Bad Elmer's Porter
Upland Brewing Company

Bad Elmer's PorterBad Elmer's Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #1,070
Ranked #44,848
3.59 | pDev: 12.53%
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States
Bad Elmer's PorterBad Elmer's Porter
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 342 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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beergoot from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown color, clear as much as can be gleaned; thick and frothy light khaki head; sticky rings and fingers of lacing cling to the glass. Robust roasted grain note on the nose; cocoa. Rich flavors of cocoa and grain char; coffee-like; moderate grain sweetness offset with a bracing bitterness. Heavy body; silky and rich on the palate; big residual sugar body tempered with a mild bit of dryness.

It's been at least 12 years since I last tried this beer on tap at the brewer. I can't say I remember the tasting experience from that far back, but this can experience is pretty tasty and enjoyable. It is straight-forward, no nonsense -- a real pleasure to drink.

Jan 02, 2021
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jkblr from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can stamped BATCH 5150 BB:APR 2020 poured into a tulip pint glass at fridge temp 6% ABV per can. The beer pours very dark brown with nearly no light penetration and medium brown head. The head recedes quickly to a pencil thin ring and few scattered bubbles. The aroma is deeply roasted malt reminiscent of baker's chocolate & coffee. The taste follows with roasty malt mimicking dark chocolate and coffee while delivering a firm, medium bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and dry finish. Overall, very good. I'm really surprised with this beer. The best shelf beer I've had from Upland. Recommended for those who enjoy this style minus the additives that drive up price and rarely deliver a better experience.

Dec 05, 2019
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

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

Tasted in a Spiegelau stout glass from a 12 oz bottle on February 17, 2017. Best enjoyed by April 2017. A good but not great traditional porter. I'm happy I got to try it, but I won't be seeking it out again.

Feb 20, 2017
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Cole-Arnholt from Indiana

3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Upland's stuff has been hit or miss for me. Was curious to see how one of their darker selection would hold up.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a rich dark brown color, maybe an inch of tan head.

Aroma is heavy malt, cocoa and vanilla are also present.

Initial flavor is chocolate malt, what is there is good but not quite as rich as I was hoping, there is also some bready sweetness in this beer as well and finish has light coffee notes to it.

The body is decent, if a little watery for a porter, and the relatively low ABV makes it not too dry.

Overall, a serviceable porter, but doesn't quite come together for me, just okay.

Nov 03, 2016
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bwood06 from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Following a recent marathon that I raced, my and my wife's families all got together and went to Upland Brewing Company for dinner. Dad and I got there first so we decided to go ahead and grab a beer while we waited. Naturally, we went for an Oktoberfest first. Being the dark beer lovers we are though, we couldn't resist finishing with this porter.

This porter features an off-white head that is creamy with just a bit of froth, and dissipates slowly to a thin lacing. The beer itself is pitch black and opaque with no carbonation visible. 4/5 The aroma is very typical of the porter style with a focus on dark roasted malt. Notes of espresso, chocolate, vanilla, and dark wheat bread come through quite strongly with an herbal hop note acting as a balancing undertone. 4/5 Once again, the flavor is very typical of the porter style with notes of chocolate, vanilla, dark wheat bread and dark roasted grain really coming through during the entirety of the flavor profile. There is a bit of molasses that lends a nice sweetness as well as both herbal and grassy hops which provide a moderate bitterness which lingers lightly after swallowing. 4.25/5 This beer has a heavy body and a light initial carbonation tickle that leads into a moderate dryness that lingers for quite some time after swallowing. 4/5 I really enjoyed drinking this beer and it was the perfect beer to end the meal. Very drinkable and not overly heavy, although it is fairly heavy for a porter. The low abv of this beer makes it pseudo-sessionable. The only thing working against it in terms of sessionability is the body. 4/5

Oct 15, 2016
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PunkAndPorters from Indiana

3.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a half finger tan head. Almost no lacing. Smells of chocolate and coffee. Tastes of minor coffee, chocolate and maybe black licorice. Decent mouth feel, a little dry. Not my favorite, but drinkable.

Jan 30, 2016
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AndrewCalebRay from Kentucky

3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent porter, very very refreshing and satisfying unlike some dryer porters or stouts. Smooth feel, but not a lot of immediate overwhelming flavor. There are subtle notes of chocolate as well as a slight bread taste. It has a nice dark color to it, but it has a minimal foam head to it when poured, which in turn hinders some of the aroma and release of flavor. Overall it's not a bad porter to come out of Bloomington. Definitely not the best at the liquor store, but definitely not the worst. Worth a try for the porter lover.

Dec 22, 2015
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stompilator from Texas

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Poured a deep brown, thin, beige head.

S - Lots of malt, mostly chocolate. Little bit of breadiness

T - Lots of malt flavors interacting here. Smooth chocolatey sweetness (not too much), scotch-ale-esque smokiness, a bit of toast, and a slight biscuit-y edge. All of the flavors are a bit muted.

M - Medium body, maybe a little thin for what I'm tasting here.

O - Nice mix of sweet and hearty flavors. Solid porter.

May 29, 2015
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BWED from Colorado

3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Deep brown, near black. Light brown head, but doesn't retain well. Speckles of lacing.

S- Strong roast, coffee, slight chocolate.

T- Roast, coffee, slight residual sweetness. A bit of brown sugar.

M- Medium-full body, fits style well. Nice roasty bitterness.

O- Solid porter. Good mild and roasty character.

Apr 03, 2015
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todste from Indiana

3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just okay. Minimal head, and not a lot of nose. Taste, however, is pretty good. Some coffee & cocoa, but not intense. Smooth, not a lot of mouthfeel. Overall very drinkable, just not terribly notable.

Jan 17, 2015
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leantom from Indiana

3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it on tap at the brewery. Here goes:

A: Pitch-black, great head and lacing. I like.

S: Very light chocolate and coffee - nothing special.

T: Very light, but very creamy nonetheless. Exactly like Guinness, in fact. Taste of dark chocolate and bitter coffee, however, it's still very watery.

M: Not that good; very watery.

O: Very mediocre.

Nov 02, 2014
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black brew, brown highlights, with a small, light tan head that maintains some minor lacing.

S - Delicious roasted malt, particularly once the brew is given a chance to warm. Lovely.

T - Not quite as satisfying as the nose, there is a strong note of acidity, like brewed coffee left on the burner too long. The flavor is solidly roast malt, with toasted bread bleeding into a bit of char, and a hint of coffee and chocolate beyond the acidic hit that comes forward in the middle. Closing out with some bitterness along with a more subtle acidic line. A full set of flavors here, mostly harmonious.

M - A little light, with some creaminess, but without any real cloying finish. A real drinker, here.

O - I enjoy this porter quite a bit, but I think the nose is a bigger promise than the taste. I like coffee, and the roasty toasty flavors ultimately overcome any acidic element, making for a fine brew overall.

Apr 12, 2014
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown to black with light thin head and decent tight lacing. Coffee and tart berries on the nose, nice. Decent mouth feel, a bit thin, but then again this is a porter. Slightly chalky with light bitterness, hint of rye and roasted medium malts and coffee. Lingering bitter finish with lasting coffee taste. Not fantastic but far from bad. A decent session beer, but not outstanding in the porter category.

Apr 11, 2014
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Bis4beer70 from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance -– dark with a medium the bottle/artwork too (the dude in the picture has a hipster-beard & a half!)...i want to try their 'Nut Hugger Brown' also but have yet to see it in the north part of the state (a cute little squirrel & his nut are on the bottle artwork, believe it or not)!

Smell –- lightly-roasted malts,deep, rich chocolate,espresso...maybe cherries, & even orange.

Taste –-The Porter taste!& lot's of it! my go-to porter! Delicious.Maybe even slightly better than anchor or bells porter (but not by too much).

Mouthfeel - medium-bodied & almost stout-like...but somehow, an exceptionally smooth Porter. I thought the balance was spectacular. Every Libra that digs Porters and dark beer should call it home.

Drinkability –- I can put these away too i have to be careful.

Apr 06, 2014
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a dark brown, minimal light penetration with a red glow, bit of tan lacing for a head.

Smells of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, and a hint of fig over a roasted biscuit malt.

Brown sugar and fig over vanilla and roasted coffee with biscuit dry malts.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

A pretty good porter, I like the flavor and aroma in this one. The body leaves a little to be desired, but that aside quite enjoyable and easy to like.

Feb 18, 2014
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boilermakerbrew from Indiana

3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours black as night with a small head that sticks around a good while. Lacing is ok. Scent is faint but mostly burnt malts. Taste is all burnt malts and a hint of smokiness. Flavors are somewhat bitter, but not too bad. Drinks light and easy. Not very thick and fairly highly carbonated, this is just about your average porter. Had this one a bunch of times, finally put down my thoughts about it.

Jan 11, 2014
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falloutsnow from Illinois

3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Gift from KR, thanks
Date: Bottled 2013-11-??
Glass: standard US pint glass

Upland's Bad Elmer is a straightforward US porter that manages to combine a bit of sweetness with a heavy roasted and ashen barley flavor. Generally substantial enough to be pleasing, I still found the somewhat lackluster aroma and too-thin mouthfeel to be disappointing. An average porter that would be an easy choice for a roasted barley beer if other options were not available.

Pours a 1cm tall head of tan colored foam, made up of small and medium-sized bubbles, leading to a mixed frothy/sponge-like appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting one minute in a decline to a thin film atop the body of the beer for the duration of the session. Lacing is good, with some thick patches of dots, lines, and wave-like patterns clinging to the walls of the glass. Beer's body is a dark amber brown color, with light revealing brighter, though still quite dark, amber hues. Carbonation visible near the bottom of the glass, where the body is transparent, revealing a high amount of carbonation with modest activity.

Aroma is mild, but at least it's present, yielding a mix of burnt sugar, roasted barley, dark chocolate, and coffee. Not bad at all, a bit weak for a porter, but there's nothing wrong with being average.

Flavor is of acrid roasted malt with an ashy component that also incorporates a bit of sweetness and cocoa into a few corners, but also has a bit of undesirable washed-out wateriness. Front of palate picks up burnt sugar and caramel-like sweetness with a hint of burnt toast in the background. Mid-palate experiences more upfront burnt toast and acridity from roasted malt with hints of cocoa powder and ashes (likely from a bit too much black patent malt). Back of palate tastes continued burnt toast and acridity from roasted malt, with hints of cocoa powder, ashes, and old coffee. Aftertaste of burnt toast, ashes, and acridity from roasted malt, with slight burnt sugar sweetness.

Beer is medium-light to light in body, a bit watery around the edges, somewhat surprising for a porter. Carbonation is of medium-low intensity, resulting in a smooth (2/5) and foamy (3/5) mouthfeel that's satisfying, though a bit more weight would be pleasing. Closes dry, with medium-high stickiness clinging to the palate.

Jan 06, 2014
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magictacosinus from California

2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Second offering from Upland that I'm giving a try. Had for breakfast with cornbread, ham, and other stuff we eat out here in the Midwest on a daily basis when visiting. Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle. Bottling date is listed as "April/2013." A bit old, but whatever.

Pours a brownish tinged blackened color with a head that resembles a mocha of sorts, bubbles and all. Lacing is actually pretty decent on this one, in spite of the fact that head retention is not at all. A ring struggles to stay around, and somehow it does. Bubbles are pretty non-present, but it's still got a strong color that makes it somewhat appealing. Looks thinned in nature. Not very different from your average run-of-the-mill American porters all of the country.

The flavors are mainly of roasted coffee notes, slight brown sugar, and... Not much else, to be exact. Some slight robust toasted maltiness creeps in, but it's really the coffee espresso bean flavors that fight for recognition here. Otherwise, there's a bit of graininess, maybe some bitterness from the light hops at hand, but it's not complex - only assertive on what it intends to be.

The flavor ends up being a one-note flavor of ground, fresh coffee extract, combined with toasted malts and light grains that provide a smidgen of bitterness and simultaneously some sweetness. I wish there was more beyond the coffee, but there really isn't - biscuits, light chocolate, faded caramel and citrus. I'm looking too much into this thing. It doesn't help that it's slightly watery as a cold (albeit refreshing) glass of coffee. However, it did pair well with the hearty, greasy food to avoid any discomfort from consuming it.

A very average porter that doesn't try to take any risks, but doesn't bring anything new to the table as a result. I could enjoy this on an evening sometime, but there are far, far better standard porters at the same price available that provide a hearty but super flavorful experience in the process. If more of Upland's beers are of this quality, call me excited enough to crave their highly acclaimed sour fruit beers more than ever before.

Aug 24, 2013
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rlee1390 from Indiana

3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear brown when pouring, black in the glass, one finger white head, that doesn't last.

S-Roasted malt, almost burnt, good deal of candied sugar.

T-Overly sweet, that candied sugar from the nose is too much here and with vanilla it doesn't get any less sweet. Good deal of roasted malt and some chocolate as well.

M-Light, not much carbonation and watery

O-Way to sweet, way to much excess sugar in the beer.

Jun 15, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I really like this porter. its a good example of the style, particularly as its evolved in America. it has a nice chocolate brown color and shortlived white head an inch high. the aromas is deep roast malt, bold, robust, almost smoky. there is some ashy burnt bitterness, and a soft nutty aroma as well to mellow it out. the taste is quite deep for a porter, probably closer to a stout in many ways, but drinkability remains. very complimentary to barbeque and dark chocolate cake I would imagine. dryer in the mouth, but full bodied and plenty bubbly. bitter in the finish, reminds me a lot of the smuttynose robust porter, but a little lighter on body. overall a good easy drinking example of what American porters have become, and a beer I wouldn't mind seeing make its way out to the Colorado market. I think it could fit in nicely here.

May 05, 2013
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a nice looking brown color with a tan colored head on top. The lacing was thin and the retention was too. The smell of the beer is earthy and lightly roasted. The taste of the beer has a subtle chocolate and earthy roasted malts. There is a very light bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is dry, light to medium bodied with a good carbonation. Overall it's a decent porter, I enjoyed trying this beer.

Feb 23, 2013
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homebrew311 from Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay glass. Appearance is typical for a porter, dark brown, mainly opaque, minimal brown head, no lacing. The aroma features nice firm roasted malts and chocolate along with a touch of oatmeal and cream. Not much in the way of hop presence. Taste is somewhat thin in regards to the malt profile, a bit of toasty bread, a tad of hop bitterness on the finish. Carbonation is a little high and the body is a bit thin. Overall, nice flavors present and a tasty beer, just lacking in the robust category.

Aug 22, 2012
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mdfb79 from New York

3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 06/08/12 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in DC at their Upland event.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, nuts, light coffee. Very nice nose, I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, cream, bitter chocolate, light vanilla, light fruit. taste has less chocolate and more coffee.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Super smooth and creamy body, awesome mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a very good porter. Looked and felt fantastic, and had a very good nose. Worth checking out, would like to have it again.

Jun 20, 2012
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Bung from Michigan

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Solid dark brown pour, not quite black. Thin layer of cream colored head.

Aroma, toffee, peat, toast malt and some milk like chocolate. A little subdued, but not bad.

Taste, earthy caramel and toffee. Some peat and chocolate. Finishes with a slight roast and coffee.

A little lighter bodied, but it is not watery thin or anything. Low abv makes this very much a session porter. Thought this was solid, maybe a tad much caramel. Maybe more of an English Porter.

Jun 02, 2012
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zeledonia from Washington

3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label says bottled October 2012. Don't think that's right. Maybe September 2011?

Pours very dark brown, effectively black in the glass, but clearer and lighter at the edges (where it looks coffee-colored). One finger of medium tan head, little retention, decent lacing.

Smell is a nice blend of sweetness and roast, though it's heavier on the sweet. Smells fine, but not all that interesting. Not much to it - just the sweet, slightly fruity malts, backed with a hint of very lightly charred wood.

Taste is better than I expected. It's sweet but not overly so, and it has more of the roasty notes I expect from a porter. A touch of bitterness gets stirred up late. But overall, it's just kinda bland, with little depth. As with the smell, it tastes like what I'd expect from an average porter. Which is... average, or maybe a bit better.

Mouthfeel is okay. Medium-light body, some carbonation.

I find this beer disappointing, though I can't say exactly why. I didn't have huge expectations, but I just don't find it all that enjoyable. It's kinda light (in body), kinda dark (in appearance and flavor), but there's nothing I can point to that I really like about it. I'm chasing it, looking for something to latch onto, but failing with every sip.

Apr 23, 2012
Bad Elmer's Porter from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 342 ratings