Carolina Winter Porter
Carolina Brewing Company

Carolina Winter PorterCarolina Winter Porter
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American Porter
Ranked #985
Ranked #36,019
3.67 | pDev: 11.72%
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Carolina Winter PorterCarolina Winter Porter
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 64
Photo of Elflord
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Decent brew nice dark brown hue, but falls well short of a true porter. Too thin and little nose. More of a brown ale with a hoppy finish, a bit darker than your average brown. Too many NC brewers think extra hops make every brew better. I'll stick with either Black Butte or Edmond Fitzgerald.

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Photo of nick_perry
1.91/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Too hoppy for a porter, in my opinion. Perhaps a black IPA was more of what they were going for, seeing as they produce several IPAs, and are obviously partial to the hoppier beers.

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Photo of spense727
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Light for a porter
Smell - Very light smokey aroma
Taste - Light, slightly roasty, very small bit of chocolate
Mouthfeel - Light, lots of carbonation
Overall - Very light overall, very easy to drink, holiday flavor without being overly spiced

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Photo of RWLawman
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark, almost black in color. Can't see through it, and a moderate thickness head that dissipates to almost nothing relatively quickly.

S - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate.

T - Pretty much follows the nose, with malts and chocolate the two most prevalent flavors. There is also the slightest hint of dark fruits.

M - Somewhat on the thin side, but also relatively creamy. Sessionable.

O - I thought this was a pretty solid offering by Carolina Brewing Company. They're a mostly average brewery. I like their pale ale and Octoberfest, but they're not the most memorable. However, the Winter Porter has a pretty good flavor. Something I could definitely see myself drinking again this season. I actually find it pretty competitive with Sam Adams' winter lager.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a clear garnett ruby color with a thin light tan head that settles to a thin film. Aroma is roast malt, toffee, cinnamon, bread, dark chocolate, and earth. Milk chocolate flavor with a bready backbone and a dry, earthy bitter finish. Slightly thin, medium thin body with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Mark!

Pour is brown, definitely brown. Thin ring of a head.

Smell is light. Hints of roasted malts, but smells light and drinkable.

Yep, its exactly how it smells. Watery, but still good. By hints, I mean small tastes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Its all delicate and drinkable. Almost more of a brown ale.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a nice opaque dark-chocolate brown with a fairly thick light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Chocolaty aroma has smoky and coffee hints. Flavor is mainly chocolaty and has roast malt and coffee undertones, as well as just a hint of molasses. Texture is smooth and somewhat fizzy, leaving a chocolaty and slightly sweet finish.

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Photo of tdm168
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Sawmill Tap Room 12/17/11

Pours a deep brown with a reddish hue. There's a quarter inch of white, foamy, thin head that sits on top that has great retention. The nose has notes of roasted malts and yeast, maybe a little diacetyl. The taste is roasty with very faint notes of coffee and a little chocolate in the finish. There's a strong yeasty-ness to the flavor. It's definitely an off flavor. There is a mellow hop bitterness to the finish. This is a very smooth, medium bodied beer that is a little thin at times, but it's well carbonated and drinkable.

The yeast notes make me want to shy away from this one. In year's past I've never noticed the off flavors though, so I will give it another chance.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a thick beige head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma has some nice roastiness upfront (notes of espresso and dark chocolate) along with some burnt bread and citrusy hops, blackstrap molasses and dark fruits. The flavor is similar with huge roasted notes initially, along with some coffee and dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, citrusy hops and some slight alcohol. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side which is appropriate for the style, and drinkability is good.

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Photo of atsprings
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep almost opaque black that shows ruby highlights when held to light. The beer is topped by a thin diminishing off white head. Aroma is a nice amount of bitter cocoa and dark malts. The taste is dark malts and smooth chocolate. The beer is quite light and smooth with mild carbonation. I have always enjoyed this beer, but I must say, this years batch is much better than I ever remember it being before!

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Foothills pint glass with a best by date of 4/20 (hmmm...). Thanks to brentk56 for the great extra; I miss this brewery.

Not the most attractive porter I've ever seen, but it suits the style well with a thin, shoe polish brown body that fades to ruby cola at the edge and sports a khaki tuft of foam. Big bubbles settle too quickly, leaving behind only a wisp of tan in their wake. Aroma is spot-on for the style, with English malts giving off notes of toasted chocolate, toffee, and a rich, earthy nuttiness. A bit of dried apple, plum, and other yeasty dark fruits interplay well with the grains.

Roasted chocolate malts and a peppery, coffee-ground astringency hits the top of the tongue. Gone is the fruitiness of the aroma, instead replaced by a tinge of herbal hop varieties (English?). Bread crust and graininess lingers into the finish with a bit of mineral water and tannins. Mouthfeel does a good job of remaining crisp and well-carbonated, while at the same time not seeming too thin on the palate. A good Porter consistency, for sure. Overall, I found Winter Porter to be a somewhat under-impressive seasonal release from the CBC, but I'm still fortunate to have had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of CHickman
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown reddish when held up to light with a small tan head; smells of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, bourbon and faint caramel.

Tastes very sweet and roasted up front, with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, faint caramel, light hops, some hints of dark fruit, yeast or grass, and root beer (yes root beer). Medium carbonation with a smooth feel on the tongue and an overall roasted malty coffee taste. A good beer that had a nice mix of flavors and went down easy, it just didn't blow me away as far as the taste went.

Don't know if this brew was aged in any kind of barrel, but it sure tasted that way to me since it got better as it warmed up during dinner (at the Angus Barn). This beer is worth a try.

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Photo of porterwoobie
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

cask ale, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: dark brown color, clear, one finger tan head that dissipates quickly to a dusting, some lacing.

S: chocolate, roasted grains, coffee

T: still has the chocolaty malt characteristic, roasted malts, and some coffee flavors. slightly dry/bitter finish that comes from hops.

MF: medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: a sessionable beer. very tasty.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The porter appears a dark brown color with an inch of ecru foam. The foam quickly fades down to a thin layer. Smells and tastes of medium roasted grain, cocoa, a touch of smokey-sweet malt, mild coffee notes. Medium bodied with ample carbonation for the style. Worth at least a try.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aged for 1 year. Pours a darker brown to almost black color with a off white rocky head that persists for some time. Decent lacing through out although after some time the head to hide to the edge of the glass.

The nose has a more malty aroma, but there is a carbonic aroma. Aged this one a bit long. Some nice roasty notes with noticeable esters. Some figs, prunes and licorice to name a few. A bit much on the esters for a porter. Some stale/aged notes but ok. Some distinct yeasty notes as well.

The taste is similar. The roast comes out a bit more and leaves a slight astringent taste through out. Some malt and coffee notes with a hint of chocolate. Some noticeable toffee notes and a bit of oxidation, more paper like than sherry. There is a light woody taste with a hint of vanilla that helps out. There is a noticeable carbonic bite at the end that really hides some of the hops and yeasty notes. But some esters, specifically sweet plum.

The body is closer to moderate than light. Would like more body for sure, but I think age has effected it a bit. Overall hard to really judge, but if it is an Imperial Porter this really should be able to age longer than a year.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade with Ty5592 (Mystery Swap v2.0). Bottle labeled bottled on 11/01/06.

Poured a deeper brown color (with a red tint to it) and a large sized off white head. Aromas of cocoa, roast, caramel, and lightly smokey. Tastes of roast, chocolate, light caramel, and finished with a coffee bitterness. Body on the thinner side. Some lacing left on the glass.

Notes from: 4/14/07

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is dark with good carbonation. The head is close to 2 fingers light tan and leaves a nice lace.

The smell i a light roasty malt, not bad but it does not stand out a lot.

The taste is better good roasty toasty malt, and mild hops.

The mouthfeel is creamy smooth good body and nice carbonation.

The drinkability is good and worth a try. Prosit MK

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/09/08,poured into a standard pint glass a cola color with reddish tint thru out after an aggressive pour it yeilded a 1/2 finger toasted almond colored head that left broken lace behind.Aromas were like a chocolate covered raisin lightly sweet chocolate and dark fruit to be precise with a bit of roastiness.A little light but not overly so in the mouthfeel department a bit slick,a generous hopping to this porter for sure making it pretty earthy and leafy in the finish a mildly sweet chocolate and raisin-like quality starts the beer off.A solid porter pretty mild and tasty.

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Photo of blackie
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had many of these on-tap over the past couple winters, reviewed from notes of the 2007 release

a: Deep brown in color, with a tan head that shows average retention.

s: Roasted malts give notes of coffee and a little smoke. Hops are earthy and on the light side. Lightly sweet. Solid, but a little weak for my nose.

m: Carbonation right around medium, and the body just over medium.

t: Follows the lead of the aroma. Medium roasts give some earthy coffee flavors. Some sweetness from a balance of lighter malts. Moderate hop flavor and bitterness with a touch of sour. Finishes dry.

d: sessionable...One thing I can say about CBC is that while all of their biers aren't excellent (some are), all are certainly solid.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucent walnut brown with russet tones and orange edges when backlit with winter morning sunshine. Winter Porter looks more like Winter Brown Ale. The tan cap is small, creamy and leaves a wide swath of lace-like lace in its wake. Quite a bit of lace can be seen in the end.

The aroma isn't as bold as it could be. Like the appearance, it's at least as much brown ale as it is porter. There's plenty of chocolate, but no coffee and very little roasted maltiness. I don't appreciate the Simcoe hops either.

Carolina Winter Porter tastes like a porter, albeit a less than robust one. There's nothing wrong with that, except that Carolina says it's 'brewed in the style of a robust American Porter'. I'm perfectly willing to believe that it was more sturdy immediately after bottling. (This is the Winter '06 version).

The roasted maltiness is definitely there, delivering flavors of bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and a hint of grated grapefruit peel. The finish is modestly bitter, scrupulously clean and snappily dry. I'm feeling much better about things as the beer warms, but can't quite go with the next highest flavor score.

The body/mouthfeel has held up pretty well. Beer with lower end ABVs (5.0% here) tend not to do well over time. The fact that porters are malt-focused rather than hop-focused probably makes all the difference. The bottom line is that there's no evidence of age in either the flavor or the mouthfeel.

I would like to see Carolina Brewing Company brew a *real* robust porter. Something that would be more appropriate for an Iowa winter rather than a North Carolina winter. This one is more than decent, though, and was a welcome extra in a recent trade. Thanks brentk56.

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Photo of Deuane
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown with ruby highlights. A thin tan head with decent lacing.

S-Some coffee and roasted malt. Not as strong as I would have liked. Overall very faint.

T-Roasted malt with some coffee and chocolate notes. A nice little sour twang and a decent hop bitterness in the finish. A nice tasting brew.

M-A little thin but overall it is very nice. Enough body to make you know it has some decent roasted malts and hops.

D-A very pleasant brew. Not the best, blow you away porter, but is solid offering. I could drink more than one of these and be happy about it.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revised rating based on beer bottled 1/20/10 and tasted 4/15/10

Appearance: Pours a coffee brown color with a nice, rocky head that deposits a few sheets of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Dark chocolate and brown bread, with hints of licorice, coffee and dark fruit

Taste: Opens with a chocolate flavor that builds in a fruity direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate and coffee notes combine in a roasty, but slightly grainy fashion

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very chocolatey take on the style; recommended

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Photo of HopDerek
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark red/brown with a finger's width of tan head which dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing. Smells slightly of chocolate, grapefruit, caramel, and coffee, but it's not very strong. Tastes of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with some pine and grapefruit mixed in the finish. Medium in body with low carbonation. Not one of the best porters I've had, but a good effort from Carolina Brewing with some interesting flavors, nice in the colder months.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, bottle on 10/17/07

A: Pours a deep, deep brownish ruby under a smallish slightly off white head. A lot lighter body than I expected and seem to remember from last year. Not much lace and OK retention.

S: Some good coffee character, roasted malt, a hint of smoke, some sweeter malt hints and the slightest sour notes that, although is probably not desirable, fits pretty well.

T: Roasted malt with coffee notes, sourness makes a little bigger appearance on the tongue then in the nose, some good sweetness, finish is a little dry with hints of chocolate. Very well done. I seem to remember that last years version was hoppier.

M/D: Medium body, a little thin however, carbonation is a little high but helps contribute to a nice creaminess. Drinkability is nice on this one as well as it is smooth certainly not that alcoholic. Could easily drink more than one of these. Seems to be slightly different from last years offering and overall I think it is much improved.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Muddyfeet for this one...solid trader and all around good guy.
Black in color...some dark brown highlights w/ the help from a dose of natural light. A full finger of off-colored white head that falls a bit short on endurance...leaves some spotty lacing.
Extremely inviting in the nose with a hefty chocolate earthy base and some floral hop.
Taste is a slight letdown, but still quite good. Was hoping for a hint of spice or something w/ the name, but just a solid porter.
The slightest detection of nutty character that is less roasty and more nutella...the thicker than average mouthfeel is appreciated, making it a reason to crave in the colder months. Then again, we are talking NC...I'd still hunt this one down once a year and not hesitate to score a sixer. Actually, quite clean in the finish and goes down easy.
The folks at CBC make some quality brews and this would be one of them...never had a bottling issue with the handful I've tried.

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Carolina Winter Porter from Carolina Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 64 ratings