Belfast Black | Lavery Brewing Company

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Belfast BlackBelfast Black

Brewed by:
Lavery Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is the beer that started the brewery. Named after the ancient homeland of the Lavery's. It is rich, dark and smokey. Not for the faint of heart but that's how we intended it. It has a taste of bacon, which is one of the most beautiful images I can image; a bacon beer (No actual bacon is in this beer). A solid earthy hop bitterness with a little astringency from the dark malts. This beer has no better pair than excellent Vermont Cheddar cheese.

Added by beergod1 on 02-13-2011

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 83
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep black color with an aroma of malt and coffee. It must be the smoke that kept making me take another sniff trying to identify the unusuall smell. A very good porter that had all the flavor that I would want in a porter but again it was the smoke that made me keep questioning exactly what it was I was drinking. It did go down very,very easily which is why 7abv was perfect and well hidden and not overwhelming. The smoke made it unusuall and a different porter experience. Would try it again

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Photo of fscottkey
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.50] Looks like a stout in the glass. Full finger of dense khaki head atop a dark brown brew. Leaves really nice sheets of lacing on the glass - coating it completely with each sip. The beer lets through light when held up to backlighting. The bottle lists the ABV (7.5%). I can't find any date info.

S: [4.00] Peat, smoke, smoked meat, hints of roasted malts.

T: [4.25] Follows the nose with smoke (but not overpowering or synthetic tasting). Sweet malts in the middle that come across as toasted marshmallows with the smoke flavor. Some underlying coffee and cocoa flavors too.

M: [4.25] Smooth and creamy. Coats the tongue and has a lingering smokiness.

O: [4.25] This beer was a really pleasant surprise. The nose and the taste are a nice balance of smoke and sweet malt flavors. The body has some weigh to it which makes drinking it even better. Visually the beer maintains a thin creamy head the entire time. It also coats the glass with each sip. I would drink this again and buy it to share with friends.

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Photo of puck1225
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

VEry dark brown pour into a pint glass. Nice light brown creamy head and decent lacing. Nice comforting smoked smell. The taste is rich chocolate and smoke, a bit of strong coffee. Very tasty, would buy again.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.54/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Mom and dad brought this one back from Erie last summer. Thanks guys!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A clear, light brown pour yields a 2+ finger, looser and foamy looking, fizzy light tan head with lousy retention. Quite foamy for sure. Bistre brown body, clear, with loads of carbonation. Piles of carbonation all over the place on this one. What's with these guys and their carbonation? Head fades to a full foamy cap and clings to the sides of the glass. A splotchy wisp remains until the end leaving lots of foamy lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Smoked malts, toffee, roasted aromas, cacao and some decent leather on the nose. Bold enough. A touch metallic perhaps, but not bad.

TASTE: Smoked malts, leather, a some definite metallic notes. Medium finish with lingering flavors of leather, cacao, toffee, roasted malts, smoked malts, with an unfortunate metallic undertone to the whole thing. Kind of gets in the way.

PALATE: Thinner body and piles of carbonation. Airy and foamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes rather dry for the style.

OVERALL: Like their Devil Bird, this one is just too over carbonated to really be enjoyable. The metallic notes that in this one also get in the way. Perhaps this one is suffering from some oxidization already, and that would be a real shame. Not good and not worth trying again. Pass.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle shared by someone Friday night, thanks for the opportunity!
Deep brown color, tan head. Rich caramel and hints of brown sugar along with a solid shot of smoked pork shoulder. A bit smokey for my tastes.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of bitter chocolate, dates, and a hint of smoke
Head small (1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to a partial 1 mm ring
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of dates, dark chocolate malt, aftertaste of smoke; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4. Loses some for poor head and no lacing. Overall, one of the better brews from Lavery.

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Photo of woemad
4.34/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber received from @ozzylizard as part of the NBS BIF #1. No obvious freshness date. I had not heard of this brewery before I received it, which is pretty much the whole point of that BIF.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a super dark brown, almost black, that yielded absolutely nothing when held up to direct light. There was a big, creamy tan head that took it’s time settling, leaving streaky and spotty lace all over the sides of the glass.

Dark, bitter malt aroma is the primary takeaway from the nose. At first the smoky aroma I was expecting just wasn’t there, but as it warmed up it came out to play a little. Still, this is not on the order of Stone’s or Alaskan’s smoked porters, which I like but a lot of people find overpowering. It’s much more subtle.

Dark malts are the most obvious flavor component, giving off tastes of bitter, dark chocolate and black coffee. There's also some sweetness, but it's perfectly balanced so it's not cloying at all. The smokiness is really more of a cloak than anything else. There’s a little hoppy zap at the finish, but it’s not what I’d call a hoppy brew. In my opinion, for a porter, that’s just as it should be.

The body is fairly full, with a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Really dig this. If I lived in or near Erie, I’d go home with a growler of this regularly (PA laws permitting). HUGE shout out to @Ozzylizard for hooking me up with a beer I might never have had a shot at otherwise!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bomber in trade from jbwimer. Pours deep dark brown to black with a one finger dark khaki head.aroma is more roast than smoke, with big chocolate notes, still some definite smoke, and a hint of earthy coffee. Flavor is lots of roasty chocolate and awesome, some long smokey finish going on here, and ends with chocolate and even a hint of vanilla coffee (maybe my taste buds are broken). Really rich flavors here. Dark fruits begin coming out just a tad as I go. Huge mouthfeel--especially for only 7.5%--with medium carbonation. I am amazed at the body on this. This might be one of my new favorite porters. Must get more.

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Photo of Troy_C
4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer on tap. It was very dark with a great thick head. Nice choclate,coffee nose. Full rich slightly sweet choclate/coffee flavor with a hint of licorce. I didnt get much of a smoke flavor though. Rich mouthfeel. This is a great example of a dark beer from a great brewery. One of my favorites from Lavery.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer apparently had some over carbonation problems in the past. Well, not in my case.
It was lack of, really, no head at all. The color was a deep cola brown.
The aroma was roasted and dark malts with subtle hints of chocolate. No smoke that I could percieve.
The taste was smoky but seems out of place, Roasted malts are there as well as some off flavors like meat or earth.
There is some roasted malts and dark malts but are overwelmed by the smokiness to the point of being almost absent.
I think a differnt wood should be used and at a smaller amount .

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Photo of thecheapies
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mountainously rocky cappuccino foam sits petrified on a black beer. Looks absolutely awesome.

Mild fishy smoke, salted chocolate, roasty char, berries, and creamed coffee. Minerally, like seawater. Hints of peat. Great nose.

Meaty char with a mild smoky note; coated or rolled in cocoa nibs and steeped in black coffee and yerba mate. So roasty, but with a distinct earthy hop and some minerality. Very light peatiness. Tastes like a smoked Baltic Porter.

Carbonation is medium, and a little coarse. A little short-lived in the mouth. Body has a richness, but without the viscosity. A good gulp.

Loves me a well-done smoked porter. Glad they stamped those words on the label, because I thought it was a Cascadian Black Ale for the longest time.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep opaque black color. pours with no head, just a thin bit of tan film on top. no lacing.

S- nose is slightly smokey but more like a hickory woody character with a hint of spice. Sweet notes of blackstrap molasses and chocolate sauce fill the nostrils and round out the nose.

T - The flavors are dark and roasty. lightly smokey with a hint dusting of spices mostly cinnamon though possibly chili pepper. finish is slightly sweet and smokey.

M - medium bodied. Creamy mouth feel. lower side of medium carbonation.

O - Tasty beer. I was definitly expecting more smoke character out of this ale but what I enjoyed most about it was its balance and its unusual characters. Something I would try again.

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Photo of Gavage
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a dark brown, almost black color with a short 1/4" head that breaks down quickly.

Smell: light roasted malt aroma with a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: mild roasted malt profile with some dark chocolate, a hint of dark brown sugar, and a bit of a smokey flavor create a mellow but balanced porter.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and thin at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger on the tongue.

Overall: this is a pretty decent porter, but it won't blow you away. The smoke component is a bit weak, but it doesn't detract from the overall flavor profile. Easy to consume.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apparently some of these bottles are gushers but I had no such problem. Pours viscous and pitch black with a half finger beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing.

Smokey dark malt aroma with subtle hints of charcoal, campfire and smoked meat followed by toast and roasted coffee bean. Decent smoke character but not overwhelming with sweet molasses, dark chocolate and toffee notes balancing things out.

Medium bodied with a subtle smoke character that isn't nearly as strong as the nose suggests with lots of sweetness balancing things out. Slightly dry and acrid with some charcoal and burnt malt flavor countered by dark fruit, chocolate cake, oatmeal and coffee bean. Pretty clean until the finish which is very dry and earthy. Decently balanced and drinkable but has a bit tamer smoke character than I prefer.

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Photo of wac9
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 1.5

i wanna like this beer but i brought 3 bottles and all three were gushers , too bad i lost more beer then i tasted , but what i tasted it was amazing too bad of this problem too bad what a beer this could be if it wasnting pouring out into my sink if you find it on tap drink it but dont buy it in bottles

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Per the warning I read on the brewer's blog, this one is a gusher, producing a massive head (and all head for a while) that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Chocolate, balsa wood and a hint of smoke

Taste: Fruity chocolate, up front, with undertones of wood and smoke developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a piney/lemony character that adds a bit of a metallic element to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: I didn't enjoy the flavors I found in the finish and wonder whether they were somehow tied to the over-carbonation problems

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Photo of tempest
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a bomber at Abe's Cold Beer for $8.50. I was looking forward to it, but it clearly has an infection. Nothing terrible, but there's a clove and plastic character that's run away with this beer. It's a shame, I've had this happen with homebrews. I imagine that's also the source of the over-carbonation. I can't finish this. There's a little smoke and roast in the flavor, but this beer is lost.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to carlos for sharing this. enjoyed with tenderbranson69 also poured into a mug and tulip.

The color is a deep cola brown with slight haz and thick lasting cream cap. The smell is delightful with mild coffee and slight hint of french roast which provides just enough smoke and sweetness to accent the roasted malt. The feel is silky and slightly sweet and sticky with mild roasted and semi-dry body with light feel for the style.

This has a nice full porter flavor yet nicely balanced betweeen sweet malts and the subtle smoke and dry roasted flavors. the yeast adds a touch of mineral in the back end with subtle vegetal taste which is perhaps from the hops but never quite gets into the pine territory. The flavor is solid and I was through with my glass rather quickly. I recommend this for anyone who likes a dark beer with the extra touch of smoke.

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Photo of thain709
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a deep brown body with a one finger, off white head...the head showed some nice staying power and even left some attractive lacing

S - Roasted malts and chocolate really stand out...there are some hints of sweet vanilla and smoke

T - Again, the roasted aspect of this beer is really pronounced...I would say there is a slight smokiness to it, but I feel it focuses more on the roastiness...dark chocolate and ground coffee flavors can be found...there is a sweetness coming from some vanilla...but what I can't get over is the big lactose note I'm picking finishes the beer and doesn't sit well

M - Medium bodied...adequate carbonation...too much lactose

O - I wanted a little more smokiness from this beer since the label claimed to be a Smoked Porter...the roast definitely stood out over the smoke...and the lactose notes just didn't do it for me

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, Pa

Decent brew. Poured dark brown-black with a small cap of tan head; moderate lacing and retention. Aroma was pretty roasty, dark malts, coffee, a bit of smoke. Taste was pretty good and followed the aroma well; not quite as robust as I like in a smoked beer, and maybe a bit too roasty, and even a bit, hmm, briny? Medium body, and fairly drinkable, but probably not something I'd get again.

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Photo of jculler82
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to English pint, served in the 50'sF.

Awesome creamy tan head that hangs around for what seems like forever. Black center with with a sliver of brown around the edges. Decent lacing.

Smells of fruit punch, cherries, sweet cream ice cream, vanilla, and caramel. There was some campfire smoke at first, but as it warms it gets very fruity and the smoke moves more and more to the background.

Sweetness hits the pallet first, in the form of marshmellows and caramel, some dark fruits and vanilla too. Smoke comes in just before the finish and isn't overwhleming but balances nicely. Finish is bitterness and smoke. Bitterness hangs in the cheeks long after the swallow when the beer is colder. When the beer warms the smoke and sweetness are more prominent. More campfire smoke than bacon beer. The sweetness almost puts it in desert beer category, but this bomber is almost gone and I want more, so it is by no means cloying.

Medium carbonation lends to a silky mouthfeel that is just about perfect for the style.

Overall, this is an absolutely phenominal beer that should be sought out. I'm highly impressed with it and glad that a nano in my state is putting out a product like this.

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Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a nice jet black with a two finger head. Nice retention and lacing.

S_Dark chocolate and a bit of charred malt. Clean smelling

T_Chocolate hits first with a decent amount of sweetness. This is followed by a decent hop backbone. A bit of grassiness here. The end hits a somewhat mild sour note to contrast well with the sweetness. Almost a bit like a Baltic porter.

M_Lighter bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O_A way too easy drinking 7% porter. Reminds me of a well made Baltic rather than an American but very tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of AdamGarcia
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First review in a long time. 22oz bottle served in Newcastle Tulip.

A: Pours deep, dark brown with a little bit of red around the edges.Two fingers of dense mocha head that displays solid retention. This beer looks enticing, we're off to a good start.

S: Dark, roasted scent. Chocolate and some mild coffee with cream. Cocoa powder. Faint hop aroma. Above average, not outstanding.

T: Very flavorful. Similar to aroma. Milk chocolate...maybe even chocolate milk-like. Just enough hop bitterness to keep everything balanced. My only possible complaint would be the lack of complexity.

M: Full bodied. Soft, silky feel. Carbonation is present, but understated. Just about perfect for the style.

O: This is just a solid beer. It's not terribly exciting, but if you enjoy a well crafted porter you won't be disappointed. This is my first offering from this relatively new brewer. Hopefully smaller format bottles are somewhere in Lavery's future.

Note on style: While this is called Belfast Black Ale the label clearly, and correctly, describes it as a porter. BA has it listed as an American Black Ale aka Black IPA, which is incorrect.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lavery Belfast Black

Appearance: Black in color with a mocha cream off white head.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee and char.

Taste: Really nice bold malty flavors. Black malt, coffee and roast. Mild piney bitterness but the focus here is the malt bill. Char, coffee, mild smoke flavours abound.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, and almost creamy feel. Lingering roasted flavors.

Overall: A very good beer, an American Black Beer that could easily pass as a Schwarzbier, Stout, or Porter. The "Black Ale" catch all term is appropriate here.

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Photo of cld253
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional rendition of an American-ized Irish Dry Stout. We love to bastardize everything here.. this one.. I think would make the Irish proud.
It's not overly anything, .. It's roasty, its more than well balanced,. notes of slightly acrid coffee, but more than anything, superbly roasted malt, they may have used a few american hops in the recipe, but,.. for the most part it rings true to what an Irish stout should be..quick roasted, smoky malt start, slight hop bitterness, dry finish. I don't know how more people have not had or reviewed this beer,.. same with the other Laverys.. I don't review many, but so far,.. this brewery deserves it.

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Belfast Black from Lavery Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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