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Original Flag Porter - Darwin Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Original Flag PorterOriginal Flag Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

254 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 254
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.43%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Darwin Brewery Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: woemad on 12-04-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 254 | Reviews: 177
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish-brown body with a two-finger head that receeded quickly and left some lace patches. A mild sweet malt smell mixed with some coffee or dry malt. A really smooth and creamy porter, with roasted (and possibly coffee) malts mixing with dark, maybe unsweetened chocolate and possibly other sweet malts (caramel?). There is a very minor hop presence that perks the beer up so it isn't a syrupy mess, and it does go down with only a mild drying sensation and rather smooth. A rather mild porter but one I really enjoyed.

Photo of Offa
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very tasty, highly drinkable, and smooth porter, if a little light.

Essentially, but not quite, black, it has a large tan head, creamy and long-lasting, slowly shrinking to a permanent frothy head with some nice lace.

The aroma is roasty with a lot of chocolate (cocoa powder and hot chocolate, specifically), toast, some prunes, faint hints of port and stewed fruit.

The taste is light but flavourful with toast, chocolate, leaves, and light toasty-earthiness. It's very clean. It lacks the lightly sour stewed fruit or tart quality that many porters and the like have or a licorice-herbal-pepper quality others have. It is light but somewhat silky in feel.

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with nice light brown highlights. A finger of tan head that dissolves to a thin film. Very minor lacing. Nose is huge roasted malt, light bitter coffee, a touch of chocolate, a touch of caramel and breadiness as well. No real hop presence. Nice English porter flavor to it. Smooth on the tongue, light dried fruit flavors. Smooth, roasted malt, with very light coffee. Mild, as the style often is. Creamy body, very quiet carbonation. A very smooth and drinkable English porter.

Wine Specialist/11.7 oz bottle/$2.35

Photo of Japerrault
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer as poured into a standard pint glass had a small brown head, about 1cm, which dissipated fairly quickly. The color is nearly opaque, showing deep ruby when held to the light. No cloudiness present.

S: Malt with a sweet, dark chocolate aroma is dominate, No hops noticed.

T: Medium+ carbonation, lighltly sweet dark chocolate at the front and continuing through the finish, where a light bitterness and percieved tartness lend to a nice dry finish. Other than mild bitterness, no hops flavor was noted.

M: This is not a heavy beer. Could be a bit thicker to suit me, but not all bad.

D: Very drinkable. The chocolatey aftertaste makes me want another sip. The lighter body allows this one to be quaffed easily.

Overall I recommend this lighter bodied porter as a good example of an English Porter.

Photo of eweneek83
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Chocolate to deep red, holds a head for moderate amount of time.

Smell: Roasted nuttiness, mellow sweetness, like a roasty stout.

Taste: Flavorful roasted malt, without being overpowering. Slightly hoppy finish, but no nasty aftertaste. pretty good

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than some other porters, but full-bodied enough to hold interest in your mouth.

Drinkability: Really the defining quality of this beer. almost perfect. - so easy to finish a bottle and then miss the taste 10 minutes later.

Photo of roadhouse
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a dark brown with some red orange highlights. One finger tan head that leaves no lacing.

Aroma is chocolaty, but there are also hints of vanilla, raisins, and toffee as well as some sweetness reminiscent of brown sugar.

Taste is not quite as good as the aroma suggested. Starts out almost like chocolate covered raisins then a bit of diacertyl comes out on the finish along with a bit of mild hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, a bit too watery, good level of carbonation though.

Well at the price this cost for a four pack, I would never buy it, but I just bought a single and it was worth a try. The smell reminded me a lot of the Anchor Porter so I got pretty excited but the flavor isn't quite up to par. However, it is kind of cool to be drinking a beer made with some yeast harvested off an 1825 shipwreck.

Photo of Jordan1985rec
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Cool looking graphic, statement out using yeast culled from a ship wreck, interesting, but not all that appetizing. Served in a pint glass.
Appearance: Very black, only minor hints of ruby.
Smell: Carmel maybe a hint of bitter chocolate, not sweet, close to baker's chocolate.
Taste & Mouth-feel: Rich but perhaps a bit thin. not as sweet as some porters, in a good way. Bitter chocolate and coffee with creme, a tad sweet, but not too sweet. I just took another sip, I am really enjoying this porter. Great balance over the palate.
Drinkability: I would definitely have another one of these, I can't wait for Fall/Winter to enjoy more of these.

Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a deep brown color and a pretty thick consistency, but almost no head at all.

S: Aroma of coffee, fruits, molasses and malt. Not overpowering, but nicely done.

T: Tasted of coffee, dark fruits, toffee, malt, some nuts and a little bit of hops. Not as vibrant as I'd like, but well done.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a slick finish. This is a medium-bodied beer.

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer. I'm not huge on porters, but this one is a decent brew.

Photo of aforbes10
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from City Wide in South Bend. Pours dark brown and clearish. A little ring of an off white head. Sweet chocolate malty odor. Smooth, slightly sweet chocolate, with vague fruity truffle flavor. Some alcohol. Smooth, kind of thin mouthfeel, but well-balanced. Close to a blatic porter...very smooth with a fruity tinge.

Photo of GbVDave
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours the color of medium roast coffee. Small light tan head covers this and leaves small drops of lace behind.

S: Initial aroma is a three way competition between chocolate, dark fruit, and nut. As it warms more stuff emerges; citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee.

T: Chocolate and deeply roasted malt provide most of the entertainment here. Along for good measure are cocoa cream, dark fruit, toffee, molassas, floral/lemony hops, and a touch of smoky char.

M: Bright, thin, and watery-very good porter characteristics. Bittersweet with a great roasty dryness.

D: Very easy to drink. Could easily spend an afternoon with a few of these.

Photo of AlexJ
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a thin but persistant beige head.

Aroma mild, creamy, and sweet; some light coffee and milk chocolate with a bit of fruit.

Flavor is dry milk chocolate, creamed coffee, leaTHER, light fruitiness, and wood.

Body is medium, lightly carbionated, very creamy and slick. Overall very mild, tastey, and approachable.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of those beers that I used to drink quite frequently at one point, but for some reason or another just never got around to reviewing. As I popped the cap on this one, I thought it was about time.

The beer pours to a hazelnut brownish black color. On the edges of the glass, where the light is able to penetrate, a load of chunky sediment is revealed. It leads me to question the age of this bottle, however everything smells and tastes on par with previous experience. I just never scrutinized the appearance to this degree prior to now. The head is very low and fades to nothing in a matter of seconds. No lacing.

The smell is very good. Notes of chocolate are dominant, followed by caramel and toffee. Some dark fruity esters. It's refreshing to drink a porter that doesn't have roasted barley, hence walking the very thin line between porter and stout. No, this beer is 100% without a doubt a porter. An "original," at that.

The taste is quite dry, with only a touch of sweet on the tip of the tongue. Great chocolate flavor, which is one of the things I used to love about this beer. Toasted nuts, dark berries, caramel and toffee.

Kind of a chalky dryness accompanies a thin mouthfeel, making for a very quaffable beverage. It drinks like water. Need I say more?

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smells of sweet, Belgian chocolate at first. Unfortunately, cardboard creeps out as it warms and knocks this down a notch. Otherwise, it's highly drinkable. It appears brown with an off-tan head. The flavor has a touch of herbal hops with the Belgian chocolate and chocolate grains. A tasty beer, I wish I could get it fresh.

Photo of nsmartell
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 11.2 bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours quickly and is pitch black, but with almost no head at all.

Smell: Pretty light, but the sweet smelling caramel comes through.

Taste: Not much going on here. The Chocolate taste lasts throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and watery.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth, but there isn't much going on here. As I won this on a football wage, I'm not out anything, but I would not pick this beer up on my own.

Photo of Minkybut
2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was black with a thin head that dissipated so fast I could not tell what color it was. The smell of the beer was sweet. The taste was old, flat and not good as in OLD. What a shame. Very out of date tasting yet my importer just got this one in, so I guess this is what the beer is like. I will not buy again.

Photo of prototypic
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's dark and chocolaty brown in color. Head is tan and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was good though lacing was fairly average.

Smell: Somewhat light on the nose. Stick with it and it's a mix of chocolate and caramel-toffee malts. Definitely smells sweet. Very light coffee aroma. Perhaps a bit of roasted malts emerges. Not picking up any hops.

Taste: Chocolate and roasted malt flavors are the strongest flavors. There are a bit of toasted nut and coffee flavors in the mix. Pretty straight forward and more bland than I had hoped.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied profile. Carbonation is okay, but not great. It's decently smooth, but its bland taste limits drinkability. Overall, it's okay but I wouldn't seek it out again.

Photo of asabreed
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A very dark amber or very dark brown depending on the light, with a head that starts nicely and leaves not real thick lacing but one with bigger bubbles clinging to the outside of the glass.

Smell: Rich, yet somehow light and airy, and creamy milk chocolate is huge in the nose. Vanilla cream, slight banana, sweet raisins, coffee without the bitterness, slight mocha, and roasted malt. Tons of aromatic sweetness like I've never picked up before in the style.

Taste: Seemingly a bit watery at first, with all the flavors lingering after: milder coffee, milk chocolate, honey, vanilla, raisins, and bit of roasted malt and husk flavors. Lingering roasted malt, slight chocolate, and a bit of berries. I could see this becoming a monolith as a Baltic, but highly flavorful as it stands.

Mouthfeel: A medium-body with light to medium carbonation, which seems to be right on for the flavors that end up lingering in the finish.

Drinkability: I paid $3 for the bottle, but I'm not sure if I'd do it again because it goes down so damn easily. I'd be getting 6-packs if it were cheaper. An interesting and extremely drinkable rendition of the style for sure.

Photo of auxiliary
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Black color pour with a head about an inch high, with no lace.

smell - Has a smokey rich smell to it, some coffee notes too.

taste - Decent porter, not too smokey.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Pretty good, easy drinking beer. Would buy again.

Photo of NEhophead
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.

Pours a dirty, not opaque molasses in color. Creamy and very porous, coffee-colored head that slowly settles as an intact sheet. Some condensed lacing with decent strength.

Semi-sweet caramel, milk chocolate, and dry toffee. Light, creamy coffee and dry peanut, hazlenut. Very floral with a roasted characteristic.

Very creamy coffee and milky, light caramel. Lingering milk chocolate that is so thin it's practically watery and almost absent of any roasted malts. A light floral hop presence at mid-sip is joined by notes of almond and hazlenut.

A light, medium in body; surprisingly thin and watery for the style.

Promising in aroma, but reserved in flavor and thin in texture makes for a disappointment. Not an English Porter that I'll return to.

Photo of Gehrig
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A finger of tannish head caps this black beauty. The smell is a letdown, with some malt arising after a few minutes of patient coaxing. But the taste more than makes up for it--sheer magnificence, one of the very best tasting porters I've had. Lots of chocolate, coffee, caramel for sure as good porter standards, but there's much more. I distinctly tasted some butterscotch and black licorice, really rounding out this great standard.

Nicely carbonated and smooth, one could order a few of these without blinking an eye. Truly excellent and, with a better nose, would be ranked even higher.

Photo of Slatetank
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this bottle at the Brickskeller in D.C., served cool in a pint.

A - Deep brown w/ medium brown hues and a quickly dissipating head of light tan.

S - Malty w/ a creamy sweet note and lactic yeastiness w/ a tinge of roasted grain and subtle spice.

M - Rich nutty feel w/ cocoa sweetness, low carbonation and creamy qaulities.

T - A toasted sweet English malted berry note w/ a fine nutty coffee-like flavor w/ spice hops and a creaminess w/ caramel and buttery toffee flavors.A subtle peppery note w/ a woody aspect w/ dry notes of subtle hop under the dark malt flavor. A smooth cocoa taste along w/ English yeast flavor providing the most complex toasty and full maltiness in a rather impressive porter.

D - A masterpiece for my taste, a top notch porter, world class, sessionable and supremely drinkable.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed with 1825 yeast salvaged from a sunken vessel in the English Channel using an original 19th century recipe.

Pours very dark brown that you can barely see through, even though it is clear. Minimal tan head in my snifter. Nose is very nice. Thick chocolate. Not cocoa powder or beans, but more like a chocolate bar. Flavor is as you would expect from the nose. Nice thick malty tones. Pronounced bitter tone stays firm. For staying power, this one keeps a good score. Feel is thin though on the liquid side. A lot less than you would think, but the carbonation is good. This is a very good English Porter. Definitely worth trying, though I would absolutely love to try an extremely fresh sample of this.

Photo of PhageLab
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pitch black opaque brew, no head whatsoever. Slightly intimidating at first glance. Little to no lacing apparent.

S - Molasses, roasted malt, and some sort of minty aroma I can't really describe. Very enticing.

T - Odd initial dry taste followed by chocolate, and bitterness. A rather toasty finish, but there is an off note in there, vanilla bean perhaps?

M - Light bodied, smooth, low carbonation.

D - I could see having a few of these on a regular basis. Very nicely done, there are just a few odd aromas and tastes that keep this from hitting higher, perhaps I just have to get used to them and try another. Give it a shot.

Photo of Toddv29424
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a midnight black color, with a slight amber hue around the edges when held up to the light. There is zero head when pouring, only slight foam that sits on top of the beer from the bottle. The smell is big and delicious, with many roasty flavors reminiscent of other porters. The taste is pretty unimpressive for the first half of the mouth, but as it sits on the tongue it develops with a thick chocolaty consistency with a sweet malt kick. Successive sips are still impressed by the size of this beer, and it seems there are new flavors each time. Well worth seeking out.

Photo of counterpart9
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very smooth dark brown, light tan head that quickly dissipates to a spotty lacing. Slight sweet, malty warm smell. The robust taste I am accustomed to with porters was not present here. It is a bit lighter and lacks the full bodied flavor I expected. The beer is very easy to drink, low carbonation, low alcohol lever. The taste that you are left with is a warm nutty malt taste.

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Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.