Board Meeting | Port Brewing

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Board MeetingBoard Meeting

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An amplified brown ale, the beer is brewed with liberal additions of coffee from local San Diego roasters, Ryan Brothers, and cocoa nibs sourced from famed San Francisco chocolate maker TCHO.

Added by MasterSki on 12-25-2012

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Reviews: 110 | Ratings: 634
Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/black with a thick, full, rich and long lasting khaki head. This is one of the nicet looking beers I've seen in a long time. If the head stayed as poured for longer than the minute it took to shrink, I'd have given it a 5.

Nose is assertive plum roasted coffee and black chocolate with lovely ester fruit tones. More and more chocolate notes as you continue to smell it.

Mouthfeel is lovely with small elegant bubbles and a somewhat light (but very drinkable) carbonation. One of the strongest positives of this beer is that it is wonderfully balanced which makes it a very drinkable and inviting beer.

Flavors are assertive black chocolate, roasted dark grains and roasted fruity coffee. Drinks wonderfully and while called a "brown ale" it is a big flavorful brown ale and almost more of a "light very well balanced stout."

Finish is all big rich bitter black chocolate and bitter black coffee. This is a delightful and most drinkable effort from Lost Abbey.

(I have to think that Gwen had her hand in this beer! I've never met anyone who knows more about flavor profiles and the science behind them. I'm guessing on this but I wouldn't be surprised if she helped "push the envelope" a bit on this one). Nice drink!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours an almost opaque crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, roasted malt, and lots of coffee bean aromas. Taste is much the same with huge coffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great coffee aromas and flavors.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and close to being opaque. It poured with a half finger high light tan colored head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of nutty malts with additional notes of roasted coffee beans and hints of cocoa nibs.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful among brown ales. I liked how you could still smell and taste the nutty malts that are typical of the style and how the coffee and cocoa nibs made the taste a lot more interesting.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by a frothy mocha head a few strands of lace dot the side of the glass

Smell: Fudge, toasted brown bread and a touch of coffee

Taste: Toasted brown bread smeared with chocolate, up front, with the coffee adding another element, after the swallow; brown sugar sweetness lingers in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I doubt that anybody would pick this as a brown ale in a blind tasting but whatever style you want to call it, it is an enjoyable beer

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Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-draught at Lost Abbey's tasting room into a taster glass. Cost was $1.00. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and fair retention. Body colour is a dark black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Coffee and cocoa. Dark malts. Roast. Caramel. Chocolate malt. Very enjoyable. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Cocoa, coffee, a hint of chili pepper, and dark malts. Fantastic balance. Very enjoyable, with impressive complexity. The chili pepper subtlety is divine.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Excellent carbonation. Complements the flavour profile well.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable for the style. I really like it. I'd definitely get it again. Another solid beer from Port.

High B

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aaron for this one! Draft serving in a rounded goblet.

Black body, brownish edges in the light. No light seemed to pass through under the dim lighting. Compact light tan head, drippy lace around the edges as the glass was sipped.

Dark roast coffee and cocoa aromas, fairly pungent.

Bitter roasty coffee, dark blend with plenty of char, unsweetened dark chocolate and cocoa as well. Intense coffee that packs a punch. Dry and roasty aftertaste that lingers. Smooth and slightly creamy, though a little thin bodied. Easy drinking, and a pleasantly powerful coffee infused brown ale.

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Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear, brown color with a one-finger tan head of foam. It smelled of caramel and roasted malt. A hint of coffee. Sweet caramel malt with subtle chocolate flavors and light bitterness.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 2/4/2013. Pours nearly pitch black dark brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, caramel, biscuit, toast, toffee, nuttiness, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, cocoa, and coffee notes; with good strength. Taste of chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, light floral, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, coffee, caramel, cocoa, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, cocoa, and coffee flavors; with nice robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial brown ale. All around nice balance and complexity of dark malt, cocoa, and coffee flavors; and very smooth to drink for the gravity. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to peterdactyl (Reddit) for this one.

Pours a darker colored 1.5 finger fluffy head fades semi slowly with nice spotted lacing, over a super dark brown, pretty much no light coming through.

Nose is very aromatic but almost fake like aroma, a nice beefy brown ale underneath, dark brown malts, caramel, dark caramel, some fresh coffee grinds, a bit of cold extracted coffee and a kahlua like syrup as well, faint cocoa and very dark chocolate, the coffee is very much like a fresh rosted beans cold extracted and not much like actual coffee.

Taste starts with bitter roast, again fresh roasted coffee grinds almost as if they are actually in my mouth now, with a bit of cold extracted coffee, and despite the bitterness not really tannic or harsh and not acrid. Light cocoa, and some super dark chocolate with that. It does get a slight briny salt like quality from some roasted malts in there and the coffee as well finally. Malts bring dark brown malts, a little roast, some dark caramel and slightly syrupy. It gets some warming booze too and slightly boozy, toasted nuts even. Finish is fairly bitter with some earthy hops in there, lots more caramel and dark malts, cocoa, tons of lingering coffee roast.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, some warming borderline tingly booze.

Overall not bad, but get a little too harsh as it goes, coffee starts nice but everntually gets overpowering, harsh, slightly bitter and acrid even. Hard to drink much of it either.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Lost Abbey Brewery in San Marcos.

Pours black with a good beige head that soon reduces to a ring and partial coat but leaves some lacing.

Aroma: mostly coffee with a faint malt base.

Flavor: coffee overwhelms the dark malts, but it is rather good coffee.

Feel: medium body; medium carbonation.

O: recommended for coffee lovers

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours dark brown with crimson edges/highlights under a frothy, fine 1-finger thick mocha head which leaves rings and spots of lace before fading slowly to a thin cap.

N: Lucious and bright creamy, roast coffee with dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla along with some nice fruity notes.

T: Mellow (non-astringent or acidic) coffee, earthy grains and midly bitter with faint char. Well balanced.

M: Semi-full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a lingering coffee finish.

O: Really enjoyed this and easy drinking. ABV well hidden. Would have again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in the wine glass with a decent head. Plenty of suds in the mouth. This has a thicker substance with a slick mouthfeel. Nice chocolatey aroma with something herbal.

There is a lot of coffee flavor, though it took me some sipping to realize that's what it was. The bitter chocolate taste is the more powerful. Not much taste of alcohol, but there is a winey hint. An abundance of roast malt and plenty of sweetness. Overall this is a richly flavored smooth brew that is totally drinkable.

Aftertaste is bitter coffee with a hoppy edge. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Ibis Market in Mission Hills.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia..

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a sufficiently-sized, light beige head. Shows good viscosity when rolled around in the ole Duvel glass. A fair amount of lace deposited on the way down.

Smell: Strong note that signals not just coffee-scented malts but coffee-scented coffee was used here, with a sturdy backdrop of chocolate and other darkish malts giving additional roastiness as well as some toasty, nutty notes.

Taste: Smooth roasted malts, sweetish chocolate tones, and a full, sustained coffee bean note. A few, small clumps of brown sugar, maybe a drop of molasses. Slightly charred toast. Pleasant coffee character ramps up as it warms. A little dark fruitiness. Some hoppiness, but, it seems to be a basic bitterness to accentuate the roasty, coffee bitterness and not turn this into "The Hop Show". Smooth, coffee-toned finish that still displays a little crispness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Smooth, creamy, yet the carbonation was right where I wanted it to be. I've encountered many, many brown ales where the motivation behind it and final delivery were zero-minus, but, not here. I quite liked it; a top-notch brown ale.

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Photo of smcolw
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

White-beige head that leaves ring lace after each sip. The brew is near black where no light passes.

I smell dark chocolate, mocha and a bit of chalk. Very potent aroma for a brown ale. Attractive.

As far as Brown Ale's go, this is the most flavorful I've ever had. There's milk and dark chocolate flavors along with a solid dollop of hop. The aftertaste is particularly balanced with the aforementioned hop cutting into the strong black patent malt presence (strong black coffee in the swallow). The body is very rich for the style (above average for porter, too). The carbonation hold its own. In a word, chewy.

This might be better described as a Porter, but even there, this is a helluva beer--extraordinarily flavorful and easy to drink.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am appreciative to my bro tenderbranson69 for sharing this with me and BA carlos, enjoyed chilled in a pint.

The color is dark brown bordering on black with thick medium brown head which settles to a couple fingers. The lace sticks well and retention is good. The aroma is very earthy almost vegetal and light roasted and caramel malt aroma and mild cocoa scent. The feell is very smooth with some light tannin and roasted texture with mild oily coffee quality and mostly dry finish with medium low bitterness.

The taste is very good with plenty of dark malt toastiness and some light vegetal tinges from the cacao with mild roasted bean taste and gentle tannin in the middle with relatively clean yeast and light bitterness earthy qualities of hops and the coffee/cocoa come through with a nice toasted grain backbone in the malt. I thought this was very drinkable for an imperial brown and the added flavors complimented the base very well -I recommend this to fans of the style.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with beige head. Aroma has a lot of cacao and some dark sugar notes. Taste has a lot of dark chocolate and some dusty, coffee notes in the finish. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Nice one.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Towering head light khaki head. Awesome lace and retention. Solid black-brown body. Almost no highlights.

S - Really nice nose. Light, dry roast coffee. Pumpernickel bread. Nutmeg, walnut, and a touch of carmel.

T - A nice mirror of the nose. Dry coffee dominates the profile. Brown breads, caramel, nutmeg, dark chocolate, margarine, hazelnut, and toffee play a supporting role.

M - Medium-full body. A bit thick for the style, but it's delicious none the less.

O - Drinks like a porter more than a brown; thick and roasty.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is probably the best brown ale I have ever had. The beer pours a nearly opaque deep rich brownish amber. The ecru head is thick and frothy and is leaving a very nice lace. The smell is rich with earth, peat, espresso, alcohol and chocolate. The taste has almost a tiramisu flare....bread, with mocha balance. The first few sips also carried an alcohol push. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall this is an excellent beer and should be loved by all who favor brown ales.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark chestnut coloring with a low profile, filmy, light tan head. Decent lacing as you drink. Aromas of roast mocha and hazelnut, with a touch of smoke. Flavors are rich and roasty, with a nutty sweetness like Nutella and a touch of bitter coffee in the backbone. Very balanced. Smooth and rich in mouth, with a roasted sweet aftertaste. Clean, creamy finish. Great brew.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Got it a Binny's! Served in a taster pint.

A - Big creamy mocha foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind specks of lacing. Mostly opaque dark brown body, with a hint of translucency at the edges of the glass.

S - Lots of chocolate and coffee, as advertised. There's a mildly earthy nib quality, as well as some nutty malt flavors in the periphery.

T - The taste is heavier on coffee, with bittersweet chocolate, roasted nuts, and a hint of caramel rounding things out. Gets sweeter as it warms, with some sugar cookie and Well-hidden alcohol; wouldn't guess this was stronger than your typical 6% brown ale.

M - Big and creamy, medium-full body. Chewy and sticky initially with some tannic grittiness late. Dry in the finish, with perhaps a touch of alcohol warming after a half-glass.

D - I really liked this. Split a bottle three-ways and it went down shockingly quickly. Will definitely be buying this one again, as it's a winner. Glad to see Port Brewing making something new, as it's been a while since Mongo.

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Photo of Gavage
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam. Moderate lace develops.

Smell: chocolate and coffee are the predominant aromas.

Taste: nice malt profile with milk chocolate, coffee, black plum, and a decent bitterness creates a well balanced brown ale. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with a short lived aftertaste.

Overall: this is a superb brown ale with loads of flavor and is nicely drinkable despite the higher ABV. This is one of the better brown ales you will have.

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Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Cannery Row Brewing in Monterey. I had no idea this was 8.5%, but it was immediately clear this was a delicious brown ale. The body is relatively light for the weight, I figured this wasn't more than 6 or 6.5%. Isn't of a brown ale's usual slow rolling notes, this beer had pointed notes of cocoa and coffee, dark toasted bread, a couple touches of dark berries, and then more coffee. Easiest one of the biggest brown ales I've ever had. I want more.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer. Coffee. Cocoa. Three consumable objects which would make any board meeting less painful. Port Brewing decided to cook up this super juice of a brown ale, but it appears that their idea of a board meeting involves surfers and their surfboards. With 22 ounces, I'm sure to have a good time. On to the beer:

Maybe it's brown, but with a color so dark, it comes out closer to black. A head two inches thick forms on to, retaining well and leaving great lace around. The aroma alone is enough to wake anybody up; strong with fudge, roasted coffee, a bit of cocoa, and a little dose of alcohol.

Board Meeting is basically a two flavor beer. But gosh, both flavors are impressive. First comes a butterscotch/fudge combination and following after is the big roasted coffee note. I thought that I would be drinking something to jump start your day, however it's tasting more like a dessert with a squeeze of booze. Coffee lovers will definitely be all over this, as well as those who want something to pair with their tiramisu.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big pleasant surprise. Not a Brown Ale fan very often, but this one doesn't follow the rules. Board Meeting is kinda the curl less taken. Big full beer that boasts coffee and chocolate highlights in a big robust brown. Has many characteristics of a big porter or even stout...but the flavor is clearly a brown...a nice complex one...but hops and malts are definitely in the brown ale wheel house.
Probably too much for those who enjoy the classic style, but for me who loves a big creamy brew with lots of flavors...well, sign me up for more,
Special thanks to Steve for suggesting to try this one.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than I was expecting, deeper in flavor and more coffee than I expected, while the base beer is a bit richer than your average brown ale. Pours very dark brown, with a thick, cafe and cream colored, creamy head. Lots of rich coffee in the nose as well as a touch of brown sugar and cream. Really nicely balanced tastes of coffee, cream, roasted grain, brown sugar, some earthy hop bitterness, and chewy chocolate notes- like a really good chocolate chip cookie. Still, it drys out a bit at the end. Overall, quite a package of flavor. This sat neglected in my fridge for too long- a very nice beer.

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Board Meeting from Port Brewing
4.14 out of 5 based on 634 ratings.
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