Pig Iron Porter - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Pig Iron Porter
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BA SCORE
87
very good

173 Ratings
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Ratings: 173
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 1
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

A classic porter, dark and full of roasted malt flavor. Chocolate notes are well balanced by a slight bitterness.

37 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 68
Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half finger head on a near jet black body and excellent lacing. Aroma consists of dark chocolate, roasted malts, espresso and earthy hops. The flavor follows this perfectly which each of those same notes echoed in the flavor. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This is a very nicely flavorful porter and may be one of their better brews.

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark, but translucent brown color and a modest head that leaves a few splashes of foam against the pint glass

Smell: Fudgy chocolate with hints of berry fruit

Taste: Rich chocolate flavor, up front, with a burgeoning raspberry fruit flavor arriving by mid-palate, along with a touch of bitterness; after the swallow, the chocolate returns to the forefront but the raspberry re-appears in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A supurb porter - love the fruity character and thick body

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Iron Hill West Chester on 11/20/11. Served in a goblet.

Pours a near black, with a ½ finger of off-white froth. This maintains a creamy richness, which soaps the sides of the glass with heavy swathes of lace. The aroma smells of chocolate and roasted coffee, along with some green leafy citrus notes and even a touch of spice.

The taste is cocoa and caramel up front, which is quickly cut off wall of green feeling hop bitterness. The malts return in the finish with a dry, burnt, and roasty finish, which really gives this some character that hangs on the palate for a while. Those fresh citric hops really drive this for the most part though. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm and prickly feel up front that lays some sharpness down on the tongue, but then works itself into more of a crisp smoothness as this rides along the back of the throat. This is easy enough feeling.

This is definitely my favorite of the staple beers from the Iron Hill chain and is honestly one that I should be drinking more of. This glass today wasn’t the best that I’ve had from the different locations but it was certainly good enough. A fine American Porter.

Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub.

Dark molasses brown color little head.

Nose has sweet dark malts, chocolate, coffee, light roast, creamy caramel porter aromas.

Taste has more sweet roasty malts, chocolate, dark chocolate, light coffee and toffee, caramel, nice bitter spicy hop bitterness, creamy mocha like taste.

Med body with decent carb.

Overall nice, good flavors, nice malt profile, bit of earthy hops, a bit light on the body though for the taste and malt profile.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A smooth porter with a minimal amount of bumpin' flavor touches. Consistent and nice. I think that's where its strength lies is in its consistency and not so much in any unusual flavor settings. Carbonation and the bubble is high and biting. Pleasant enough.

Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the night I visited the new brewery they had two versions of Pig Iron: the co2 and Nitro versions. I tasted a sample of the first, but opted for a pint of the second.

A - Appears like Bailey's it has so much gas making it appear like creamy coffee, but the slow cascade brings an off white head to the surface. It reminds me of a milkshade it is so smooth and it measures about 2 fingers atop the dark brown liquid.

S - Big fresh roasted coffee and roasted barley notes w/ a full nutty dry scent in the aroma. Rich toasted notes and light yeasty scents dominate the nose.

M - Smooth, full and creamy as expected in this nitro version. A gentle nutty roasted aspect appears w/ low carbonation in overall texture. Slightly dry in the finish w/ a gentle spiced quality.

T - Rich, sweet malt swirls 'round the tongue w/ a light chalky dry element as it warms w/ a very roasted flavor. Subtle full malty essence w/ a rich overoasteed quality that hints at a nut shop in the midst of roasting action. The flavor has plenty or malt and a bit of hops to keep it balanced. A basic porter w/ subtle boost of smoothness w/ the nitrogen.

D - I could probably drink several, but consider it an average porter in the scheme of things. Not highly drinkable, but better than average and I appreciate the chance to taste it in the nitro version. I suppose a fan of Guinness might like the mouthfeel, but it has more roasted character than sweetness. Not one I would return to often most likely.

Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

A tasty porter. Poured dark brown to black with a finger of off-white head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, and roasty malts, just the way a porter should be. Similar in the taste; malts came across a bit smokey almost, smooth chocolate and coffee notes retained. Medium bodied and drinkable.

Photo of mdfb79
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From 12/23/14 notes. Had on tap at the new location in Ardmore, PA. 4 oz. pour as part of a sampler.

Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

Nose is awesome, sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, vanilla, cream, toasted malts. Taste is a little more bitter, not as flavorful as the nose. Light body, a bit too thin, low to moderate carbonation evident.

Overall a nice porter with a great nose. A bit thin and the taste has more bitter dark chocolate, but would try it again.

Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Media, PA.
Pours with a red-brown body that has excllent clarity and highlights. Minimal head yet decent lacing.
Very good bitter-sweet balance. No sour or other off notes. Light smoke in the finish and aftertaste.
Medium body and carbonation.

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

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a grainy dark malt scent that boasts of black patent and crystal malts. The taste is good as well. It has a dry, dark malt flavor that boasts of chocolate and roasted malts; very nice. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carboation. This is a good porter. It has good flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

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

Appearance: dark brown almost black in color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: easy to detect the roasted malts and chocolate tones by the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, prunes, and a mild bitterness make up a straight forward porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth throughout. Aftertaste is long lived as the flavors linger in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: this beer hits the spot when you want a porter. You won't be drinking this beer fast, but it isn't a slow sipper either. Nice flavor profile will have you looking for another pint.

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How I Amuse Myself, Third Iteration.

Now what? Let me guess. Handpump, right? You know, you can be a real pest, Woody! Hmmm. I've heard that somewhere.

This was such a rare opportunity (to have one beer three different ways) that I could not pass it up. It was presented with easily two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, deep-tan head with excellent retention. For a cask beer, I do not know if it was her expertise in pouring (pulling, actually) or Paul's brilliance as a brewer, but this was fantastic! The color became darker and denser with each pour. On this one, I noted some ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass, along the rim, but otherwise it was straight out of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Even the white bits were black. The nose was MUCH more muted. It was slightly malty, but beyond that, it was anyone's guess. Here, the mouthfeel was medium-to (dare I say it about a cask beer?) thick with a much smokier taste than I had experienced on the previous two pours. The finish continued with a lightly smoky flavor. IMHO, this was the best of the lot, although none of the different pours were any slouches.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Flowing from the firkin at The Grey Lodge pub in Philadelphia.

A- Pig Iron Porter looks creamy, the hard whisp of cream colored with tan foam on top tells me this is one healthy looking beer. (disclaimer, I experienced a clearly infected porter from one of the Iron Hill locations but that's neither here nor there). The liquid wasshoe shine black and pretty hard to see through although some red spots poke through up to light.

S- Roasty robust roasted malts (say that one ten times fast) underneath a creamy almost milk like scent with some cocco and small chocolates. Some burnt coffee and a dry appeal as well. Some hops off in the distance.

T- And, it's good. Pig Iron is roasty indeed with a slight smokey effect to itself. Getting some char and coffee and creamy milk in the middle finished off by some dry hop attributes almost like a extremely faded or aged storm king in terms of hops, yes those hops. Chocolate is there in spirit as well as some nutty appeal, this one is all about the roast.

M- It's off a firkin, the body is nearing medium and is not that watery. OK it seems like it's on the verge of being watery but not really, the body remains strong. Easy feel out da firkin. Smooth and creamy, yet not that creamy, the hops towards the end take away from it, but add something in their own right.

D- I really liked this porter and wish I had a firkin of my own for the upcoming winter time blues.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pig Iron Porter @ Iron Hill West Chester

Pours a dark brown/amber with ruby highlights, short livid off white head. Smell has alittle roast, light cocoa and a bit of vanilla. In the taste, roasted malt, light coffee flavor but alittle watery. Mouthfeel also a bit on the thin side. Still the flavors work, just alittle light and the feel could be stronger. Not one of the most impressive offerings Iron Hill has.

Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub.

Comes off like a tasty American brown porter in that it's on the lighter side and has clean flavors. The taste has a nice brown sugar undertone with cocoa and dark grains. It felt maybe a little undercarbonated, but was very drinkable and seemed like a great session beer.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask with coffee infused at the Lancaster brewpub.

A: The porter is a mahogany red color, full enough to be brown/black. The hand-pulled brew has the cascading head that is rather stunning while it lasts.

S: The nose is mostly coffee with light chocolate below the surface. The coffee is not in-your-face, just generally present throughout.

T: The coffee isn't as dominant as you'd expect. This isn't a coffee bomb, rather it is the porter with a nice twist. Coffee is mild, with a full flavor that doesn't overtake the porter. The handpull has created a smooth, creamy body that seems best for the pig iron (I am not a fan generally). Porter flavors are chocolatey with a toasted finish.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth, aided immensely by the cask conditioning. Coffee isn't the dominant aspect, willing to share the spotlight with the porter.

D: A decent ale, not quite like the imperial coffee of a few months back, but drinkable enough.

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

A: Poured a flat black in the glass with a 2 finger sandstone/tan colored head that was creamy and well lasting while leaving a thick, sticky full sheet coating.

S: The nose was lighter then expected with soft roasted barley, black coffee with a light presence of burnt pine woodiness.

T: The flavor was bittering with dark roasted malt, black coffee with hints of dried creamer. A very earthy minerality (wet charred wood) with a exceptionally smooth roasted bitterness that is quick off the tongue. The finishing fade finds a bitterness of freshly brewed black coffee.

M: silky smooth, with a good amount of carbonation giving this a fine tuned texture and a good lively tingle on the tip of the tongue.

D: good with a smooth roasted bitterness that never overwhelms making this a silky smooth downer. Good drink, good enjoyment and growler approved.

Photo of tobelerone
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Media.

Pours a very deep brown, nearly black color, with a cream colored head that settles slowly and nice lacing. Very traditional in the aroma; very roasty, charred malt, with hints of espresso, and a bit of herbal and floral hops underneath.

Traditional and old-school in flavor as well; it’s all about the roasted, slightly burned malt flavor, with suggestions of black espresso and bittersweet chocolate, and a subtle floral hoppiness lending additional bitterness to the picture. Buried underneath but slowly emerging as the beer warms is a hint of sourness not strong enough to be disconcerting, but that nonetheless feels like a slight flaw. The modest sweetness of the beer dries up almost completely in the finish.

Medium bodied and carbonated, with a decent amount of smoothness on tap that elevates the mouthfeel above many other bottled porters of this type. A solid and dependable example of the style.

Photo of vfgccp
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Super dark black / brown with amber highlights when held to light. Creamy and tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

A- Rich malt smell. Dark Chocolate on front end. Hints of vanilla on middle. Finishes with a slight almond and caramel note.

T- Bitter chocolate front end. Roasty malt middle end. Finish is slightly less bitter with hints of smoke and char.

M- Bubbly tang and acidity n front end. Coating and think feel with a biting acidic finish. Kind of dry as well at back end.

O- Thicker than most porters. Great looking beer with great taste characteristics. Superbly drinkable and smooth taste. Acidic bite is refreshing and helps round out the thickness.

Photo of DrJay
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense head. Thick tan lace was left on the glass. Good head retention. Plenty of roast/burnt/coffee aromas (with an emphasis on burnt) with malty cocoa and light, citrusy hops. Burnt, bitter chocolate maltiness with sweetness well balanced against a mild hop bitterness. Hop flavour grew towards the end. The carbonation was a little on the high side to really showcase the style, but the texture remained creamy. Medium bodied to start, but this lightened a bit towards the end. A satisfying porter that hits all the right notes.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On nitro-tap, served in a pint

Arrived at my seat a near pitch black in the center with ruby red highlights throughout. A creamy tan head sits like a dollop of cream and never truly recedes. Scattered lines of lace.

Deep roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate dominate the nose. Really not much else going on, but that's ok in my book.

The flavor really opens up a bit as it warms. Dark fruits (raisins and cherries), pine, dark chocolate, and some licorice. Roasted malts are the dominant force, but the rest of the flavors poke in and out.

The nitro makes this super creamy and thick. A really soft carbonation lets this guy shine.

There are some borderline robust flavors with a good amount of thickness that prevent this from being super drinkable. With that said, I could easily have a couple of these in a sitting, but not a porter for all night consumption.

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

A damn nice porter from the folks at Iron Hill. Dark chocolate brown in colour with a small espresso head of foam that lasts long enough. The aromas of this brew are pure porter. Coffee, chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, and subdued hops. The taste follows suit. This is a very nice beer that is coffee-like up front, roasty in the middle, and chocolatey in the finish with a twinge of near-green hops in there as well. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and nice for a porter, and the drinkability is good as well.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had on-tap at the Media location, served in pint glass.

dark brown almost black in appearance, with thin white head. smell and taste are roasted malt, a little bitter. not much in the way of your typical coffee and chocolate notes typical of a porter.

mouthfeel was on the thinner side, medium carbonation. fiarly easy drinking and smooth.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark brown with a thin tan head, which may have been more a function of the conservative pour than anything else. Some light coming through lighter-brown parts at the edges.

The smell is pretty workmanlike for a porter, but with lots more chocolate and roastiness in it. A light hoppiness is there as well, but it's got a little caramel in it, too.

The flavor is quite sweet, even by porter standards, with a plum-like quality on top of lots of caramel and cocoa chocolate. It's a lot of fruity sweetness as it hits your tongue, but it mellows out a bit and lets some roastiness in before finishing with a big roasted barley and chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium.

Overall: A great brewpub porter. Seek this one out!

Photo of ffejherb
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Iron Hill Lancaster on 10/16/09.

A - Deep brown body with ruby highlights and one-finger creamy tan head that retained quite well and produced thick, foamy lace that slowly slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Subtle roasty aroma with hints of chocolate/cocoa, coffee and toasted nuts. Slight lactic notes (similar to those that would appear in a milk stout) are also present. Aroma is rather muted overall.

T - Roasty and dry flavor with sweet lactic notes and hints of chocolate and coffee. Some nutty astringent notes emerge in the middle and extend into the backend. While hop bitterness and sweetness are minimal, there is plenty of roasty malt character. Finishes with just a touch of leafy, earthy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, fairly robust mouthfeel, though just a tad watery due to the cask conditioning. Finish is dry with light bitterness on the palate.

D - Very drinkable cask conditioned porter. While I found this to be a bit light on the aroma, Pig Iron has lots of dry, roasty flavor that struck me as a cross between a dry Irish stout and a milk stout.

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Pig Iron Porter from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
87 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.