Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Hale's Troll Porter - Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Not Rated.
Hale's Troll PorterHale's Troll Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

35 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 67
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 7.63%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-13-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hale's Troll Porter Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 35 | Hads: 67
Photo of OSCWEAX
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is AMAZING. I can't wait for it to make it's reappearance on store shelves this fall. Dark and rich with caramel and molasses on the nose, incredible creamy mouth feel, and a finish that makes me want more. I found that there was a hint of, call me crazy, Christmas candy in the taste. This beer represents the fall and football for me. (346 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque/black. Almost no head, and what was there to begin with dissipated within moments.

Nose is dissapointingly faint but cocoa/chocolatey.

Palate is a blast of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee. Simply amazing combination here. Worth it!

Finish is medium long and roasty. (290 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear black in color with a nice 1" tan colored head. Some nice lacing developed.

Smell: the nose easily detected roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: the tastebuds followed the nose as the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate dominted, while some soft breadiness and hint of alcohol rounded it out. The definition of a liquid meal.

Mouthfeel: lightly dry and smooth throughout. Medium-heavy in body. Finish is long on the roasted and coffee tones.

Drinkability: great. Several of these can be quaffed in a session. This beer is not a one time brew, as this was available in June 2006. If you see it on tap try it. (646 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch-black color with a toasted brown head. The head is thin and quickly diminishes to a skim. With a swirl all kinds of tiny lace dots stick to the glass, and there seems to be an oiliness to the liquid. Very Russian Imperial Stout in appearance.

The RIS likeness also moves into the aroma. Gobs of gooey chocolate, sugar-glazed fig and high-powered graham cracker permeate the nose, while the roasty/smoky traits of your average porter lag far behind.

There's a good bit of roasted grain in the flavor, bordering on burnt, although balance is achieved through deep dark chocolate tones, a creamy sweetness, succulent grape flavor, and a considerable but controlled hop bitterness. Everything is evened out well along the flavor chain, plenty of balance, but ultimately the chocolate takes the lead and that works very well for this beer.

The mouthfeel is probably the most obvious resemblance to a traditional porter, having some creamy slickness but with carbonation sizzle overtaking that. Just a hair thin for my liking. The slightly tart finish creates the mildest of puckers inside the mouth.

Very obviously an Americanized porter, and that's fine by me as the flavor profile is colorful and busy--though not at all messy. "So good, it's scary..." says the label, and I agree. My third Hale's and their third winner from where I'm drinking. (1,362 characters)

Photo of Dsimenson
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On nitro-tap at Hare & Hounds in Poulsbo, WA. Color is deep dark red-brown, with creamy one finger head and persistent clinging lacing. Aroma is deep, dark roasted malt, sweetness, with floral hops, heady. Flavor is malt, a bit if coffee, a bit of sweet caramel, mildly bitter hops. Mouthfeel is medium thick and creamy. Overall this is an outstanding porter, which I really recommend on nitro-tap. A really memorable taste experience! (435 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fabulous porter. Pours a dark brown/black with a mocha tan head that is gorgeous. The smell is of chocolate and roasted espresso beans, hints of dried fruit and nuts. The taste is sweet of raisins and mocha butter with a very nice rich chocolate taste, medium bodied but drinkable. If ever at Mchormick's where this is on tap have the burger with this beer, they both do wonders for each other. (404 characters)

Photo of sweethome
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark - crimson hue to the light - tan head dissipates quickly. Nose of coffee and hops. Medium mouthfeel. Coffee flavors, anice, plenty of roast malt. Hints of chocolate. Hoppiness kicks in...and kicks! A bit oliy. Just a touch of smoke.

A very flavorful beer. Outstanding melding of hops and malt. (305 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

The moderate level of carbonation pushes up enough lacing to stay presentable, nearly pitch black with some dark brown hues on the edges. Aromas of dark chocolate, burnt caramel and minty hops are in the forefront, faint smoky charred grain in the back. Creamy mouthfeel with a small but refreshing smoothness, medium-bodied. Roasted flavors come in bold but there is no sign of massive bitter or acrid flavors, just a mellow balance which is very welcoming. Small pocket of dark berry fruitiness, hint of yeast. A little complex in the middle with suggestions of burnt sugar, ghost-like vanilla, dark milk chocolate and a modest minty citric hop flavor. Speaking of hops, the bitterness does come through, but again, there's balance. Finishes on the sweet side with some roasted choco-goodness.

Its funny, on the bottle it reads, "So good, it's scary ..." Hale's is right about the good part, perhaps great, and the scary part is that our pints are now empty and there is no more Troll Porter in front of us. (1,060 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon its release from the 22 ounce brown bottle, it resides in the glass a deep brown with hints of ruby at the edges, the head is a couple or three fingers in size, creamy dark tan and after it's demise leaves a surrounding coat of lace upon the glass. Nose is steeped with roasted grain, somewhat sweet and a nice hint of the hops, delightful I’d say. Start has a good malt presence, sweet with a hint of bitterness and a pleasing to the palate wheat toast flavor. Finish is nicely hopped, moderately acidic with the sweetness and the touch of bitterness to the end, somewhat dry, and a fine porter in its own right. (619 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades slowly to a ring leaving a good lace. Deep mahogany color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted/burnt coffee nose. Flavor is roasted/burnt coffee, a little sweetness, smooth. Bakers chocolate aftertaste. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.
This is their Troll Porter. (345 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown, samall tannish head. Nose was good, not to heavy and not to telling but I got some cocoa and coffee beans, roasted malts. Tasted of chocolate, coffee beans and it was pretty smooth. Well balanced beer and smooth on mouthfeel. Really good in my opinion. (273 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is hell of a hoppy porter which really endears me to it. Big and bold with a full body that carries the finish. Nice brown head with a nice solid heady nose, this beer shows PNW muscle to old style.This beer is not retired and is now available in bottles. (260 characters)

Photo of erikm25
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured quickly and aggressively into a pint glass. Dark coffee brown body. Crisp crimson highlights glow around the bottom edges of the glass. Head is a bubbly two finger caramel coloring. Moderate retention and good lacing.

S: Faint chocolate, fruity candy, and lightly toasted nutty aromas. As this warms the coffee smells are much stronger and helps round out a rather subtle nose.

T: Roasted malts. A dominant balance of coffee and chocolate tastes. Caramel, nuts, and toffee add to the finish. Additionally, there is raisin sweetness and a surprising slight hops tinge. Overall, interesting and well done combination of tastes.

M: Mouth feel is nice with a good finish, just maybe a little thin.

D: Bottle has a cool picture of the Fremont Troll which adds some cool local character. I thought this was a very decent and drinkable beer. I suspect that the bottle doesn't quite to the beer justice so I look forward to trying it on tap. This is my first beer of many beers to come from Hale's. (1,004 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown but not quite black, plenty of reddish accenting around the edges. Head is short, dark tan color. Retains mainly a collar and a thin film on top, although lacing is pretty badass.

Some roasted barley notes, a tiny hint of chocolate, and some Goji berry-like fruitiness. Should be significantly stronger for this style.

Lots of hops that show up in the flavor, plenty of bitterness and a lemon Pine Sol presence that's trying to sneak through the heavily roasted malt. Not quite coffee-strength and bitterness in the malt, but definitely dark chocolate.

Medium porter, definitely not much bigger than normal. Fairly creamy in the mouth, but loses a little something in the finish. Just a bit underwhelming; nothing off or wrong about it.

Not bad in a pinch. Pretty decent price for a pretty decent porter. (822 characters)

Photo of rkuhnel
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle this poured jet black with a small tan head with no lacing. Nose of chocolate and molasses. Nice thick mouthfeel and flavor of burnt malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and molasses. Touch of fruits, mostly raisins. Finish slighty bitter and the only times the hops come into play. Better than average,., just not great. (339 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque onyx with cranberry accents along the bottom edge of the glass. A vigorous pour netted no more than a two finger cap of mochachino colored foam that is beginning to coat the glass with an almost unbroken sheet of lace. This is one beast of an American porter if the appearance is any guide.

Unfortunately, the aroma is nowhere near beast-like. It's so short on power that a detailed description is all but impossible. I can't be any more specific than roasted, chocolate-like malt with a whiff of American hops. For the record, the malt bill is comprised of pale, carastan, caramel, chocolate, black and special roasted. So why can't I smell them? Warming opens things up a little, keeping the score from being an embarrassment.

Thankfully, the flavor profile has no such shortcoming. There's no question that Troll Porter is a beer brewed in the Pacific NW. It's almost a requirement in that area of the country to hop the living hell out your beer, no matter the style (maybe that's why I like it so much). This one tastes like a black and tan created from the mixing of a porter and an IPA.

Each mouthful brings to mind two rivers coming together to form one. The first river contains melted chocolate bars, black coffee and small amount of blackstrap molasses. The second river contains white grapefruit juice mixed with the zest of a few thousand lemons (these are big rivers). The result is a delicious third river that is as sweet as it is bitter. Hopheads are going to love this Troll.

The mouthfeel falls short of what I would consider optimal for what (I assume) is meant to be a big American porter. It's smooth enough, but lacks a little sticktoitiveness on the swallow. Hale's Ales estimates the ABV at 6.8%. Yeah, that's about right.

Troll Porter is named for one of Seattle's most famous sculptures, The Fremont Troll, who has been 'lurking under the Aurora Street bridge since 1990'. First of all, it isn't retired. Second of all, it's an easy recommendation for those who like malty beer, but who love hoppy beer. (2,052 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hale's Ales 'Troll Porter' @ 7.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6
A-pour is cola brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with a hint of ruby red peeking thru a medium size tan head leaving a streaky lace along the pint
S-weak smelling
T-crisp & clean tasting porter
MF-ok/decent carbonation , full body
Ov-ok/good beer , decent porter
prost LampertLand (379 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Safeway. Deep brown in color with a light tan head. Aromas are kind of a sweet, just a hint of a root beer like scent. Smooth taste, creamy. LIght coffee bitterness and a light malt sweetness. Nicely balanced. Very creamy body and heavy mouthfeel. Pretty good offering. Would have again for sure. (309 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap in an imperial pint glass at Elephant & Castle in Seattle.

Appearance: rich dark brown hue with a finger of creamy tan foam. There's a very attractive lace left on the glass, too.

Smell: light roastiness with a simple malt character. Not bad, but not at all complex.

Taste: rich roasty flavor with elements of chocolate and toffee, but mostly a dry, slightly ashy black malt character. It actually appeals to me quite a lot.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a rough carbonation. Not super creamy but interesting enough.

Overall: this beer has its imperfections in aroma and texture, but the flavor is good and drinkability is high. I'm a fan. (661 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably shouldn't be retired as this beer has just recently started being distributed in Arizona.

Pours with a fat, one-finger thick, light brown colored head that sits on top of an opaque, almost black colored beer. The aroma smells oddly of a light oxidation; which is odd because this bottle is fairly new. Malt notes of roast coffee, deeply toasted grain, dark chocolate, blackened raisins and even some rum like notes are also noticeable in the aroma.

Thick and chewy, much more so than I was expecting. The beer does seem to taste lightly oxidized, but it is rich enough that this actually adds to the flavor & complexity of this brew. Sweet notes of darkly caramelized sugar and burnt fruit are offset by a bitterness born of burnt grain and hops. Chewy chocolate notes joint dusty cocoa flavors as well as some solid black coffee notes. At times this tastes like a combination of chocolate and coffee liquors, though it definitely leans towards the coffee side of the flavor spectrum. There is some alcohol presence here, which leads to a soft warming sensation as the beer slides down your throat; in fact this lingers on in the throat after the beer is gone. The roast malt character is quite pronounced here; at times it is a nice balancing note to the malt sweetness and chewy body, but at other times it can lean towards an acrid bitterness and acidity.

Quite a tasty brew, I certainly was not expecting something with quite such a pronounced flavor profile. This is definitely on the rich, chewy side of the Porter spectrum. (1,548 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz picked up at the Coop today.. for about $4.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter.

Fairly aggressive pour left big bubble tan head that didn't stick around for that long and left zero lacing. Brew is very dark brown.. very very dark brown.. only reveals crystal deep ruby highlites when held close to a light... sticky lacing appears as I start actually drinking this one.

Aroma is light for sure.. only whiffs of chocolate and dark malts.. some grassy hop notes.

Flavor is much better than the nose on the porter front. Quite a bit of chocolate malt and sorta nutty/coffee component... touches of caramel.. Significant fruitiness.. I am having a hard time picking out the hop flavors... I know they are there.. Nice fluid body.. Citrus and pine hops emerge alot more as it warms.. Glad I have a second glass.

Hale's is a really good brewery ... the "Troll" on the label is something that must be experienced in person. Today I was looking at the label trying to figure out WTF it was. I did a little research and found out it was the Fremont Overpass Troll... I haven't seen/paid attention to it in years. I remember the first time though (fond memories), Brenda and I got lost in Seattle and parked .... and after a short walk stumbled upon the troll.. very cool public art.. sorta sad though that a VW Beetle paid with its life to make it. :) (1,356 characters)

Photo of jletts
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hale's Troll Porter

Ah, the Fremont Troll. You must see the Troll to understand the inspiration for this beer; and then it all makes sense. I picked this up recently (Feb. 08) in Seattle, so I doubt it has been retired. Poured cellar temperature into an Imperial Pint Glass with a small quickly fading head; appeared dark brownish black with some light getting through around the edges. The aroma was rather mild, focusing on milk chocolate, coffee, with maybe a hint of lactose...hard to pull much out of the aroma. The taste is a different story. Very bold flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and piney hops, followed by peat, some burnt caramel, and hints of vanilla emerged, with a mouthfeel that is just about right for the taste. This is a good porter for hopheads. I need more. (783 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz, tap in Bainbridge Harbour

A: Deep dark opaque brown. There is some reddish hues around the bottom. Fluffy slightly off white nitro blanket head. Leaving tons of lacing on the glass.

S: Mild roast. Milk chocolate. Some slightly piney hops as well.

T: A little bit of bitterness up front. In the middle of the sip you get that roast and chocolate character. The nitro makes this nice and smooth.

M: Medium bodies

O: B- (427 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep brown with ruby highlights... close to black. Head picks up late, but ends up a bubbly creamy light tan and sticks around for a while.

S: Smoky or toasty malts... a little bigger than some I've had? Coffee-like, and mildly chocolate aromas, almost stouty.

T: A pretty big porter, very malty... a little tinny or acedic - can't quite put a finger on it. Some deep, dark fruits, a touch of coffee, and a sweet edge post-finish.

M + D: Calm, smooth, and a pretty hefty aftertaste. Makes for a little slower drinker, but quite good if taken that way. A lot of burnt notes through it all... maybe like burnt rubber in some ways? Just a little though... it's decent, and I'd give it another shot... a bomber purchase at a time, probably. (747 characters)

Photo of woemad
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Elk Public House for $4.00. This is named for the infamous Troll statue/sculpture located under the Aurora Street Bridge near Seattle's Fremont district, which depicts a large troll devouring an actual Volkswagen Beetle.

This was a dark brown in color, with a good sized tan head. Mild amount of lace – it was there, but it wasn’t terribly noteworthy.

Smell was of roasted malt and brown sugar. I thought this, while tasty smelling, could use a little bit less sweetness in the nose.

This was pretty much the same as the nose. It starts out with a nicely roasted character. Then there’s a sweet brown sugar taste. This didn’t taste bad at all, but I thought it could have been better if it was more toned down. Still, a fine porter to quaff.

This was somewhere between medium and full-bodied. Acceptable level of carbonation for a porter.

This was a little too sweet to be considered an outstanding porter, but it was still quite good. The sweetness wasn’t to an unpleasant, cloying degree, so I think I could have had several of these if time (I had to be at work in an hour) and finances (I’m currently a broke-ass poor grad student) permitted. (1,220 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Hale's Troll Porter from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.