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Old Growler | Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.

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Old GrowlerOld Growler
Very Good
197 Ratings
Old GrowlerOld Growler

Brewed by:
Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Cellared for One year. Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with one finger of off-white foam. Soap bubble head drops quickly, but leaves specs of lacing and retains a cap of foam to the finish. Toasted caramel flavor, with some black patent and chocolate that give depth to the flavor, but the malt profile is still too mild. Distinctly bavarinan hop aftertaste, sligthly dry and creates a nice balance. The body and carbonation are light, lending a smooth mouthfeel, but much lighter than a typical porter. A strong bourbon aroma overpowers anything else, perhaps this was aged in whiskey barrels? This may also contribute to the solventlike finish, that is more astringent than acidic or vinous, and becomes harsh near the end.

 722 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice ruby, brown color. Slight head that quickly dissapears. Low aroma-not a lot there really. Some roasted malt not much else.. Slight oxidized smell like its off the bottle cap. Good malty and roasted flavor. Almost a cross between a porter and the nuttiness you would find in a nut brown ale. Good blend. Slight lingering chocolate tinge. Nice body. A very drinkable beer and a damn good British porter. A nice change from the US micro versions you get all the time.

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Photo of flood
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not your deep dark microbrew porter.

Very smooth, good flavor (a hint of something nutty in there) - not a significant bite that a porter usually has. More like a toned down stout.

The appearance is just okay - not much head out of the bottle - bet it would be excellent on tap with a full head.

Overall an excellent beer - pleasant surprise.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a bottle of this beer and pouring into a pint glass. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige head foaming up and fading quickly to an edge layer.
Aroma is rich chocolate candy bar and some cocoa powder chalkiness too. Very rich on the nose.
First sip reveals a smoooth texture and very light carbonation. Flavor is roasted malt up front and some chocolate. The finish is slightly grassy hops. The body really thins out to almost watery on the finish. While this doesnt really do it for me I know it is typical of ENglish porters.
Overall this is a tasty and easy to drink beer. Just dont expect a robust brew!

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Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

American Porter?

This is a classic old English Porter that seems to have a variety of malt flavours that include a rounded caramel taste.

During the industrial revolution, brewers realized that Pale Malt provides the most alcohol, while black patent malt can provide the colour. Obviously, the taste suffered!

With the addition of crystal malt, this brew sends us back to a better time.

Commercial Description:
"To drink this beer is to go back in time. Brewed according to a 1750's Porter recipe, Old Growler is one of the most authentic and historical versions of English Porter from anywhere in the world.
Challenger hops, wheat flour, and crystal, black, and Maris Otter pale malts."

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Raisin juice.
And prune juice.
Raisin juice mixed with some prune juice in it.
Along with some seltzer.
Oh, and alcohol, but you cant really taste that part.
Definately on the side of a dessert beer.
Not hoppy or smokey at all.
A little bit watery in the mouthfeel
A ... different porter in my experience.
Interesting and worth a try.

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Photo of scooter231
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very, very dark red color- virtually opaque. Smell was a bit surprising- very raisiny, some coffee notes, a bit of chocolate. But mostly a fruity raisiny scent. Sweet.

Taste is still raisiny, but I'm also getting some grape tastes in here. Drier than I thought it would be- still sweet, though. Fruityness, but nothing too overpowering or painful. Mouthfeel is bubbly, medium-bodied, not tooo heavy.

Another desserty-type drink for me. Sweet and on the light side, a nice night cap. Not uber drinkable due to the sweetness, but I wouldn't grab eight of this one- one or two would do me just fine.

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Photo of whynot44
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark reddish brown, almost opague, with a quick disappearing ivory head that retreats quickly to just a ring.

The aroma is fruity - raisins, stewed plums - with coffee, coca cola, maybe a hint of dark bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malt.

The taste is heavier on the coffee with a certain burnt or smokey tang up front, the raisn/plum hits in the middle with a caramel, nutty, dark chocolate finish and a lingering roasted malt aftertaste.

Light/medium bodied. smooth textured and easy to drink. A different but respectable English porter.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Growler pours from the bottle a dark, coffee hued color with a creamy head the color of chocolate milk.

Aromas of chocolate, coffee, raisins, port, and oaky vanilla are present, but a bit on the subtle side.

Chocolate and coffee are the main flavors, accented by a plummy raisin taste and countered by a nice floral hop finish.

The body is light and almost thin, yet retains a creamy smooth texture. Definately a middle of the road porter, light enough for drinking on a hot day.

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Photo of beertastegood
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque amber, with a smallish rocky tan head. Aromas of raisins, burnt coffee and a hint of plum. Tastes more like burnt coffee than anything else...dry finish. A lot thinner on the body than I would have expected, as I like my porters thick and chewy. However, the one positive aspect of this characteristic is that it makes this beer very drinkable for its style. A very middle-of-the-road porter.

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Photo of BeerFink
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown, pretty close to black coffee. Topped by a quickly dissipating, anemic looking white head. Aroma is more complex than I would have expected. Coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley, with some fruit and a little nuttiness. Quite a bit of caramel in there too. Some alcohol presence in the nose as well. The first thing I notice as I sip is the thin mouthfeel. Taste is actually decent, despite the almost watery mouthfeel. Bitter chocolate and roasted barley, some coffee dominate. Some nutty qualites are apparent, and a hint of fruit. English hops are present in a subdued state. Finish is dry and coffee like, along with slight tannin astringency. Not a bad porter, but not outstanding in any way. Overall, I would describe it as thin. For some reason I have an image of English soldiers drinking this and cursing about it.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: mahogany, good clarity, spongey layer of tannish foam, stands of lace

Aroma: bananas, chocolate milk, hazelnuts, hint of coffee and malt

Flavor: cola, roast, banana peels, a bt nutty and some hints of dark chocolate, slight sweetness, vegetal hop flavor, finishes dry with a tangy roasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, minerally, a bit warming

Other comments: Sort of a weird one. The banana-ness seems out of place, but I suppose it makes it interesting.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown, dark reddish tints. Off-white head. Some lacing.

Nose: Chocolate, roasty malts. Fainter than I would expect for a porter. A bit of carmel.

Taste: Not bad. Chocolatey coffee flavors up front. Lots of malt. A mild hop finish.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable. I've had better porters, but this is still pretty good. Definately worth a try at least.

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Photo of mgdeth
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Murky brown, with garnet highlights. Good off-white head, okay head retention, and good beer lace. Low to medium carbonation.

Smell - Chocolatey. For some reason this beer reminds me of the smell of a dark lager. This might be due to the lack of hop aroma. Still, it smells tasty and delightful.

Taste - This is a down and dirty, old-fashioned tasting porter. Rich malty and chocolatey taste. This is followed by a roasty coffee flavor. Malt is emphasized more than bitterness. There is a bit of astringency (that makes me think "hard water") as well.

Mouthfeel - Gritty, yet it is not super thick. The body is adequate, and is accented by the roasty flavor.

Drinkability - Quite quaffable, even with its strong flavors. This beer is easy to keep on sippin'.

Comments - This is pretty good stuff, and definitely worth a try. It has a few characteristics that remind me of lager beer, which is pretty strange.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a two-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep, clear amber color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Starts and finishes with a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor, this porter epitomizes an English porter. $3.50 for a 500 ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

 324 characters

Photo of hungryghost
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a subtle head, not much carbonation. No lacing.
Roasted malt in the aroma, later hint of coffee.
Immediately taste the roasted malt, slight smokiness, mild coffee finish.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin but I think the taste makes up for it.
Good flavor and easy to drink, nothing stands out drastically. This is a pleasant all around average porter.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with strong red highlights. Has a thick beige head. There is a strong coffee character with a chocolate background in the aroma. A big rush of coffee flavor followed by some chocolate sweetmess and back to a black coffe bitterness for the finish. Quite tasty.

 277 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep brown color with a creamy light brown head. The aroma is of roasted malts and toasted malts. It has a nice dark chocolate aroma as well. The flavor is toasty and bready which then flows to a light roastiness and chocolate finish. It has a light hoppy flavor throughout. In the finish is a bit of hop and roast malt bitterness. I very nice drinking porter.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Served on tap in a standard pint glass at Lucky Baldwin's at the BA Throwdown. It had a weird head made of of very large bubbles. A good portion of the bubbles were the size of Skittles, maybe a bit smaller. It had moderate head retention but the whole time I was looking at it I just kept thinking how stange it looked. The color is dark brown to black liquid with slight amber hues. Almost no light passes through it.

Smell: Again the weirdness comes in. There is sort of a spicy fruit smell to it, but nothing to distinct that I can name. Not very roasty in smell.

Taste: My first few sips of this beer I did not like it. But about halfway through the pint I changed my mind and became fond of the flavor. The beer is lightly sour with a big flavor of plum. It has some dry sweetness to it as well as a sandy, earthy flavor.

Mouthfeel: The sourness is not enough to make my mouth pucker so it is comfortably balanced by the sweetness.

Drinkability: This one gets better as it warms a bit and as more of it passes over my palate. I can't say I love this beer, but with its intriguing flavor I might consider drinking it again.

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Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown beer with coppery/red highlights topped by a dense, light brown head of fine bubbles that reduced quickly to a thin lace. Nice stickage to the sides of the glass. Roasted maltiness leaves the most impression in the aroma, but there is a bit of chocolate and light fruitiness. Burnt, roasted flavour to start, followed by malty sweetness and finishes with a lingering bitterness. Bitterness is fairly mild but balanced, and comes from both hops and roasted grain. The body was a bit thin, but the texture was quite smooth and was aided by the medium/low carbonation.

500 mL brown bottle with best before date stamped on rear label.

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Photo of baiser
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown body, almost opaque. Head was disappointing, even after a hard pour. Lacing was ok, but this wasn't a very visually attractive beer.

Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and a candy-like sweetness.

Taste was initially burnt chocolate and bitter coffee. After the bitterness passes, it's actually quite sweet and candy like. I'd say it was a bit too sweet for me. There's a nice roasted character. Good balance with the bitterness. Medium bodied. A solid porter.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear light dark beer with a medium head with standard retention. Aroma is a mix of roasted malt and chocolate. Taste is a bit surprising with quite strong chocolate notes with nice roasted malt with subtle hops and a thin watery finish. Body was lighter then expected for a porter. Overall, this is like a light chocolate porter – not bad, just different I guess.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Growler is one of the lightest porters that you'll ever see. Non-opaque reddish copper with bright orange highlights capped with a less than firm beige head that doesn't linger as long as it might. Neither does it appear to be all that sticky; therefore... almost no lace.

The underpowered nose has notes of dark malt and dark, dried fruits such as currants and figs. Maybe a whiff of carob, but no dark chocolate or coffee; it's just not *that* kind of porter. The flavor is bolder and more outgoing than the nose, but this beer tastes more like a dark lager than a porter.

My taste buds register flavors of heavily toasted malt, dark toffee and the same dark fruits mentioned above. The body/mouthfeel is overly thin (acceptable, makes it drinkable) and overly fizzy (not acceptable). The finish is modestly bitter, dry and tea-like.

The label informs the drinker that this is 'a traditional English porter' and that the recipe is 254 years old. That's traditional by anyone's definition. Be that as it may, Old Growler isn't really my thing. Simple to drink? Sure. Stands out in any way? Nope. I'm sure that there are adherents to this type of porter in general and this beer in particular, but I'll give it a friendly, respectful pass.

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Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seemed a cross between a barleywine and a Porter in aroma and taste. Easier drink than a thick stout. Tan brown with a modest amount of lace. And not overpowering as a barleywine. Nice, medium/bit thin mouthfeel. Malty, modest roasty. This works for the sum of its parts.

 271 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.09oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a deep dark mahogany with a thin and fading beige head.
The smell is of slightly burnt toast and brown bread.
A taste of coffee and dark roast malt are upfront. A hint of dark bitter chocolate and smoke peek through.
This brew is fairly hoppy for a Porter. Edgy citrus and a slightly sour tartness mix with a light tea-like bitterness. A mild piney taste is noticed in the finish. A hint of alcohol is present throughout.

 476 characters

Old Growler from Nethergate Brewery Co. Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 197 ratings
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