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Black Irish Plain Porter - Scotch Irish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Irish Plain PorterBlack Irish Plain Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

53 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Scotch Irish Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Porter |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005)
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Voonder:
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bobsy for sending this one my way!
Pours pitch black with one finger tan head. Classic porter appearance, head disappeared a bit too quickly though. Smell - coffee, some maltiness. Pretty simple, but as label says it is a plain porter, so no complains here. Taste - simple, but great. Bitter, intensive coffee, malts. Extremely balanced, rich, smooth. Great example of a style. Very drinkable.
Thanks a lot Rob!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2009 04:05:06 | More by Voonder
More User Reviews:
Photo of Molson2000

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

09-10-2012 21:08:31 | More by Molson2000
Photo of ygtbsm94


3/5  rDev -11.8%

01-30-2012 08:11:24 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

01-20-2012 02:52:39 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of FirstBrewsoon


3/5  rDev -11.8%

01-15-2012 15:18:38 | More by FirstBrewsoon
Photo of kelvarnsen

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +17.6%

11-30-2011 16:45:06 | More by kelvarnsen
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

2.03/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

It should be noted that these beers show fairly poorly fairly consistently. The fresher, the better. This was bottled five days ago so I have high expectations.

A - Pours like black sludge, completely black with a third of a finger cap of chocolate milk coloured head that fades to a film of a few bubbles within a minute.

S - Cocoa, vanilla, coffee, and some chocolate, with chocolate dominating the aroma. If I had to sum this up I'd call it chocolate coffee. There are some roasty malts there too. Nice aroma, very inviting, not intense, but very nice.

T - Woah. What the hell! Something is wrong here. Sort of a dusty, mild vinegary, nasty flavour. Ick. I can't put my finger on what this tastes like, but it certainly isn't anything that it smells like. Maybe an apple type flavour is there, sorta sweet. Just bad.

M - Mild carbonation with very little body. Thin for the style, appropriate considering the abv but not jiving with me.

D - I can't handle this. So awful. I would never buy this again and never offer anyone the rest of mine.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 00:15:46 | More by tbeckett
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from the LCBO, thought I'd finally give this one a whirl. Bottled on November 5, 2010. Into a balloon tulip.

Poured a deep dark brown with a few fingers of light brown head. There's some decent lacing and good retention. Nose is where is got weird, some cocoa is evident but there's this massive backdrop of metal and wet/damp socks. Not good. Taste is just as bad and feels like an infection of sorts. No porter character here, some cocoa and green apple that hints to some sourness. There's a suggestion of light coffee, but this one is dominated by off flavours. Body is thin a pretty watery, and this was a drain pour as half a dozen sips were all I could muster. Don't know what went wrong with this one, and I don't seem to be the only one who's expeienced problems here.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 15:35:01 | More by liamt07
Photo of OldGrowler

Ontario (Canada)

1.63/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Too thin, no body, and after reading conflicting reviews, I wonder is this for real or just one of a fair few bad bottles out there? In Canada it's sold as "Black Irish Plain Porter," and plain it was. Like "kwjd," says mine was sour and flat, like something's off -- like rancid grapefruit. Only way to finish this one was to chug it. The aroma is the best part.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 23:49:24 | More by OldGrowler
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Brown stubby bottle with a pry-off cap poured in a pint glass. Thank you to my lovely wife for bringing this back from Toronto for me!

Dark, obsidian black in colour. Let's no light though and only when you hold it right up to a light do you get mahogany highlights on the edges where light struggles to get through. Dark brown head is a thin cap on the pour which recedes to a thin ring around the edge. No lacing.

Aroma is weak, but full bodied. Dark malts and a little vinuous with hints of espresso and dark chocolate.

Dark malts with faint hints of dark roast coffee and dark chocolate. Finish and aftertaste are very brief.

Mouthfeel is thin and a little acidic. Lots of tiny bubbles feel like they are scrubbing the flavour from your tongue.

Funny. The appearance and aroma of this beer had me expecting great things, but I was disappointed to find an average porter. I assume that this would be better if it was fresher and also probably better on-tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 03:36:15 | More by Noxious26
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

2.15/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had a bottle of this about a year ago and I wasn't impressed. Let's see how it is on cask. Had this at C'est What's 2010 Fall Festival of Craft Breweries. Pours black with small head that dissipates pretty quickly. Smells a bit sour, I think something is off here. Flavour has some bitter coffee, but the off flavours overpower the good ones. A bit flat from the cask, but the bottle a year ago was flat too. Not going to have this again.

Serving type: cask

10-01-2010 21:12:19 | More by kwjd
Photo of mooseisloose


3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Love the bottle, this is like a real Canadian beer, so let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields a delicious coffee smell with roasted malts and expresso. Pours to a black opaque colour with a creamy tan multi-bubble head. Taste is not quite as impressive as the smell. The first thing to jump out is the thin almost watery mouthfeel. Getting past the lack of mouthfeel the flavor has a chalky coffe and chocolate flavor with some wispy hoppiness that leads into a dry sweet and flat bitter finish. Not bad but not what I expected after taking a whiff. On the upside the drinkability is high as for the flavor it is quite light and has a low 4.5 % abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 01:26:30 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chestnut brown, that without being held up to light, can be mistaken for black. Almost no head is generated after a fairly aggressive pour. Only a small portion of spotty lace is left behind.

Dry dark chocolate powder, espresso, roasted malts that give off a bit of a smokey character, and hints of raisons and cherries make up the nose.

Dark chocolate upfront with dry and slightly bitter espresso notes in the back. The dark fruits and cherries which made the nose quite pleasant are very hard to detect in the taste.

The mouthfeel is a real let down. Light, thin, watery, and flat. This greatly takes away from the taste and explains the poor appearance of the beer.

To me, this seems to represent a less than average porter. The highlight of this beer was its smell, but everything else barely made par. I experienced this drawback of a lacking mouthfeel with another one of their offerings; John By's Imperial Stout. A bigger body can work wonders for both of these beers, but even then, I couldn't see this one being a standout.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 23:21:28 | More by ludachris
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Scotch Irish brewing, once a strong point for quality craft brews of the British nature has seeming fallen out of practice. With a former brew master s departure and a takeover by a larger craft company the quality of their brews as sadly diminished steadily. Though there are still standouts consistency seems to be a serious problem, notably with bottling and sanitation. The aforementioned beer about to be reviewed was the second infected brew I've had from them none the less this actually proved for an interesting review.

A resounding pop one would expect from Champaign or a bottle conditioned brew is the first sign of oddity in this unfiltered but presumably pasteurized brew. The first few drops into my pint glass create a massive light brown head of ludicrous proportions. It just lasts and lasts, thus it took forever to pour the whole beer into the glass, very queer. This rocky head leaves a cavernous lace, masking the glass, as it slowly descends. Eventually it dissipates, taking the lacing with it, to a small grouping of bubbles atop the nearly opaque amber black liquid beneath.

This is one funky nose. Initial scents are of figs fermented dates and pomegranate seeds. Sour cherries and cider vinegar come to prominence as acidic aromas abound. Some roast malts add hints of chocolate, creating the sensation, in combination with the sour cherry smells, of black forest cake aroma. But soon the tart scents return, light mustard and white grape vinegar.

The borderline acrid bouquet is mirrored, thankfully, to a milder degree in taste. Crabapples and green apples teamed with tomatillo continue the sour escapades. Watery yogurt gives more of a lactic feel to things. Cocoa makes a bit part appearance followed by coffee that seems to be mixed with red wine.
Bubbly and juicy in body this is actually quite refreshing and mayhap, albeit unintentionally, a close representation of ports from a bygone era.

Although this beer was obviously infected, lactobacillus being the most likely culprit, this actually made the beer far more interesting than it otherwise would have been. I've had apparently uninfected versions of this in the past which were typical, mild nose, coffee roast and malt flavour, good but plain, so this proved an interesting venture into the effects of infection on beer.
I'm rating this on the combination of the infected and normal versions I've had. I hope this brewery gets its act together as they have some fine brews.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 05:23:30 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a muddy deep, dark brown colour, with one finger of creamy beige head, which leaves a low ring of lace around the glass after it quickly recedes. It smells of milk chocolate, light coffee, and herbal hops. The taste is ashy, chalky dry chocolate, some mild espresso, a bit of sweet toffee, and herbal, slightly astringent hops. The carbonation is average, the body light, but not thin, and it finishes dry, some woody hops sticking around for a bit.

A decent dry porter, no lack of flavour to correspond with the low ABV; an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 02:36:28 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Mora2000


3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is pretty nice, with roasted malts and coffee. The flavor does not live up to the aroma. The main flavors are roasted malts and coffee. The beer finishes very dry. Light medium, watery mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 20:09:16 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Long813

Ontario (Canada)

2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dated: M-31-09
From LCBO, 341ml

G: Chalice

A: Dark chestnut body letting slight only escape near the bottom of the glass. No head, no lacing. Shame ...

S: Strong aroma's here of raisins, espresso beans, dark chocolate and a bit of nuttiness

T: Raisins, dark fruits, espresso beans and nothing else really. Fruits dominate this beer and everything else is not noticable.

M: Light bodied and very low carbonation. Feels extremely watery in the mouth and leaves a distinct bitter fruit finish.

D: Besides the smell, I found this beer to be very poor. I wouldn't spend money on this again, nor have I even enjoy the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 04:04:38 | More by Long813
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the John By stout, figured I'd give the rest of the SI slate a try.

Pours an inky brown-black, with very little head to speak of. I wonder if the stubby is to blame here? A few flecks of lacing, otherwise it looks quite similar to other bottled porters I've encountered.

The nose isn't too potent, but all the usuals are there - roasted malts, chocolate, nuts, fruit. Muted, but they are there. Nothing offensive either.

I actually quite liked the taste - a lighter porter than I'm used to, but still quite drinkable (and going great with a pulled-pork sammy). Smooth, with malts, chocolate and caramel dominating the palate.

Mouthfeel is indeed thin and slippery, with low carbonation. This is certainly the brew's weakest attribute, and probably influenced the appearance.

All in all, I was quite satisfied with this brew. It's certainly thinner and less hearty than other porters, and it's by no means among my favorite porters, but it does the job. I must have lucked out on a good batch (I've had problems with Heritage and SI before), because this stuff is just fine with me.

Sit, UBU, sit. Good dog.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 20:57:48 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Irish Porter is a strange little beer, one that begins with so much potential, then fades quickly as the beer warms. Several BAs have mentioned the quality control problems that Scotch Irish has encountered ever since it transferred production to Heritage Brewing. Although my bottle was not infected, it definitely exhibited some bizarre traits that may be linked to the recent switch-up.

Initially pours a muddy, deep dark brown, basically black, with a nice cream coloured ring and a few spots of lacing. As the beer's temperature rises, this promising appearance gives way to a muted, dull body with no head or lace.

Smell is quite good: I'm getting fruity, floral hops, a lightly doughy aroma, and smoke.

Taste is roasted malt, ash and burnt grains, a milky lactose flavour, the faintest hint of soy sauce, and a mild hop bitterness. However, towards the end of the brew, about three-quarters through, some malty tartness pops up with a bit of sourness. It's not strong enough for the beer to be 'off,' but it's still annoying.

At the beginning the mouthfeel is silky and well carbonated with a pleasant dryness and roasted ash in the aftertaste. But this deteriorates to a watery, astringent texture after a short period of time.

I'm very torn over this beer. On the one hand it closely mimics Southern Tier Porter with most of the features that I expect from the style. Yet the finish is an ugly mess. It seems like this could be fixed with some minor changes to the brewing process. Heritage should take note of the current complaints before they alienate too many people.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 18:42:33 | More by cratez
Photo of mwrseeley

Ontario (Canada)

2.45/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pretty disappointing stuff.

The appearance merits a completely low score - no head, no lace, no sticky residue adhering to the glass.

The body is flat and thin. Did I buy a dud from a bad batch? Probably not. I bought my two bottles from the LCBO off Bath Road in Kingston so I am confident I got the freshest offering available. But really, there is no way of knowing when this stuff was bottled.

Notice the adjectives I could use as a description - thin, watery, headless, flat, dull, weak. I could go on and on. The taste wasn't repulsive but it certainly isn't anything I would wish to try again. My brother and I are not unfamiliar with Korean food and we thought it tasted like a soya sauce marinade used for making bulgogi. The other reviewer who gave this porter a D+ made a similiar comment. I hear you, brother.

The best thing I can say about Black Irish Porter is that its burnt malt aroma of chocolate and coffee is pleasant.

And the stubby bottle is nice, too.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 02:32:21 | More by mwrseeley
Photo of TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: There is no head whatsoever, and it seems nearly all the carbonation was expended during the pour. Anyways, the body is a deep black, as expected by a porter. Nothing special here.

Smell: Roasted, somewhat smokey malts with notes of espresso and chocolate. Nice and didn't take too much warming to come out. Plain, just like it says.

Taste: Starts with a smokey malt taste, but also has a bizarre, almost sweet lemon taste to start. It then shifts to a more burnt character with chocolate and coffee notes. All in all, pretty average but has a very strange start.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation for this beer in non-existent and the complete lack of head does not make this a very nice porter. No creaminess but the smokey aftertaste is good, even if it doesn't linger.

Drinkability: Well it is refreshing, but a bit too much so as it tastes watered down. That is likely due to the lack of carbonation. Goes down fairly well, and fairly light bodied for a porter.

Final Thoughts: Plain Porter pretty much describes it, save for that odd lemon taste. There isn't anything about this beer that is going to wow you. Really something needs to be done about the carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 01:59:29 | More by TheHammer
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobsy for this beer.

A: No head... damn... well I actually get a little thin film of foam. The beer is dark black.

S: A little simple, I get only chocolate... not roasted malts.

T: Now I get the roasted malts with some chocolate. The finish is dry and I get some smoke at the end in the after-taste.

M: A little bit thin for a Porter if you ask me.

D: Easy drinker, however not a exceptional Porter.

Edit: I just wouldn't get out of my way to have one... however it is average at best and a good drink, if you can't find anything else.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 01:42:11 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The label has date code information printed on it, but nothing is punched out. So all I know is that this was bottled. I just don't know when.

Pours a very dark murky brown with a remarkable lack of carbonation or head. Just a ring of clear bubbles circle the glass...they barely register as white, they barely last two minutes. In the end this really this just looks like an inky black stagnant glass of beer.

The aroma is about right, mild hints of roasted malt and coffee, maybe a hint of ashtray as it warms.

The taste is okay, roasted malt and coffee with just a bit of lingering bitterness towards the end and maybe like someone flicked their cigarette in my pint when I wasn't looking.

Everything is let down by the extreme flatness of this beer which just leaves it thin and watery and wet and wanting.

In a word: No.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 02:58:11 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A thin capping of tan head sits atop an almost-black brown body that is impermeable to light. Poor retention and very little lacing. Mild roasted malt aroma of black coffee. Pleasant coffee and dark chocolate flavour with mild roasted malt bitterness and tangy acidity. Light bodied with low carbonation. It's an easy-drinking session brew that would benefit from a little bit more body and bolder flavour.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 21:03:41 | More by mintjellie
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

341 stubby poured into pint glass oct13 2009

A a muddy dark brown that pours a head like a glass of sprite just fizzed a little and vanished

S mostly chocolate and coffee but not very strong

T not much more going on here, not as much flavor as one would expect from a beer this dark

M not that great its pretty thin

D I did not dislike this beer but I might not try it again for while.

like the label says this is a plain porter

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 21:18:28 | More by wordemupg
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Black Irish Plain Porter from Scotch Irish Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.