Spy Porter
Tree Brewing

Spy PorterSpy Porter
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Tree Brewing
British Columbia, Canada
English Porter
3.82 | pDev: 9.16%
Jul 16, 2013
Nov 29, 2004
Notes: None
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Rated: 3.75 by harpus from Alabama

Jul 16, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by KStark from Canada (BC)

Jun 12, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by WillAndSarah from Canada (ON)

Apr 03, 2013
Photo of leaddog
Reviewed by leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
650ml bottle

Appearance- Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of frothy creamy head.

Smell- roasted malts, hazelnut, cocoa

Taste- Warm roasted malts, hazelnut, and cocoa flavours. Excellent roasted profile that lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light-to-moderate carbonation. Dry finish. Smooth body.

Overall - An enjoyable English porter by Tree Brewing. Great display of roasted flavours in regards to malts and hazelnuts. They tell the truth on their bottle ("a smooth dark English style ale").
Feb 04, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by zduerr from Canada (BC)

Dec 28, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by KalanM from Canada (BC)

Nov 29, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by schnarr84 from Canada (AB)

Jan 09, 2012
Rated: 4 by EskimoDave from Canada (BC)

Dec 01, 2011
Photo of joemcgrath27
Reviewed by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A - pitch black with a thick tan head that retained extremely well with a lot of lacing
S - roasty with a dark rum like molasses aroma, mild coffee
T - strong roasty malt, rich cold pressed coffee, cola and light molasses
M - smooth and medium to light, roasty bitter finish
O - flavourful and smooth, an easy sipper, not a top shelf porter but definitely worthy
Oct 06, 2011
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
341ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear dark reddish brown hue, with two fingers of creamy, rocky ecru head, which leaves a thin, but consistent paint job of lace around the glass in its slow retreat. It smells of lightly roasted biscuit malt, chocolate milk powder, and a bit of butterscotch. The taste is toasty chocolate malt, mild office kitchen coffee, and a subtle vegetal sourness. The carbonation is moderate, the body on the lighter side of medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes fairly dry, biscuity cocoa, and cold coffee playing things out.

The label proclaims "A Smooth Dark English Style Ale". That about nails it, straight off the top. A little bread, a little chocolate, a little balancing astringency. Sure goes down with ease.
Apr 01, 2011
Photo of kwjd
Reviewed by kwjd from Canada (ON)

3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Pours a dark brown with small tan head and some lacing down the glass. Smells of dried fruit with roasted malt. Flavour has quite a bit of sweetness that almost approaches the flavour of an English brown ale instead of a porter, but it is still tasty. A little bit thin in the body. A good porter.
Sep 18, 2010
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Reviewed by maniacalmikal from Canada (BC)

4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
not a thirst quencher, but more of a great beverage with snacks or meals when left to warm up to about 10-13C (50-55f) - has a mild sweetness with a slight chocolately taste and that wonderful taste of malt - drunk from a 750 ml. tulip glass, this 341 ml. dark glass bottle of porter is a real treat.
Jun 17, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
Reviewed by andrenaline from Canada (ON)

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Another Tree success!

A- Poured a thin layer of head with no real lacing. Dark brown, almost reminiscent of Coca-Cola without all the carbonation.

S- Light coffee/malt scent, with a bit of a toffee finish.

T- A smokey cocoa taste off the top, with a finish that lingers of roasted malts and coffee.

M- A little more carbonation than what I would consider a traditional porter, but by no means do I mean that negatively. The lighter feel makes this porter very drinkable.

D- As mentioned above, the lighter feel, combined with the mellow flavour make this a great porter.

If you're in the mood for a porter which is light, boasts a noticeable yet not overpowering malt flavour, and is drinkable (i.e. more than one or two), this one is highly recommended!
Mar 20, 2010
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Reviewed by Grunewald from Canada (BC)

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
A - poured from a 341ml bottle can into a pint glass. It pours semi-clear ruddy black. The head is brown and laces decently.

S - leather, coffee, salty toffee

T - lightly brewed black, roasted malt

M - low carbonation, medium-thin body, slightly creamy with a neutral finish

D - easy drinking with good flavors
Feb 20, 2010
Photo of chickenm
Reviewed by chickenm from Canada (BC)

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Pours a dark brown color with some red visible around the edges. Thin tan head. Aroma of malt, chocolate, and coffee. Taste is similar. Gets better as the beer warms up. Medium bodied and a little over-carbonated. Overall this is a pretty good porter.
Dec 30, 2009
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Reviewed by wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
341ml bottle poured into pint glass dec1 2009

A the darkest brown with a giant mocha head that has excellent retention and leaves lace only for the first inch of its existence.

S fresh grind and some semi sweet chocolate that just gets stronger as it warms

T coffee comes out a little stronger and I like the mellow sweetness that this beer has going for it

M not bad at all for a porter, not overly thick by any means but far from water and well carbonated to give it a light feel from all the bubbles

D this is a straight across the board good beer, nothing world class but far from anything to be ashamed of. I could drink this all day without any issues

perhaps one of Trees best brews, I would choose Hop Head over this most of the time but this is a solid porter that's worth trying with out doubt
Dec 02, 2009
Photo of Sammy
Reviewed by Sammy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours black with retaining moderate white head. First smell is licoricey, then chocolate big-time, vanilla and a bit of coffee in the secondary. Above average mouthfeel, a good drinking chocolate porter. Suitable carbonation. Nice at 5% abv.You will like.
Jan 13, 2009
Photo of biegaman
Reviewed by biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Dark top soil black with an immaculate pearl white trim that heavily contrasts. The beer has a kind of chalky complexion, far from the inky jet black tone of some; in fact it warms with shades of light auburn when held directly under the light. The head is a bubbly lather that thins out over the center but drapes the sides with lasting prints of lace.

The aroma is a tad conservative, granted English style porters are by nature more reserved. I'm speaking solely about the roast, which is relatively moderate when held in comparison to other New World offerings. That said, it really works to its favour - there's not that harsh notion of charred malts burnt to the bottom of an ashtray common to less balanced examples.

Tree offers plenty more to your sense of smell than just the toasty biscuits. Very pleasant is a subtle, almost tart, note of dried cherries. This hint of fruit is blended amongst a shelf's worth of bittersweet bakers chocolate and vanilla beans. My nostrils have become a packed house.

The flavour doesn't quite showcase all the attributes its aroma might have you presume it posses. There's a nice roast biscuity base with an ounce of sooty smoke. What there isn't, and what I would have liked, is a bit more caramelization and perhaps a few pinches more of chocolate, too. The taste is good, don't get me wrong, but it's mild and a little too ordinary.

It also failed to keep pace with the aroma as it acclimatized to room temperature. While warming seemed to accentuate and fine-tune the bouquet, it did little to remodel the taste except maybe accent the chocolate. There was no complaints with the mouthfeel. The beer kept itself enjoyable with great balance; I see no end to the drinkability of this porter.

In the end, this drank like the prototypical English porter - and one of the best examples that will come to mind from here on in. This brewery got it right. I've yet to try many of the other Tree Brewing beers but if I can expect them all to be as well crafted, high quality and true to style as the Spy Porter then I'm going to get right on it!
Nov 23, 2008
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Reviewed by bobsy from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Midnight black pour with a copious tan head, which faded to a film, but left some lace. Nice roasty aroma with some chocolate and iced coffee of all things. Nice, smooth, creamy roasted malt flavour. Good doses of chocolate, caramel and berries (especially in the finish). Creamy coffee and smoke. Medium -light body and medium carbonation. Excellent drinkablity for a porter, and a great example of the style. Tree should be proud of this offering.

Thanks to BigBry for being a standup trader - your selections are spot on!
Nov 23, 2008
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Reviewed by Proteus93 from Virginia

3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A: A deep, rusty amber... slightly red. Semi-creamy head leaves a full sheet and a thin trim of lace after receding.

S: Malts, caramel/light chocolate, some vanilla bean, something almost woody, though it is not wood aged to my knowledge.

T: Moderately roasted malts... some light and subtle chocolate, but vanilla makes a presence in its place. Slightly ashy flavours - like a mild charcoal.

M + D: A little on the lighter and more carbonated side. Maybe a little unusual for the style, but not too bad overall. Not a bad take on it, and something I'd gladly have again if the opportunity arose.
Jul 05, 2008
Spy Porter from Tree Brewing
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 37 ratings