine. Finish again has a pronounced smoky taste. Hickory BBQ comes to mind.

M - Found this a heavy porter that always greys the line of being a stout. Rich flavors and the smoky bite make this hard to session, but rather savor. Went perfect with my beer short ribs.

O - Love traditional english porters and this was a great find. Would certainly hve this guy again.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice pitch black body capped by a large and dense white head. Lots of sticky lasce left behind. Sweet chocolatey porter notes upfront before the Scotch aromas come through. Peat and a bit of smoke pair well with the base beer.

Flavors give you a nice balance between the sweet and malty notes of the porter with the intense peat and phenols of the Scotch. Lacking is the vanilla oaky sweetness that often dominates bourbon barrel aged beers, bringing about the unique advantages of using Islay scotch barrels. Without the barrels, Meantime still brews a mean porter, and the barrels only build on this with just a touch of smokiness and a nice bit of peat without overpowering you. In the background you get a nice variety of chocolate and coffee to make one hell of a complex package.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a nice bit of carbonation that often lacks in barrel aged beers. Overall, this only makes me want more scotch barrel aged beers. I love my bourbon barrels but I generally prefer Scotch because it's not as sweet, and that carries over into the beer world as well. Lightly smokey with a delicious porter?... I'll take it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a super dark brown with a medium heavy off-white head. Some thick lace.

S: Peat, iodine, sea air, very Scotch oriented.

T: Great dark chocolate notes in balance with tremendous Scotch barrel character. Again, lots of peat, leather, smoke. Some dark fruit as well.

M: Medium to full-bodied, creamy, smoky, big finish and aftertaste. Very smooth.

O: A classic right here, very well made, kicks Mikkeller's Scotch barrel Black Hole's butt.

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Naval College Old Porter from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
91 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.