Harvey's Brewery

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English Porter
Ranked #142
Ranked #26,466
3.81 | pDev: 11.55%
Harvey's Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Very Good
Notes: Brewed to Henry Harvey's Porter recipe of 1859. Pale, crystal and black malts combine with a generous hop grist of Fuggles and Goldings. Full and rounded with roasted malts to the fore.
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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of vinicole
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Deep brown colour with a thin light tan head.
Vibrant sweet malt aroma. Mild milk chocolate with hints of coffee.
Tastes the same. Quite sweet. Stewed prunes. Finishes with a slight charred flavour.
Medium body. Soft carbonation.
Very pleasent.

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Photo of Spike
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 500ml bottle.
A very dark brown, almost black, ale with a superb crema head. Smells sweet, rich and malty. Taste is of dark toffee and medium roast coffee. Medium/light body, that coats the mouth, with prickly carbonation and a long, dry finish. The grain bill uses crystal and black malts to give a toasty, lightly bitter flavour. No chocolate malts so this is a rich, super malty porter in a traditional style. Tasty.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, Hartley's, Ashtead - Pours jet black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - bready/yeasty forefront, light coffee.dark chocolate background. Taste - roasted malts to the fore, light dark chocolate notes leading to a nice bitter full finish. Nice receation of a proper Victorian porter

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Harveys Brewery Shop, coming in a small 275ml brown bottle, filtered; BB 03/2009, served cool in a straight pint glass.

A: pours a very dark brown colour with mahogany glows when seen against light, topped with a charming dark beige froth with relatively good retention.
S: sour-sweet and thick fruity-maltiness abounds, with light hints of smoked wood and sweet woodchips, sweet coffee, and Harvey's yeastiness behind the veil. Quite settled.
T: a mouthful of savoury-sweet jammy dark fruits and dark chocolates with a winey touch upfront is accompanied with hints of burned treacle or thick black sugar syrup and a "dry-ish sweet" herbal and chewy palate as a result of hops and roasted malts, before a quite aromatic aftertaste manifests itself that is reminiscent of burned walnuts mixed with coffee-flavoured toffee and raisins (or, like a burned, coffee-flavoured oatmeal biscuit with raisins and walnut bits inside?); at times, very light earthy bitterness of English hops seems to creep up and chase other flavour elements. Quite dry and bitter in the end (albeit not so much as the cask version) as much as lingeringly sour dark-fruity - just what one needs in a Porter...
M&D: a pretty moderate but reasonably delicious offering from Harveys in the bottled range, which is not fizzy at all and very well catered for during the bottling process, I think. Overall, this is a smooth, full-bodied, dry-ish Porter with a truly outstanding balance that I personally fancy a lot! If you're around Sussex in March, don't forget look out for the seasonal, cask version though.

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Photo of Ralphus
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many Canadians are lucky to have a strong market for imports despite our limited population and large geographic dispersion. Harvey's porter is a good example of this - the last 10 reviews are from north of the border, in particular Ontario. My bottled sample is 500ml in size and looks just as dark as the beer itself.

There is some lacing here but the smell is somewhat muted. The beer though, is full of taste. Dark roasted malts, raisins, chocolate and coffee. This is not a watered down brew in any sense. There is silky smoothness as well, lapping around your tongue with just a hint of carbonation.

This was a great find and one that I think would age well. Stocking up while its around is a good idea.

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Photo of bobsy
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful dark pour, with a tan colored head, which slowly diminishes, with attractive lacing. The aroma is not overly strong, but suggests caramel malts. Flavour has a nice bitter chocolate hit, swiftly followed by smooth caramel. The finish is heavy on roasted malt. A well-balanced job in the taste department. At first a little watery on the palate, but a muted carbonation stirs up some creaminess, and actually becomes quite pleasant. Overall, a solid, but not spectacular, porter.

Rerated after drinking a bottle that had been sitting for a few months. Vinous notes are beginning to appear in the flavour, and the texture seems even smoother. Its aging well.

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Photo of crwills
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not much stood out about this one until I tasted it -- dark brown, almost black pour, typical of the style. Mild malty aroma with hints of something darker, like maple syrup or molasses. Very low carbonation. The real surprise was in the flavour, where what struck me first (and throughout) was that it tasted like raisins. Lots and lots of raisins. Nobody else seemed to think so though. Anyway, in addition to the raisins, which I swear were there in droves, there was more dark malt, mild chocolate, hints of cappucino, and some fall-type fruits as well. Little hop presence to speak of, and a mild, slightly sweet aftertaste. Good, drinkable beer.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks pretty solid - dark, dark, dark mahogany with a rich creamy head leaving plenty of lace. Aromas of figs and cocoa and molasses come are prominent Flavour is coffee and green apple, with a moderate sweetness and a rich mouthfeel. Carbonation is very fine. Mouthfeel and drinkability is exceptional in this one. The flavour isn't especially heavy or in-your-face, which I take to be a good thing. Well balanced.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Chocolate & sweet coffee. No hops on the nose.

Looks: Dark brown. Average sized beige head. Poor head retention. Good lace.

Taste: Dark chocolate, coffee, Tim Horton's Ice cap with chocolate milk in it. Very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-full bodied. Slightly lower than average carbonation.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Jerc: Poured a deep black color porter with a small foamy head with limited retention and no lacing. Aroma of roasted bitter malt with some light dry coffee notes. Taste is also dominated by some roasted coffee notes with some light sweet notes. Body is very average with some medium to low carbonation. No a lot of complexity in this beer but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of sstackho
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto for $3.70. Pours a black with a smal brown head that dissipates quickly. Roasted malt aroma, but not overly strong. First taste is very nice - thick and oatmealy. Stays a treat all the way down with its nice thick feel.

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Photo of TerryW
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark with a surprisingly short head, but it does give up a lot of lace top to bottom.

Fruit and malt most noticeable in the nose, some molasses and grass. Pleasant, but not a very distinct aroma.

First mouthful was very metallic, but then settled down to bitterness and chalk. Taste profile very similar to aroma. Some molasses and chocolate, and again, not a dominating presence. Overall mouthfeel is quite thin. Dry lingering finish.

Well made, but there's better examples out there.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly black ruby color. The frothy tan cap lasts a very short while but leaves spectacular sheets of lace on the glass. The aroma is pleasantly roasty and bitter sweet. It smells like dark chocolate was actually added to this beer, a good sign for porters. The taste follows suite with great roasted, faintly astringent black malt flavors melding with lots of dark chocolate and some butterscotch. Slightly smokey and leathery flavors emerge as the beer warms. The finish is moderately bitter with a slight sourness. The mouthfeel is light and flawlessly carbonated, its like velvet on my tongue.

This is a good porter, try it.

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Photo of Mindsquall
2.42/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Being one who enjoys visiting the "Dark Side" when it comes to Beer I thought I'd give this a go. Unfortunately it did not meet my expectations. On the pour it looked nice, perfect black, but no head. Smell was not too bad, roasty, very roasty. Taste however was cloyingly sweet, and the aroma was completely of molasses. I'm not one to sit here and bash a beer, but honestly this tasted like diluted molasses and alcohol.

This was not particularly enjoyable, and in my opinion this is one to avoid.

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

Black away from light, but with fiery auburn highlights to the light. No real head, less the tanned outer trim. Always opaque. A suddy scum of lacing.

The aroma is full of green fresh bark and pine, dark roasted malts, a hint of smoke, dark over-ripe field berries (black berries and currants) and light notes of anise and dates. Wonderful but (typically UK style) modest.

Carbonation is low and bitterness, while light, lingers for some time. The flavours mimic aroma exactly with roasted chocolate, dense malts, currants, dates, and most of strong blackberry. Tons of dried fruit and green pine.

I found this to be a wonderful porter. Lovely and quite interesting. It seemed to borrow a lot from the Baltic porters. The ripe taste of blackberries added more dimension to the dark roast profile. I wish I had the recipe, well done!

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Photo of pootz
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 liter pasteurized bottle date coded as being bottled 4 weeks ago.

The decant puts a dark chestnut ale in the glass with some ruby highlights, 1 finger thick mocha colored cap that lasts and laces.

Aroma is dried fruits and coffee/cocoa, some molasses and a wisp of grassyness.

Oleo mouth feel, sturdy body, rich roasted and crystal malt spine.

The dried fruits do not carry into the flavor which is rich with rich roast coffee-dark coca flavor profile, oily palate makes the great roastiness "cling"....light hint of sweetness from the crystal but overall the roasted grains dominate...finish is lightly astringent with hop and charred husk...very pleasant, well balanced and incredibly drinkable.

Easily one of the top 3 London porters

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Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was looking forward to trying this porter but ended up a little disappointed. It just doesn't stand out in any fashion. Harveys Porter pours with a medium sized off white head that is lacking retention and lacing. Has a dark brown bordering black color.

Smells of fruits, light roasted malts and thats about all I could pick up from this rather laid back porter.

Tastes of fruits, a bit of sourness ( but not to the point of it being out of place), a light bitterness and sweet roasted malt. I have already forgotten about this beer.

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Photo of shamus
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'll have to review this one another time as I have a cold coming on. For the time being I would say this: it poured flat and tastes flat. Not much smell (but I do have that cold). It tastes fine.Bitter and chalky aftertaste with a smooth foretaste. I'm ready to give this one another chance when my palette is more functional.

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Photo of Viggo
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown, thick tan head forms, big bubbles, lots of sticky lace, thick layer is retained. Smell is sweet and malty, lots of oats, cereal, some chocolate, roast, caramel, nice graininess, not bad. Taste is neat, sweet malt, licorice, some chocolate roast, caramel, and grains, oats, some iron, nice malty finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, goes down smooth. Not my favourite style of porter but very drinkable and well done.

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with creamy head. All five grains: rye, barley, spelt, oats. Aroma of mollasses and woody as well as multi-grainy band roast. Substantive mouthfeel. Sweetish yet classic porter. Drinkable and serviceable but I could not have pint after pint becuase of the roast and sweet spot.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque, black. A thin tan head covers the surface initially then fades, the lacing remains in the short term. Smells of licorice, root beer, feint coffee liqueur. In the mouth there is bitter dark chocolate, nicely balanced bitterness. Dry malty aftertaste is quite tasty and invites you back with lingering dark-chocolate bitter sweetness. I thought the finish was elegant. My only criticism is that I found it a bit flat when half way through the glass and that detrracted from the overall score. Still, I quite enjoyed this and would recommend it.

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Photo of Derek
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before JUN08.

A: Black with a little tan head, some retention & lacing.

S: Roasted grain aroma with hints of chocolate, nuts, dark bread and brown sugar.

T: Certainly roasty, but not a whole lot of flavour: grainy, coffee, dark chocolate, slight molases and a hint of fruity esters. Perhaps a little oxidation (flat, cardboard flavour).

M: Light to moderate body is smooth, with carbonation on the lower side of moderate.

D: Very approachable, but not very enticing.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black. Brownish/white head, looks almost yeasty. Fairly thin lacings. At first pour it looks quite fizzy with bubbles climbing up the side of my pint glass.

Alot of dark, fruity malt on the nose, vinous with a good deal of caramel sweetness hanging around in the background. Alcohol is certainly noticeable by the nose.

You get your dark, roasted flavour but it seemed very light on the burnt bitterness. I have a tough time identifying tastes as the usual chocolate and coffee flavours are there but not as up front as many other porters or stouts. In the end I found it very bready with some of that caramel sweetness mentioned before.

Went down very creamy, low carbonation and a light, but satisfying finish. What I would give to have this lovely porter on cask. Mmmm.

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

Very dark brown with a medium sized brown head. Aroma of port, dark fruits, cocoa, and perhaps a touch of molasses. Flavor is very vinous, the port character present in the nose is definitely present in the flavor as well. Prune, raisin, and dark chocolate are present as well. Smooth, slick mouthfeel with mild carbonation. Outstanding.

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Photo of stcules
2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black, with a scarce brownish head. But ok for the style.
At the smell dark notes, with hazelnut, dusty chocolate, but also a quite strange strong cherry.
The taste is more smooth and dusty. The fruitiness is more subdued. Strong notes of cocoa, and even some light burned.
After some while, even the smell fruitiness goes down.
Roasted and burnt aftertaste, but again even cherry and dry fruits. A very long aftertaste, with a light acidity too.
Light in body.

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Porter from Harvey's Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 32 ratings