Contorter | Ale Asylum

very good
81 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Ale Asylum
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our porter is dark in color yet soft on the palate. English chocolate malts give it a complex, rich flavor wrapped in a silky smooth finish.

Added by dirtylou on 04-27-2008

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 242
Photo of BasementBer
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see a brewery embrace some modern aesthetic design. Although im not a big fan of motorcycle culture. now to the beer.

A: Pours a cream white head with no lacing to speak of. Cocacola hue.

S: For me an A+, the bitter comes through fantastically. i fall for the marriage of hops and darks. Also plenty of roast in the malt.

T: This unfortunately lets me down. as mentioned above, cocacola. very sweet, almost no bitter, sugars possibly not brought to fermentation completely. Good chocolate character though for a porter.

M: the sweetness again lends a soda like character to the tounge. very quaffable. bottoms up for a hangover.

O: an average beer with above and below average characteristics.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle code of 112211 - November 22, 2011?
Poured in to Founder's tulip.

A - Poured a very deep brown with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Big roasted malt aroma up front with pungent milk chocolate and coffee aromas adding to the nose. There is a noticeable bitterness and a hint of smoke in the background.

T - Bitter coffee, cocoa and roasted, almost charred malts. The smoke starts off in the background but becomes more prominent as I continue to drink the beer.

M - Light to medium body; slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra from a trade with TATURBO, thanks again man! This one pours out dark as night but with some brown hues on the edges. A small khaki head up top rounds it off. Real nice nose on this porter, making a statement with it's English qualities. Bready, nutty, chocolatey, and sweet caramel here. Big aroma in comparison to the taste though, that came up a bit short for me. Bready & chocolate forward with a carbonation bite in the aftertaste. No discernable hops to note tastewise, but I do get the bittering a good bit. Only complaint is that I wish the taste had matched the nose - rough to have a better nose than taste.

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Photo of will1256
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First review, figured I'd give it a shot! Bottle from a six pack received as a stocking stuffer from my Madison-dwelling sister. Poured into a snifter.

A: Very very dark brown; only a little light finds its way through the edge of the glass. One finger off-white head.

S: Initially, roasty malts and lots of chocolate. As it warms, coffee begins to make an appearance.

T: Similar to the smell, lots of chocolate and roastiness. Don't pick up much coffee initially, but a bit in the aftertaste. Light sweetness that coats your mouth.

M: Very nice fine carbonation, not too strong. Little bit lighter than medium body, and a bit slick.

O: Not very complex, but very good for what it is. Very drinkable and a nice winter beer, though it's still 40 degrees outside in Minnesota in January?!?

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich dark brown pour, bordering on black, nice light tan head that was over 1" in depth. Aroma delivered plenty of chocolate and roasted malt, struck me as pretty nice, usually the English porter style has kind of a petroleum vibe for me for some reason, but this was pleasant.

Same with the taste, would really not know this beer was classified as an English porter, the yeast didn't seem or scream out Fuller's or whatever common british house yeast you may be used to. The chocolate is just as prevalent as it is in something like Young's Double Chocolate Stout, really one of the more flavorful in terms of chocolate English anything, much less porter. Overall its pretty straightforward, lightly sweet, and plenty flavorful.

Another good beer from Ale Asylum.

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Photo of Florida9
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at AA. Served in a shaker pint. Very Dark brown in color, almost black, but not quite. Served with only a minimal bit of almost tan head. Very little lacIng. Aroma is of chocolate and little else. Taste is of lightly roasted malts and milk chocolate with a watery finish. Medium bodied, but feels lighter than it is. Lower carbonation. Mild bitterness. A better than average porter, though a rather simplistic one.

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Photo of znichols
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark, uber dark. Like stout dark. Not much, if any, light getting through this sucker. An off-white one finger head that quickly dissipates and dissolves into a few little creme colored bubbles on the top of the beer. Decent amount of lacing.

S- Subtle, stale coffee immediate within the aroma. Traces of smooth chocolate and roasted barley. The slightest bit of spicy hops are present as well. Slightly mild aroma to this one.

T-Very enjoyable flavor to this porter. Slightly sweet with a solid milk chocolate essence to it. Iced coffee, toffee, nuts, and marshmallow notes make an appearance too. Little to no alcohol present. Mildly bitter with really no hop flavor evident. A true sweet, roast driven porter.

M- The mouthfeel is nice. Medium bodied and slick with low carbonation, resulting in a creamy feel on the tongue.

O- A nice porter. For whatever reason, maybe the chocolate notes and creamy texture, it really pairs well with a cold Wisconsin night and a warm fire. Be sure to enjoy on the warmer side to let the roasty notes shine.

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Photo of crewfan16
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle that I picked up the last time through Madison. Have always heard good things about Ale Asylum, but never picked anything up before now.

a- pours deep brown, almost black with no light shining through. light tan head rises about a half inch, then falls leaving some nice lacing.

s- roasted malt, hints of coffee and milky chocolate sweetness

t- follows the nose. nice dark roasted malt. the chocloate and cofee are there, but in nuance, not very forward.

m- the smoothness and creaminess to this beer is exceptional. incredibly easy drinking

overall, this is a very nice example of the style. I think there are other porters out there that are more in your face, but this one is subtle and complex and extremely smooth. a very nice beer from ale asylum.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steve for the bottle.

A: The beer pours almost black in color with a finger of off-white head.

S: A nice roasted malt aroma to this one. Some sweet toffee and molasses. There is some dark chocolate and even a bit of sweeter milk chocolate. Maybe a little vanilla.

T: Slightly watery, but otherwise good. Lots of dark chocolate and cocoa with plenty of roasted malt. As with the aroma, there is some subtle vanilla character to it, too.

M: On the lighter side of medium with medium carbonation.

O: A nice aroma to this and a fairly good flavor too, just a bit watery.

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Photo of johnkale
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - aggressive pour creates two fingers of rocky beige head, color is dark with just a little bit of red translucence on the edges, lacing is minimal

S - very cocoa heavy, some dark coffee and a little toffee, a touch of vanilla, very roasty with some herbal undertones

T - oreos (no creme), coffee, caramel, burnt toast, some bittering hops too, pretty run of the mill, somehow seems warm in the finish even thought it's less than 5% abv

M - fairly thin, a little prickly from the carbonation, kinda soda-like actually

O - very sessionable and has a wonderful nose but doesn't quite hit the sweet spot that SN or Founders porters do and the mouthfeel is somewhat disappointing. not a bad beer, not a phenomenal one either

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with ruby highlights around the lighted edges. Tan head lingers nicely on top for quite a while. Light chocolate and roast in the nose without much else, maybe a light hop note in the middle of the bready base. Smooth is the selling point on the bottle and the website description, and it is very smooth with little to stop it from going dryly off the back of the tongue quickly. Roast is light and lingers a bit on the tongue, but the thin body detracts from the overall taste. While a decent porter, it lacks enough depth to keep me interested beyond a bottle or two. Had the same beer on tap recently and it seemed to have a bit more too it then for some reason.

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Photo of hreb
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cold 12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Beer pours a crystal clear brown but in the glass is very nearly opaque, and topped with a very thin tan head. Ale asylum keeps using this word "unfiltered". I do not think they know what it means.

Aroma is of coffee and molasses. Taste is similarly rich, with just the edge of bitterness and a light fizzyness. Molasses flavor dominates, but there's chocolate too. Not nutty or roasty, but faintly sweet... with no gross aftertaste. Mouthfeel is appropriately thin and not overcarbonated. A real classic porter. A solid and consistent A-/B+!

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Photo of camil1mj
3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle from the bar in the Madison Marriot.

A: Dark. Thin foamy head.

S: Chocolate and malty. Pleasant.

T: Average porter. Much like the smell it has strong flavors of malt and chocolate.

M: Very typical to the style. Thin and not too heavy.

O: Good run of the mill porter. I would not seek it out, but would not turn it down.

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Photo of UconnHusky
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass out of a bottle:

A: Very dark body (near black) with a very disappointing non existent signs of lacing.

S: Chocolate malts and roasted coffee. Overall, very pleasant.

T: Touch of licorice combined with a combination of sweet roasted malts and nice burnt coffee. Touch of hop bitterness tops it off.

M: Thin bodied that didn't quite live up to expectations.

Overall a basic and conservative porter that will easily be forgotten.

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Photo of orangesol
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a globe.

A - Pours deep brown, bordering on black, with a thin film of off-white head, dissipating down to next to nothing, leaving light sheets of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of dark chocolate malt, coffee, chocolate, and toffee. It has an overall earthy sweetness with a bit of smokiness coming thru as it warms up to room temperature. Good not great.

T - This one has a very thin, watery, feel right off the bat. Dark chocolate malt mixes with some dulled coffee, chocolate, and toffee to form a flavorful core but the feel really hurts it throughout. Finish is quite thin with some lingering malty sweetness. Not bad but the feel really brings it down.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Thin, watery, feel with some lingering sweet dark roast in the finish.

D - Decent stuff. I have had better but it was still pretty solid. I just wish it wasn't so watery. I really think I would have liked this one a lot more.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.37/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a black colored with a small tan head. The smell was very strong of coffee. The taste had alot of coffee flavors, but was also heavy and malty, a bit of a carmel flavor as well, but the coffee flavors stood out the most. Nice full flavor, espically for a porter. Overall a found it a good beer, and a really good porter.

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Photo of Tncapehart
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Nice looking porter. Pours dark brown, near black. Tan head fades fast and leaves little lacing.

S. Coffee, malt, and a hint of caramel sweetness.

T. Coffee and espresso bitterness. Would have liked more of the caramel sweetness that was faint in the aroma.

M. Medium bodied. After taste lingers for a bit with...what else, coffee.

D. I won't drink more than one of these but nice on a cold winter night.

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Photo of jera1350
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely black color that is semi-viscous. I would give this a higher score, but the head is pretty minimal. What is there is tan in color.

The smell is wonderful. Very chocolatey, with a nice roast character and some coffee.

Like the nose pretty much. A bit more of a roasted coffee character than chocolate however. Pretty tasty stuff.

The carbonation is nice and soft and the body is about medium. Feels pretty thick for a beer under five percent alcohol. Dry finishing on the tongue.

Drinks terrifically. I could easily put a couple of these back. Represents the style well. All around, this beer is really well done with the exception of the head which I can live with.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown basically black with a small head and some lace. The aroma is some coffee, a little cinnamon, some roasty malt, some candy sweetness, a mild hoppiness, and something odd I can't quite put my finger on. The flavor is much like a delicious coffee drink with some mild sweetness, some fruitiness, a nice bitter hoppiness, with a good creamy character.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is sweet, malty, nice touch of chocolate/toffee. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very tasty English Porter.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The final Foofaa offering at the Brass Rail. An old-timey English Porter.

A: The porter is a dark cola color, more brown than black on close inspection. The predominance of brown hues is especially evident at the edges of the glass.

S: The nose has quite a combination of coffee, chocolate, and toffee floating around. Sweet but not cloying. Malts dominate with little in the way of hoppiness.

T: My first sip immediately registered 'English Porter'. The ale is subtle, refined even, lacking the hoppy arrogance of its American cousins. With hops out of the waydark malts are content to lounge around. Toffee and chocolate malts reign supreme, a sweet bready ale. Coffee and powdered cocoa come along later, jazzing up the flavor a tad. The malty sweetness, almost syrupy, is most evident at the end of each sip.

M: The ale is very straight-forward, a porter's porter with no pretenses. The solid malt body, with its coffee and toffee sides, is quite pleasant.

D: I'm impressed with this one, a good porter that relies on malty craft to deliver solid flavor.

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Photo of Duff27
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark dark brown. No head, hardly any lacing.

S- Roasted chocolate malts.

T- Chocolate/coffee. Nice burnt, bitter aftertaste.

M- Seems a bit thin for its style to me.

D/O- Drink two and call it a night...for this beer anyways. Would drink again.

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Photo of daledeee
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice looking beer. Poured a dark brown with a small tan head. Nose was great with smoke and malt

Taste is malty, sweet with some chocolate and a mild hop finish. Mouth feel is not very carbonated but clean. Drinkability is good with a nice clean finish as well.

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Photo of AmberMan22
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mud-brown (mud being a good thing here) with a singed tan head. A nice pattern of lace is forming down the side of the glass as I drink, and almost no light shines through the beer.

Smell is wonderfully malty. Deep, rich, roasty, chocolately. Tinge of bitter on the end.

Taste doesn't disappoint -- hugely wonderful amount of dark sweet, toasty malt. Coffee flavors peak through with perfect balance. Maybe a hint of vanilla in there. Like the smell, it finishes with a touch of hop bitterness.

Really solid brew from Ale Asylum. The first two I've had from them have been fantastic, which makes me glad to be in Wisconsin right now.

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Photo of KI9A
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bottle into tulip. Pure blackness, thin head.

S: Chocolate malt.

T: Heath candybar toffee, roasty malts, cream.

M: Silky as hell. Coats mouth with goodness!

D: Big drinkabilty. I love Porters, and, this is a wonderful. A bit carbonated, and, no "sourness" associated with traditional English porters, but, a fine beer.

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Contorter from Ale Asylum
3.76 out of 5 based on 242 ratings.
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