Propeller London Style Porter | Propeller Brewery

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Propeller London Style PorterPropeller London Style Porter

Brewed by:
Propeller Brewery
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer style was created in the mid-1750's. A dark full-flavoured beer but smoother and less bitter than stout. Made with softened water, Propeller London Porter is a blend of pale, roasted and chocolate malts, hopped with English and North American varieties.

Porter was the drink of the masses long before lagers or modern ales were fashionable. The name Porter originated because this strong, nourishing drink was reputed to be the favourite beverage of the hard working porters of London's Covent Gardens.

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39 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-02-2002

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 101
Photo of Buebie
3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I picked up this brown 22 ounce bomber at a Halifax NSLC in the beginning of July, just now cracking it.

Poured into a pint glass, produceing a 2 inch tan head. The retention on this beer is kwality! 10 minutes after pouring, it has a half inch still sitting here, totally impressed.
Color is black, no light penetration.

Aroma of dark fruit, roasted grains, mild chocolate, toasted nuts and a slite peanut butter resemblence, as well as just a bit of dark roast coffee beans.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin with an abundance of carbonation bite.
Taste produces some of that dark fruity flavors detected in aroma. mild chocolate grains, a bit of wood, a touch of cereal grains and burnt caramel. Balance is good, without too much of one thing going on, its roasty but not overdone like some porters.
Annoying amounts of black licorice and molasses flavors showed up as this thing warmed.

A textbook example of the style, but not any one thing that really stands out allowing this one to shine through the pack.
Still, by no means a bad beer.

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Photo of Kooz
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife brought me a 650ml bottle from her trip to Nova Scotia. I was pretty excited to tap it because the bottle was pretty big and that meant I'd get extra beer!

Regular pour presented a dark brown, almost opaque porter. Not as dark as some, but pretty nice. The one inch head disappeared pretty quickly, with no lacing.

It smelled of over-toased, almost burnt coffee beans. Not in a bad way, mind you.

Taste is about the same as the smell, so it's petty good. A bit harsh right up front, but eases out after a few sips.

I could drink this--not too many, but certainly a few.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring into a pint glass results in a black ale with two fingers of chocolaty head. Head quickly evaporated to a small covering on top. No real lacing going on.

Smell is a light, through rich, sweetness, with some faint coffee flavors at the end.

The taste actually starts out with a bit of bite. Kinda reminds me of carbonation, but in a quick burst and not quite as bubbly. A subtle sourness comes next, but is brief. Finally, there is a coffee flavoring, which lingers in the mouth after you finish your swallow.

Overall, it is a solid and smooth and fairly normal porter.

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Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is black spare some isolated shreds of red-violet. It is wholly opaque less of course those shimmery, colourful scrapes (which even to the light amount to no more than accenting). Its head, a very dingy tone of tarnished white, is thin and appears quite debilitated. Apparently it isn't, as the peppered shotgun-spray remnants would attest.

The aroma is like a rich cocoa-bean laced chocolate that was macerated in cold coffee and then steeped in a smokehouse for a few days. All desirable elements -sweet, bitter, roasty- can be accounted for by nose alone. That little ounce of smoke is a flattering touch and the presence of both coffee and cocoa beans can be considered vivid.

This may be a porter but it has all the thick and hearty characteristics of a stout. The taste is roasty and bittersweet, just as it should be. Flavour specifics include finely conched milk chocolate, coffee grinds, chocolate muffins and a handful of caramelized almonds. If traditional English Porters come any tastier than this I've yet to find that out.

The beer drinks fantastically. The carbonation is just a little lower than what would be typical for other ales, good thing because it allows all the sooty, roasty, bittersweet aftertastes to linger uninterruptedly. Its element of roast is just right - any more and it would have detracted from flavour; any less and this wouldn't have enough character.

It would seem Propeller must have treated their water as well; the texture is coarse and very mineral-y. The beer is hearty but not heavy on the stomach - I'm actually anxious for the second half of this bottle. The way that bitter and sweet have been fused amidst this roasty, sooty mouthfeel is the sign of an experienced, talented brewmaster.

And presumably a worldly one too. Not many people outside the UK make traditional, true to style porters that can stack up against the old-world originals. Along with Fuller's London Porter, Propeller's is arguably the best example of the style that comes to my mind. The ideal, complete beer fridge would definitely have bombers of this stocked on its shelves.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle courtesy of Bobsy, a good fellow! Pours a dark brown with some lightish milky chocolate head.

Nose is chocolates with a dose of roasted malts, lighter than your average porter I would say and lacking the smokey elements I'm looking for.

Really a clean, drinkable porter if not a touch on the light side of the spectrum. Lots of milk chocolate, hints of brewed coffee, roasted malts (again, not as bold or prominent as your bigger porters) but all of this adds up to a drinkable beer that I could enjoy on most any occasion including on this humid warm evening on the balcony. Lacking any real smokiness.

Smooth carbonation, light-ish body but yet enough flavor to enjoy - a solid East Coast beer in my books.

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Photo of bobsy
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once upon a time this beer was in Canada's top 25, and on that basis I've wanted to try it for a long while. A big thanks to Dave for sending me a bomber. Everything about this beer is classic porter without pushing any boundaries. Its very solid, but not in the top tier for the style, and probably not something I'd buy too often if it was readily available. Pours a very dark bown with a small tan head. Decent retention and a touch of lace. Aroma of weak coffee, smoke and anise is a touch muted. Not as much roast in the flavour as I would expect - quite light and sweet, with weak coffee (again) smoke (again), a touch of brown bread, chocolate and grass. Medium bodied, but with a very restrained carbonation, which seems to lighten the body. A good porter, but not one to seek out unless you're a big fan of the style.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up somewhere on the Eastern shores of Nova Scotia two days ago and enjoyed it at home in West Hill last night, it's about three weeks since it was bottled. Cola dark, tan one to two finger head, dense, leaves surface mostly covered with a solid ring and some lace. Low and steady carbonation under that dark brown surface. Smell is of chocolate biscotti biscuit with cocoa aromas. Measured bitterness, chocolate flavours, lightly hopped with a silky smooth mouthfeel and rich texture. But wait, there's more ... a bit of banana or lactose sweetness tucked in with some brazil nut astringency in the finish provides more depth to this English style Porter. Exceedingly drinkable, possibly the best Propeller beer I've been lucky enough to sample, next trip to Halifax I will definately visit the brewery very close to Purdy's Wharf.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Ludachris during his trip to Nova Scotia, thanks man.

Appearance - Unsurprisingly black with good signs of carbonation and poured with a solid thumb of head. However, this head doesn't seem to retain that well and looks a lot more air filled, then what I'd normally expect from a porter. It does lace quite well though.

Smell - Raisins and roasted malts dominate the nose, with small notes of berries and coffee although it does take quite a bit of warming to come out. It's still pretty solid though.

Taste - Starts with a toasted malt and grape flavor, but then the malt and grain flavor quickly turns into an almost charcoal like taste that you'd expect from burnt toast. Thankfully, it is balanced with a delicate hop presence that adds a bit of fruit to the mix.

Mouthfeel - The aftertaste of this beer is the same as eating burnt food, and it lingers for a long time. Also, the beer lacks the creaminess that most porters boast. The carbonation is decent though, that and it does transition between tastes decently, albeit to tastes I don't really enjoy.

Drinkability - Unsurprisingly the beer is quite heavy and while there are no bloating or gas issues, I would not say this one goes down that smoothly nor would I call it exceptionally refreshing. That being said, I do have to give it some leeway as it is a porter.

Final Thoughts - Well, it is a decent porter, but I'll be honest I've had better. That burnt flavor needs to be toned down and this beer certainly is going to need a nitro tap to aid it. I'm not a big fan of many darker beers, and when I do feel like them, there are simply better offerings then this one. It was worth a one shot deal, but that's it.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to mjohnston (again) for this DLD 09 in person trade...

Shared with pwoods - 22 ounce brown bomber.

Pours like a porter should. A rich, dark brown (almost black) with an average tan head. No lacing and average head retention.

Smells like a porter should! Roasted malts, various grains and traces of sweet lactose or creaminess.

Light flavored blend malts, like the nose. A fair amount of roast on these grains... Light and easy to drink, beyond it's almost menacing appearance. Light floral hops trail on this, as well.

Lighter bodied then I was expecting after seeing and smelling it. Almost watery in my mouth. I see this as a good crowd pleaser with no frills.

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Photo of pwoods
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this brew.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours deep brown, almost black, with just a touch of light on the edges. Decent head on the pour, somewhat frothy, with a bit of retention. Some decent lacing.

S: Light roasted malts. Some stale coffee and a touch of toffee. Maybe a hint of lactose.

T/M: Lightly roasted malts with the same stale coffee and light sweetness from the toffee. There's a small touchof lactose in the back. Body is medium with a light drying finish.

D: Low ABV and drinks real easy. Not bad at all.

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Photo of Deuane
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Henry House, Halifax, NS.

A-Deep, dark brown with subtle ruby highlights with a thick light tan head that holds on strong and leaves nice ringing lace.

S-A light wafting of roasted malt, a bit of coffee and some earthiness.

T-Roasted malt up front with touches dark chocolate, coffee and sweet caramel malt. Subtle hint of light smokiness in the finish.

M-Medium body with the incredible smoothness one expects from cask delivery. Good lasting flavours.

D-Above and beyond my expectations! A full-flavoured, smooth and rich brew that is mighty tasty, I am sure the cask delivery helps out quite a bit.

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Photo of KaiMiller
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, almost black, with dense slightly rocky tan head. Aroma is coffee, dark fruits, dark malt acidity. Hell of smooth in the mouth, like a chocolate milkshake. Tangy roasty malts. A rich medium body. Smooth smooth smooth. Perfect porter. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have this in my city.

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Photo of nighthawk
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, not quite opaque, with some hints of red at the edges of the glass. Couple of fingers of tan head dissipate to one finger's worth that sticks around. Smells like well-roasted grains, coffee, chocolate and slightly of alcohol. Tastes like caramel, toffee, chocolate, roasted grains with a slightly bitter finish. Alcohol pokes its head up here and there. Lightly carbonated, full bodied, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of charlesw
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well. That's a pretty darned good drink, I think. Nice and dark (not opaque). Beautiful thick foam about a finger high. And it's still a finger high. And it's still a finger high. And you get the picture. Doesn't really smell like much - like, well, like anything. As in, I can't smell it. Weird. What? Maybe a hint of earthiness. Certainly not a lot more than that. Tastes, well, like a porter. Sweet, bitter end, some dry chocolate. Some caramel malts, hints of burned things. But really mellow and sweet on all of that (except maybe the little bite to the bitterness). Good in the mouth and if I could get more I'd drink more!

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes: bomber bottle split amongst friends in downtown halifax, ns. This one pours dark cola brown with ruby edges. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, etc. Taste is heavy yet light almost akin to yuengling porter with the way the whole cocoa thing takes hold. A nice light porter with a good depth of roasted malt flavors and a slight young hop tinge in the back palate. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but it keeps the drinkability somewhat in check. An easy drankin' workin' mans porter.

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Photo of BigBry
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MMansfield for this 650 ml bottle.
Pours deep and dark color, opaque black, thin tan head that fades to a thin floating cap of foam. Thin sheets of lace coat the glass with each sip. Smells of bitter coffee, charred grain, and a bit of sweet malt. Roasted flavor, smoke, coffee, all malt, not much hoppiness to speak of in the mouthfeel. The aftertaste has a little hop bitterness to it.
Little carbonation keeps it smooth, almost like a cask ale. Full body, esy drinking, went down easy. I have been very impressed with all the Propeller beers I have been lucky enough to try, and this was no exception.

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Photo of markaberrant
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 3rd week of July, about 5 weeks ago.

A - opaque black, no head, just a few soapy bubbles

S - coffee intermingling with english hops, and a hint of sweetness

T - Not overly roasty, porter characteristics don't really show up until the aftertaste. Starts out with basic malt sweetness and no hop flavour. The aftertaste is excellent, with a nice bit of coffee and hop bitterness.

M - Lifeless, almost no carbonation, a little more would greatly improve the overall character. Body is decent for a session porter.

D - I'm giving it a 4, because I can tell that this would be great with more carbonation.

I received 2 bottles of Propeller to sample, and both were undercarbed. This is unfortunate, because the other reviews speak of wonderful, body, head, and lacing... all of which are completely missing from my bottles. This is still a good porter, but not outstanding.

Thanks to MMansfield for the bottle!

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Photo of BDTyre
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An overall decent porter, but not quite up to par.

Dark, roasted appearance with a thin, tan head. Sweet roasted malt, toffee and chocolate scents, Roasted taste, but with an odd-sweet corn syrup and rubber tire taste.

Carbonation is spot on, and this is not a bad brew. The strange rubbery taste is the only real downside.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A real dark porter with a dark tan head. This is both complex and very drinkable. The chocolate notes open up when the bottle warms up but the burnt flavours are held back in order to create a drinking porter. Lots of character in the main body but there is a light touch that increases the drinkability

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a shared bomber. From notes:

A: Black. Minimal head. Some ruby tint.

S: Perfect Porter nose. Stale malt. Some roast. Lactic.

T: Oat. Black malt. Sage. Strong coffee. Molasses.

MF. Middle weight. Drying. Gum-puckering.

D: Slow and easy. Great Porter flavor. Spot on.

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Photo of grub
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

one of my coworkers hooked me up with this and some other propeller goodies direct from the brewery. thanks deniz!

650ml bottle with a production date of the first week of february, so nice and fresh.

pours nearly opaque black with a big dense brown head. quickly drops to a layer on top of the glass, but leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. roasty. bit of dark chocolate. hint of sourness. big bready malt.

taste is good. bittersweet chocolate. roasty. touch of sourness. medium-low bitterness level. touch of alcohol. bready malt, but lighter than i expected from the aroma. the hint of sourness gives it a bit of a baltic slant, and the light bitterness also makes me think it leans towards english too.

mouthfeel is good. carbonation level is below average and well integrated. very smooth. body feels a little thinner than expected.

drinkability is good. fairly well balanced, but the alcohol is a touch more prominent than i expected for 5%abv. overall a nice and enjoyable porter.

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Photo of canadametal
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml Bomber from NSLC. Made the second week of November, making this beer one week old. Definitely on of my favourites from the Propeller camp. A smooth, creamy, session porter. Opaque black. 2 finger cap with very appealing dark tan colour. Beautiful lacing streaming down the glass to the very end. Exceptional flavour of roasted chocolate malts and coffee. A creamy mouthfeel with minimal yet apparent crisp. This beer is very well crafted and I'm fortunate to have easy access to all of the Propeller brands.

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Photo of Conrad
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Propeller!
A: Pours thick and dark, like Guiness. Head was medium thickness, but dense, and settled quickly, leaving pretty lacing that followed to the last sip.
S: Dry - no sweetness at all. Big chocolate, but the unsweetened baker's kind, not the candy bar kind. Heavy malt with coffee notes.
T: Up front - choclate followed by roasted malt. Very little hops presence. Then some gentle sweetness showed up when the drink warmed up a bit. Some complex flavours here that I can't put my finger on, but all are pleasant and fun to try and sort out.
M: Thick and creamy full body, as a porter should be. Medium effervesence that compliments the beer and does not get in the way of the taste.
D: Goes down smooth and easy. A taste treat. Wish I had more in the fridge.

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Photo of MMansfield
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle from Bishops Cellar, however, it's also available at the NSLC.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola colour with a nice sized tanned head. Very thick in body, head diminishes to nice lace.

Aroma: Strong roasted malts with breads, grass, chocolate, coffee and a slight smokeyness.

Taste: Strong smokeyness in the flavour, with bitter sweet chocolate as well as strong coffee notes. Not ovely hop heavy, taste is characterized by the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with a little carbonation. Pefect mouthfeel for this styled porter.

Final Statement: Took me a while to review this, mostly because I prefer my porters & stouts in the fall/winter months. Beautiful brew from Propeller, love the beer, love the company. Can't wait to bag a deer this fall and celebrate with a pint of Propeller Porter.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle shipped from Halifax thanks to mmansfield. Thanks! Poured into a pint glass.

Pours thick like motor oil (well maybe not quite, but there's lots of body). Opaque even when held to a light. A 1/8 inch head subsides quickly, leaves a slight lace on the top and around the glass. Smell is of unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and hefty roasted malt.

Taste is huge, the chocolate aspect of this beer is the first to hit your tongue, certainly not overly sweet, and very smooth. There's a faint caramel sweetness in the background, followed by the espresso. The hops certainly never take centre stage, but they form a serious backbone, and make themselves most evident in the finish and the aftertaste. Flavour-wise, nothing in the beer is unexpected, but it's done very well, and each one of the different aspects of this brew is very distinct on the palate and huge. Mouthfeel is extremely thick and hefty and creamy. There is a ton of malt in there. Carbonation is mild, but perfect for the style. This is a huge and dare I say manly brew that lends itself so well to this late fall evening watching an odd snowflake fall from the sky.... a wonderful sipping beer.

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Propeller London Style Porter from Propeller Brewery
3.9 out of 5 based on 101 ratings.
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