Mocha Porter | Lake of Bays Brewing Company

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Mocha PorterMocha Porter
32 Ratings
Mocha PorterMocha Porter

Brewed by:
Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 10-31-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by jmkoscie:
Photo of jmkoscie
4/5  rDev +12.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mintjellie
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The packaging on Mocha Porter screams quality. Shaped like a wine bottle but brown, screened graphics, best before date hand printed on the back. The image the vessel gives is one of artisanship and class. It's quite rare that I comment on packaging in a review, but this offering from Lake Of Bays, along with the Cranberry Stout and Harvest Ale from Lakes of Muskoka, really up the ante as far as presentation goes in Ontario.

But enough about the bottle itself, we all know what really counts is whats inside.

The beer pours almost pitch black, and only shows the slightest tinges of ruby when backlit. The colour of the head is similar to that of the crema atop a cup of espresso. The foam itself isn't very retentive or sticky. The aroma gives off nothing more than a muted coffee scent. This is a bit of a one trick pony, with coffee also being the only real flavour I can pick out. The coffee used to brew it does seem to give it a nice acidity that complements that coffee flavour well. I do like that coffee flavour though.

This is a pretty light bodied beer, one that even feels a bit thin. That could work in it's favour if you were to serve it with a dessert course instead of coffee. With that said, Mill Street Coffee Porter is a bit more flavourful and less one-dimensional. I wouldn't say this tastes bad, it just lacks a bit in character by comparison, and Mill Street makes a pretty tame porter to begin with. It certainly doesn't live up to the expectations set by it's packaging. This is marketing first and substance second.

 1,548 characters

Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bar Volo Cask Days Festival 2010. Not a bad effort for anew brewery. A sour and mocha aroma. Black with cask bubbles soapy head. The taste in fact had no sourness, but it wasn't too interesting, having only a brown ale and mocha seetness there, nor drinkable. Medium mouthfeel. Some roastiness would have made it far more interesting.

 334 characters

Photo of Stocean1
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown two finger head with good retention and lots of lacing.

Smell is coffee, chocolate, grassy hops, dark fruit, with vanilla

Taste follows the nose and is really quite spectacular.

Well balanced and not overly bitter although a little watery.

Overall a nice porter which would be spectacular if it wasn't so watery.

 336 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a medium size light brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of light black chocolate with some medium dry roasted notes and light mocha notes also perceptible. Taste is also a nice enough mix between some mocha with light black chocolate and lightly dry roasted malt notes. Body is a bit thin for style with good carbonation. Not bad though not something I would seek on a regular basis.

 469 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 1-2-11
Poured in to pint glass.

A - Medium brown colour with a half finger of very light brown head.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate.

T - Chocolate, coffee, nice overall roasted malt profile.

M - Light body, smooth. Lightly carbonated. A touch thin at times.

D - A decent offering.

 307 characters

Photo of irishkyle21
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of dipso123
4.25/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of SebD
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice almost black color to it with some amber hues coming through. It has a nice light tan head that dies down fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a definite coffee character to it with light chocolate undertones, some grainy and roasted malts and a light nuttiness. Slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a light overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

 589 characters

Photo of terryeckmeier
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried a sample at Volo and decided to try a bottle. All around a pretty decent beer especially for a new brewery. This is a fairly enjoyable beer, one of the better seasonal beers I've had from Ontario craft brewers. My biggest complaint with this beer is that it just need a little more. Needs a little more body, a little more nose, a little more flavour "although there is a lot there" just needs to go up another notch and I'd make it a regular buy.

 453 characters

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of karait95
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown color almost not translucent with a not too big head of brown color dissipates a little faltando not leaves many traces on the glass.

S: full toasted smell with coffee also detected atmonce and with some chocolate or cacao behind that coffee aroma.

T: very intense flavor full toasted malts with clear coffee inside that is present at once, also some hops aremthere behind.

M: even is balanced the sensation is a little on the side of bitterness, body is not too bold or thick so it is an easy drinking beer.

 528 characters

Photo of bryehn
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Steely, opaque black with a frothy off-white head that leaves spotty lace and settles as a collar.

Vanilla, wood, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and musty wood aromas.

Similar in taste. Notes of roasted grain, coffee, vanilla and chocolate come forward and are accented by a fruity character..

Mouthfeel is quite thin. Watery with not much life on the tongue. Finish has a strong bitterness. Coffee and dark fruit in the aftertaste.

Though the thin mouthfeel is typical of an American porter, the rich flavours beg for a heartier texture. Worth a try if you’re looking for a dessert beer or aperitif. Could go well with stewed or roasted beef.

 648 characters

Photo of Derek
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, slightly translucent black with ruby highlights, light tan head, thin ring of retention, leaves a bit of lace.

S: Grainy, coffee, biscuit, hints of brown sugar & licorice.

T: Coffee is apparent, but where's the chocolate? Slight roasted nut & brown sugar, grainy biscuit, moderate bitterness,

M: Light to moderate body, modest carbonation, seems a bit thin.

D: Readily approachable, and a decent drinker, but it doesn't bring me back for more. There's no flaws, but I expected a little more. I'd throw some more chocolate malt in this, along with some oats for body.

 581 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of MattPS
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of BBP
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours black with decent head and retention.

Mocha leads a typical porter aroma and makes it just a little bit more.

The taste again is neutral for a porter with a mild rich mocha roastiness to enhance it.

Unfortunately thin but carbonation does what it can. The finish is fairly dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, decent but not something I'll come back to.

 360 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this in 2010 - still hold out hope Lake of Bays will launch some bold new beers - and just picked up my first 2011 bottles.

Beautiful clear black colour with ruby highlights and coffee-coloured head. Carbonation level is decent, although mouthfeel is thinner than I'd choose. Aroma is very coffee-centric, with well balanced roasted & toasted malts added in the taste. Ends with a pleasantly dry finish.

I have just opened my last 2010 bottle as well for a head-to-head, with the caveat that it was stored well past its recommended best before date (and definitely not in ideal cellaring conditions). It is definitely sweeter with more chocolate notes than the 2011, but has held up much better than could be expected...

 732 characters

Photo of kleomenes
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of kwjd
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at Volo's Cask Days 2010 - finally finished entereing my Cask Days reviews, whew! Pours a dark brown colour with thin head. Coffee in the nose, some mild roast. I don't notice much chocolate. Flavour has a little bit of bitterness, but not too much. Thin mouthfeel. I haven't tried this in bottle given the price tag, but I would try this again if it was cheaper or if I saw it on tap.

 402 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at C'est What?, in Toronto.

Mocha Porter looks like something rented from the tuxedo shop; its dressy, swank black body is accentuated by a scarlet trim and adorns a finely pressed, stylish white bow. An elaborate pattern of lacing is draped down the glass. What a smart dresser; this thing would look equally at place on the runway as it does at the bar counter.

It's like someone added roasted barley and chocolate malt into your morning cup of Joe - what else could you possibly have expected? Lake of Bays obviously take their coffee black; this has no sweetness and little to dress up the acrid, harsh roastiness of both the grains and beans. I'm a little concerned because the flavours don't jump out the glass.

For a "mocha" porter, I'm disappointed there isn't a little more chocolaty flavour. And considering several kilograms of ground coffee are added right into the mash I'm surprised it doesn't taste a little more like coffee. I'm not complaining - one of my pet peeves is brewers who can't figure out how to blend coffee into the beer without obliterating the beer's natural flavours - but these guys blended the coffee out of existence!

Or close to it, anyhow. More specifically, they've dissolved all of the oily acidity and astringent roast of coffee (the same reasons I generally dislike coffee and avoid drinking it). As result, the beer is, for my palate, more drinkable by virtue of being less bitter, less roasty, less bold. By the same token, however, it's also a lot less characterful.

Some porters have flavours more bold and a build more robust than that of a stout - others have the thinnish makeup and underwhelming profile of, say, a pale ale. This falls somewhere in between; its roast is moderate and lingers minimally, its malts are too plain to inspire any kind of nuanced flavours. Again, more agreeable but also more middling.

Sometimes you just can't please some people - I applaud Lake of Bays for ensuring the coffee didn't overwhelm or completely invalidate the porter portion of the beer. On the same hand, however, I wish they had gone about that by bulking up their porter, rather than toning down the coffee. Still, it's a beer I could see getting in the habit of drinking.

 2,234 characters

Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of nate_pacino
4.54/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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Mocha Porter from Lake of Bays Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 32 ratings