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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 Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coffee in aroma. Big white head on reddish tinged black. Bold taste spurred on by the fruit, whatever the red cherry is. Medium mouthfeeel. Refreshing, above average carbonation, a good effort to get this flavour with an under 5 abv. Above average porter.

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

A big 'ole thanks to Steve M. for sharing while watching the Oaks Filly's run.

The beer pours with a smooth, silky glide into the tulip. A delicate yet rich and froathy head form on the beer, reduces to a trace then holds firm. Very dark brown and nearly opaque, the beer certainly fits the bill for a Porter.

Moderate aromas of toasted barley, caramels, toffee, and charred fruits come to the nose with balance and moderation. No one characteristic dominates the next; nor are any aromas over bearing in their representation.

Big malt flavor sets the tone for flavor while the flavors of toast, berries, cherries, toffee, plumbs, and grapes follow closely behind with complexity and compliment the malts well. Moderate hops give an earthy-herbal and bold taste that offset the sweeter notes. Some metalic taste persists in the finish.

The beer is full and rich up front, but breaks down at mid palate for ease of drinking. Toward the end, the beer seems to water slightly and allows the hop bitterness to over shine just a bit while lingering long into the aftertaste.

The beer reminds me of a few Southern English Browns that I've had, but with Porter's depth and complexity. The beer promises larger than life flavors first but the settles into a pleasantly sessionable beer.

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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 BuckeyeNation
2.89/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Verging on opaque tobacco brown with amber-brown accents. The large head is malted milk ball beige in color and displays a fantastic honeycomb pattern on the surface and on the glass. It's falling more quickly than I'd like, but it sure looks great while it lasts. Thanks to an abundance of carbonation, the cap is reinvigorated amply with each subsequent pour.

There isn't much to the nose. It's pathetically roasted malty and is as one-dimensional as any porter in recent memory. There's absolutely no coffee, chocolate, hops... or anything else of note. I would have called it an average dark lager if blinded.

While things improve somewhat on the palate, Old Slug is impressively light. Again, there isn't a whole lot of malt. Weak coffee appears in the second half of the mouthful, along with a dusting of slightly bitter cocoa powder. The RCH Brewery website claims that the beer tastes like 'blackcurrant and black cherry', but that's sheer imagination on someone's part.

The mouthfeel is about as light and as airy as it could possibly be and still belong to a porter. In addition, the finish is frankly watery and just sort of gives up and wanders off into nothingness. There isn't much in the way of carbonation either, leading to an especially lackluster feel on the swallow.

Old Slug Porter (great name, great label) is one of the lightest porters that I've ever had. It's so light, in fact, that it seems unfinished; as if the brewers sketched the outlines of a good beer, but neglected to fill in the center, to give it substance. This one is skippable.

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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 RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a small amount of tan head. You really have to hold it close to light to see a ruby showing on the liquid. Mild coffee tones. You really have to pull at it to get something. Flavor is good. There are some richer characters here, but overall it seems a little bit thin and watery. What is there gives a nice malty flavor, but I feel like it could be (and should be for the price) thicker. Feel has a good carbonation to it, but just like the flavor, the liquid feel is too thin I say. Could stand to have more body. Overall a decent porter, but not really worth the price at all. Have had much better examples out there.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dashing invertebrate, this Old Slug is, all monocled and moustachioed, (see label, if you can), but how does he taste, that's all I care about...
Deeply, darkly black, as ebon as the night sky, with a full, lush, cocoa-tan head.
Aroma: richly roasted, full of espresso-ish notes, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, anise, maple..dang, me, I likes it!
Taste: kind of mild...nice, full mouthfeel, but the finish isn't too longevitous, leaves too soon, very smooth, very nice. A good porter, of that there can be no doubt, with notes of chocolate and coffee riding through the palate and on out in the finish. Every recurrent meeting of lip and cup conjoins in some sort of happiness. Good porter, nice and delicious. This took time to unfold, and it was well worth it...but is it worth it to spend $6 for a 16.9 oz bottle of British porter (that's what I paid), when you can find a 6-pack of excellent versions of the same from an American craft-brewer, for nearly the same money?
No, hook up with Anchor, Sierra Nevada, or Rogue...worth it for an excursion, but nothing else.

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Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle-conditioned, 500 ml bottle, best before Jan. '09:

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights that shine through. A thin, white, ever-lasting head tops it off. The creamy head stays, leacing some trailing lace sticking to the glass.

The smell is of - a "pedestrian dark mild" comes to mind, but subsequent deep inhaling reveales some smoky, toffeeish, chocolatey (almost coffeeish) notes. Aroma develops as it progresses, though remains mild.

The (charcoalish) smokiness and bitterish coffee come out more in the taste than in the aroma. Still, it's nothing heavy, and everything remains thin. Rather than "pedestrian dark mild", "pedestrian English porter" first comes to mind. However, like with the aroma, certain subtlies come out, but never to full potential. Honey sweetness intermingles with a roasted bitterness. A bit woody, my guess is that this would be even better on cask. Carbonation is mild. The flavors never blossom, though I sipped this long enough to well-reach room temperature (started off chilled). There are subtle notes that make it reach slightly above-average, IMO, but nothing better. It has something towards a chocolatey coffeeish, woodyish, dryish character in the rather abrupt finish.

The body is thin - almost watery, with mild carbonation - helping drinkability, I suppose, without adding much to texture, or feel overall.

If I were in a pub just grabbing pints to down with my friends I might appreciate this more, for its drinkability (with just enough to it to keep it going). I wish I could concur with the description on the label, but the said characteristics are too subtle for me to truly appreciate, I suppose. With a modest abv, and no "off" tastes, this is an easy drinker to have at a pub chatting with friends. That's all.

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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 WesWes
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a very slight black and chocolate malt aroma. It boasts of roasted malts and English ale yeast. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy black and chocolate malt flavor that is slightly sweet and dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a fine porter. I love the chocolate character, but the carbonation needs to be less. Anyway, this is a fine sessions ale; a good drinker.

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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 tempest
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 500 ml bottle, served in a pint glass.

Near black with a light tan head. This beer was very tasty for the light weight, but not the most complex. It focused on black malt flavors in the realm of black coffee and dry, dark chocolate. If the bottles weren't prohibitively expensive ($8.50 here), I'd probably have it again. Worth a try.

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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 wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisiting the bottle-conditioned version.
BB April 09, served cool in a wine glass.
A: deeply dark brown with a faint reddish edge against light, topped with a khaki froth with decent retention. Carbonation level unknown.
S: a semi-dusty note introduces well blended aroma of treacle, black malts, sweet coffee, roasted walnuts, with a flow of sweet flowery hop aroma lurking underneath (but still noticeable)... Fruitiness is very restrained for a porter, but overall very pleasant.
T: a decent sourness of stone-fruits skirt the roasted/coffee-ish maltiness upfront, but is quickly "engulfed" by a more pronounced hop bitterness and dryish palate that prevail towards the very end of tasting. Quite chewy-bitter in the aftertaste, where the mild sourness of dark-roast coffee, the aromatic toasted-nutty aroma and a muted touch of musty sourness also linger elegantly.
M&D: soft in carbonation, medium-bodied, showing a decent level of sourness to balance the bitter malty body. Overall, tis a very decent and delicious bottle-conditioned English Porter all round, albeit not a terribly complex one.

* Tasting Date: 08/12/2005. BB JULY 2006.
4.5 A: served in a goblet it pours a pitch-black colour, with a beige-hued, thick and fluffy beer head floating on top of the black nectar, which sustains pretty well and leaves on its track uneven layers of fine lace.
4 S: refreshing nose of lightly dusty/semi-sharply woody, and roasted maltiness upfront, with a light touch of sourness of raw coffee beans; gradually giving way to a more pronounced mild coffeeish+toffeeish aroma mixed well with juicy dark fruits. After swirling, an underlying crystal maltiness with the smell of coarsely-ground malts and nuts comes through, like a soft bed to buttress the more floating and refreshing aroma upfront. The nose is generally pretty subtle, but has lots of aroma to demonstrate at a closer sniff. Pretty solid.
4 T: deeply coffeeish maltiness hit the palate and expands fast from the first second onwards~~ plenty of dark milk-chocolatey flavour to follow, decorated with lightly licorice hints, while a rounded and aromatic, roasted nuttiness sneaks into every corner of my mouth; mild but sustained aftertaste with faint fruitiness (like dried black dates without the sweet edge), roastiness and residual woody flavour, finished slightly sticky on the palate. Overall very tasty and juicy, yet refreshingly light.
4 M: the mouthfeel is quite lively and refreshing, guess the bottle-conditioning is successful in this beer's case. The overall body is quite light, though, vis-a-vis a complex flavour profile.
4 D: a decent porter it is, showing a balanced body and reasonable depth for a 4.5%abv. "small" beer. I expect the cask-conditioned version to be thicker and more 3D dimensional in terms of texture, but this bottle is already very drinkable all the same.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one-fingered light tan head leaving a good lace, very dark ruby color. Light to medium carbonation. Roasted coffee/malty nose. Starts as a roasty coffee with a hint of malts and finishes with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Full bodied. A good porter.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Brown-black with a light-tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Plenty of chocolate, bread & a light fruityness.

T: Roasted grain, bread, brown sugar & nut. Great flavour for its weight.

M: Light to moderate body; very dry finish.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Pours a dark brown, almost black color wtih a large creamy light tan head that sticks around forever and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma is dark roasted malts with notes of cocoa and cherries. The taste is dark and roasty with some unsweetened chocolate flavors and a mild roasted bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall, Old Slug is a solid English Porter that is definitely worth a shot! Recommended!

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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 bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown, almost black, with not much of a head at all. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, cherries and coffee. It tastes the same way, except that there's a slight nutty flavor too, along with a bitter finish. It's medium bodied with very low carbonation. The beer goes down very smooth too, the mouthfeel is nice and a little bit on the creamy side. Overall, it's pretty good, I liked it a lot. Not much alcohol in this one (4.5 ABV) and it if wasn't for the cost of a single bottle, I would drink this as a session beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rather viscous black body with one-finger tan head that leaves lace around the glass. A mix of sweet malts like dark chocolate and some roasted/coffee malts - textbook of style. More of the same as this medium-bodied beer is smooth and creamy with a balance of both noticeable sweet malts (chocolate, caramel, toffee) and dry malts (coffee, roasted, biscuit) for a sweet, chewey beer that has a dry finish. Beer slightly warms as you sip, and it is a sipper despite how easy it goes down, and becomes even better. If you like your porters more to the sweet mellow side than this one is a keeper.

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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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Photo of Gusler
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours forth from the 500ml bottle a deep brown to almost black with some ruby highlights, the head is a thick and creamy tan that piles high on the body of the beer, after its demise, the lace forms a thin veil to obscure the glass. Nose has a rich toasted grain aroma, sweet with slight hints of coffee, quite pleasant. Start has a decent roasted grain flavor, sweet with a touch of bitterness; the top falls in the medium category, just barely. Finish has a mild acidity with the hops apropos to the style, and the aftertaste has a lingering sweetness with just a touch of the roasted grain bitterness sticking to the palate.

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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 mynie
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Map Room.

Pours a very dark ruby with a great head and only the slightest hint of light coming through, at the very bottom of the glass.

Smells rich, raw, and bitter. Big hops, surprisingly, against bitter roasted malt. Doesn't quite have the unfinished earthiness I'm used to in a porter, but it more than makes up for it in fruit hop complexities.

Tastes much sweeter than the nose would have you believe, with some very distinct fruit, bitter malt in the back, and ending on a node of hops and pears. There's a nice fruity hop aftertaste, to boot.

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