Uniontown Porter | Mad River Brewing Company

very good
239 Reviews
Uniontown PorterUniontown Porter

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Steelhead Scotch Porter and Steelhead Porter

This traditionally styled Porter has complex malt characteristics balanced with a mild hop profile. Scottish smoked and peated malts lend added complexity and a mild smokey flavor.

Added by kbub6f on 01-23-2001

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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 379
Photo of MrVonzipper
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep rootbeer color with a bubbly head with little head retention. A slight bit cloudy, probably due to the visible yeast floating about.

Deep roasted malts, coffee, bourbon and chocolate on the nose

Flavors include deep roasted malt, smokey scotch flavors come through quite a bit, roasted coffee

Very similar to any other scotch porter I've had so it obviously fits the style. I don't see myself drinking 4 or 5 of these in a sitting. But it definitely has good roasted and smokey flavors that are pretty well balanced with scotch draw. Not incredibly complex, but I've yet to have a scotch porter that strays too far from the standard guidelines of the style. No bitterness really. Nice smokey aftertaste. Would be great with a cigar.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high tan head that quickly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are moderate aromas of chocolate malts, molasses, roasted malts and smoke in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some initial sweetness—much like you would expect from a Scotch ale—while flavors of roasted malts and notes of coffee stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied yet a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I would definitely consider trying this beer again because it’s a unique blend between the two styles and has complexities in the smell and taste.

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Photo of rawfish
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with some brown highlights when held to the light. Capped with a dense three finger high mocha head that subsides slowly leaving small trails of lace.

Smells awfully sweet on the forefront, caramelized and crystal malt blended with coffee. Peat and a smokiness become evident on the back end, pleasant aroma.

Smoky flavor sums it up nicely, very powerful mix of peat and campfire ash, doesn't come off as bright but rather a dank earthy smoke flavor. Sweetness is less than on the nose but that suits me just fine, more deep roasted malts and burnt and toasted grains. Coffee and chocolate flavors aren't really felt here replaced with more of a soft molasses and nutty flavor. Aftertaste is a bit harsh, as some nice medicinal and herbal hop flavors begin to settle in with the drying bitterness there is another rush of smoke and acidity accompanying it which leads to an off flavored mess in the finish.

Rather creamy mouthfeel across the palate, average porter body with stinging carbonation. After the drink there is acidity along with a slick sweetness.

I guess this should be characterized more as a smoked porter than a scotch porter, there is the peat notes which come with the style but the smokiness and acidity in the aftertaste here just take over the whole brew and it's all I can remember. Pleasant in the beginning but I'd take this pill with some food next time.

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Photo of jsh420
2.3/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours dark brown with tons of floaties - 1 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells like a brown - roasted and caramel malts

taste - wow there is an off flavor in this - and it is very medicinal which i think might be the hops???

mouthfeel is thin and i mean watery thin plus the kicker its over carbonated

overall - a complete mess but glad i only grabbed a single

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow bourbon, scotch, oak, and a roasty coffee. In the taste, bourbon flavors stand out, with some oak notes, and a sweet coffee roasted malt. A boozy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry bourbon and coffee like aftertaste. Nice bourbon/scotch presence, but a bit thin for what it is, although, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Rayek
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

A: The deep chestnut brown color is a few shades lighter than black and has light carbonation. A dense cream head slowly falls to a quilt of foam. Leaves occasional rings of lace.

S: A light smokiness comes through first. A slightly acidic coffee and charcoal aroma rounds things out.

T: Starts out with a molasses sweetness that is quickly joined by a nice smokiness that doesn't overpower. Bitterness is burnt and has a light acidity to it.

M: The medium body is dry and slightly chalky. The carbonation feels way too high, as it gets in the way of the flavors.

D: Seems a bit like a light a smoky stout. The overly rambunctious carbonation got in the way of me giving this a better score.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass; dark brown, opaque with a creamy tan head that dissipates but clings the glass.

Smell is feint, but roasted malt, slight peat smoke, chocalate and toffee notes as well.

Taste is caramel sweet, but not overdone, followed by chocalate and roast and hint of peat smoke flavor, just the right amount.

Mouthfeel is just right on this beer, the sweetness is not overdone and the smokiness is not overpowering.

Very drinkable for the flavors involved, and tasty too.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass - Nonic

A - Very dark blackish/brown in color that you can't see through at all. A hue of ruby/brown on the very edge is visible. It produced a 1-finger head that dissipated to a thin foamy ring quickly. A thin ring held atop my beer but no lacing was left.

S - Mild sweetness with dark bakers chocolate notes. It's got a dry char quality to it with hints of grape and raisin. A simple and inviting aroma.

T - Roasty, woody and chocolaty flavors throughout. Very dry as well. Mildly sweet with dry chard flavors on the finish, and a date and raisin like fruity character.

M - Thin-medium in body with moderate-high crispness. A little smooth.

D - I like it. I like that it's not too sweet, although it is very dry. I enjoyed the flavors of it and I'd drink it again, very tasty and flavorful. I could drink 2-3 pints of it so I think it's pretty darn drinkable. Worth a try for sure. Cheers!

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Photo of JosiahS
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

glass: Nonic

A: Pretty dark, looks like a good porter. Nice mocha -colored 2-finger head.

S: Charred wood surrounded by chocolate, butterscotch and dark grapes.

T: Rich chocolate flavor right upfront, follows by a tart grape flavor that hangs for a bit, finishes with more rich chocolate, nuts and a bit of roasted malt bitterness, very mild bitterness though.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on, it's lighter than a stout but heavier than a red. It has a rich, almost creamy feel with medium carbonation.

D: Very good, as a person that gets full very fast, i would only have one, but it would be highly enjoyable.

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Photo of JeffBob
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look is a nice dark brown with a hint of red, head is almost none at all but a tanish color.

Smell is almost not at all but slight chocolate coffee

taste is nice! starts out kind of a chocolate coffee turning into a smokey molasses

feel is smooth creamy and a little thick

drinkability good goes down warm, seems like many of these beers would fill you up.

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Photo of bnes09
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown ale. Light tan head leaves a small film with some lacing.

Aroma of roasted nuts, wheat toast, chocolate and dark fruits.

Roasted flavors: chocolate and almond. Herbal hop. Dark fruits: raisins and prunes. Molasses sweetness. Well balanced, smooth and roasted overall character.

Medium bodied, smooth texture and well carbonated.

An easy drinking, tasty and well crafted porter beer.

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Photo of Lukafer
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a pinky of dark tan head that quickly disappears. I smell some chocolate, a hint of smoke and a lot of coffee. Tastes are roasted malts, then a touch of smoke and a somewhat bitter, coffee finish. Pretty damn good find in the $1 bin! Mouthfeel is medium, decent amount of carb. Drinkability is really good and I really wish I would've picked up more than one.

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this as a single and the bottle only notes that it is a porter (albiet with the label showing a Scottish tartan design under the word "porter," perhaps that should have been my clue?). Even without knowledge that this was sort of a hybred, I was struck by the interesting, smokey nature of the malt and an undercurrent of unsweetened cocoa powder. None of the cardboard mustyness that all too often plagues porter malts. Very nicely done.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Scotch Porter? Yeah, that's what you get when you blend an English Porter (dark and robust) with a Scotch Ale (sweet and caramelly), and then decide to add some Scottish peated malt (intensely smoky) and German rauch malt (smooth and smoky) to further confuse palates around the world. That said, some of the most confused beers tend to be the tastiest.

Pours a dark, rich, opaque brown with a brief cascading carbonation effect that produces a thick, creamy, beige head, which sticks to the glass and retains a healthy looking lace. Brown breads, freshly malted milk, and a soft smoky and roasty malt aroma. Full, even, thick body with a smooth mouthfeel and prickly carbonation around the edges that helps lifts things a bit. Sweet upfront--not overwhelming though--with caramel candy, carob and buttered brown bread. A bit robust and roasty, with some mild coffee notes too. Throughout the experience there's a slight tangy smoke character, hint of char and a smoothed out peat that's laid down on the foundation. Hop character is moderate, with some spice, leaf, and slight citric snap that rides off the carbonation. Finishes with a semi-bourbonesque quality (less the heat), followed by dry lingering grain, carob and a soft peat linger.

Last time we tried this beer was back in 2003. Although things seem to have been refined, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the beer remains unique, complex and fun on the taste buds. If you're a fan of Porters, Scotch Ales, bourbons, or any combo of the three ... you need to buy and try this beer.

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Photo of aahynick
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

about 60 degree F into a pint glass
A- dark garnet to black with thick fine head.

S- strong peat aroma with caramel

T- lots of peat and caramel, a little chocolate.

M- smooth with medium body and slight acidity.

D- overall a good crossover that I'd be willing to drink again

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Photo of tigg924
2.7/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, cloudy, sediment

Smell: peat, toasted malt, alcohol, and chocolate

Taste: peat, toasted malt, alcohol, chocolate, and a small bit of coffee

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, moderate body, semi-sweet

Drinkability: Not a favorite. It seems as though the alcohol really overpowers the good malty taste. This seems like two different beers and the flavors do not combine. I will pass in the future.

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Photo of avalon07
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a mahogany color and a thick, cloudy texture. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of chocolate, coffee, malt, and possibly a nuttiness.

T: You get a big dose of chocolate, along with hints of coffee and roasted malt. A well balanced flavor.

M: A nicely carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A very drinkable version of an English porter.

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Photo of biglite351
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - a good bit of light coming through, tight head bit no lacing.

S - very light. Mild porter crossed with a bock.

T - average porter taste plus something mild that I didn't care for.

M - medium coating with a light tingle on the tip of the tongue.

D - not for me.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from 99 Bottles Federal Way, WA

A: Poured a nice deep brown with good carbonation and a nice tannish head

S: Peat, roasted malts, chcolate

T: Sweet and dry at the same time with a very big peat presence from beginning to end. Chcolate notes and roasted malt

M: Nice, creamy, medium bodies, light booze

D: Very good

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Photo of jwinship83
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness information drank from a standard american pint glass.

A- the pour is a pretty dark brown with a little bit of ruby red highlights when held up to the light. a finger of beige head forms on top and lasts for a little while. little to no lacing left behind.

S- roasted malts are the first thing i notice. theres some caramel in here too which adds a sweetness to the nose. milk chocolate and coffee finish this one up.

T- the roasted malts i could smell come through, but not as dark tasting as i was expecting. the sweet caramel comes through with force. milk and dark chocolate and coffee also. i think i might also detect some citric hops, but very faint.

M- medium bodied with a soft level of carbonation that really works here.

D- pretty easy to finish, but not interesting enough to wish i had picked up an entire sixer vs the single i bought. there are some floaters that become visible towards to end of the glass.

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Photo of chickenflea
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a medium, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of sweetened coffee with dried dark fruits and anise. Roasty malts with subltle peat notes.

Taste: Dark, roasted maltiness with some lesser toasted qualities and a crystal malt sweetness. Hint of dark fruitiness. Pleasant smoked maltiness with a distinct touch of peat. Mild hop character with the bulk of the relatively low bitterness coming through from the roasted barley. Roasty, sweet and sour finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Low, easy-going carbonation.

Drinkability: Scotch porters are not my favorite style, but this was very nice. Not overly sweet. Balanced and drinkable. The scotch ale qualities balance the porter nicely.

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack on a whim. Porters and stouts are probably one of my favorite types of beer so I'm always looking to try new ones. Appearance: completely black, with moderate lacing. Smell: wood, chicory maybe? Taste: Wood, smoke, chocolate. Mouthfeel: very light carbonation, nice warmth to it. I couldn't have more than one of these at a time. Not because it's not an excellent beer but the complexity, warmth and chewiness is not something that I would want in excess. Excellent desert beer or an excellent choice with cheese.

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Photo of oregonskibum
2.91/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a realy dark to the point of being black except for a touch of amber along the edges. Nice 1/2 inch tan head that faded to a thin ring along the edge of the glass fairly quickly.

S: Lots of caramel and molasses flavors, some roasted coffee and smokey notes as well.

T: Kind of a confused, slightly sweet mess. Smoke comes through more promimently on the taste. Starts a little sweet with molasses, maple and a little chocolate. Finish is slightly bitter.

M: Medium body with high carbonation. Appropriate for a porter, but a little light bodied for the sweetness.

D: This tasted a little like a porter and a scotch ale that were blended after brewing rather than being made as a Scotch Porter. It was drinkable, but not the most enjoyable brew.

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Photo of silentjay
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark, hazy brown with an eggshell-colored head that leaves quickly and doesnt leave much evidence of itself on the glass.

smells like a scotch ale and porter mixed. (hence the scotch porter) lots of molasses, maple syrup, some chocolate, a bit of smoke, and a hint of black coffee.

taste is much more smoky than the aroma. reminds me of overcooked bacon or hot dogs cooked over the campfire. some chocolate is there, plenty of molasses, a tiny bit of maple. brown sugar, maybe a hint of dark fruits, but its mostly smokey malts.

medium bodied and creamy with a chalky feel. drinks ok. not a fan of smoky beers or meat, and the smoked pork flavors that dominate this beer just arent my cup of tea, though i do think many people would like it.

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Photo of illidurit
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black-chestnut color with a dense cap of tan head. Aroma is light on the smoke, I get mostly chocolate and toffee. There's a light sourness, hard to put my finger on exactly. Almost like a slight rottenness, but it's too faint to be repulsive. When cold, the flavor and body are actually quite nice. The low temperature adds a viscosity that is rapidly lost with warming. The flavor is dark chocolatey with a whisper of smoke, but the body fails to support this as the beer warms. Very unroasty, strictly porterish. There's no mistaking this for a stout. Negligible bitterness. I've been rather sensitive to astringency lately and thankfully this beer has almost none. I guess it's really not bad for a Mad River beer.

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Uniontown Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 379 ratings.
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