Old Eight Porter | Barley John's Brew Pub

BA SCORE
89
very good
40 Reviews
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Old Eight PorterOld Eight Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Barley John's Brew Pub
Minnesota, United States
barleyjohns.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-13-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
94
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
10.45%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 94
Photo of Ottoj55
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black with a fluffy tan head and some serious lacing. Big upfront roasted/burned smell of espresso, chocolate. Taste follows suit, all the deep burned astringent notes a porter should have like a good coffee, dark chocolate bar. Soft and full mouthfeel, not at all boozy at 8%. This is a solid porter, I paired mine with a medium rare sirloin steak, do the same.

 373 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours out like motor oil with a heavy boozy rum like aroma. Inky black colored...light brown head...espresso, bitter chocolate, light smoke, and char on the aroma and taste. Molasses...

Full bodied, rich, tasty....drinks like a tropical version of a porter version of a tropical stout.

Nothing subtle or easy drinking about this....this is a big boy porter.

 362 characters

Photo of MNAle
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque black with a tall dark tan head, recedling slowly leaving connected lacing. Smokey aroma with mocha, not too strong. Moderate to on the thin side feel. Initial taste is smokey, mocha, with bittering beginning right away and carrying throuh, with a nice bitter finish. The bittering lingers into the aftertaste. This is a very enjoyable beer. The taste is nicely balanced between the smokey malts and the bittering hops, it has a mix of flavors (chocolate, coffee, roasty/smokey malts) that blend together into a very enjoyable whole.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

At the brew pub, sitting outside on the patio on a hot summer day. Pours jet black with a little khaki head and good lacing. The nose has a lot of smoke and a little gentle roasty coffee bitterness. The chocolate is pretty faint, and that's fine by me. Not much in the way of hops. Taste follows the nose, though the smoke becomes more charred barley. The mouthful is velvety and rich, and not very sweet...it also dries out on the finish. It is clear that it packs a punch, but it isn't too hot or boozy. This was pretty good.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Served in a snifter glass.

Body is dark cola brown body, nearly black, two finger offwhite head, a bit bigger than I'd like, retention is solid, lots of lacing. Smells of rich roasted barley, black coffee, a bit soapy, milk chocolate. Flavour is similar, a combination of milk chocolate sweetness mixed with roasted barley, touch of char, a bit of bitter espresso on the finish. Good bit of flavour, not too complex but it comes together nicely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, silky smooth, a bit light on flavour on the backend. Overall, a solid porter with a bit too much bitter char on the backend, but a solid body for a porter.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Re-review 2/23/17, original score 3.79)

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly leaving nice lacing. The aroma is graham cracker, dark and mild chocolate, nougat, and roasted malt. The taste is more roasty than the aroma. Milk chocolate fills the sip with dark chocolate, and nougat rounding out the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a chewy texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty darn good porter. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

thick, brown head that sticks down the glass.

smell has a touch of smoke to it.

well roasted flavor, with a thick chocolate and licorice flavor afterwards.

mouth is creamy.

lovely beer for a winter night.

 209 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was the best of the bunch at Barley John's and it still was just average. It was a big boozy porter that actually tasted like the beer style listed.

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Photo of Bluegrass49
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint can, received as a gift. This one is from Barley John's new facility in New Richmond Wisconsin. Poured a dark brown color with a modest 1-2 finger head. Malty and smokey chocolate taste. Just the right amount of hops to finish. Definitely want this one again.

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Photo of bsp77
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Near pitch black with decent tan head.

Smell: Chocolate - very rich, almost a chocolate brownie. Molasses and light smoke.

Taste: The chocolate is strong in the taste as well, but there are harsher notes of roast, smoke, molasses and char. Bitter finish from the roasted malts and the spicy hops.

Feel: Low carbonation with a smooth, full body. Very dry finish.

Overall: Great strong Porter. I will need to have this a few more times.

 502 characters

Photo of morimech
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16oz can. Cans come from Barley John's brewery in New Richmond, WI.

Dark black color with a massive, dense head that had excellent retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Heavy malt aroma with notes of chocolate, coffee, smoke, and mild roasted malt. This borders on the stout side with the amount of roasted malt detected in the flavor but the unroasted malt is the primary flavor component. The sweet malt is balanced by a healthy dose of earthy hops. This is a massive beer that is thick and chewy. Is great that this beer is available in stores now. Highly recommended.

 625 characters

Photo of maedhros09
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep dark brown/black with ruby highlights, great tan head with lacing all the way down.
Smell: roasty, chocolate, slightly meaty
Taste: Some initial sweet maltiness but nicely in balance with a characterful roastiness and a moderate bitter finish. Very robust flavors
Feel: Full bodied with typical carbonation

Overall: A great full flavored robust porter that could just as easily pass as a stout. Great balance and kept me interested the whole way through.

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Photo of treznor
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - nice dark color with a dark tan head

S - slightly almost sweet aroma

T - Nice roasty flavor and the chocolate malt comes out well

M - Fairly full mouthfeel for a porter

O - a solid representation of style, though not something I'd go too far out of the way for

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Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this a few times, but the wife ordered a half-pint at dinner the other night & they accidentally poured her a pint. Yeehaa! Dibs on the rest.

Pour is big black stallion, nothing light going on around here. Smell is excellent, big sweetness upfront, cocoa, strong roast.

Old 8 Porter is a benchmark other porters could be measured by. Huge waves of chocolate roll out over the palate, but they're restrained by a balancing shoulder of roast that keeps the cloy at bay. No smokiness detected at all. Smooth & easy drinking for a bigger porter.

Another offering that's simple, direct, & delicious. One of my favorite straight-up porters of all time, I'd put a glass of this up against most imperial stouts - & it would come out on top. Excellent beer.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very very dark brown. Head is thin and tan. Fair retention with a good amount of lace sticking to the glass.
S- The aroma is mild and tends a bit toward the sweet end for the style, though there is a bit of coffee ground aroma as well.
T- The flavor jumps out a little bit better. At first it's quite like milk chocolate, with a touch of sweetness lingering throughout, but there is a roasted, ever so slightly bitter coffee kick in the finish.
M- A bit thin for what I'd like out of a porter (especially if we call it a Baltic Porter). Carbonation is smooth. With a little more body it would be silky but as is it comes off a little weak.
O- A tasty porter, albeit one that punches a bit below 8%. Worth a try though.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the brewpub into a pint glass.

A- Very dark thick pitch black, no head, small mocha ring around glass, some lacing as well.
S- Mellow aroma, coffee, cocoa, slight chocolate on the nose.
T- The taste is not as mellow as the aroma, strong coffee flavors, roasted malts, some bitterness, well carbonated; alcohol is there but not overpowering.
M- Medium mouth feel, smooth, slight carbonation
O- This is a decent porter, nothing amazing or mind blowing but solid, it hits the spot if your wanting something dark with nice roasted coffee flavors, would definitely drink again on my next visit.

 607 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very thick and black, onlay a slight bit of red coming in on the edges, and you have to look hard to find it. light brown head leaves sheets on the sides which turns into some nice lace.

S - Nice chocolate and roast on the nose.

T - Light chocolate, nice roasty taste without any bitterness. Nothing offensive on this one at all, nothing standing out as great, but quite solid.

T - Creamy beer with low carbonation, very full bodied.

D - Highly drinkable at 8%, a solid beer I don't mind having.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brew pub into tasting glass...A dark brown, almost bordering black. Light tan head with good retention and lacing...A roasty aroma that is nice, but I really wish it was stronger...The taste is really sweet, didn't see that coming at all, a little too sweet but smooth.

An average porter but worth trying as its one of the better regulars available.

 364 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Barley John's Brew Pub (New Brighton, MN) on 8/12/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, with a ½ finger of burnt and reddish colored dark mocha head. This hangs around with some foamy richness around the edges, leaving some quality spotty lace all down the sides of the glass. Quite the angry look on this guy. The aroma is sharp in the nose with dark roast and coffee and is backed by a sticky twang of chocolate and caramel pulling up behind it. Some light earthy hop textures waft outwards out of the roast and round this out nicely.

Cocoa and toffee sweetness takes more of a foothold in the taste, mixing with dark roasted malts to coat the mouth with a dark and sticky tang before burnt and bitter notes rock the finish. Like the aroma, there is just enough green feeling bitterness here to add a little extra complexity to this but it's mostly covered up by the strong roasty presence in this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy sharpness that then gives way to a bit of chewy beef underneath which perfectly compliments the heavy roasted bitterness and sweetness in this.

Rich with roast and all around robust flavors, this is great Porter and despite the bigger body on this, it still stays very smooth and drinkable for 8%. Man, they have some well made house beers on tap here. Another winner from Barley John's!

 1,352 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley John's Brewpub.

A: opaque
S: roasted, dense malt - very good - almost barleywine like
T: thick roasted, syrupy, great Russian imperial stout type porter but Beer Advocate labels it a baltic porter which would be brewed with a lager yeast
M & D: dense but good and drinkable

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Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black brew with just a small ring of tan foam around the glass.

Nice sweet roasty smell with hints of smoke, chocolate and vanilla.

Roasty goodness that is so perfectly done. Chocolate, light smoke, hint of vanilla and a load of roasty malts. Maybe some oatmeal?

Silky smooth and full bodied. Just a pleasure for the palate.

Drinks so easily. Alcohol is undetectable, hard to believe this is 8%. I will have this one upon return and maybe even buy a growler.

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Photo of will4240
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From beer notes... Had on tap at the brew pub June 6th of the 2009 year.

A- VERY dark. Deep brown almost black. Nice one-and-a-half finger head that slowly dissipated within the first five or so sips.

S- Smoke! Chocolate! wow, both are very pronounced to the nose... if this beer tastes like it smells I am in for a treat.

T- Smoke! A little too much smoke for my taste... The chocolate sort of balances it out, but by the end of the glass it weighs on you, making it hard to finish. A friend asked me why my breath smelled like bonfire...

M- Definitely full bodied, the abv at 8% is definitely there.

D- All things considered- the smoke, full bodied nature, and 8% abv- this is a darn drinkable beer.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second beer I had at Barley Johns for lunch.

Served in a pint glass, appears to the darkest brown possible, nearly black. Served with a large mocha head that was very impressive, however I turned around for just a minute and it was already gone. So retention isn't the best. I couldn't coax out more foam even with a good swirl. There is a little bit of lacing going on, but nothing special.

The nose is very mild. I get sweetened chocolate, a roasted malt and smokiness going on. I also get a strong vanilla characteristic. Odd. Overall, just pretty roasty and smokey.

I'm finding it odd that there was a vanilla scent in the nose, but there is none in the taste. Maybe it was just the combination of the alcohol and the malts. Anyways, chocolate and smokey malts dominate this one. Velvety smooth stuff.

Very smooth and creamy, delicious. There is no alcohol bite and hardly any bitterness. This is what I would consider a great mouthfeel for a porter or a stout. Drinkability is high for this reason, and the fact that the alcohol is nowhere to be found.

Overall, a great offering from Barley John's. Smooth and smokey, and easy going down. I would think if the alcohol content wasn't 8% I could session this, and I gladly would.

 1,237 characters

Photo of Trigcove
4.51/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a fairly thin mocha/bronze head. It was a bright day on the patio and as I held this brew up to the sun, zero light came through. The head vanishes quickly, but leaves a lot of thick sticky lace to the bottom of the glass

The aroma is deep roasted malts with a hint of dark fruit.

The mouth is thick and creamy, almost oily, but in a pleasant way.

It tastes of rich roasted and chocolate malts with a slightly sweet hint of fruit and just a touch of hops in the finish to balance it all up.

It's definitely to much beer for a session, but it's a great sip and savor brew - if you can restrain yourself.

 629 characters

Photo of poopypine
4.76/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a novice reviewer to the Beeradvocate world...This is my favorite beer ever.

It really has is all. 8%ABV and drinkability. What else could you ask for. If you like dark ales this is the best. Lots of roastyness, hops, head, rich, smooth delicious everything. My friends and I all agree when you drink at Barley Johns you feel like there is a little something extra in the beer for your buzz. Exceptional clean, crisp porter.

If in the Twin Cities area, this is a must. Hope to see you all there.

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Old Eight Porter from Barley John's Brew Pub
4.02 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
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