Winter Porter
Carolina Brewing Company

Winter PorterWinter Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #966
Ranked #38,737
3.67 | pDev: 11.72%
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Winter PorterWinter Porter
View: Beers
Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 65 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohnnyK:
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JohnnyK from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Dec 20, 2013
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nick_perry from North Carolina

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.

Dec 17, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

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.

Mar 20, 2008
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fattychubs from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this on tap locally and was nicely surprised. It was served without a head filling to the very top of the pint glass, however it did have a nice dark color to it. The pour and lighting made it difficult to judge the appearance of this beer but it seemed solid. Smell was bittersweet chocolate and roasted malts. Taste was smooth with a medium body, rich at times, starting with a solid roasted malt character, caramel, chocolate, and balanced nicely with a bit of hops in the finish, giving a short shot of bitter. Not a typical spiced winter seasonal, just a somewhat typical but solid porter.

Dec 21, 2003
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EPseja from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle in a pint glass at cellar temperature. A note on the label reads, "Our seasonal beers are now available in bottles. See inside of bottle for details." Heh heh... cute.

A - Pours a clear, dark chestnut brown with a light tan head that rises to about a half inch. The head is creamy and dense, but diminishes rapidly. Lacing is good, leaving foamy sheets on the inside of the glass.

S - Crisp dark malts with a very nice hoppy profile that includes a good combination of floral and piney notes. Enticing and very well made, even if it's as simple as it is.

T - Restrained sweetness up front with notes of smoky malt following soon after. The back of the tongue catches the very fresh hoppy bitterness - just enough to make it clean and dry. The aftertaste is organic and dark.

M - Creamy and chewy with tiny bubbles tingling the tongue. Swallows with fortitude without leaving the belly bloated. Very nice!

D - This is a delicious herald of winter, and I was lucky enough to snag a bottle in the Birthday BIF. Easy to drink without giving up any taste points.

Nov 14, 2006
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GCBrewingCo from North Carolina

3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured translucent brownish-black with ruby highlights. The head is whispy thin, but hangs on like a mountain climber. The aroma is malt and chocolate with a slight hop aroma. The flavor is coffee and chocolate with a good hop bitterness. The finish is coffee and hops and dries out. The body is medium.

I am very pleased with this beer, other years Winter Porter have not been as good IMO as this years version.

Bottled on 11/12/03. Should be noted that Carolina Brewing Company's Seasonals are only available at the brewery in bottles. They show up elsewhere on draft.

Dec 21, 2003
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Imbiber from New York

4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Given to me last weekend from someone who had just returned from NC. Bottled on 4th Feb 04. There's a very dubious quote on the bottle label that reads "Our seasonal beers are now available in bottles (see inside of bottle for details)." Eh???

As for the beer, it's deep red-brown with a small but adequate tan head. Quite big malty, chocolatey nose - nice. Smooth mouthfeel, the taste reflects the aroma, malty, nutty, with distinct chocolate and caramel - the latter two becoming more prominent towards the finish, which is long and turns unexpectedly dry and nutty. A great beer, dangerously drinkable. I just wish I could buy it here.

Apr 09, 2004
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

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.

Jan 31, 2008
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wedge from North Carolina

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

Pours a clear, dark chestnut color with a thin creamy head that falls apart quickly to a loose covering. Smells malty - chocolate, substantial grain, and spicy hops combine to make a damp, earthy-like aroma overall. The taste is big on the fresh barley. Smokey black malts and a very slight lingering sweetness. Medium bodied and dry.

Not bad, but it is very fresh. Almost like eating a handfull of barley.

Note: A month later, the super-fresh taste has smoothed out and some coffee flavors have shown up. Tasty.

Dec 08, 2006
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed recently at the Village Draft House in Raleigh. typed from notes.

Poured a cocoa brown color. Some glints of light. Brown stringy lace. But thin looking overall. Nose was malty and sulphuric.

That sulphur flavor came through a bit more in the flavor in addition to a wood smokiness. Nicely balanced with the malts. Hops come across as wintergreen. Medium body. Kind of acrid though like licking tin.

Dec 08, 2006
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mattcrill from Ohio

3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this brew.

Bottle inspection: Label states it was bottled on "11/1/06". Sample on 12/2/06

Aroma: Yeasty, dark wet grains, some nice citrusy American hop aroma.

Appearance: Brilliant ruby brown pour with a rocky and chunky off white head.

Flavor: Citrus hop flavor, grapefruit, orange rind, and all things hop until the end. Just a hint of roasted grain on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin and highly carbonated. Slightly astringent and enjoyable hop burps after each taste.

Overall impression: Off for the style. Clearly American but if I close my eyes, I think it's an American Pale Ale. I definitely enjoyed it but it just didn't meet the expectations that I had when I read the label. Enjoy it but don't try it if you are looking for a classic porter taste. Recommended.

Dec 02, 2006
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brentk56 from North Carolina

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

Jan 26, 2008
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warriorsoul from Pennsylvania

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.

Mar 25, 2007
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ncbrewerbun from North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown long neck bottle with the seasonal label and a bottled on date of 11/12/2003. I had this tucked back in my fridge and didn't know it was there.

Poured a clean and clear reddish brown with ruby hues. There was a small tan head that turned into a small ring of lace around the edge of the glass.

Malt the predominant aroma -- the sweetness mixed with a hint of roast.

A rather sweet malty flavor balanced with a heavy dose of bittering hops. I also pick up just a bit of astringency.

A very enjoyable porter.

Oct 21, 2004
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blitz134 from California

3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pretty dark beer, but shines bright ruby when held to the light. Very light tan head. Small though, and reduced to a thin layer.

Interesting aroma really, not porter like at all. Has a medicinal, herbal character to it. Actually hints of grapefruit come out. Only the lightest of toasted malts show underneath all of that. I have a hard time giving this an average score when it has no toasted malt aromas at all.

Flavor is a step in the right direction. Toasted malts start come out and a bit of chocolate and coffee, though not too strong. Hops have some pine and grapefruit again. Flavor is alright I guess, but I think the hops clash.

Decent mouthfeel. Low carbonation makes this feel medium bodied. Coats the mouth well and the flavors linger. Average drinkability. I'm not keen on the flavor combo here to be honest.

Feb 14, 2007
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

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

Jan 18, 2009
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silver0rlead from North Carolina

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.

Feb 11, 2011
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blackie from Oregon

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.

Feb 18, 2008
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sinistrsam from Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Living in North Carolina for the last few months I've found a lot of little microbreweries, most of which produce fairly decent beer but lack at really creating an excellent beer in any of their styles. I've some to expect that; after all they're microbreweries. However, this beer is slightly different. I think they've made a pretty damn good porter.
It was poured and had huge head and lacing around the glass, above a dark brown hazelnut body. The head was thick and tan and smelled very complex, of toffee and caramel, chocolate and coffee. Even some hints of smokiness.
The taste was extrememly creamy and smoky, but also sweet. It had more of a chocolate stout aftertaste, bittersweet and complex. It was one of the more drinkable porters I've had in a while, finished excellently and all this from a carolina microbrewery. This is a must try, I've gotta say. Definitely a good effort and I think they nailed a great winter seasonal to warm up with as the fall turns to winter.

Nov 13, 2005
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fastrodney from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Jan 10, 2013
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hunteraw from China

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

Thanks to ipa2xs for shipping this my way in the No Name BIF

Appearance: Garnet in color, actually with almost a purple hue. Clear. One finger head, good lacing and retention.

Smell: Distinctly bitter roastiness, with some smooth chocolate. Hops come through in the same way they did in my dry-hopped homebrew imperial stout, only less so.

Taste: Wow. It really tastes a good bit like that homebrewed stout, excpet watered down into a porter. The resemblance is striking. Coffee and chocolate, with a distinct hops bitterness - more than most porters. Less roast than I expected, MUCH less caramel than I've come to expect in a porter, which I consider to be a very good thing.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Fairly creamy. Well-carbonated for the style.

Drinkability: High! Full of flavor, yet light enough to enjoy a bunch of. I'm wishing I had another bottle.

Feb 08, 2007
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Oxymoron from Colorado

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.

Mar 09, 2009
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Deuane from Pennsylvania

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.

Jan 31, 2008
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granite from New Hampshire

3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass. 2006

A---It poured brown with red hues and a thin off-white head.

S---Chocolate malt and citrus hops.

T---Muddled malt bill, cascade or centennial hops with a roasted aftertaste.

M---Thin-medium bodied.

D---Chocolate malt and west coast hops are not my favorite combination but it is a well made porter.

Feb 10, 2007
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wagenvolks from Texas

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.

Apr 07, 2010
Winter Porter from Carolina Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 65 ratings