Bad Elmer's Porter | Upland Brewing Company

145 Reviews
Read the review
Bad Elmer's PorterBad Elmer's Porter

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zerk on 05-26-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 327
Photo of secondtooth
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep, opaque brown, with a sizeable tan head of foam. Some lacing (about 1 finger).

Aroma is chocolate roasty, appealing and understated.

Flavor is similarly chocolate-accented, with hints of wood and a subdued coffee finish. Mellow, slightly burnt.

A sturdy and highly drinkable porter.

 308 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to robwestcott for this as an extra in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured red-brown with a two and a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, and tobacco. The flavor was of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, sugar, and very light tobacco. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew wasn't that bad, but it also wasn't that great either. For me, the flavor seemed a little watered-down. It also had a very light mouthfeel as well. The aroma wasn't that great either. Glad I got to try it, but doubt I will again.

 705 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap.

A- Pours a deep darker brown hues come about on the edge of the glass when held to the light. One finger tan head shows medium retention. Streaked lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts first and foremost in the nose. There is a light nutty undertone that mixes well with a light chocolate malt as well. Coffee notes dance around the ending of the beer as well. A rather nice smelling porter that seems to be a little muted.

T- Roasted malts take center stage right off the bat. There isn't really much else until the middle and ending of the beer where it turns into a dark coffee bitterness that takes it all the way to the end except for a hint of alcohol.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts left on the palate and long into the aftertaste with a hint of alcohol. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were a little one sided and needed to step it up a notch. No real off flavors were present with this beer.

D- This was a easy to drink porter. Nothing special at all with this one. Upland made a very drinkable porter for sure but I think sacrificed some flavor in order to do so.

 1,177 characters

Photo of wedgie9
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on draft at Sugar Maple. Pours deep dark brown with a minimal tab head that leaves some lace. Nose is dark malt and good nutiness with a hint of chocolate and coffee. The chocolate, bits, and coffee are all a little more intense on the palate. The body is still fairly light with average carbonation and a long finish that reminds me of eating a chocolate covered espresso bean.

 385 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with red highlights towards the edges and when held to light. Nice amount of head/carbonation..a little surprised that it's so close to being white.

S: Hard for me to pick up anything here. In fairness, my sinuses have been giving me a little trouble lately. Can smell a little roastiness. Not bad.

T: Nice roasty flavors. Slight coffee, chocolate.

M: Well carbonated, dry, smooth.

D: Could easily drink several of these. For a porter, it's fairly mild and light. Low ABV and nice mouthfeel makes this go quickly.

Certainly nothing groundbreaking. If Upland was a band, Bad Elmers would be a filler song for their album.

 641 characters

Photo of Thanby
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a standard Porter, nearly black with a little head and lacing. Nose strongly suggests creamy vanilla coffee. A little light and sweet, but with a solid Porter backbone, maybe a touch more citrusy than usual. Medium body, lightened by a fair amount of carbonation, and a little hoppy finish. A good solid Porter with a bit of a unique flavor, overall a good brew. Another solid beer from Upland. Had the pleasure of drinking it in its town of origin.

 460 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to MichaelinFishers who sent me coveted Dark Lord Beer (tm) & dropped in this little guy, lighter & slightly less dark, as an extra. My wife says it's good. She's at work. I'm home drinking. Poor girl.

Pours into my lovely Lost Abbey chalice like the blood of a gut-shot goblin, dark, darker, darkest. Smell is light creamy coffee set against sweet malts.

Bad Elmo's porter is heavy on the roasted malt, but feels a little thin for a porter. Roast lends an almost coffee bitterness, malts. The creaminess in the mouth is a bit jarring when set against the bite.

Not really much going on here. A simple, decent porter.

 629 characters

Photo of revolt914
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a variety pack from Kroger of random Upland beer.

A: Extremely dark brown and red color with a good mildly persistent head.

S: Vanilla... maybe some coffee... it's hard to tell, not very strong on the smell.

T: Nothing to exceptional, just the standard flavors with a dry and slightly acidic hop finish. Nothing exceptional, a bit of a hint on the metallic side.

M: Pretty damn good... goes down similar to an Edmund Fitz... and it pretty on par with mouth feel.

D: Pretty good drink, can't say it's my favorite but it's a great porter but not in my top 5 for a reason.

 584 characters

Photo of lucasj82
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, inch and half of tawny head. Leaves amazing lacing that should be in a museum as art.

S - Sweet Caramel, Coffee that is kind of light aroma though.

T - Chocolate, Caramel, Coffee

M - Creamy medium body that lingers. High Carbonation.

D - Good.

I was disappointed in this beer at first because the first one had a copper after taste, but the other five of the six pack tasted very good. Being from Indiana I am glad a few stores in my area carry this as a good fallback beer when I can't find anything new to try or I am in the mood for a good Porter.

 566 characters

Photo of Brew33
4.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My Dad picked up some Upland brews driving through Indiana last week. Gave me a couple to try. Started with this beer and I was very pleasantly surprised.

Pours a solid black, thin tan head. The aroma is solid. Dark malts, some burned aromas, toffee, chocolate. Yum. The flavor was more of the same. Exceptional balance. Great malt bill and just enough hops to balance it out. Mouthfeel is a little thin but it really helps the drinkability. Speaking of drinkability, it's amazing. I could drink this all night long. Almost as good as Edmund Fitzgerald.

All in all a fantastic beer.

 584 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown with a slight light tan head and not too much lacing. Nose brings roasted malt, coffee, nuts, and a bit of chocolate. The taste is a bit dry with some dark roasted malt and a bit of coffee and espresso. Medium body that is a bit dry with good carbonation. Dry and smooth, a good drinking porter, especially with the low ABV.

 370 characters

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.97/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very decent beer. Looks great, little head though. Could have a bit more head. Smells of malt and coffee. Taste of coffee, which keeps one coming back for more. Mouthful is exceptional. Not too bad for drinkablity as it is very smooth and one could drink a 6 pack easily

 270 characters

Photo of DAllspaw
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass, nice color, not much head. Typical porter aroma, nice toasted malts, a hint of coffee, nothing too overwhelming.

Nice dark malt taste with bitter finish. Very drinkable but also a bit lacking, not the greatest, but a nice porter. Would buy again, also seek on tap locally.

 297 characters

Photo of cetherid
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured into a pint glass


very dark porter. pretty much black with a nice thick foamy tan head.


mainly roasted malts. not much else to the smell. trying to smell for chocolate or coffee but not really getting that.


a smokey/roasted type of flavor. like some roasted coffee beans...almost a burnt taste to it. a little tartness and a slight hop presence.


barely medium bodied. a little light for me, although it has a little creaminess feeling to it. low carbonation. would probably be better on tap


about 1 is all I could take. doubt I'd buy this again. if I'm ever at Upland taproom, i MAY try it on draft if available just to compare.

 661 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours very dark black, completely opaque with very little foam or lacing. Smell is very nice - roasted malts, coffee/espresso notes. Taste is dominated by bitter, noted by coffee, just a scarce hint of chocolate. Low carbonation. Good drinkable porter, not spectacular but tasty.

 327 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has what I'm looking for in a beer. Extremely dark, very close to pitch black, with a thick head of tiny brown bubbles. Lacks much retention.

Good smell. You'll pick up notes of chocolate, coffee, and earthy flowers.

The primary taste is coffee. I didn't pick up any chocolate, though if there is some, it's bittersweet.

Like everything else, good is the feeling on the palate. Has a milky feel to it. There's no sweetness and only a hint of bitter, but it's very milky from beginning to end.

This beer has a lot going for it. If you like porters, you'll like this one. It's got good flavors, though it lacks some sweetness found in a lot of porters, and the alcohol is just enough that you'll enjoy your evening, but not so much that you get hammered after just a couple.

 783 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a murky brown, with a 1/2 finger of creamy mocha colored head. This maintains some richness, leaving back a foamy cascade that slowly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of cocoa, roast, and coffee. There's a touch of green citrus and floral character present as well. The roasted coffee tones are really coming out strong here, giving this a toasty and tasty smelling crunch in the nose.

The taste has a little more sweetness going on with it than the aroma did, with sticky notes of chocolate and caramel with a dash of green earthy citrus mixed in. Some light (but still firm) bitterness offers up some balance to the profile while toasted roasted notes come out fairly aggressively across the back. Good overall balance here though with the sweetness getting to shine. Finishes with some lingering earthy grit but is otherwise pretty clean. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a bubbly creaminess that's got some sharpness on the edges. This does seem a touch light in spots and doesn't quite seem to fill the mouth up like the flavors would indicate.

You know, this was pretty decent. I really liked the well balanced roasty flavors and despite some lightness to the body, this was still a fairly enjoyable quaff. One of the better ones I've had from Upland.

 1,325 characters

Photo of degerbah
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown with about a finger of head. The aroma is nondescript and only moderately malty. The taste is primarily caramel-like more than anything. Pretty easy to drink and relatively clean tasting, but its only 5%. Not a standout porter by any stretch. Still it was decent, I just have had way better.

 313 characters

Photo of mwa423
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky brown, with a finger and a half of tan head.

S - Sweet and malty, slightly nutty at with notes of caramel.

T - Very sweet porter with a slight coffee hint and a sweet nutty flavor in the aftertaste.

M/D - Mouthfeel was smooth and had the perfect thickness for an easy drinking porter. This would be a great future session beer because of the high drinkability.

 373 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this in Warsaw, IN in February, 2009

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with a light tan, 2-finger head.

S - Very little

T - Toasty grain, caramel and light bittersweet chocolate that lasts into the slightly sour aftertaste.

M - Medium mouthfeel and carbonation

D - Just OK. One was enough.

 293 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a creamy looking head. Very nice.

S: Roasted chocolate. Slightly sweet, and roasty.

T: A nice roasted character, as well as something a little tart, almost milk stout-y. It seems like the more I drink this the more I just pick up the tart..

M: Fairly thin, with a smooth mouthfeel, and fairly good carbonation.

D: Decent, but the tartness is a big turn off for me, it seems out of place. I think if it were not there I would really enjoy it.

 465 characters

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice shade of mahogany brown with a simple topping of beige/tan head-light bodied.
Smell is slightly sweet malt with some light aroma of nuts and caramel.
Taste is mildly sweet with a well malted here with flavor of peanuts.
Finish is wet- fairly light malt after-taste.
Drinks well-very smooth-it comes off very sessionable and refreshing.

 348 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very deep black with a nice tall tan colored head. Nice retention along with some leggy lace.

S: Mostly dark roasted malt, mild chocolate notes with a touch of coffee.

T: Nice deep roasted malt, with rough chocolate notes. Hints of coffee. There is a bit of sour berry hiding behind the roast. I have to say I like it.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth, nice carbonation.

D: One bottle is enough, but I think this one is better than the numbers reflect.

 459 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, deep mahogany that is just shy of opaque and turns a super dark ganet when held to light. Almost two fingers of foam that slowly fades to patches and leaves good lacing on the way down.

S: Yum... Classic porter. Lots and lots of chocolate malts, some sharpness from darker roasted malts, and some toffee sweetness. No hops detected.

T: Similar to smell. Plentiful chocolate malts with dark cocoa and hints of coffee. I can't quite taste any toffee, but there are caramelized sugars and a nice underlying grainy sweetness. A hint of earthy hops and some sharp almost burnt notes combine for slightly drying finish.

M: Slightly light carbonation level which is alright for the style. Medium body that has an appealing creamy feel.

D: Good solid porter overall. It does seem to lean a bit toward some stout type characteristics, especially as it warms. But a very good balance between interesting complexity and easy drinkability.

 940 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour a deep brown to black with about finger width toast, tan head.

It offers up a roasted malt kind of smell with maybe just a hint of coffee/dark chocolate. Not sure why, but the roasted malty smell is overpowering.

The taste yields much the same results as the smell. I'm getting all roasted malts and bit of tartness along with it, which I believe to be the molasses. Alcohol is hidden well. Would like a bit more chocolate and coffee.

Medium bodied, with a sweet start of a finish that leads to a little bit of a bitter hang.

Very drinkable. It's not the best porter I've had, but it's a decent representation. Not very filling, so you could have a few with no issues.

 677 characters

Bad Elmer's Porter from Upland Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 327 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.