Praying Mantis Porter | The Hartford Better Beer Co.

23 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Praying Mantis PorterPraying Mantis Porter

Brewed by:
The Hartford Better Beer Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The water chemistry provides mineral flavor and body to complement the complex malt and hop ingredients that are drawn from the best of European and U.S. Pacific Northwest strains as sources as well as the time-honored process of traditional brewing techniques. The mineral factor influences the key brewing steps: mashing, sparging, boiling, fermenting and conditioning. Imported from England, the malt bill includes 2-row Pale Ale Barley Malt, Chocolate Barley Malt lively Yorkshire-origin Ringwood culture (a top-fermenting "ale" yeast) is used to ferment the beer.

Added by Billolick on 07-16-2007

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by Adlar2789:
Photo of Adlar2789
3/5  rDev -16.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, w/o freshness/brewing date info, techno bug motif on the label. Pours near black, with a dark tan creamy head, long lasting and splotchy, leaves nice amounts of splattered and scattered lacing. Nose is boldly of chocolate malts and smokey, burnt grains, nice. Full flavor porter. Very pleasing and easy drinking. mouthfeel is smooth and silky. More chocolate, then coffee, dark malts, vanilla and a subtle fruityness. Hops are present late to add a drying note. Nicely done, fine sessioner or would wash done a BBQ quite well.

 537 characters

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Named for Connecticut's state insect. Label looks like it was done on a desktop printer.

Deep mahogany colored with ruby highlights, a big frothy beige head rises three inches up and over the top of the glass and onto the floor.

Aroma of faint cocoa and talc.

Flavor of roasted malt, cocoa and coffee, some cherry notes, a bit of smoke. Serve at cellar temperature, this one seems to open up a bit as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, somewhat watery. Finishes dry.

Fairly drinkable, but just above average.

 513 characters

Photo of jefftuck47
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of grahuba
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of bgjohnston
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer in a couple of ways. First off, when poured into my snifter, it became the first ever 12 oz beer to fill it entirely with foam when the head formed. Dark chocolate color, and good carbonation until the last sip. Smell was sweet with a hint of hoppy sharpness.

Second, it had a very solid sweet malty backbone. Not too much for the style, in my opinion, but it just sang out from underneath the chocolate spiciness that it started out with, finishing slightly sweet. A fine, very drinkable porter when you are in the mood for the style.

Third, at less than $8/6-pack, it was good value for the money.

 641 characters

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Willimantic Brewpub, Willimantic, CT.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger off white head. There was good retention and decent lacing.

The smell featured a roasted malt and some lactose.

The taste consisted of an upfront roasted malt as expected, followed by a lingering lactose toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a good porter, but not as dry as I would have liked.

 420 characters

Photo of geexploitation
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a huge taupe head atop a very dark brown body that shows lighter shades only at its extreme edges. The nose is full of roasted and chocolate malts, some earthy English hops, and diacetyl. On the palate, bitter hops and malts, with a touch of sweet, raw alcohol first off, followed by a sour-and-diacetyl twinge at the mid-palate that's a tad unpleasant. The finish is pretty sweet, with a bit of mustiness. Mouthfeel is appropriate to style -- medium weight, fairly smooth with light carbonation. Overall, this is OK but not good. The malt bill seems right, but there are some obvious flaws in fermentation that detract from this beer's enjoyability.

 661 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty, a little creamy and a little smoky, with flavors of coffee, dark chocolate and a little dark fruit. There's a mild hops presence that provides a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer that's worth drinking for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

 770 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Explodes out of bottle and leaves a five+ finger light tan head that fades slowly, leaving a good lace. Totally black color. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is sweet roasted coffee/chocolate, well balanced, decent porter. $1.50 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT

 331 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of slim2043
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Halvey
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rorjets
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Duesler
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of steve8robin
2.94/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this at a beer judging event I helped serve at. 12oz bottle, best before 10/2012...

A: A very deep, super dark clear red that is so dark red that it's almost black. When held up to light, you clearly see the clear red. 1/2 in tan colored head that fades very quickly to small bubbles atop the brew. Eh.

S: Some sweet nuttiness upfront with some mild chocolate and vanilla quickly following. Some smoked malt on the backend. Decent.

T: A very watery mild malt taste upfront. This is followed up by a mild smoked malt and some mild vanilla. Maybe some mild cocoa too. Very mild porter. Usually the flavors are more pronounced. Eh.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A creamy watery finish. Decent.

O: All in all, what can I really say about Praying Mantis porter. Drink this is you like water and want to try a dark beer. Otherwise, if you like porters, this will hardly fulfill as this beer does not offer enough flavor to compete with any of the heavy hitters in the style.

 988 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a MH Circus Boy pint glass at Ditto's In Litchfield, Conn.

A: Poured a mahogany amber brown color with deep brown and ruby highlights. The fluffy two-finger head of wispy carbonation faded into a thin ring of lace.

S: Smells fairly roasty with a nice whiff of fruity ale aromas; apple, berry and a little cocoa powder.

T: Decent roasted malt flavor, but not enough black malt or dark roasting happened. A good sweet roasted blend of caramel and coffee beans with the added bitterness of dark chocolate. A mild grassy hop flavor tries to cut the slick malt mouthfeel near the finish but leaves it a little sticky.

M: Mouthfeel is full-bodied and a little sticky towards the end. Slightly creamy and pretty easy drinking.

D: I won't pull a homer here and say this is a great beer or even a good session porter. I will say that it's worth a shot and for those who like a sweeter, mellow malt poretr as opposed to aggressive coffee and dark roasted malts might find it pretty palatable. Unlikely to purchase a sixer for personal consumption but it's worth a shot.

 1,099 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate-caramel brown with cranberry-pumpkin highlights. The toasted ecru crown was on the large side following a louder than usual escape of CO2 on crown cracking. It looks pretty good, though, and is gracing the glass with splotchy patches of lace.

The nose is dominated by a dry chocolatiness and a modest amount of roasted malt. Hops aren't appreciated, but then that's never a sin in an American porter. There's no Ringwood yeast either, although it's supposed to be present.

Praying Mantis is an odd sort of porter. Not 'off the wall', just different somehow, in some less than obvious way. It has to be the Ringwood because all of the other ingredients are pretty standard. Malt: pale, chocolate and whole wheat. Hops: Willamette, Cascade and Tettnang.

I'm reminded of a sourish Irish dry stout with a Burton-on-Trent hard water character. The flavor profile includes baker's chocolate, black coffee, unripe fruit and a wee dab of butter. Although it isn't bad, the various flavors and flavor sensations (sweet, bitter, sour) clash rather than meld into a unified whole.

The mouthfeel favors the light end of the light-medium spectrum and is too energetically bubbled. The fact that it settles down in the bottom half of the bottle allows an average score to be granted.

Praying Mantis Porter is more interesting than it is good and is nothing that I feel like losing my head over (that's a praying mantis sex joke, by the way). Buy a single before springing for an entire six-pack.

 1,496 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a thinnish-looking, dark brown body with an explosively fizzy, light beige head.

Smell: Light chocolate maltiness with a tart-smelling, fruity cherry scent.

Taste: Semi-sweet chocolate and caramel flavors with a touch of roast. Light fruitiness. There's never more than a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Inordinately high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's okay; one of those beers that could've been worse but also could've been far, far better.

 491 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of zanthus
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%

Praying Mantis Porter from The Hartford Better Beer Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 23 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.