Hellbender | Sprague Farm & Brew Works

very good
16 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Sprague Farm & Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WVbeergeek on 07-05-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by mtnbikerpa:
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown slightly murky at first with an abundant head. Scents of roasted malts, some barley, coffee and cocoa wafted towards my nose. Flavors were much as it smelled and also included a minor sweet fruit flavors. Mouthfeel is about medium for me not heavy and not watery. This beer is certainly highly drinkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HopsOnPops818
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served up at the Brewerie at Union Station in Erie, PA....appears a murky dark brown forms a nice tan head that coats the sides of the nonic pint glass and leaves behind rings of sip annularally with each sip. Aromatics are big with the dark chocolate and coffee roastiness somewhat of a doughy bread note mild sweetness detected with herbal hops in the nose as well good mix here. Taste has moderate bitterness from the dark chocolate/coffee esque malt profile which provides a limited sweetness overall tones definitely flow together well sturdy porter with an herbal hop profile in the finish. Mouthfeel provides a robust medium body with even carbonation and somewhat silky of a texture. Drinkability is nice, I've been waiting to track down some Sprague beers glad I finally did well worth the trip for it.

 811 characters

Photo of Turbansurfer
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If your within 100 miles of Sprague Farm and Brew Works- divert your trip and head in-

I can't decide if the atmosphere or the beer is better but they are both exceptional. Brian and Minnie Sprague know how to brew a quality beer and know how to make you feel at home in the converted barn.
Always live tunes; hops growing on the deck; it might be heaven.

I'm not an all the time porter kid; but this is my favorite that I have had- including my two year stint on the west coast or Oregon.

light black in color; nice brown thick head. Not strong on alcohol taste; but look the heck out because it creeps up on ya. Good subliminal malt flavor in the middle of the tongue and a hint of a bitter finish - but overall very smooth. Not at thick as a lot of porters but pretty darn drinkable in my estimation.

Great place to drink, always great people there, and great beer.

 874 characters

Photo of SiepJones
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jvorisek
3.17/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a growler straight from the farm and drank it later that day. The appearance was a very muddy brown thick looking like a dark chocolate milk. Smell was a strong roasted coffee and some burnt malts. Not bad, it smells like it tastes. Taste was strong coffee malts coming through and some caramel. Hops were not strong but you could still notice their presence in the backgroud. Not bitterness but the flavor. It had a medium body and was not thick and syrupy like the appearance made you think it would be. It finished well balanced with that coffee flavor lingering in your mouth. Carbonation was nice. Not too much and not too little. Drinkability was ok, maybe not if you werent into porters or stouts though. A little different than the robust porters I have had before but the nice solid flavor kept me interested.

 825 characters

Photo of drperry11
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Dapper_Dan_Man
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This "Robust Porter" was on-tap at Coles in Buffalo.

A: Black with brown highlights, light tan head, no retention, nice lace.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, nuts & bread.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted acidity (boarders on a stout), good bitterness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, slightly acidic.

D: Enticing & tasty, but I couldn't session it.

 361 characters

Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer some years ago shortly after Sprague Farm opened. At that time, while this beer tasted fine, it looked like Yoo-Hoo! A different beast now...

A-Deep, clear copper kissed brown with a medium light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice ringing lace.

S-Roasted malt with a touch of toasted oak, coffee, chocolate, licorice, earthy hops and a waft of berry sweetness.

T-Roasted malts with a slightly charred feature. Light dark chocolate flavours meld nicely with coffee, licorice and an underlying hint of earthy hops, caramel sweetness and light sour twang.

M- Medium body with an approachable flavour profile and nice lingering roasted and earthy hop bitterness.

D-Totally solid. The kind of porter that adds up all of the parts and equates itself into a flavourful, easy to drink and enjoyable brew. Our choice for a growler fill.

 863 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark and hazy espresso brown with mahogany margins. A single finger of light tan head drops away soon to little more than stray surface froth. Sparse lacing teases then slides and settles from when it came.

The aroma is toasty with roasted malt bringing coffee, chocolate, and an earthy, dried berry sweetness. Yeasty dough and a touch of toasted nuts come through as well.

Upon sipping, the malt is lightly charred and bitter, but a mild chocolate sweetness meshes, and black coffee and very cooked caramel. The bitterness smooths and returns, distantly spicy and wrapped around a bready yeast presence that yields as well a thin late-game tartness. The malt revisits with a burnt sugar bitter-sweetness that crisps into a pleasingly dry and lingering finish. It's fundamental and basic, but that's what makes it tasty.

Medium bodied, the malt is slightly slick and veritably viscous, leaving a nice little coating in its wake.

It looks pretty boring, really, but the solid porter principles put into play here make it classically good and enjoyable. The flavor is happily plush, and mates with the rest to make it a very positive experience. And as it makes all the right turns as it progresses, it goes down smooth and very drinkable. So I'm looking forward to trying more from these folks. So publican, please pass the porter from Sprague Farm.

 1,374 characters

Photo of billbeers
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jhicks12
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers, Very nice dark murky brown. Nice sweet roasted chocolate and coffee smell. Has a nice raosted chocolate and coffee creamy taste. very nice. Nice medium mouthfeel, and overall drinkablity is good. I can tank way to many of these porters. Love the overall nice taste and chocolate coffee malt character. Beer does get a little flat in the take home growler but well worth in my opinion to buy a keg for the home keg-o-rator!

 448 characters

Photo of tommyguz
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of beerphan
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old time milk jug growler -> pint

Pours a dark chestnut brown with some pale tan highlights. A large billowing white head sits atop the brew. Lacing is patchy and minimal.

Nose: Toasty, roasted chocolate malts, some coffee

Smooth chocolate and coffee flavors combine nicely and are countered by a quick intense bitterness. Mouth is left feeling roasty. Very tastey.

Good slick mouthfeel.

One hell of a porter from Sprague Farm Brew Works. A short 15 min ride from I79, it is a highly recommended stop when in NorthWest PA. Get out and check out this unique brewery.

 583 characters

Hellbender from Sprague Farm & Brew Works
3.97 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.
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