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Original Flag Porter - Darwin Brewery Ltd.

Not Rated.
Original Flag PorterOriginal Flag Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

248 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 10
Gots: 1 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: woemad on 12-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 177 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a caramel brown, topped with a two finger creamy dark khaki head, leaves a sheet of lacing.
Caramel and cocoa aroma, earthy.
Caramel and cocoa taste, earthy, plenty of chocolate, some dark fruit, creamy note.
Medium bodied, and smooth, rather nice - it's brewed to an 1800s recipe with a yeast recovered from an 1825 shipwreck.

03-30-2005 01:15:25 | More by mschofield
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and creamy black and chocolate malt scent. It is sweet with a bit of a dry finish. The taste is good as well. It has a black and earthy flavor with a sweet, creamy chocolate malt finish. It's thin, but a very flavorful beer that drinks well. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine porter. I love the chocolate characteristics. It has a great aroma and taste; a good drinker.

03-29-2005 02:21:31 | More by WesWes
Photo of horndecker
horndecker

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

This porter pours out a plummy mahogany color, cloudy and dark, without much of a head. The carbonation, what there is of it, goes underground quickly, leaving a slick, even oily look to the surface.

The aromas are unexpected and wonderful ; the best thing about this brew. Raspberries, cocoa, honey and toffee, along with roasted malts.

A slight bitter burnt aroma also appears in the taste, which features subtly tart fruit, bittersweet chocolate and espresso. Light body, too light, almost watery, which, along with the slight stealthy carbonation, reminds one of stale seltzer.

Finishes dry and dusty.

---

ps - after posting this I only just now read the previous review, by Yoko. We had almost exactly the same experience of this beer (and wrote about it the same way). Pleasantly surprised that so many of my perceptions of this or any other brew have a common ground with others'.

03-05-2005 20:46:31 | More by horndecker
Photo of yoko
yoko

Oregon

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%

The nose is intoxicating - inviting you back for more. Still can't place the aromas -- soft/sweet/mellow with a thick character, roasted cocoa/malt/grain; chocolate nor coffee predominate -- I keep revisiting for the tell all. In the meantime, it's a nose easy to smile about.

The Flag with its historic yeast and recipe pours a dark mahogony allowing light to pass yielding red tones. Absolutely no head here with a few watery bubbles of varing sizes collected and diminishing to none. The body is thin, light and without length, almost as if piggy-backed with a S. Pellegrino. It remained clear with a crisp note. The taste carries the smooth nose married with the mineral water essence. The finish is with a bit of instant coffee. Perhaps this would be a most refreshing brew on a summer's day...

This came highly recommended. I can appreciate why it was enjoyed by another, however, this is not my preferred porter style.

03-01-2005 17:50:30 | More by yoko
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze

California

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Pours out a light mahogany color with a big creamy tan head.
Nice mellow roasted aromas. Malt, creamy chocolate, dark coffee and a bit of red fruit.
Good tangy, sweet and bitter flavors. Roasted malt, milk chocolate,
coffee, dark cherries and a subdued grassy hop bitterness.
Light to medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and good carbonation.
Good tasty Porter. Smooth and drinkable.

01-31-2005 16:52:24 | More by rkhaze
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.85/5  rDev 0%

Minimal, and I mean minimal, head formation on the pour. Basically white by judging the little that did form and quickly disappear. Nearly opaque with some light transmission around the edges showings its dark brown color.

Smell is mostly of chocolate, much like a Tootsie Roll. I can’t help but to keep smelling it as it is so inviting. The taste continues much like the smell with little differences. The chocolate continues as the forefront of the flavor and finishes with a hint of coffee. There was really no hint of the burnt or heavily toasted flavors found in many porters, a nice change.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, I’d prefer a bit thicker feel on the tongue. There is something in the taste, maybe a lack of hops which bring the sweetness in balance which hurts drinkability a bit, but good overall. Worth a try for sure and I’ll probably pick up a couple more.

01-08-2005 02:56:31 | More by blitz134
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

Darkest mahogany with a faint glimmer of garnet, only noted when backlit with bright sunlight. A tight-bubbled, two finger, beige crown is created on the pour and leaves less lace than expected. A slurred collar is the extent of the glass coverage.

The aroma is impressively aromatic and is redolent of strong Arabian coffee and chocolate fudge. I don't usually like this much coffee in my porter noses, but this one has enough else going for it (dark fruit and subtle hops) that I love its depth as well as its power.

The flavor is pretty special as well. Original Flag is a good old-fashioned, classic porter. I love the fact that the yeast strain was rescued from an 1825 shipwreck in the English Channel; it gives the beer authenticity. It's a tad lighter of body than I prefer and the taste isn't exactly bold (as is the fashion currently, at least in this country), but it's a complex and delicious ride.

Nothing dominates on the palate. Coffee blurs into chocolate blurs into sweet raisins blurs into overripe apples blurs into light treacle blurs into roasted barley (not sequentially of course) and it's all tied up into an incredibly drinkable package. Again, I wish that the body was bigger in order to provide a little more flavor linger.

Although I normally prefer (often big) American porters to (often not so big) English ones, I wouldn't change a single thing about Old Flag. It's a classic version and is great beer no matter what flag you drink under.

01-06-2005 15:49:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

Very dark in color but clear when held up to an intense light. The head dies down to a thin brown wispy layer.

Chocolate and vanilla mixed with a hint of alcohol. The aroma is rich and intoxicating.

Dry chocolate and malt tastes. There is a little sour flavor that adds interest. A crisp finish is a little disapointing but there is a smooth carmel aftertaste. There is very little noticable bitterness.

Slightly foamy and bubbly. It seems to bubbly enough to slightly affect the taste. Medium body but seems a little lighter because of the carbonation.

This is pretty good stuff. I'd like a little more flavor and bitterness from hops and/or roasted grain.

12-02-2004 23:27:58 | More by ken3c
Photo of Ego
Ego

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

12 oz, 5%, imported from england
bottle jazz:
"brewed with 1825 yeast salvaged from a sunken vessel in the english channel using an original 19th century recipe"

nearly pitch black, no real head , but the lace sticks to the sides of the glass, strong caramel/coffee malt nose, not very much mouth feel, very low carbonation, very deep expresso notes on the aftertaste. not heavy in the stomach

this is one that easily works at room temperature.. 12oz seems like a lot of something so dark but it is relatively light drinking. this is a good example of a porter meant for a hand pump....

the malt sweetness stays in your mouth for a good 5 minutes after a sip.. it is like drinking a good coffee.

later on in the glass the sweetness (malt) seems to outweigh the coffee tones...

a very solid porter, nothing outrageous but very solid.

11-28-2004 06:33:46 | More by Ego
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%

Dark brown almost black in color with a minimal light brown head that reduces to just a ring. The aroma is chocolatey, and roasty, with coffee notes. The flavor is of roasted malts and coffee notes. It is medium in body and an easy drinker. Not a bad Porter overall.

11-26-2004 03:24:23 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights thru out almost no head to speak of here,great aroma of cocoa,smoke,and dark roasted coffee very rich and appetizing.Taste does not live up to the aroma though somewhat watery but there some smokey flavors and some bitter chocolate.Like I said the beer seemed a little to watery thinbut there are some good characteristics for a quality brew going on.

07-23-2004 01:23:17 | More by oberon
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

This porter pours a dark brown with splendid transparency and a bishop's collar of a head never wavering. Lacing is soft, thin, and evanescent.

If I could ever say a beer smelled like coffee beans, this might be it, even more impressive given its lack of coffee in its ingredients list. Medium roasted beans combine a nice balance of caramel and roasty malts, giving off spare fruity scents with a dark soda-like character (a smell I've found in highly traditional English-styled porters). Opens to a curious nutty sense and an altogether mild and quiet friendliness.

As for flavor, this beer is smooth and completely from the other side of the pond. In my estimation, its roastiness is constrained and subtly smoothed into the notes of nuts, toasty malts, and quiet fruitiness that seems to me estery as if from a classic English yeast. Absolutely no appreciable hops but plenty of smokiness takes its place and gives this beer's taste its unique character. To describe the smoke in detail, its moderate with a woody sense and fairly coloured by the dark brown sugar accents of the majority of the grain bill. I could be drastically wrong, but the smoothness (have I used that word enough times yet) is apparent. Mouthfeel is indeed silky and with low carbonation, and while its far from a great casked porter its thin-bodied softness is impressive.

Could I please try this fresh from a just-tapped cask? I can only imagine though this beer survives travel fairly well.

07-13-2004 00:34:00 | More by nomad
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.6/5  rDev -6.5%

Appearance:

Dark dark brown with hints of amber little to no head .

Smell:

Chocolate, licorice and smoke

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smoky with sweet malty character bursting on the tongue; little to no hops which leaves you free to enjoy the malts which linger. Good, not great.

06-30-2004 15:53:29 | More by cbl2
Photo of marburg
marburg

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +22.1%

I echo Putnam's confusion in terms of the label and the brewer. But let's get on to what really matters...

Complete olefactory delight. I was having a discussion with Putnam about coffee the other day, and the aroma of this reminds me of those superb coffee beans my mom would grind up for fancy parties she hosted. Not chocolate, per se, but rather chocolate passed through the lens of a handful of gourmet coffee beans.

Silky, rather than syrupy, on the tongue. Light yet flavorful, this traditional porter is clear in its influence on its contemporaries. Roasted, smoky flavors. Singed chocolate and grilled fruit concentrated and rehydrated. Remarkably delicate and well balanced. Just easy, good, flavorful drinking.

06-21-2004 03:12:12 | More by marburg
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

5/5  rDev +29.9%

I'm confused by the "other" flag porter attributed to the Elgood brewery. That uploaded picture looks just like my sample from the Darwin brewery. Is this a case of alternative contract brewing?

This beer is all about "bouquet." Don't even attempt to taste it until first SMELLING it for 30 seconds. And for God's sake don't serve it too cold.
Absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous, velvety, feminine perfumes of baked blue fruits and Caribbean chocolate. On the palate it is rain water clear with chunky, meaty suggestions of marrow, roasted seeds, blackberry paste, bitter chocolate, smoky branches and creosote. Much lighter than modern Porter convention would have it, there is something profoundly drinkable about this brew. Very complex, succulent and interesting. The best Porter ever.

06-02-2004 19:02:42 | More by putnam
Photo of freed
freed

Oregon

3.85/5  rDev 0%

Simple and attractive label that seemed oddly familiar. Maybe it was the recent trip to Bermuda and all the old sailing lore...

The ale pours into my glass with a brief rush of activity. There isn't much head, and the bubbles that grace the top are rather large, and give off that live looking movement. The body is a deep brown, but the edges are thin, letting light pass through and giving it a nearly red edge.

The aroma is subdued, but combines some really authentic British malt and yeast smells. There's a typical staleness to the smell that I'm drawn too.

Taste combines a slightly dry malt flavor with an almost brown-sugar sweetness. Its not as dry toast bitter as I expected, but its really a nice, filling sensation. However, the sweetness accumulates and makes it necessary for some water.

05-27-2004 04:46:41 | More by freed
Photo of Lupe
Lupe

New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%

I have to admit, the sole reason I picked this one up was due to the little story about the salvaged 1825 yeast strain.

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Small tan head quickly disappears but some lace is left along the sides of the glass. Roasted aroma with dark chocolate and rum. Flavor is dominated but raosted malt, dark chocolate and coffee. Hints of dark fruit and molasses are also present. Hops are not noticable and the bitterness is provided by roasted grain. Thinner then expected and smooth. Nice drinkability, nothing heavy to stop you from having a few. A solid porter.

04-07-2004 01:44:27 | More by Lupe
Photo of 57andcounting
57andcounting

Alabama

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

This is a nice porter. Not as heavy as some. Pours a limited head that leaves quickly. Even so there is a bit of lacing. Very dark amber. Chocolate smell. I didn't notise the alcohole. The flavor is chocolate with the light tar expected from English porters. Not heavy on the tongue move like a lager then a porter. Usually I drink a porter for favor and approach it like food. This porter is actually refreshing. This is worth a try.

03-06-2004 19:43:47 | More by 57andcounting
Photo of Hhawk06
Hhawk06

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%

It poured dark dark ruby black with a small tan head. Got a good whiff of a woody and smokey odor. My first reaction is this brew is not nearly as heavy as I expected. Its very smooth with typical porter flavor punctuated by an almost fruity aspect. The finish is very sweet and sugary. It's ok, although I would say it tastes like a borderline porter.

02-27-2004 22:56:30 | More by Hhawk06
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours out very dark and lovely. Nearly opaque black with faint red highlights when held up to the light. Aroma is medicinal/alcoholic, roasty and fruity. Taste is very complex with dry roasted malt as the primary profile with hints of coffee, smoke, raisin, chocolate, black pepper, and licorice. Lactic acid like sourness also adds to the complexity. A bit thicker than most other ordinary porters I’ve tried. The complexity makes the drinkability suffer a bit. Makes a fine sipping beer to wind down the night.

02-14-2004 04:08:38 | More by rajendra82
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

Poured a dark brown with ruby tints. Not too much head just some bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. Smelled sweet with plenty of molassas and brown sugar. Taste was more heavily coffee flavored with tasty sweetness and a doughy finish. Thin mouthfeel without much carbonation. All in all a tasty beer.

01-03-2004 01:18:26 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date, purchased today from the Leaf and Ale in Knoxville, Tn. Pours a clear dark chestnut, with ruby notes when held to the light. Nose is robust with dark roasted malts and lots of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, initially, but significantly thins out over the course. Taste is dominated by notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, with a few modest hints of spices and currants. Drinkability is pretty good, as there's nothing heavy or overbearing here. I'm wondering if my bottle was a bit old given the very minimal carbonation and lack of lacing and head. Still a porter worthy of trying.

Brewery website has an interesting story about the recovery, analysis, and development of this Porter's recipe, and the 1825 shipwrecked barge from which they got the yeast strain.

12-26-2003 20:26:03 | More by merlin48
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

Bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $5.75. Label was a little weathered looking. Label purports this beer is creaated using "1825 Yeast salvaged from a sunken vessel in the English Channel using an original 19th century recipe." This beer has bounced around several contract breweries, originally having been brewed by Whitbred.
Poured a very dark brown with a reddish tinge. Head was small, tan and didn't hang around for a while. Lacing was moderate, with a nice collar of foam visible throughout this beer's time in my glass. Smell was of roasted malt, similar to dark chocolate with subtle cherry notes. Taste was of dark, rich, velvety chocolate with fruity notes hovering in the background. The mouthfeel is pleasingly thick. This beer has a filling, stick-to-yer-ribs effect, and would be great paired up with a nice dessert. This same richness works against it in drinkability, as its a little to heavy for repeated pints. All in all a nice porter.

12-04-2003 08:40:40 | More by woemad
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Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.