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Old Eight Porter | Barley John's Brew Pub

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BA SCORE
89
very good
36 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:
36
Ratings:
90
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
10.7%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 90
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.

 503 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.

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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 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 dave43
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one substantial porter. I believe the alchohol content is 8% but seems a little higher to me. Has the aroma and taste of coffee and chocolate. It is sweet but not too sweet which is the problem I find with some porters. I wish I lived closer to Barley John's as I could drink this everyday.

 298 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with ruby highlights. Thin dark tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

S-Rich deep roast with hints if chocolate and a bit of alcohol burn.

T-Big, rich and roasty. Alcohol warmth with a nice backing of chocolate. Simply awesome.

M-Medium heavy body with BIG smooth, creamy roundness.

D-This would one of my porters of choice. Great stuff....like a roasty chocolate milkshake.

 385 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the first beer I tried at Barley John's. Very dark, almost black with a thin tan head that sticks around until the glass is empty. The smell is toasty and fruity, with hints of fig and espresso. Flavors of coffee and fresh baked bread strike the palate first, followed with a sweet, almost rasiny character. It finishes slightly dry, with a very nice hop backbone. The mouthfeel is silky and coats the palate with flavors that linger throughout the whole experience. Even with it's 8% ABV, this beer is very approachable. I found it to be better than some of the Baltic porters I have had from Europe.

 610 characters

Photo of Chaz
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured medium-firm into a 250 ml A Chouffe goblet. Almost no head and virtually no lacing to speak of, in fact there was no "hiss" as I popped the cap! Oh well, I know that the wisp of dark mahoganny lace that rings the glass is typical of the color that the head usually appears as. The nose offers a sweetish blend of dark malts and roasted malts, very much gives the impression of espresso, complete with the bitterness. No hops to speak of, but I did just pour this from the fridge, so maybe if I let it warm? Appears very dark brown, almost black, and rather opaque. The first sip is sweet and malty, with a very very mild astringency and a lingering bitterness. Notes of coconut (?), chocolate, green apple, and rum. Slightly boozy, but the alcohol is actually quite well-contained and it improves the drinkability greatly. Tangy . . . with some of the malt and roasted malt character I recognize in e.g. Fuller's London Porter, but overall much more on-style for a Baltic Porter (I used to drink this in the past and knew it was off-style for an American or London-style porter : ) Body is medium, mouthfeel is rather good, coating the tongue and palate the way a good treacly-sweet doppelbock might. Not quite creamy, but pretty close. Slightly chalky on the tongue . . . not grainy, but a decent texture overall. Very, very drinkable. As this warms it opens up more, and there's a good bit of yeast on the nose, but still no hops. The hops *are* there of course, offering a classic lingering bitterness that would be acceptable in any other rendition of a British or London style porter. Alcohol warmth comes on slowly, about three quarters of the way through the glass. I've enjoyed this on tap many times and I'm glad to have the ability to bring some home! My second favorite of John's brews, after Little Barley Bitter.

 1,832 characters

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.

 762 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 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 shroompod
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick mocha head , tons of lacing.

Aroma was fairly faint with a slight chocolate and charcoal smokiness.

Decent amount of smokiness on tasting. Dark Burnt coffee and good hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium , slightly drying. Good carbonation.

Overall this is probably the best Baltic porter I've had , a nice treat.

 322 characters

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

Can't remember who provided this, but thanks! Via a growler at DLD, from notes.

Pours an opaque brown/red edges, thin tan head, nice lacing, pretty sticky stuff. Smell is sweet, very malty, great chocolate and coffee, bit of roast, very nice. Taste is similar, big malty sweetness, lots of chocolate, nice roastiness, touch of vanilla, solid balance. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very smooth, a porter I would be happy to have again. Thanks whoever it was!

 487 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 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 hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler acquired in trade with kms399 (thanks!).

Poured a dark black with red edges and a smaller sized light brown head. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, lactose, vanilla, and some wood. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, wood, and light smoke. Smooth body. I glad I had a chance to try this one!

Notes from 2/3/06

 308 characters

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.

 707 characters

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.

 271 characters

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 brdc
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it at their place, poured into a regular pint.

Near pitch black, with a very short and not so long lasting tan head. Nice aroma, mostly roasted, coffee, chocolate.
A bit thin, but tasty. Mostly malt notes, the chocolate is a bit sweeter than the average, some hoppy bite at the end. Alcohol becomes more noticeable over time, but still does not interfere.
Easily drinkable, if not spectacular.

 401 characters

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

This isn't a Baltic porter, it's just big American porter. I actually found some similarities in flavor with their wild brunette. The cocoa flavor was very smooth (like so many of their beer seem to be). This was backed up by a light roasted flavor and not much else. It's just chocolate barley flavors that are a bit roasted. It's a deep flavor though, and well worth trying.

 376 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

 291 characters

Photo of ahalloin
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with a very dark tan head that fully lingered while I drank the other beers in the sampler.

The aroma was dominated by roastiness with slight hints of chocolate and dark fruits.

The flavor was much the same with roasty coffee, somewhat smoky and a light hoppy finish with very little carbonation.

Overall a great brew for a cold Minnesota day.

 366 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for opening the growler...
Appears black with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades. Tons of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bitter chocolate, dark fruit, and even a light whiff of banana somewhere in there.
Taste is that of a porter that is rich with chocolate, cream, truffels, and a touch of dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is a little rough around the edges but has some smooth, creamy, rich chocolate and sweetness.

 450 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: fully black, near-opaque, with a short, yet substantial head above, toasty tan. Aroma: roasty, peppery, notes of anise, and bittersweet espresso, and chocolate.
Gritty, earthy taste, solid, rich character, loaded with malt, just a whiff of hoppiness, full-bodied. Easily drinkable, despite the higher-than-normal ABV. A very pleasurable porter, indeed.
I was just getting used to this one, when along came the waitress, unbidden, with free samples of Alfred's Porter, their step above, weighing in at 14%!
I'll try a full sample of that, next time, if I can, but I'll look forward to this every visit!

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Old Eight Porter from Barley John's Brew Pub
4.02 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
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