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.
BA SCORE
79
okay

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 cratez:
Photo of cratez
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.

More User Reviews:
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.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
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.

Photo of biboergosum
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.

Photo of mintjellie
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, nearly black. Aroma is roasty and malty. Very roasted, coffee,almost burnt porter.Even feels like sediment of burnt barley. Taste a small amount of chocolate, some malts, Smooth, quaffable.Drying and sour finish. Medium mouthfeel. On tap at Volo.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, clear as mud. A thinnish, brown tinged head with spotty lacings.

The usual suspects in the aroma. Roasted grain, chocolate little bit of vinous fruit from the malt.

Along with the roast flavour and the chocolate there's some great fruity malt that comes through. I find that the roast grain and coffee bitterness of many porters mask any other flavours, not so here. The dark fruit come through, more so in the finish. Finish is coffee.

Very nice mouthfeel and good level of carbonation, fairly low.

Nice beer, very drinkable.

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color porter with a nice foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep chocolate with a nice creamy texture. Taste is also dominated by some nice black chocolate notes with some light roasted notes. Body has a nice creamy texture with some good carbonation but maybe a tad too thin for the style. Remind me of some London porter out there.

Photo of ZorPrime
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.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.43/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second beer I have had the pleasure of trying from Scotch Irish and this is another winner. Pours with a tanned head, good retention and lacing. Almost black in color.

The nose is amazing. Lots of roasted/burnt malt, coffee, just a bit of chocolate. I cant find any hops or fruitiness ( but thats just my nose, and it is not a bad thing at all).

Tastes just as good as it smells. An abundance of roasted malt, coffee that lingers in the finish for awhile and a light bitterness from the hops. Now all they have to do is get the L.C.B.O to distribute this beer up North and I will be a happy man.

Photo of ritzkiss
2.68/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

341ml stubby bottle from the new batch that has undergone a tweak from what I understand, now it is unfiltered like its bigger better brother John By Stout.

A most vigorous pour cannot produce more than the finest film of bubbles and I know I'm in for a rough night with this one. The few bubbles fade in seconds leaving a flac... placid dark brown brew. Dark chocolate cake, just no icing. A vigorous roll around the glass can't seem to produce more than a few bubbles, no matter how hard I try. Too bad.

Nose is a nice espresso, roasting malts, a traditional English porter smell. High point of the beer.

Initial taste tells the story of a nice, solid black coffee, roasting malt, bitter chocolate porter. The rest of the glass tells a different story. Thin, watery body plays the villain. Slight vegetable bitterness in the finish plays the other villain. Lack of carbonation finishes the trio.

Hard to call this drinkable at this point. Some nice roasty, coffee notes show promise. At 4.5% it won't even put a chink in your armor. I dig the dryness in the finish. But it's not enough to elevate this beer beyond its faults.

Photo of liamt07
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.

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.

Photo of ludachris
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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Voonder
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!

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of grub
3.98/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341ml stubby bottle.

pours deep brown, almost black, with a big dense light brown head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. roast. light baltic sourness. dark chocolate. coffee. caramel. bread and biscuit malts. a bit of hazelnut too.

taste is good. solid roast that is not quite ashy, but nearly there. well toasted wheat bread. biscuits that were left in a minute too long. bit of hazelnut again. coffee. dark chocolate. bit of baltic sourness again. this doesn't have the hop bite i'd expect from an american porter and feels more like a baltic-english hybrid. still, a very good porter.

mouthfeel is great. silky smooth. well integrated medium carbonation level. medium-big body.

drinkability is great. balanced and very enjoyable. i could most definitely drink this all night. if this becomes a regular offering (currently released as a seasonal) i will be a very happy man. nice work perry!

Photo of Long813
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.

Photo of funkengruven
4.35/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprising find at the LCBO earlier today. This poured a beautiful black with a nice tan head with lots of lacing. Smell malty, very coffee like, quite nice. Taste is just as good, coffee like aroma with a subtle bitterness which certainly makes this smoother than most porters. Mouthfeel is a bit thick but still drinkable. A good dessert beer for sure.

I'm glad to finally see some Scotch-Irish at the LCBO out here. I hope to see more in the future.

Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a tan head, light retention & lacing.

S: Chocolate, roasted nuts, molases, coffee, light fruityness and a hint of licorous.

T: Quite roasty for a lightweight porter. Coffee, roasted nut, brown sugar, light fruityness, good bitterness. When fresh, it had a slight hint of roasted-grainy astringency, but that seems to have mellowed after a few weeks in the bottle.

M; Moderate body is good for its strength, modest carbonation, smooth with a slight hint of chalky acidity.

D: Very drinkable.

Photo of Noxious26
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.

Photo of bort11
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

northyorksammy sent this one to me.

341 ml stubby bottle poured into a Laughing Dog Brewing shaker pint glass (see a dog theme here?) A pinky finger of tan head, pretty quick to recede and not much lacing. Color is black with dark brown highlights.

Smell is pretty thin yet acrid. This was not a good start. Taste is actually better, but still a very bitter and charred flavor. There is some burnt coffee. It would be overwhelming if it wasn't so watered down. Mouthfeel is thin and finishes empty. Not a good example

Photo of crwills
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beerbistro in Toronto.

Poured a really nice, near pitch-black with a smallish head. Aroma is very roasty, almost burnt, with hints of black coffee and just a touch of sweetness. Flavour is very dry and roasty, again some pleasant burnt notes and a good dose of smokiness. Perfect amount of bitterness; the hops don't stand out, but clean up the flavour and make the aftertaste very crisp and dry. I liked this a lot, although for some reason it felt more like an Irish stout than a porter.

Hoping to pick up some bottles, although I have a feeling I may be too late!

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Black Irish Plain Porter from Scotch Irish Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.