Maple Porter
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Maple PorterMaple Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #1,085
Ranked #45,631
3.51 | pDev: 16.24%
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
Maple PorterMaple Porter
Notes: A fragrant, dark ruby porter, brewed with a blend of six malts, toasted barley and infused with pure, dark Canadian maple syrup. The result is a complex mixture of roasted malt and maple syrup flavours and aromas.

Nickel Brook Maple Porter is a unique Canadian interpretation of an ancient classic!

18 IBU
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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daliandragon from Maryland

3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Attractive pour with wet cream colored head and murky mahogany body. Nose is sweet with maple and dark malts.

Deep malt flavor with syrup and mild dark fruits, chocolate, and fresh cream. A little oversweet for me, and a little cloying as well but definitely tasty.

Wasn't sure what to expect from this Canadian brewer but this is a solid first introduction.

Jun 08, 2018
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Jesterr44 from Canada (ON)

3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only had a small portion of this as a part of a flight at the brewery. Maple aroma & taste definitely present & fit in nicely with the roasted malt backbone. I would still think of this as a novelty beer and can't see drinking it regularly, but this was pretty enjoyable; a better novelty beer than the Pumpkin Ale.

Aug 26, 2017
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, it wasn't bad. Certainly wasn't good but it is tolerable. It tastes kind of light and fizzy but the maple is nice as is the nose. I bought it, tried it and put it to bed.

Jun 26, 2016
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WesMantooth from Ohio

2.33/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Smells terrible. Tastes just as bad. Couldnt even drink enough to really describe well, but it had a cola like feel and flavor. I swear I tasted peanut more than maple. No sourness, or butteryness, so I don't think it was infected. Maybe a little metal. Just awful. Like a combination of a porter, brown ale, Pepsi, corn syrup, and bad city water.

May 22, 2016
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

3.94/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the brewery 473ml can for around the $3.00 mark. Served at 8deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a huge brown head that lasts forever. Wouldn't go away, just kept pouring on top and only foam left at the end

S- Metallic.

T- Nice chocolate and coffee flavor. There is some maple but not much. Has a lot of complexity using a lot of different malts and good bittering hops. Enjoyable.

M- Creamy going down. Light porter on the tongue.

O- Nice brew. Has some great characteristics like chocolate/coco along with the light tongue but that metallic scent kind of did it in a bit

Food Pairing

This pretty good brew went well with........ Bratwurst and sauerkraut. Heavy on the pepper and get this one in the cast iron skillet!


May 15, 2016
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EricVonStein from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep black brown with a lofty cafe head that sticks to the glass like a spider web. pretty thing to look at.

smoky and charred on the nose, sweet black liquorice, a hint of maple sugar but only a hint. A little earthy at the end.

On the tongue everything is amplified, nice roasted and charred smokey flavour on the front, a mix of coffee grounds and sweet bbq. A bit herbal and plenty earthy at the end. Finishes clean and dry with a waft of smoke lingering.

Nice med to full body with a clean feel. Only issue to note, and really the only thing not to lke about this beer, is the high carbonation level thats not expected at all in a porter. The carbonation comes off to stingy on the tongue and gets in the way of letting the rich flavours roll over the tongue.

Overall a very nice porter even though the maple reference is completely misleading as its hardly present in a an obvious way. But great smoke, sweet bbq and malt balance that will make me a repeat customer.

Apr 21, 2016
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750 ml bomber served at cellar temperature into a pint glass. Purchased for about $9 CDN from the LCBO.

Appearance - a very dark brown nearly black with a massive brown tan head. Crazy amount of head actually even on a gentle pour. No lacing left behind and small soapy collar lingers for some time.

Smell - some fine roasty notes, remnants of coffee and some maple syrup aromas shine through especially as the beer warms. Otherwise not a lot, maybe some smokey char aromas in limited quantities.

Taste - some thin malt flavours, some smokey flavours as well. No maple presence whatsoever on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel - excessive carbonation to the point it completely detracts from what is usually a smooth silky feel. Body is a bit thin yet strangely sticky.

Overall - a disappointment as the maple aromas don't translate to the flavor and the excessive carbonation doesn't make this a great experience either. It might be worth trying if it came in singles, but a bomber is too much carbonation for one sitting.

Edit - March 20, 2016. If you can get past the fact that maple isn't prevalent in this beer, it's a pretty dcent porter in own right.

Nov 01, 2015
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W_Des from North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Looked thin and black when poured in a snifter. No maple detected in the nose. Just some roast. No maple present in the body. What was supposed to be a maple porter just turned out to be a regular porter. Dissappointing.

Jul 09, 2015
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Pmicdee from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like some of the other reviews, I don't detect too much maple, but it's a very good beer nonetheless, maple or no maple. Tastes better out of a can than out of the bottle for some reason

Mar 24, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nickelbrook Maple Porter doesn't look anywhere as viscous as the syrup with which it's brewed; various reddish and brown highlights illuminate the beer, lending bright clarity to its edges and bottom. The fact that its head fades furthers the impression of a fairly feeble recipe.

A question for Nickelbrook: how in all good consciousness can you advertise a beer as a *Maple* Porter when maple syrup has little to no presence whatsoever? Seriously. I can't smell it. I don't taste it. Are you sure you didn't use Denny's grade table syrup?

Real Canadian maple syrup is sweet, rich, and complex. This beer, however, is astringent, bland, and flat. Little separates it from mainstream commercial porters and our star ingredient is essentially undetectable. The body is feather-light. The taste plain as white bread.

The flavour doesn't develop further than mildly roasted barley. It's not convincing enough to evoke notes of chocolate or coffee and the aftertaste is so unmemorable as to make me lose all interest in taking further sips (truthfully I lost interest after the first couple). This isn't particularly bitter nor sweet - and a maple porter aught to be both.

If I were the brewer I wouldn't want this hitting shelves. Whatever they had envisioned on the drawing board for Maple Porter clearly didn't come to life as it satisfies neither maple syrup nor porter cravings. A shameful beer by all accounts, Nickelbrook has proven capable of so much more.

Mar 18, 2015
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FRANKIE65 from Canada (ON)

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Could not detect maple in any way. That said, if rated as just a "regular" porter, this is still a good example of the type.
Had to knock it down a notch, due to the lack of said ingredient.

Mar 02, 2015
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO (2014 edition), served slightly chilled. I've had more than a few maple beers over the years, but there are very few that I have bothered purchasing more than once.

Pours an opaque brown-black cola colour, topped with nearly two fingers of fluffy, frothy tan-coloured head. Decent retention; it takes a fairly long time to wilt completely away, leaving a spongy pattern of lace behind on the glass. Looks great, with the malts being the more prominent aspect of the aroma. Roasted malts, toffee and maple syrup are all detectable, with a light touch of coffee and dark chocolate.

It didn't take me long to fall in love with this one - this is a yummy, balanced porter that drinks a lot lighter than the abv might suggest. Dark malts are the focus, with notes of baker's chocolate, caramel and molasses accenting the roastiness. A touch of raisin also comes through, with the maple syrup sweetness seemingly content to remain in the background. Nice bittersweet finish, with chocolate alongside some licorice and vaguely smoky notes. Medium-bodied, with a luxuriously smooth feel on the palate.

Nickel Brook's Maple Porter is a solid dark brew, with the maple syrup providing a pleasant sweetness that should make this an accessible, enjoyable option for many consumers. I'm not real big on the format - this would be fine as a sixer or in cans - but as far as Ontario-made sweet porters go, this is a very enjoyable option that I'd consider returning to again.

[Updated Mar 21 2016]

Now available in tallboy cans! The aroma is candy-sweet nearly to the point of cloying, the maple is not particularly potent (in either the aroma or flavour profile), and overall I don't think I'm enjoying this as much as I did two years ago. I still feel that this is an above average porter by Ontario standards, but I also feel that I kind of overrated it a little last time. However, the $3 can is a much more tempting purchase than the old $9 bottle, so there's still a good chance that I'll be buying more of this than I usually would, in the end.

Final Grade: 3.84, a B+.

May 23, 2014
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TheHammer from Canada (ON)

3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It's a porter, so it has a body as black as night. Well there is a slight dark brown tinge to it, but it's thick enough that you can't see the carbonation. Speaking of carbonation, the beer produced a half finger that did not retain very well but did produce some minor lacing.

Smell: It smells like a...maple porter...go figure. Seriously though, this beer as a bit more porter then maple as the dark coffee, charred wood and raisin smell pull the milder sweet maple scent into the background. Warming tends to bring out all aspects of the beer.

Taste: The light maple taste seems to just barely take control over the rich coffee like malt who slowly but surely take over as the bitter charred wood elements and a rich earthiness take over. However the maple puts up a valiant fight as it seems to reign in the harshness of the other aspects of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Remember how I said the maple reigned in the harshness, it's really present in the aftertaste as mild maple and milder notes of the rest of the beer are kept nicely in check even as you approach the bottom of the beer. The carbonation is a bit lacklustre though. It leaves a pleasant dryness to it, which honestly surprises me a bit.

Drinkability: It's on the heavier side of medium, but it's a solid sipping beer and settles down well. The harshness is subdued making it a refreshing experience not commonly found it porters, but the dry note stops you from guzzling like mad. Solid here.

Final Thoughts: All in all a positive experience, but I wouldn't say it's blown me away. However, it does seem to hint that the brewer knows how maple syrup in beer works, to which I can only hope to see if perhaps they will take a shot at a maple bock. I'd say give this beer a whirl, but don't expect your socks to be knocked off.

Apr 15, 2014
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dreamchaser from Canada (ON)

3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A solid sweet porter. A little disappointing in the mouthfeel - weak and watery - but holds up the bargain in terms of nice balance of maple notes and more traditional roasted coffee and soft malt. The nose really carries the chocolatey malts in it but disappear in the flavour, which is a little washed out. Very drinkable for this reason - no flavours really stand out.

Mar 28, 2014
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JeanDuteau from Canada (AB)

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Like others reviewing around this time, I am reviewing this as the Day 1 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

This beer poured as a nice black beer with brown tones. The head was huge and a) would not go away and b) just kept coming no matter how slowly I poured it. This really took away from the review of the beer because I could not get very good smell tests and I had to wait awhile or end up drinking foam (I couldn't wait so I got a mouthful of foam).

When I could smell the beer, it had a nice sweet tang to it. It wasn't really a maple syrup taste, but I am assuming that the maple brought the sweetness with it. It had molasses and a hint of chocolate to it which is what I expected from the Porter.

The taste was very nice - the dark malts were overshadowed by the sweetness and there was a taste of raisin that was not in the smell. Disappointingly, there was not a strong maple syrup taste to it which I was hoping for. The mouthfeel was nice other than when the foam got in the way.

Dec 04, 2013
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, day 1 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. Under the cap: 'Penny for your thoughts, nickel for your thirst'? Kind of weak, that.

This beer pours a solid, brown-tinted black, with muddied basal cola 'highlights', and a teeming tower of over-effusive, frothy, and fizzy beige head, which leaves some Mediterranean grotto lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of musty dark chocolate, molasses, astringent black licorice, semi-sweet vague maple syrup, a bit of woodsmoke, and a hint of warming alcohol. The taste is much more rounded, and um, good - roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, cold coffee, oaken vanilla, dark fleshy fruit - figs and department store raisins - a rather understated sour wooden maple essence, especially given the order of the words in this beer's name, an unfocused leafy bitterness, and further subtle booze notes.

The carbonation is bit out of control, what with the literal eruption of rising head when any sort of aggressive pour is attempted, yet the effect on the tongue is limp and ineffectual, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a hint of tattered creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, still chocolaty and fruity, and tempered by a mildly sour mustiness.

Not a bad porter, really, the soft sourness actually pleasant enough. However, we all be jonesin' for some sweet, sweet maple, and well, this just doesn't deliver on that promise. Maybe it all wafted away back to Mrs. Butterworth's joint whilst this bottle was stricken in that big box o' beer these past number of months.

Dec 02, 2013
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JasonLovesBeer from Canada (BC)

3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

One of the ones who is drinking this tonight thanks to the Beer Advent calender. This was the inaugural beer from the box.

A: Jet black with huge, unrelenting head. Frothy light brown head. Normally I can gauge the darkness of the beer by looking at the edges but the head never goes away so that option's out. Reduces to a thick skin after a little while and never goes away. Lacing doesn't stick though.

S: This might be the highlight of the beer for me. Chocolate, some coffee (like a cafe latte), raisins, a bitterness I can't quite place, and somewhere back there a maple-vanilla sweetness. To my relief, I already know this isn't a maple-bomb at this point.

T: Chocolatey coat to start and a maple, brown sugar build towards the finish. I don't know, not a lot to report really. It's pleasant enough but not a lot to talk about. I think I've been spoiled by the richness of big-ABV beers but this just seems a little deflated.

M: It's thin but what reduces my vote here is the carbonation is just too high for the style in my opinion. In a saison sure, but in a porter I want pretty gentle carbonation and I feel like this is crackling on my tongue which is kind of not working for me.

O: Totally drinkable though the mouthfeel isn't super appealing to me, but not much to reflect upon. Glad I got to try it though!

Dec 02, 2013
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bylerteck from Canada (ON)

3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by a friend. From notes.

A - Poured black with a one finger beige head. Film of retention and no lace.

S - Maple, some boozy raisins, chocolate. Quite sweet.

T - Roast, much lighter maple character, nice sweetness, dark fruit, boozy raisins again.

M - Light carbonation, medium to full body, nice dry finish.

O/D - Pretty well put together. Nice maple character while not being over the top. Easy drinking with a modest ABV. Nothing mind boggling, but worth a shot.

May 20, 2013
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SebD from Canada (ON)

3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown (almost black) color to it. It has a nice mocha head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of maple syrup, caramel, chocolate and some nuttiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some maple syrup, light caramel, a hint of chocolate and some nuttiness. Fairly watery.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

May 04, 2013
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decimator from Canada (ON)

3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 6%.

That must have been the toughest wax I've ever had to get through. Hope it was worth it.

A - Poured a dark brown to black with a thin beige head. Head quickly vanished. No lacing.

S - Toast, smoke, some coffee, somewhat burnt, just of tad of maple syrup in the background.

T - Brown sugar, caramel, a touch of maple, toast, coffee, bitter finish.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, sticky, syrupy, crisp to dry finish.

O - Not as much maple as I was expecting but that actually didn't hurt the beer. Overall is still a decent porter. I think that wax cap was pushing it.

Apr 21, 2013
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Deep brown with a ring of tan head, light lace as well. Smell is of sweet maple, roasted malts with a bit of vanilla, chocolatey with some coffee and bittersweet notes as well here. Taste is of coffee and mild roast, chocolate, lightly sweet as well as a bit astringent, for a maple porter the maple goes largely unnoticed for the most part but is lightly noticeable, coffee grinds in the aftertaste. Medium carbonation, fairly light-med body. Not quite good enough to warrant a $10 price tag but still has a decent drinkability, however I can't say I will be coming back to this anytime soon though.

Apr 08, 2013
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korguy123 from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter.
Red wax top, special release for this spring. Re-branding or improved recipe?

Opaque black/dark brown pour. Dark ruby red around the edges up to the light. Zero head, just a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is non-existent.

Heavy coffee aroma up front, licorice and some bitter dark chocolate. Maple syrup is mostly subdued. It smells like a standard porter with a TINY bit of maple and a little smoke.

Chocolate, some smoke, a touch of molasses, some bitter coffee the tiniest bit of maple and something that resembles toothpaste or mouthwash... Maybe the Easter turkey is messing with my taste buds...

Light body, normal carbonation.

This is okay, it's nothing spectacular. When I see wax I assume there is something more than normal going on inside. I think the price and presentation don't reflect the beer. I'll revisit when the bottle hits room temp.

Mar 31, 2013
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hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

4.04/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle picked up at the LCBO yesterday, so assume this to be part of the 2013 release. Other than getting extremely frustrated removing the wax, would rate this beer (and Nickel Brook in general recently) as exceeding expectations.

Pours a near-black with ruby highlights at the edges of the glass. Large coffee-coloured head disappears fairly quickly, but still an attractive beer. Aroma of roasted dark malts with the faintest hint of wood earthiness and maple in the background - don't think I'd have picked up on the maple if it wasn't sold as a maple porter. Nice roasted malts with chocolate and caramel elements in the flavour, which is well balanced and has decent depth. The finish is more abrupt with a quick transition to a relatively simple bitterness, but overall a pleasant beer. Would love to try it on tap – or anywhere without the wax.

Well done, Nickel Brook.

Mar 16, 2013
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Jeffo from Netherlands

3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Rib & Craft Beer Festival in Kitchener, ON. There were a decent number of Ontario breweries there, and the turnout was actually pretty big. Luckily I got there early and could actually get beer at will without having to wait in line.

Tap into a 4oz taster glass. Had a couple samples.

APPEARANCE: Pours a relatively large, medium thinner looking, mocha colored head with good retention. Head eventually fades and leaves some clingy lacing on the glass. Body is black with no carbonation evident. A film and ring remain until the end leaving decent lacing down the sides.

SMELL: Definite maple syrup on the nose. A touch of dark malts and caramel in there as well, but this is more about the burnt maple syrup aromas. It is slightly one dimensional, but it is decently done and not overpowering.

TASTE: Follows the nose, but is a touch watery. Maple syrup is there with some caramel and dark malts, but it is a touch empty though the middle. Aftertaste is much more impressive, with some bold and lingering sweet maple syrup, caramel, and a touch of hop bitterness as balance. Finish is quite good really, but needs a little more balls through the middle to make it really memorable.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Good feel here.

OVERALL: I had never heard of this brewery before the festival, but I think I ended up going back to them the most. For me, this was definitely the most interesting brew there, as there weren’t many stouts or porters at all really, but it wasn’t the most enjoyable per se. A beer well worth checking out, and a brewery I’ll probably pay a little more attention to now if I can.

Aug 15, 2011
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with an average size creamy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - maple, brown sugar, toffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and feels creamy on the palette. There is actually quite a bit of taste going here, lots of sugar sweetness and lots of maple flavours. There are also notes of toffee and chocolate and some malts. The beer finishes with a very sweet maple and sugar aftertaste.

Drink - The beer was a little too sweet for my liking but it was still decent. However, I wouldn't seek it out again.

Dec 20, 2010
Maple Porter from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 108 ratings