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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
86
very good

66 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 35
Photo of Zach122
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Asics
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
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. :)

Photo of jletts
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Braz
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of rkuhnel
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of erikm25
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nhirsch04
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of evilkorova
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of gdhawley
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of NickThePyro
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of powdersoldier
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Wiz99
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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Hale's Troll Porter from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
86 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.