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Old Slug Porter - RCH Brewery

Old Slug PorterOld Slug Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

127 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%

Brewed by:
RCH Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 01-14-2002)
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nouseforotacon


3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation on this bottle caught my eye when I went to Boston for BBF and made a stop at Downtown on Sunday. My non-beer drinking friend loves his share, so let's see what this one has to offer.

Dark cocoa/black bottom with a only a tiny hint of ruby red light penetrating the darkness at certain angles. Weak, unimpressive foam that gets a little rise from the carbonation and then falls timidly. Average looking porter, nice lacing.

Rich, fragrant aroma. Cocoa powder. Woody. Sweet malts, like honey. A touch of fruity, dark berries. Pleasant.

Big, watery flavor that has some light cocoa/dark chocolate notes hitting the tongue. A bit of dark fruit, cassis-like. Very nutty. Dark, roasted malts in the background with some honey lingering on the tongue. Sticky, with a dry, cocoa finish. Watery mouthfeel.

Totally non-offensive beer that is easy to drink and refreshing, minus the dry finish. I like porters, I could definitely drink this one again, but it's not particularly noteworthy.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 03:38:59 | More by nouseforotacon
Photo of bluejacket74


4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 00:05:30 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's as part of a Great British Beers Selection 3 pack...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / brown... Creamy tan head poured thick and foamy (very tight bubbles) then faded to thin layer... very little lacing..

Aroma - Strong coffee notes, roasted malts, slight smokiness, dark chocolate, light hop bitterness, leathery, woody, slight dustiness, peppery, aniseed hints...

Taste – Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, slight aniseed notes, coffee, dark fruits (light blackcurrents, prunes), faint nuttiness, earthy, some creaminess / milkiness, biscuity hints...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy... Full body. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent example of a porter.... Very drinkable... Recommended !!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 09:16:06 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Mechphisto


3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting bottle art. Cute. =)
It pours with a nice, thick, nutty cream colored head. Very thick if you're not careful, but reasonably thick with a careful pour. Almost edible.
It's a deep, cola color with a slight red hue to the extremely dark brown/black.

The scent is nearly undetectable. A very slight citrusy smell and a slight nuttiness.

The taste is bitter, with a bitter aftertaste that hangs around in the back of the throat for a while. However, oddly, only when it's cold. As it warms up that aftertaste doesn't exist.
(And no, it's not because I drank too much of it. After noticing this as I nursed the first glass, I waited quite some time before I poured the second glass from this large bottle, and there was virtually no extended bitter aftertaste.)

It has a slight cloa, coffee taste with a hint of burnt nut. Very rich, nice mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 17:06:11 | More by Mechphisto
Photo of Ahhdball


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Slug? Now this sounds tasty, doesn't it?
Deep auburn ale with red highlights. Pours thick with no head but leaves a nice coating in the glass.
Smells of cocoa, heavy coffee, and hints of burnt almonds.
More coffee at first, a malty sweetness to follow and finishes bitter. Drinks great, goes down smooth and leaves a nice experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2006 22:40:18 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Beverage Depot in Flushing NY.
The first thing that came to mind when I tasted this was RC cola. Definately a sugar candy type thing going on. Some molasses notes.
Looks like a porter should, smells a little bit weak but malty sweet; maybe some raisins.
I imagine this is much more interesting and exciting in the cask. As it stands it's a decent porter in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 01:29:14 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of scooter231

New York

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very pretty beer. Deep dark brown, with a huge, tan head that stays for a while and leaves lovely lacing around the glass. Just gorgeous. Smell is almost all chocolate. Sweet and rich. A hint of coffee in the background. Taste is less chocolatey, more bitter and earthy. Loses some of the depth and richness of the nose. Mouthfeel is full and decidedly chewy. Pretty drinkable, a bit on the heavy side though. Porters aren't my favorite, but I could get in the mood for this now and then.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 05:06:18 | More by scooter231
Photo of geexploitation


4.53/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great/terrible name for a beer. Pours quite dark, nearly black, with nut brown highlights. Great, sticky head that never quite disappears. The aroma is quite powerful with loads of roasted malt and bitter used coffee grounds. There's also a slight, honeyish sweetness in the nose. The flavor is sweet first-off, and that sweet undertone remains throughout, even when the bitter roasted malts kick in. The bitterness in this beer snaps very pleasantly. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good -- this beer is well balanced and easy to put down, but also continually interesting. Highly recommended and highly regarded.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2006 03:31:56 | More by geexploitation
Photo of Drew966


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is bottle conditioned, it pours an opaque dark brown to almost black with ruby highlights with a thick tan head from a brown 16.9 oz bottle. Quite vinous or ester-like in the nose. Good strong malt flavor that lasts briefly fading into vinous notes. Interesting, but not my favorite of the style, I tend to like coffee and chocolate notes in my porters, none of which are present in this brew (except possibly in the slightest amounts in the finish). Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2006 02:51:37 | More by Drew966
Photo of BillyBrew


4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An oddity found deep in Mount Desert Island. 500 ml, bottle conditioned

Deep brown that is a few degrees south of black with a handsome, fine-cream head that leaves a thin cap that lasts while painting the sides on my pint glass.

Strong roasted-malt nose, very caramelly. Strong and fine, a solid combo.

Strong roasted malt, again, very carameled. Refined malt taste, not sweet. No real hop profile, but balanced flavour. Perfectly unoffensive, forward malt-profile, nice and English.

Light-medium body. Dissapointingly not a fuller body, but still a great brew. Clean finish.

Great flavour that lends to a solid session brew (if I had a few more). The lightness of the body, I guess, actually helps this out. I wish I had this on tap somewhere. Alas, I will have to wait for another MDI adventure.


Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 21:14:41 | More by BillyBrew
Photo of Naes

New York

3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This porter is almost black with a huge tan frothy head that leaves some lacing.
Its aroma is not a strong one, but is chocolaty.
The flavor is roasty and has a nice chocolate finish, though it is not overly sweet.
Mouthfeel is light in body for a porter and lightly carbonated.

This is a good beer, though it is not an outstanding one.
For the money that it costs to get a single bottle ($5.00) in America, I believe that I would have been better off with something else.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 08:18:03 | More by Naes
Photo of fretlessman71


3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Hope this tastes better than it sounds – Moose Drool ain’t got nothin’ on THIS name…

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark, rich root beer brown, clear as you’d want. Tight tan head has some staying power. Light lacing.

AROMA: This is a chocolate lover’s dream; it’s almost all I can smell. Sweet, dark chocolate with a slight hint of coffee. MMmmm.

FLAVOR: Now the coffee takes center stage, and of a slightly burned variety, with the chocolate taking a back seat. Black patent malt is coming through very nicely here. No hops to speak of, but this is an English porter after all. Balance leans toward the roasty side.

MOUTHFEEL: Decent weight; a little heavy on the carbonation, but not bad.

DRINKABILITY: One of these would be as much as I’d want, but at 4.5% ABV is certainly a quaffer if the really roasty porters appeal to you.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Wish it were a little sweeter, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 05:31:29 | More by fretlessman71
Photo of ADR


3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance with cherry-colored highlights. Big frothed milk head of over 1/2 an inch in height and plenty of lasting power. Laces in thick attractive sheets. Sweet aromas, butterscotch and brown sugar. Lower carbonation and medium mouthfeel, easy-going. Starts out with a bittersweet chocolate and a nice integration with the aroma to give a milky sense. Bittering is mild, with a flowery tone to it. The texture falls a little in the later profile, diminished somwhat by the finish. Goes out softly, which makes it drinkable and appropriate at 4.5% ABV, but doesn't really stand as a memorable single bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 14:04:13 | More by ADR
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 22:01:55 | More by WesWes
Photo of BuckeyeNation


2.9/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2005 15:02:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dithyramb


2.45/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased the dark brown pint sized bottle from Wells yesterday. Has a different label on the front and export labels elsewhere. No born on or freshness dating, but this one is bottle conditioned.

The biggest plus of the slug is the appearance. It literally erupts from the bottle into the glass. One should pour it sluggishly slow to save the brew. Pours an opaque, dark black. Viewable through the beer are the thousands of rivulets of carbonation bouncing around. A thick, dark brown head lasted forever, finally leaving a creamy ring and glass lining lacing.

Tastes like a root beer soda. Where this wasn’t bad, I just expect more from a porter, especially when it is making the trip overseas. Very faint sugary sweetness and malts were available along with a light chocolate coffee. Very light mouthfeel that is not style centric and usual for a porter. This slug is not lethargic, but very quickly and cleanly exists the taste buds. Could actually see myself chugging this summer time.

Overall: High carbonation that added to the appearance really detracted from the brew itself. I won’t give up entirely, but will try to check out some notably fresher or cask versions next month in the UK. It may have lost something on the shelves at Wells. With all the other porters out there, both national and international, the slug only stays ahead by a clever label and some other nice appearances.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2005 17:51:32 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of shapudding


4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

The label on mine is different than that posted, mine has an orange banner on black.
Bottle conditoned.
Gave a nice, slow pour, but still got a ton of Guinness-like head that filled the glass. Dark brown/black with a bit of ruby showing through only at the edges. Bit of sediment that settled at the bottom of the glass. Wonderful aroma, warm and rich dark coffe and chocolate, whiskey and vanilla... wow..
Decent amount of carbination, would enjoy it more with a bit less, but still has a nice feel. Great, dark tastes of espresso and hops. Walnutty, bit of oaky whiskey, aftertaste of chocolate and vanilla beans. Caramelly honey sweetness, but nothing that is too heavy or cloying. Very easy drinker for us stout and porter lovers.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 06:23:04 | More by shapudding
Photo of santoslhalper


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a deep brown with red hints. The head is very fizzy and proves to be too big for it's own good. Leaves nice lacing though.

Smell: Smells rich in chocolate coffee, with huge caramel and woody notes. A little bit weak of a smell, but not bad at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A smooth, creamy chocolate taste rushes in, with an almost woody fruitness. The end is decently hopped with a dry, long-lasting aftertaste. Feels kinda watery in the mouth, but still smooth as can be.

Drinkability and Overall: A well balanced porter, but nothing stands out too much. It's still a very good beer I could easily make a session brew out of. Rich flavors but low ABV make this a classic quaffer.

Thanks to GClarkage, again, for the kick-ass beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 03:44:17 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of Guinness4me


3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

While I generally stay away from slugs, I agreed to sample this brew thanks to my hubby's prodding.

The beer poured a dark porter with a massive head that looked like dirty, brown snow piled high on the side of a dirt road. It was over 3 fingers deep but quickly subsided leaving big, beautiful lace.

The smell had a tart, yet smoked fruitiness that enticed me further. The taste was much like the smell, with what I first noticed as green bananas! The malt, chocolate and coffee flavors soon followed. I wonder if I'll be the only one to taste green bananas in this brew?

Though a bit thick and sticky in the mouthfeel, I found it rather easy to drink. Odd little beer, but I'd drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2004 22:58:31 | More by Guinness4me
Photo of Boto


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle: This one pours a fairly opaque brown color. There was a bit of a tight, tan head to it. Some lacing down the glass. Some roastiness to the aroma. Maybe some subtle fruits in there also. The taste is mainly roastiness, with hints of chocolate. A decent porter.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2004 21:05:57 | More by Boto
Photo of Doiv

United Kingdom (England)

4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deepest ruby to copper with a big tan head, that settles to a modeartely sized film throughout most of the pint. Leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Aromas of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, hops, vegemite and toffee were very apparent. Very strong aromas certainly.

Taste was of coffee, caramel, vegemite, strawberries and blackberries, honey, celery, and roasted hops. Burned hoppy and chocolatey aftertaste.

Heavy mouthfeel, slightly sticky, but otherwise incredibly smooth.

Drinks amazingly well.

I get the feeling this beer does not travel particularly well. I bought mine in SW England, and it was great.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 19:58:36 | More by Doiv
Photo of ngandhi


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate with some controlled bitter roast. Overall thin, but very much to style with an archetypal fruity British yeast presence. A touch too dry and perhaps a little too much black patent or way too much chocolate malt, but a classic porter maybe with a touch too much carbonation.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2004 19:08:54 | More by ngandhi
Photo of CRJMellor


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with red highlights. Enormou cream colored head develops, recedes slowly leaving waves of lace on the glass.
Aroma of roasted barley, prunes and almost a red grape or port-like note, very interesting.
Flavor is also unique. I swear I almost got a chocolate mint flavor, like an After-eight mint. Along with the semi-sweet chocolate, got notes of coffee, roasted barley followed by a residual hop bittereness.
Mouthfeel flt a little thin for the style, as all English porters seem to do. (as an aside, I don't believe these beers are made to imported in bottles)
Drinkability was good but not sure I'd want more than one. Unique flavors but didn't make me crave another like a great beer should.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 19:30:30 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of LuckySevens82


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up on a whim. I thought the slug on the front was interesting and decided to give the old bloke a shot, needless to say, I was not disappointed.

While the head did not last nearly as long as I had wanted it to, I was still impressed with the residual lace that lingered at the top of the glass until it was empty.

I love porters and this is a fine example of what a porter should taste like: sweet, smooth, and very easy to drink.

I admit, I like this beer, but the price is a bit steep, I had to pay $4.00 for a bottle, but like i said, I was not disappointed, just not an everyday beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2003 05:40:16 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2003 11:15:15 | More by feloniousmonk
Old Slug Porter from RCH Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.