DC Brau Brewing Co.

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American Porter
Ranked #302
Ranked #16,390
3.93 | pDev: 8.65%
DC Brau Brewing Co.
District of Columbia, United States
Very Good
Notes: DC Brau and Stillwater Ales joined forces to create one of their own. "NATAS" is a Belgian Style Imperial Porter brewed with a traditional high gravity Abbey yeast. At first glance "NATAS" is pitch black in the glass with wafting aroma's of burnt sugar and caramelized fruit. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with hints of cocoa. It has a gentle, warming phenolic character that begs for a follow up inquiry. The hops are used to balance this brew and lend a subtle complexity. The dark lord himself would be proud to serve this hellish offering to his legions of demonic minions.
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 52 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Clint_Yoho
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz in Flying Dog goblet at friscos

L: Zero head poor very dark might be black but I can't quite tell.

S: Fruity dark chocolate coffee

T: Dates roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Leaves the bitter after taste of dark chocolate

F: Perfect, right amount of balance. Its Dry.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler into a pint glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high with a khaki shade. Its texture is superbly creamy and perfectly even, with acceptable retention. A nice ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Seriously, dat roast. This very roasty - almost to the point of being charred, but not quite. There's also plenty of smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate emanating from the nose. I don't really pick up much of the Belgian influence, though. Still, a rock-solid roast bomb.

T: It opens up with a big hit of charred roast. Some notes of Belgian yeast appear after a while - bringing some mild notes of fruit (mainly apple) and bread - but remains subtle. Additional sips reveal more in the way of coffee and dark chocolate. The more I drink it, the more I want to drink it. I'm just enthralled by how the roasty qualities unfold here.

M: The roast makes it very dry. And yet, it's still rich enough to have some depth to it. Carbonation never really plays much of a factor here - the natural attenuation does more than enough to make it superbly drinkable.

O: I don't know what to say, other than this kicks ass. Reasonably complex yet dry and very drinkable - that's pretty much everything I want from a quality beer. I'm gonna shut up and finish this growler right now...

4.1/5: One part porter, one part dark Belgian ale, two parts awesome

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lures on 7/2/14

A-Pours clear black with a small, fizzy tan head, short retention with light lacing.

S-Aroma is dark chocolate malt, roast and coffee malt, and earthy hops.

T-Great flavor is dark malt and fruits, light hops and bitterness, light smoke and a dry finish.

M-Mouthfeel gives a medium to full body and medium carbonation.

O-Overall is nice example of a Belgian style porter. Will have again.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high tan head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of chocolate.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts but these are accentuated by notes of dark cocoa and hints of cola and Belgian yeast. Only a slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I felt that this was a solid porter, although I didn’t' get that much of the Belgian yeast in the smell or taste.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Sample had at Max's during their Rare & Obscure Festival (from notes, 4/17/14)

A: Pitch black, some lacing.

S: Roasted malt.

T: Roasty, malt, slight sweetness.

M: Carbonated and prickly.

O: Good stuff.

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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler from the brewery

a: growler split into wide snifters, an attractive cloudy pecan brown in color, capping the surface is a dense, khaki head that retains well

s: the nose seems muted at first, but this beer really opens up after some time to warm - roasted malts invoke flashes of light roast coffee and chocolate, the belgian yeast bringing it's own fruity esters and hints of clove to the mix, the two mesh really - surprisingly - well

m: medium body with a light-moderate level of smooth carbonation, almost creamy, nice

t: flavors especially smooth for a porter - earthy chocolate and dry cocoa, light roast coffee, lots of yeasty belgian character - ripe banana and subtle spice blend in seamlessly, some underlying dark sugars at the start disappear after the swallow, leaving a slightly drying, lightly bitterfinish with lingering flavors of roast

o: always skeptical of an application of belgian yeast to a "normal" beer - can be kinda gimmicky, but this one worked out well, my personal fave from dcb thus far

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Photo of ao125
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Growler into a Troegs Mad Elf snifter.

Appearance: Black. Very black.

Smell: Burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate.

Taste: "Velvety". Sweet and rich. All of the things that you can smell come, through in the flavor.

Both Jeff Hancock and Brian Strumke clearly know their trade. It's evident by the way this delightful combination of DC Brau's Penn Quarter Porter and Stillwater's Folklore come together in a rich, unique brew.

The Belgian yeast and candi sugar propel this beer to great heights (or depths, if you're lighting a candle for lord natas). I can only hope this brew comes back again.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.7/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Rustico's poured into a sampler glass. Pours a deep mahogany with a thick and creamy mocha head. Chocolate syrup, cocoa, caramel, candied sugar, roasted coffee, lactose, and vanilla beans in the aroma. Medium-bodied and kinda creamy here and there. Sweet caramel, milk chocolate, and candied sugar upfront taste-wise. Some bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee towards the end. The finish is a tad dry. There is a yeasty/acidic tanginess which was off putting for me. Didn't like this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours near-black with a bit of a mocha head. Good nose brings forward some roast and a moderate amount of chocolate. Nothing really coming out of the Belgian yeast. Flavor is mostly chocolate with some backing roast. Nothing too complex, but fairly nice. Medium chewy body with good carbonation. Worth a try.

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Photo of Chaney
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Churchkey.

A: Extremely dark, and with a glisten that made the brew look like Venom from the Spider-Man fame. A respectable 1/2 finger head accompanied this.

S: This was extremely potent, just the way I like the style: Lots of char, mildly burnt caramel, and a touch of high grade coffee.

T: This wasn't too sweet, nor too bitter, nor too burnt. DC Brau played this one right down the middle. I was really drawn to how well the flavors really came together after a few sips. The bitter, sweet, and astringent all played a delectable trio.

M: This was thick, but I thought it could have been more snot-like, much like most of my favs in the porter arena. The lacing was mildly splotchy, and the lingering was "char-coff-a-phonium" one that I'd love to walk around with all day!

O: I'd rank this up there amongst the finest in the style that I've had this year. Do they plan on canning this stuff?

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Photo of mdfb79
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at Churchkey in Washington, DC. Tried the normal version and the cask version which was dry hopped with whole cone centennial hops.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown, almost black color, with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No head retention or lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, and some light vanilla. Really nice nose.

t - Tastes of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, bakers chocolate, and burnt malts. Chocolate comes out a lot in the taste which I love. A slight step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and very little carbonation. A little thin for a

o - Overall a really nice porter...I lov the nose and taste with the chocolate and coffee. Could be a little bit thicker and could use a little more carbonation. Will certainly have again.

Dry hopped version: Nose and taste had a ton of pine hops to it, which was nice, but I don't think it added anything. I preferred the normal version much more.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont into a tumbler. HORNS UP!!!

What a great looking colored brown cocoa head on this. Head is a good finger with lots of statying power and a slow fall, creamy too. Body is just a solid super dark brown/black walnut throughout, but also a slight red tinge just barely. Real nice.

Nose is chewy roast, mixing with fruity estery banana. Yeasty. Interesting.

Taste is a first rush of banana on the mid palate, complimenting with warm roasting coffee. Bitterness mixes on the finish with many angles: hop, char, powedered bitter cocoa, with a real smooth and tight carbonation that comes off just light enough but lets the dense flavors come out.

Real interesting take on a porter, Lots of fun.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Yeast: Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II " yet it is an American style of beer? I wonder how many other American beers are made with Belgian yeast.

Beer is dark brown to black, thin, wispy tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is yeasty, sweet, bready, with a fudgy roast.

Beer is a little dry on the finish but the yeast comes through in a big way, strong flavors throughout. A nice little Belgian ale, another success from DC Brau and Stillwater. Well done guys.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice collaborative take at softly Belgianizing a somewhat sturdy porter.

Presentation: Growler from DC Brau's NE headquarters. Small dry board with general growler offering notes. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, good creamy ecru head, good to medium retention with a nice surface ring and good touches of lacing.

S - Malty nose with soft roasted touches, chocolate and coffee, with a nice fruity sweetness…

T - …. that flows nicely to the palate with a touch of sugar in the background as the roasted porter notes take a driving seat. Very soft fruity notes that ride over a nicely balanced tiny and soft hoppy touch.

M - Medium to medium/full body, soft carbonation again with a nice smooth feel, and a nice nuanced finish.

O - Smooth flow with a nice lingering character. I'm about to pour another one…

Notes: Actually the calmed serving from the growler at home feels far more balanced and enticing as it flows than the couple of samples had at the brewery. It is not too Belgium-prone in the palate and rather offers a subtle sense as it finishes… I'd personally file this as a porter, with a soft Belgian twist. But given that BSDA is so open it might work just as well. Worthy collaboration between DC Brau and Stillwater in any case, and very glad to see things like this moving in the District. Besides the backward spelling, "Natas" also would stand for "Creams" in Spanish, and with this flow that works just as well :P

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Photo of yourefragile
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery, a collaboratively brewed Belgian Porter with Stillwater.

Dark milk chocolate color with a bubbly dark tan head, That quickly fades to a bubbly crown. Balanced subtle aroma of candi sugar, molasses, biscuit malt and Belgian yeast. Medium thick, smooth chewy body with low carbonation. Moderately sweet and toasty full bodied flavor, with molasses and brown sugar in the finish. Very nice, balanced and drinkable.

Edit: I entered this beer as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale since it seemed distinctly unique from any American Porter I've had and there is no Belgian Porter category but someone has magically changed this to an American Porter already. Good for them.

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Natas from DC Brau Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 52 ratings