Penetration Porter
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Penetration PorterPenetration Porter
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Porter - Robust
Ranked #55
Ranked #27,594
3.81 | pDev: 7.87%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Penetration PorterPenetration Porter
Notes: This black in color porter has a roasty, caramel, low hop aroma. It has a lightly burnt malty taste with a medium dry finish. A clean refreshing porter.
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 127 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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DMarlinJ from Michigan

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, Mi.
Not much of a head by the time it arrived. Typical porter look and feel. Solid but underwhelming. Flavor not complex, actually light in chocolate, no coffee maybe a little spice heat? Overall ok but not a stand out.

Aug 08, 2015
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laituegonflable from Australia

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Tørst.

Pours a red-tinged dark brown colour. Head is beige, densely bubbled and retains thin crown with gorgeous swathes of lacing. Pretty amazing.

Chocolatey nose, lots of sweet caramel on there as well. Burnt sugar, toffee, touch of vanilla. Mild, bit subtle, but what's there is nice.

Taste is bit more roasty and meaty (not literally). Chocolate still dominant but with some dry roasted espresso, pepper and a hint of mild dried chilli. Manages to incorporate dry notes into an overall gently sweet palate. Very enjoyable.

Good body, feels it might be thin but then develops a good presence, finishes dry.

Good American porter. Sweet, dry and spicy all held in good balance. Honestly can't wait until my next chance to try more from this brewery, I guess in many, many years' time.

Aug 02, 2013
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TheBrewo from New York

4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served on draft at the Kuhnhenn Brewing Company taproom in Warren, Michigan. It arrived in a generic pint glass, glowing the deepest brown coloring. It held a one and a half finger tall head of light brown bubbles, showing nice retention into spotty lacing around the glass. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma gave big roast of coffee malts, with mixing base sweetness of milk chocolates and lightly toasted wheat bread. To balance were notes of vanilla extract coolness, the lightest grassy hops, raw brown sugar, dusty gravel, and general char. With warmth came cereal grain and the acidity of coffee. Our first impression was that the flavoring offered a great, even porter, with robust malt-forward flavoring, acidity, and burn. The taste opened with milky softness, grassy bite, baker’s yeast, burnt coffee, lavender florals, orange rind, white sugars, and roasty, melty toffee sugars. Moving to the peak was lactic sourness, continued raw coffee bite, chocolate malt sweetness, salts, drying yeast, pretzel dough, sesame seed, toffee, and molasses. The end came as a wash of white rice dryness, brown sugars, burnt popcorn, musty dryness, chocolate and tinny metallic bite, and a far off piney hop component. The aftertaste breathed of grassy and citric hops, pear fruitiness, dried straw, crystallized ginger, char of burnt ham skins, and that continued caramel and chalky chocolate and coffee malt base. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with eventual resiny and sticky astringency drying the entire mouth. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its flavoring. The general graininess alone told us that this guy was a great American porter, offering the right balance of crisp sweetness, roast, dark char, and smoothness. The help the cleanliness of the sip there was a cereal coolness on the back, adding to not only the final mix of taste, but to the evenness and silkiness of the flavoring. The nose showed equally as robust initiative, helping to keep both of the primary sense involved throughout. If you’re looking for a simple yet elegant take on the style, look no further.

May 25, 2013
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tectactoe from Michigan

3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Kuhnhenn Brewery in Warren. Pours nearly jet black, silky and sleek looking with a small, khaki-colored head. The nose is heavy on this one and very pleasing, giving off a huge roasted aromas; roasted malts, char, and light smoke. It hits the palate a little thinner than expected, but still pretty silky and smooth overall. Huge roasted taste covers all corners of the mouth as an intense toasted flavor comes alive. Nice, campfire-like roastiness with a light hint of smoke and charcoal to really send it home. Some sweetness comes into play about halfway through in the form of ripe, red grapes and red apple skins. As this one warms, I start picking up some notes of woodiness as well. Medium carbonation, thin-medium body, silky, but a little more thin than I was expecting based on the style and the appearance.

Very nice porter. Easily drinkable with a nice roasted, campfire profile. Light sweetness brings things around to balance out the slight bitterness from the smoke and char. Hops are hidden, but I don't miss them too much, here.

Jan 20, 2013
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This porter poured out in a typical fasion, The color was a deep brown with a nice tan head on it that laced pretty well. The aroma was lightly roasted and a little bit of sweetness too. The taste was a light roasted malts flavor with some very subtle hints of chocolate on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was about medium on this brew, it fit the style nicely i think.

May 06, 2011
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metter98 from New York

3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and poured with a thin off white head that left lacing down the edges of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and becomes a bit thicker as the beer warms up.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink but it doesn’t have an interesting enough taste that would make me want to have another.

May 03, 2011
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jrallen34 from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Week old growler that I picked up, drank from my De Struise glass... The body is a dark brown with amber notes, semi clear. A huge light an head great retention and lacing... The aroma is light and disappointing, not a ton going on. Light soapy hops, chocolate, a hint of alcohol. Not bad or offensive, just doesn't have me excited... The taste is similar to the nose, light roast, chocolate, a hint of soap, pretty good, not outstanding. This is un-offensive totally crushable porter, just too plain for me to be great.

I'd drink again but wouldn't go out of my way.

Feb 06, 2011
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

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

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a dark brown with a very slight off-white head that persists throughout. The nose is coffee, chocolate, and some roasted malt, leaning a bit toward the roast character in each. The taste is a bit over-roasted but has a nice dose of coffee. Same goes for the feel. Drinks fairly well in the end, as the flavors do meld a bit.

Nov 12, 2010
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semibaked from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft at the brewery into a pint glass

A - Pitch Black, virtually no head, looks almost flat.

S - Slight whiff of coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of chocolate

T - Surprised at how tasty this is given the fact the smell was ok, it has great sweetness mixed with roasted malts, great hoppiness in the middle, very well balanced.

M - Lighter than I thought it would be but not unpleasant at all.

D - Very High on the Drinkable scale, this is just a great tasting porter, right amount of everything, I wish I could have this more often.

Mar 19, 2010
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dudecandle from New York

3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black body with off-white head with good, long-holding cap and good lacing.

S: Not terribly much. Some light smoke, coffee, and some toasted grain.

T: Like the smell, very simple. The smoke and toasted aspects are the strongest. There's some good bittersweet chocolate, the bitterness of which may be a result of the coffee complement.

M: Medium-to-full body, nothing amazing, but respectable.

D: Boring, but good. It had all the basic necessary flavors for any standard porter, but really no extra kick. A bit of good dark fruit or hops might have gone a long way. At least they didn't overdo the smoke.

Jan 12, 2010
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plaid75 from New York

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

Poured a deep brown hue with a half finger foamy off white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light toasted malt with some sweetness and a touch of smoke.

The taste was a bot overly sweet for my taste in porters. Some roasted barley detected.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller and creamier side of the style.

Overall a good and hearty porter. Just a bit too sweet however.

Sep 11, 2009
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Penetration Porter is impenetrable by light. Its oily black body is sleek but dense and impermeable to any shimmer or shine or even the lightest glimpse of a highlight. This is black and opaque to and through. Its head, where it exists, is also compact and in many places has even fixated itself to the glass.

It took only one sniff to remind me of all that I love about American porters. The hops, the coffee, the chocolate. It is brimming with tropical leafy citrus as well as bitter, fresh-roasted coffee beans. Honestly, smelling the empty growler you would have thought it was filled with a big, ballsy, dry-hoped IPA.

Coffee would likely be the first (and most common) flavour to come to mind. The hops are still discernible, imparting a light citrus tang. Chocolate is another obvious candidate, a natural to fit to the robust malty roast. There's lots of black licorice too, especially in finish. There's enough diversity in flavour that it paired just as well with dinner's beef as it did dessert's ice cream cake.

The mouthfeel trails far behind the flavour in terms of heartiness. It falls substantially to the thin side and really doesn't have the "umph" to make the beer truly satisfying. On the same hand, it doesn't stop you from drinking plenty of it either. This is a sessionable porter, one that you won't tire of easily.

Boy, the Americans really took this style and made it their own; also making it much more interesting and gratifying in the process. I would take this hands down over most English offerings and have to say that I kept drawing parallels to the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter (which is largely hailed as best in class for the style).

To reiterate: it is chocolaty and roasty, citric and hoppy, delicious and endlessly drinkable - as the recently opened but already depleted growler attests. Basically, Penetration Porter has all the right parts in all the right places. Hey, this porter can thrust itself into my fridge anytime! Thanks ThatWineGuy!

Jul 13, 2009
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ThatWineGuy from Canada (ON)

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

Enjoyed yesterday at the brew pub. Dark cola, more like opaque, wispy tan head and thin sheet lacing. Solid bubbly ring. Carbonation on the light side. Smell is sweet, milk chocolate latte. Taste is sweet, caramel. chocolate, balanced acidity. Low bitterness makes it very palateable, slight sour notes here and there. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, dry finish with a hint of astringence. I liked it enough that I took a growler home.

Jul 11, 2009
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webmanspidey from Michigan

3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. FWIW, this is not a Baltic Porter, should be changed to American Porter.

Brown/black color, fairly well carbonated.. decent amount of head. The lingering characteristic I took away from this was its smokiness, something pretty unique for the style. It was pretty light in terms of strength, and medium bodied. I thought drinkability was excellent, and could have a few without issue.

Jun 09, 2009
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Pointman from Michigan

4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light head to nice cap.

Some say it is smoky coffee. I think it is a cigar flavor. Nutty too. Light hops and a chocolate finish. Very mice on the palate and zero alcohol burn.

I will admit that I have never been a big porter guy but this is oneto make me stand and say "I'll have a porter!"

This will now be on my beer menu at the brewpub.

Feb 09, 2008
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letsgopens from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewery, this Baltic pours all opaque black with no real highlights. The creamy lighter head recedes to a frothy cap. Very nice lacing around the glass.

The aroma is of toasty bread, cocoa, and some toffee. Not too terrible pronounced but conducive to the style.

Milky and sweet in flavor with some notes of bitter cocoa and raw milk. A dull but comforting smokiness is present. Caramel and some light leafy hops. Also a hint of nuttiness along with roasted malt in the finish.

The flavor and mouthfeel intensify and improve as the brew warms a bit. Velvety and creamy with a bit of natural carbonation. Very enjoyable.

Aug 01, 2007
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the brewpub on the way down to Dark Lord Day.

Pours a hazy red/brown, more red, thick tan head, nice lacing, good retention, I thought a bit light in colour for a porter. Smell is sweet, lots of caramel, citrus, some chocolate roast, some coffee, bit of sourness in the finish, not too bad. Taste is vanilla and caramel, roasty chocolate, cherry, kind of nutty, bit light. Mouthfeel is light bodied, slightly thinner than I like, medium carbonation, a tad too high. Not a bad porter, pretty drinkable, but not ideal.

Jun 07, 2007
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grub from Canada (ON)

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at the brewpub on friday.

pours deep reddish brown with a big dense tan head that drops slowly and leaves tons of lace.

aroma is good. roasty. bit of yeast. big bread and biscuit malts. hint of alcohol. bit of dark chocolate. grapefruit and oranges.

taste is nice. roast. bittersweet chocolate. cocoa. light toffee sweetness. yeast. med-low bitterness level. a bit nutty. grapefruit and orange.

mouthfeel is good. when it was cold it felt a bit thin, but it filled out nicely as it warmed. medium carbonation level feels a bit high. i think this was better in my growler sample the next day, since it was a little warmer and a touch ligher carbonated.

drinkability is good. the citrus from the PNW hops is something different. it was a little odd at first, but i kind of liked it. well balanced and enjoyable.

May 02, 2007
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Mitchster from Michigan

2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Listed as a Baltic Porter, but not. Don't expect one. Given it's 5.9% ABV, it should be obvious. Described on the menu as "An American Robust Porter". Pours to a near black, forming a light tan head with good retention. Aroma is interesting and something I've not picked up in a porter before...believe me when I say I smell grassy manure here. Intermingled with soap, peat, and light coffee. Odd. Mouthfeel is brisk with a hoppy acidity. Mild soap in the finish with roasted grains playing a smaller part than the hops. Almost too hoppy for the style. Sharp, burnt mouthfeel and almost sour. A wierd beer, and not in a good way.

Apr 27, 2007
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DrJay from Texas

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

Enjoyed at the brewpub.

My pint arrived with a moderate-sized tan head that produced some chunky lacing. The beer beneath was a very dark brown with faint mahogany highlights. Aromas of dry cocoa, roast, burnt malt, and mild pine mingled together very well. There was a light lactic sourness to the flavour, along with burnt and semi-sweet chocolate notes. Bitterness was restrained and there was just a bit of pine running through the middle. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, a bit grainy with some dryness. A solid porter, quite tasty.

Apr 04, 2007
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brentk56 from North Carolina

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

Appearance: Arrives with a coffee brown color and a beige head that leaves dribbles of lace down the side of the glass

Smell: Chocolate and grain aromas

Taste: Chocolate and dark fruit up front; a touch sour after the swallow and the sour fruit flavors continue to emerge through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice blend of fruity and chocolate flavors

Oct 08, 2006
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Derek from Canada (BC)

3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled at the brewery.

A: Black with plenty of off-white head, leaves lots of lace.

S: Strangely sour aroma.

T: Chocolate, sour cherries, nice rounded fruityness but too sour. Alcohol was very subtle, didn't seem very 'Baltic'.

M: Creamy, moderate to full body; Light to moderate carbonation.

D: Average.

Aug 12, 2006
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Porter on nitro-tap at the brewery. Deep brown colour. Sourish, as part of the style. Light body. 5.9% was this batch.Molasses, some spices. Well malted, and drinkable. Creaminess, roastiness, bittersweet chocolate,coffee nuttiness, a fine porter. Drying finish.

Jun 28, 2006
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bozebus17 from Michigan

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

Pours a very dark brown yet not quite black. It has a tan head that lasts for about half of the pint. Lacing is strong for the life of the brew.

The nose is sweet and nothing else. Carmel malt comes to mind and is the dominating charicteristic. It also has that "fresh" scent that is hard to describe but can always be found at Kuhnhenn's.

When you drink this beer there is no question that it is a porter. Much like hte nose carmel-like malt dominates. There is just a hint of hop bitterness to balance it out in the end. I also detect a slight sour taste that gives it a bit of an edge.

This beer is medium to full-bodied but goes down pretty easily. It seems to be incredibly creamy and the texture really satisfies.

This isn't the best porter I've had but it is definitely a quality brew. All in all a solid offering even though it doesn't stand out. This isn't the first or last time I've had this beer.

Jun 24, 2006
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oberon from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown nearly black excep for a tinge of ruby showing thru with a thinner off white head that was gone in a blink.Charred aromas and noticable woodiness and bitter chocolate notes,flavors are chuck full of chocolate somewhat sweet but there a nice drying raw,earthy finish wich was nice.A very well made porter just sweet enough but finishes dry enough to make you want more.

May 07, 2006
Penetration Porter from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 127 ratings