Mangalitsa Pig Porter
Right Brain Brewery

Mangalitsa Pig PorterMangalitsa Pig Porter
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Porter - American
Ranked #132
Ranked #11,979
3.98 | pDev: 10.3%
Right Brain Brewery
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Mangalitsa Pig PorterMangalitsa Pig Porter
Notes: A rich, chocolaty porter brewed with real smoked Mangalitsa pig heads and bones. Not for vegetarians! 2011 Gold Medal Winner for Best Experimental Beer at the Great American Beer Festival®.
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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oberon from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/31/2016.Some age to this bottle but I'am sure this aged well.Pours a deep mahogany with a creamy thinner deep beige head that leaves spotty lace as it settles.Chocolate,brown sugar,and a light salty almost brine like quality,a little different but not bad.A very interesting palate with chocolate standing out most up front with some molasses lending more sweetness,the subtle smoke comes thru more as it warms,again I get a little salt with the smoke like pork should be.Wow what an intriguing beer,it's really 'meaty' lightly smoky with a good amount of chocolate thrown it.Glad I tried it.

May 24, 2018
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you're at Right Brain, and Mangalista Pig Porter is on tap, you have to try it, right? Deep and rich brown in color with a mocha head. Aroma is roasty, salty, and piggy. Cured pork is on the nose. The taste is much more than that, delicious and smooth roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, char, and smoke combine. Great ale.

Jul 26, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only a brewery that celebrates half of a brain would attempt to put their money where their pork is. The toasty and chocolaty porter that boasts all the wonderful pieces and part of head cheese is sure to win over fans of both savory and sweet.

Solidly brown and carrying a creamy sandy froth, the porter sings with toast, chocolate, nut, coffee and sweet mesquite praise. With its malt sweetness coating the front of the tongue, the beer's sweeter side takes hold with toffee, caramel, honey and biscuit sweetness.

Washing the middle palate, the beer's sweet side is steadfast, lessening only enough to make room for meaty smoke flavor to weave its way to the tastebuds, bringing is sweet, smoky and savory flavors that lurks behind the earthy taste of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, toasted pecan and a starchy grain backbone.

Being a porter first and an 'addition' beer secondary, the porter is medium-full with a rounded, soft palate- modestly warm in finish with the masculine whimsy of smoke and grilled meats floating gently above the palate with no hint of char or ash. For the adventurous palate the porter is just like drinking a chocolate dipped pork chop!

Feb 18, 2016
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jp32 from Michigan

4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Black in color with very little head retention. Looks to be on the thin side.

Smell: Roasted malts. Saltwater taffy. Syrup. Chocolate. Alcohol. Roasted and smoked malts.

Taste : Rich, roasted malts with a hint of smoke and ham hock. Something salty is present. Im wondering if thats the smoked pork heads I'm noticing.

Mouthfeel is average for a porter, thin to medium bodied for the style, however this creates a better drinkability for this loud tasting beer.

Excellent beer. I'd like to taste more pork/bacon in it next time.

Feb 16, 2016
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on draft, in a small snifter. Looks like used motor oil - black as can be, no head.

Aroma is definitely smokey, a bit roasty. Same with taste, but different than other smoked beers. Body is very thick and viscous. Interesting, well executed to be more than a gimmick.

Aug 15, 2015
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DMarlinJ from Michigan

4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's really a great smoked porter. Not overpowered by smokiness, lingers nicely but clears from the pallet without any acrid bitterness like some smoked beers. Overall a fun and unique beer.

Jul 20, 2015
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #89 (June 2014):

Smoke, Meaty, Roasted, Treat

Smoked pig heads and bones, yes ... in a beer. No question at all that this is a damn good porter though with the addition of swine it bring this beer to another dimension. Meat smokiness rather than smoked malt bounces off some sweetness, modest hopping keeps the balance. Very unique.

STYLE: American Porter | ABV: 6.6% | AVAILABILITY: Rotating

Jul 07, 2015
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stortore from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours dark and opaque, with a small head, some lacing. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate. Pretty smoky, and it does kind of smell like a bbq, not like a campfire or something. Gets meaty when fully warmed. Taste follows the nose with the malts and the smokiness, less so with the chocolate. It's salty, no doubt, but I guess ham usually is, too. A little bitterness on the back end. Nice body for the ABV, pretty smooth, well carbonated.

This is a good porter, tasty and somewhat different. The pig parts were mostly noticeable in the smell, for me. Good offering from Right Brain, that's worth a try.

Jun 18, 2015
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, dark bread, wood smoke, light salt, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and smoky/salty pig part notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, caramel, molasses, toffee, dark bread, wood smoke, light char, light salt, and roast/smokey earthiness. Good amount of roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, caramel, toffee, dark bread, wood smoke, light char, and roast/smoky earthiness on the finish for a while. Outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and smokey/salty pig part flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome smoked porter style. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/roasted malt and smokey/salty pig part flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

May 16, 2015
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Bung from Michigan

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My batch said 7.0%. There was some faint beachwood like smoke to me. Mostly porter characteristics, but there appears to be a trend upward for this one. A little pricey however, but I suppose that is also a trend.

May 15, 2015
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer was a deep brownish-black color with a mocha color head. Little lacing was left on the sides of the glass.

Smell - The smoke is the most outstanding portion of the aroma. The "pig parts" are noted and make me wish I was eating some form of smoked pig. OT, this beer probably is not vegan friendly.

Taste - At the front, I detect the chocolate malts of a porter, with the acidity of the smoke lingering in the background. The smoke taste literally seems to comes in patches, being stronger at some times more than others. Toward the aftertaste the saltiness of the pork comes through. Of course, this beer is probably not kosher. I find myself wishing all of the elements of the taste were a little more potent.

Mouthfeel - More than anything the saltiness of porter lingers in the mouthfeel. The porter is reasonably thick, so I find it odd that salt is most present in the tongue coating.

Overall - Of course, this is a novel beer. I have had it once. I am not sure I need to have it again.

Jun 14, 2014
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Nice khaki head. Thick collar.

Smell - Nice smokiness. Kinda creamy? Hard to describe. Dark roasted malt. I swear it smells fatty.

Taste - Deep dark roast. Smokey dark malts. Small amount of sweetness. It's meaty. Again, I swear it tastes fatty. Slick, lingering bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick body. Oily finish. Nice smoke, but it adds a bitterness.

Overall - It must be power of suggestion, but I really do taste fat. It helps bein out a great smokey meatiness.

May 26, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Split with rudzud, thanks for getting it.

Pours a decent dark fizzy fluffy head, fades at a med pace, little lacing, decent legs, very dark hint of brown murky color.

Little smoke, smoked malt, campfire, into roasted malt, and black malt, dark acrid roast, has that rendered burnt pig fat, little choc in the background.

Taste creamy smoke, dry powdered cocoa, into roast, burnt black malt, etc. Then smoked pig fat, again that pig fat that rendered and dropped onto the campfire coals and burnt into smoke, decent campfire smoky quality. Little charred pig skin, as well as mild mineral note like bone essence. Creamy porter. Finish is dry but creamy, little smoke and light piggy notes, bit more choc too.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, little creamy, nice carb.

Overall really interesting, nice base beer, really interesting pig notes with campfire and smoked pig fat dripping on the coals, and nice balance of the beer too.

May 25, 2014
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a super dark motor oil hue with s thin mocha head that levees a nice blanket.

S - Aromas of chocolate in the background, roasted malts and smoke. Like a nice pig fat dripping into a fire. Very neat and a great example of something fun, well executed.

T - Taste is chocolate, roast malts, more of that fatty pig roast and flames. Very impressive, piggy awesomeness.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated creamy, very easy drinking though I couldn't do more than a pint.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, nice and impressive.

May 23, 2014
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andrewjraab from Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brewed with REAL pig Heads....This was a really interesting novelty brew to say the least.. Really nice looking brew - pitch black with a mocha head. Smells delightful - chocolate, malts, smokey, alcohol present, slightly disappointed I didn't smell bacon. Taste follows suit except the smoke comes to the forefront.

Nice creative brew., I would definitely love to know how the pig heads were used and how that was sanitary, but this was a good beer overall.

Nov 08, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear dark crimson brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight smoke, and some earthy aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is definitely interesting but isn't executed very well in my opinion.

Mar 11, 2013
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jesse1303 from Michigan

4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great tasting beer if you can get over the hype of the pig in it...

a- pours very dark and head dissipates quickly
s- smoky aroma and i failed to pick up much 'meat' as talked about here
t- great on the palate, light but retaining rich savory qualities added to a typical stout experience
m- light and crisp, a bit of a buttery feel but that passed quickly

Feb 19, 2013
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TheConnMan from Michigan

4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber, poured into a tulip

A: black, amber fringes. Small lasting head, significant lacing

S: roasted coffee and nuts, strong malt and a hint of chocolate. Hints of salted, cured meats, but maybe I'm imagining that.

T: Similar roasted notes from the nose, follows with a very subtle sweetness and finishes with a slight bitterness. Nice strong tastes, without leaning towards either sweet or bitter, like most porters choose between.

M: heavy mouthfeel that gives the beer a great deal of substance, balanced by mild carbonation and a smooth creaminess.

O: A great aggressively flavored porter, a thick meaty beer you can really sink your teeth into. Really glad I was able to get some as right brain just started distributing here.

Feb 10, 2013
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StoutHunter from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got a couple bottles of Right Brain's Mangalitsa Pig Porter from my friend Ben, which he got directly from the Brewery, thanks a lot Ben. I have had this beer on draft at the brewery before, but since they started to bottle it I thought I should sit down and review a bottle, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, I think it's a couple months old. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, the bright pink label is pretty eye catching and it has some nice information about this beer on the label, I like it, it for sure sticks out. It poured a lighter black color that is almost like a really dark brown color and it didn't really let any light come through and it had three fingers worth of fluffy dark tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots of nice lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, the color was nice and the head was really good, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of medium sweetness followed by some dark roasted malts that have a pretty roasted aroma to it with some light charred aromas and a nice medium smokey aroma followed by some coffee and some nice dark chocolate aromas. Up next comes a little more of that medium smokey aroma followed by a slight smoked meat aroma that kind of reminds me of a good smoked ham, it's on the lighter side but it's noticeable and it blends well with the smokey and roasted malts. I thought this beer had a good aroma, the roasted malts were nice and the smoked meat aspect showed up just enough.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it started off with a lower amount of medium sweetness followed by a good amount of dark roasted malts that have a higher amount of roast to them with a slight char and a nice smokey flavor that has a slight smoked ham flavor to it that comes out more towards the finish. I also get some some nice and rich dark chocolate flavors with a real slight coffee flavor. On the finish there's a lower amount of medium bitterness with a nice charred/bitter coffee like finish with a roasted and lightly smokey aftertaste. This is a pretty good tasting beer, the smoked pork flavors were on the lighter side, but I would rather have that then have it be overwhelming, it's just the right amount and it works well with the Porter base, I enjoyed it.

M- Pretty smooth, rich, slightly creamy, very full bodied, with a good slightly lighter amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it worked well with this beer and it was one of the richest mouthfeel's I have encountered, I think the pig parts helped with that.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a good, unique, and really out of the box example of the style, the addition of the smoked pig parts didn't make this Porter unrecognizable, the nicely done Porter base shows up nicely and I think it's pretty well done. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little filling, and the flavors did a good job at holding my attention, I think splitting this bottle with some one is the way to go, but if I was really in the mood for this beer I could see drinking the whole bomber, I think it would be great beer to take to a summer bbq and I think it would go nicely with some bbq. What I liked the most about this beer was how good and balanced the taste was, the malt backbone was strong enough to hold up against the smoked pork and it made for a great combination that wasn't overwhelming in the least. There wasn't anything that I really disliked about this beer other then the fact that it isn't widely distributed. I would buy this beer again, it isn't something that I would drink all the time, but I think it would be nice to have one every once in a while and I think it would be a great beer to bring to bbq's. I recommend this beer to anyone who likes American Porters, especially if you don't mind a little smoke in your Porter's. All in all I was happy with this beer and it was just as good as I remember it being on draft at the brewery, which is always a good thing. On paper this can sound like a weird and intimating beer, but when you get down to it and drink it, it;s much more balanced than one would think and the flavors do a good job at complementing each other. Good Job Right Brain, you guys do a great job at putting out unusual beer and making them work, this a fine example of that and I think this beer deserves the gold medal that it won. Unusual, but nicely executed.

Jan 13, 2013
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flashmcduff from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap in the brewery. Poured deep brown with a thin copper head. Aroma was - not surprisingly - meaty. Flavor was more smoke than meat without tipping too much either way. This was bold and savory but still light upon the palate. I kept wanting to find something odd because of the pig content, but my fears went unfounded. This was a very good porter with a very interesting story.

Jan 23, 2012
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Schmittymack from Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery on Friday, Oct 7. Poured a jet black color with a nice tan head that quickly disapated. Aromas of smoke, roasted malt, and bacon. Taste was chocolate, malt goodness, some smoke, and just the right amount of bacon. Mouthfeel was just about perfect and the brew had just enough carbonation. To top it off, the beer was served cooler instead of ice cold so the flavor really came through. I had to have several and I wish I could've figured out how to get a growler of this back to Denver on the plane!

Oct 12, 2011
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MikeyRx from Michigan

4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From my taproom notes on 8/29/11.

A- Pours black with rich tan head, left lacing at first but then dissipated completely.

S- Aromas of smokey barbeque, roasted malt and bacon.

T- Rich roasted & chocolate malts, hint of smokiness, and finishes with the subtle but unmistakable taste of bacon.

M- Moderate in body with minimal carbonation, very smooth with a dry finish.

I expected a smoky, overpowering bbq in my mouth, but this interesting brew was very balanced. I was impressed once again by RBB's execution of an adventurous beer. Delicious paired with cherry tomatoes, and try mixing 50/50 with the Firestarter Chipotle Porter for a pig and pepper explosion!

Sep 12, 2011
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oline73 from Maryland

3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: Pours Black with very little tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Very nice, best part of this beer. Smells smokey like bbq, which isn't a surprise since they brewed this using actual smoked pig pieces. There is some roast in there as well.

Taste: Not as smokey as I expected. Some bacon and smoke flavor along with roast, dark chocolate, and a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I expected more smoke in the taste, but it was a nice porter otherwise. I might have another given the chance.

Sep 07, 2011
Mangalitsa Pig Porter from Right Brain Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 97 ratings