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Old Slug Porter - RCH Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Slug PorterOld Slug Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

104 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 104
Hads: 133
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 5
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
RCH Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 01-14-2002

In the old brewery we had a problem with slugs getting into the brewery. As the beer leaves a trail down the glass as you drink it like a slug, that's how the beer was named.
A delicious traditional porter with a full bodied taste of chocolate, coffee, blackcurrant and black cherry with a good aroma. A near black colour with a good white head when served through a tight sparkler.
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Reviews: 104 | Hads: 133
Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Brief impressions from a bottle reviewed live in Kuopio, Finland:

A: Pours a healthy khaki head with ample frothiness an cream punctuated by a soft even consistency. Has a soft sticky look - right on the money for an English porter.

Body is a predictable opaque black. True to style. No yeast is visible.

A standard porter appearance, with notable head retention (~9 minutes).

Sm: Chocolate malt, cream, a hint of blackcurrant (when I look for it, per the label; otherwise I'd figure it for some kind of berry), and dark malts. Malty sweetness dominates. More of a rich chocolatey aroma would be superior, and its absence of roasted barley is disappointing. Additions of coffee, hazelnut, vanilla, etc. would also help.

Still, it suggests a balanced beer with a pleasant taste. Very inviting, even if there is ample room for improvement.

I find no oats, yeasty notes, overt hops, booze, off-notes, or black cherry. The label's claims of "nutty, woody flavours" and "honeyed toffee" go unsatisfied.

TASTE: The shallowness of the chocolate malts is highly disappointing, and feeds into the generic malty sweetness that dominates the beer - almost eclipsing the otherwise pleasant blackcurrant character. There's zero roastiness here, and it could do with more cream. All in all a shallow simple brew with only a passable balance. Not a gestalt brew, but it does have limited cohesion.

The build is rather basic. Very much a no-frills porter.

TEXTURE: Medium to full-bodied. Somewhat creamy. Overcarbonated. Smooth and wet, but not silky or velvety. Typical thickness for a porter. Not too heavy or overbearing.

Decent execution in terms of mouthfeel. It's a shame there isn't much in terms of flavour for this texture to support.

OVERALL: It's a fair attempt at a porter, but it falls far short of the greats in the style. Definitely drinkable, but lackluster nonetheless. Not a beer I'd buy again at Finnish import prices, nor would I say it's worth trying. But you could do worse, and I do like it for what it is. An average porter is a likable porter...

Low C (2.78) / AVERAGE

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 500ml bottle with a BB of July 2014, so it's a bit out of date. Purchased a while back from the York Beer & Wine shop. Here's hoping it's still alright....

A: Poured into a dimpled pint mug. Bottle conditioned. A very dark reddish-brown hue that appears utterly black in the glass. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes bofore settling as a patchy surface layer. Nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, burnt grain, mild molasses, subtle dried fruit, earthy yeast and faint stewed leaves. Tasty.

T: Tastes of roasted malt with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of dark malt, mild burnt grain, coffee, a touch of chocolate, subtle molasses, faint dried fruit, earthy yeast and stewed leaves. Well-attenuated, followed by a lingering malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and dry, with soft carbonation and good body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of dark malt, mild coffee, yeast and bitter stewed leaves.

O: A solid porter that goes down a treat. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour possess a satisfying blend of roasted malt, coffee, mild molasses and earthiness. Good bitterness but not excessive. Nice body. Worth sampling if you come across it.

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Photo of FLima
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black color with red highlights and a thick beige head with good retention and leaving lots of laces.
Nice roasted malty aroma with notes of chocolate, charred wood, cocoa powder and licorice.
Flavor of blackcurrants, bread crust, wood, roasted malt, coffee, mild tangy citrusy, figs and cocoa powder. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light creamy body with good carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Benchmark for an English Porter. Tasty with a nice roastdness and very sessionable. Let it warm and you will be rewarded.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on cask via hand-pump in the Mad Bishop and Bear in Paddington Station, London.

Pours a great dark, dark, dark brown colour, verging on black. Quite a nice but quickly disappearing head on it.

Smells of dark, roasted and burnt malts.

Tastes pretty much perfect. Served slightly cooler than I've usually had in pubs, but not so cool as to mask any taste. The perfect temperature. In every way, as I drink I think how this is the perfect porter. So dark and malty up front, yet with a great wholesome yet drinkable texture to it. Not much distinctive hoppiness to speak of.

This is my perfect pint. I love it.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is, for me, probably the closest thing I've had to my romantic idea of an ideal English Porter.

That's not to say it's perfect, nor the most quaffable porter I've known.

Dark reddish-brown liquid (you don't even have to hold the glass up to a light to notice) with a slightly sooty-tan head. It just looks like porter.

I don't know whether the lines were overdue for a cleaning or if the keg had gone off a bit, but accompanying its rich chocolate-syrup, doughy, and ohhh-so-delicately roasty malt foundation was a distinct, unique (to me) ester profile that suggested an arguably mellow, almost gueuze-like, sourness. Perhaps centerpiece to its character. It, of course, helps that the body has a lightness to it that, dare I say, makes it totally sessionable.

I'd have to drink a few pints or more in succession to really start to adjust my palate to it, zero in on some points, but what a memorable ale! You gotta try it - you may like it.

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Photo of shand
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 fl. oz bottle into a nonic.

This beer pours deep brown with a large, off-white head. The aroma is strong on cocoa powder and coffee, with a hint of roasty malts. The taste is good, it's got a great effervescent mineral character over roasted malts and chocolate. The mouthfeel is prickly and light, and the drinkability is good. A solid example of a lower ABV porter - the likes of which don't seem to make it over to US shores all that often.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle conditioned: best before Oct 2012, poured into a UK pint sleeve on 1st Aug 2012.

Really dark body: deep brown with a tan coloured foaming head that was huge and lasting.

Intense aromas of burnt/roasted/toasted malts: these turn into coffee and chocolate flavours in the taste. A hop bitterness is never far away and I found this a complex and interesting Porter.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Town Hall Tap in Minneapolis. This beer arrives a very dark brown color. The head is an inch of solid white foam that stays put leaving tight rings down the sides of the glass until the beer is gone. The aroma is of chocolate, cocoa powder, and roasted malt with hints of cherry. The taste is similar to the aroma, and has nice complexity. The mouthfeel is spot on for a cask beer. Silky in texture, medium bodied, and lightly carbonated. Overall, this is a nice, easy drinking porter that I will certainly drink again if the chance presents itself.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On cask at Rustico Alexandria. Served in a nonic pint.

Pours dark brown with a good cask-level light tan head. Good lacing on the way down. The nose carries a strong component of diacetyl, which is thankfully at least partially covered up by roast and chocolate. Flavor isn't quite as bad on that front, though it's still there. Nothing too interesting. Medium body and light carbonation with a bit of roast. Okay.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, practically black. Some chestnut edges. Airy, tan head holds pretty well and leaves some good patches of lace.

Faint, sharp roasty aroma. A bit of milk chocolate and dark fruit. Simplicity

Sharp feel, slightly roasty with some milk and dark chocolate. Fairly dry, without being ashy or acrid. A small amount of dark fruit.

Medium body, with a good creamy feel. Alcohol is a non-factor. Easy to drink. Nothing mind blowing, but a solid quaffer.

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Photo of Hachiman
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A straight pour yields tons of ecru foam diminishing to a substantial, persistent head. Very fine lacing, not so pretty. Beer itself an impenetrable dark brown.

Smells primarily of burnt toast with a little bit of sweet, dark fruit.

Taste roasted notes at first, followed a long, bittersweet finish. A bit of alcohol aridity on the back end. Severe comes to mind.

Good carbonation and medium body add to the weighty impression.

Not something you'd like to drink a lot of at one sitting, but good for a contrast with sweeter or more sour beers, and it certainly stands alone.

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Photo of rarbring
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is black with ruby red tones, has a tan head, leaves good lacing.

The smell is rather weak, roasted malt, toast, some dried fruits.

The taste starts with burned bread crust and dark toffee and brown sugar, then dried dates and figs, some modest bitter zest finish.

The carbonation is medium light, a fresh feeling, almost ended in a coarse dry spell.

A good and well balanced porter.

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Photo of stakem
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wisherebeer for sharing. Poured from a stubby brown bottle into a snifter. This brew appears a light brown color with super clarity that is ruby red in color laden with brown hues as it is held to the light. A tan cap quickly recedes leaving "sluggy" spots of lacework on the glass.

The smell of this brew is fruity with alcohol and hops mixed with chocolate malt and a light mineral quality. There is a light tang to the nose from the mix of fruit and alcohol. The grain is leaning towards musty but not fully.

The taste is minerals and musty grain like the aroma led on. Hops are evident giving a fruited quality when mixed with the alcohol. Chocolate malt is present with a taste of old coffee. This is a lightly tangy brew, dare i say suggesting an "old style" or traditional method used in the brewing of this offering.

It is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Somewhat watery in the feel and easy drinking. This is something I could forsee myself drinking all day long while getting some work done around the house. But to sit down and just sip and savor, this isn't the brew for the job. The description/details in this listing are more appealing than the brew itself (minus the slug reference.)

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small, creamy light tan head leaving lots of lacing.
Nose shows cocoa, dark chocolate, roasted malt and caramel.
Flavours include more roasted malt with coffee characters and faint chocolate. Some initial sweetness quickly fades into a dry finish.
Body feels watery.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I spent a cold Christmas Eve with an Old Slug; not Santa, nor my mother-in-law, but a bottle-conditioned gem from RCH, a small brewer located in West England.

The initial pour creates a monstrous explosion of foam, one that slowly settles into a spongy vanilla crown atop an impervious, and foreboding, body of black. A thick lacing begins to form a crust along the glass rim. The nose detects some subtle, yet sweet, notes of honey and toffee; the palate receives vague tastes of nut and toasted malt. Old Slug is smooth, creamy and well-balanced - yet, surprisingly light in its' overall body. All in all, this porter makes for a really nice quaff to warm the holiday, or any day when thirst comes calling.

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Photo of bark
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is wine red - brown. The low head is pale brown.

The smell is nutty and a bit sour. Mildly roasted notes with hints of milk chocolate bars.

The taste is very smooth with lots of milk chocolate. Some mild bitter notes and a sour touch. Medium bodied. The aftertaste is relatively fresh with semi-sweet chocolate flavours. A smooth bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation is very light; the liquid is extremely smooth.

Probably one of the smoothest beers I have reviewed. It felt like drinking a down pillow!

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a creamy beige head that slowly faded away and left lacing around the edges of the glass. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: Light aromas of chocolate and coffee are present in the smell.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of bitter chocolate and coffee beans, although there are some notes of cherries in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Drinking this beer is a breeze and its low alcohol content makes it very sessionable.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the cask at Paradiso in DC from the cask.

Resembles a light chestnut brown with a head of about two finger size and cream tanned bubbles. Lots of elevator music bubbles from the bottom and a very tight head with big BIG lacing! Served tepid.

However, the bouqeut is very faint and closed with not much malt and even a slight soap"ness" to it.

Taste is much improved though after drinking. Very coffee like in at first taste, and nicely balanced with malt and light sugars. Excellent body on this beer with a faint nut finish. Very enjoyable. Beer feels BIGGER than the ABV it states. Would drink this in a heartbeat.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle from Wine World in Panama City Beach.

Pours a dark, murky brown, nearly black, with a creamy cafe-au-lait-colored head that leaves some nice lacing and rings on the side of the glass.

Aroma of mild coffee, lactose, a hint of chocolate. Not much roastiness. Some minerally tang as well.

Taste has a bit more roastiness than the aroma, but still a bit weak. Nice coffee and cocoa flavors with a vague earthiness. Dry and grassy, with a balance that seems a bit too far on the dry side for a porter.

Mouthfeel is medium, but not as watery as some reviews might lead you to believe. This isn't a big malt beer, but a nice example of the English style. Very easy drinking with only a hint of bitterness in the finish. Very smooth from the bottle conditioning and the gentle hand with the roasted malts.

Drinkability is excellent. The tangy yeast and mineral quality keep the interest up, but I'd like to see a bit more malt body and flavor.

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Photo of biglite351
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - red brown light through the center of the glass. Tall creamy white head.

S - malty but a bitter finish, not inviting.

T - very solid flavor. Mold roasted malts. Maybe a minor coffee in there. Much better than the scent.

M - medium coating, mild tingle on front of tongue.

D - solid good flavor and mildness of the feel make this am all nighter.

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Photo of bgildea
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice dark brown/black color. Thick tanish head that leaves some good lacing.

S: Nice sweet smell of caramel and chocolate. Very appetizing.

T: Pretty bitter for a porter, almost tastes like a IPA with the hoppy bitterness. Not enough of the sweet flavors come through. Some hints of semisweet chocolate and roasted malts.

M: Thinner than I expected. Not a whole lot of chew and has some large carbonation bubbles.

D: It's a drinkable beer. Definitely not my favorite porter, but its worth a taste.

Overall: Overall I was very excited to try this beer. It looked great, smelled delicious, but then never really delivered for me. A little too bitter and hoppy, and I didnt get enough of the chocolate and caramel sweetness that I was expecting. Decent beer, but not great.

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Photo of Jiggamyte
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into pint glass.

A: Black in color with an off white, light head. This beer creates a very light lacing as the beer level drops.

S: Smokey, roasted caramel malts, and bready.

T: Bitter chocolates, toasted malts, caramel, dark fruits.

M: This beer was surprisingly lighter than expected. Maybe a medium body. Slightly oily on the palate.

D: Low in carbonation and very smooth. Very drinkable in high quantities.

Overall, this beer was a good beer. I was taken back by the mouthfeel, I was expecting something a little heavier. If you let this beer warm up you really let the complexities of the aromas and tastes open up.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a dark reddsih-brown. Creamy looking head 1" high. Slightly cloudy.
Smell is malt, cardboard and hops.
Taste is coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, wood (maple, I think), with alcohol late and light. Way better on the tongue than in the nose
Some warming, light body, light effervesence, slightly dry finish. Watery throughout. Decent overall but only decent.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Kind of a drab brown/black with a scant ring of lifeless foam, no lace.

S - Vague roasted malt, slight burnt toast and coffee grinds, perhaps. Underachieving.

T - The taste is fairly slight; I think of it as analogous to Guinness Draught except with no creaminess or body whatsoever. Robust in any regard, it is not. Indeed, it is actually watery enough to be quite refreshing.

M - Thin, semi-refreshing, smooth and quite mild.

D - Quite unspectacular, and certainly not challenging; therein lies its strength.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a two-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of mild amounts of roasted malts with hints of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malt flavors up front are joined midway through the sip by mild unsweetened cocoa flavors. Right before a mildly bitter ending coffee flavors sneak in then quickly fade.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I found this to be a quintessential English Porter - low ABV, muted flavors, and easy-drinking. Worth a shot, especially if that's what you're looking for.

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Old Slug Porter from RCH Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.