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Old Eight Porter | Barley John's Brew Pub

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36 Reviews
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Old Eight PorterOld Eight Porter

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

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 90
Photo of tavernjef
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Color is very, very dark solid brown, nearly black with a thin tannish-cocoa brown head that fades to a thin ring and small sheets of lacing. Smell is a good sense of dark roastyness and chocolate with a good coffee backing which seems to pick up and become more evident as it warms. Taste comes across way to soon and very uneven of coffee, chocolate and bittering hops, very unbalanced, almost enough for it to be enjoyable. The alcohol of 8% makes an appearance far to soon and is what really makes the flavors falter, it seems to get in the way of any taste.The finish is tolerable with light lingering dark fruits and sweet malts. Its overbearing in the start making this very hard to enjoy or finish. The richness trying to poke through is bogged down by uneven chocolaty bitterness that just never settles or shines like a good chocolate should and the coffee flavor seems like its a week old in pot with only about an inch of liquid left in it. Didn't like this one, seems like it could be better, perhaps next time I'm in at Barley John's I'll try it again sense it is a year round tap.

 1,095 characters

Photo of ADR
3.27/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap...Twin Cities Pub Crawl 2004...

Decent dark brown and opaque in its pout. Yellowish head, not more than 30 seconds in duration. Ring laces, simple in architecture. Definite bitter chocolate aroma, mildish oily hops, the beer's best feature. Medium mouthfeel, somewhat gravelly. Light chocolate, distinct anise, alcoholic sharpness start the flavor profile off, astringent and lingering finish, aftertaste is somewhat offputting. The sweetness is adequate in this beer, but the malt could have more interest and less sharpness, bittering is good, but I can't really jump on the bandwagon with this one.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. On tap at the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. I’d usually not been fan of Porters at this point, because they seem a little watery and weak, but this one has body and backbone. Aromas of rich chocolate. Strong flavors of more swiss chocolate and a good dose of dark pipe tobacco and strong birch wood smoke. I would drink this all the time. Finishes a little too dryly though, if there were a little more sweetness in the smack and finish, this would be out of this world!

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

 535 characters

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.

 721 characters

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.

 640 characters

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

 269 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.

 503 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.

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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!

 616 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 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 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 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 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 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

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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 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 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 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.

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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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