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 TheSixthRing
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep cola brown color with a tan, finger width head. Fair retention, leaving a thin layer of microbubbles covering the surface. Lots of yeast sediment floating around. Leaves thin rings and spots of lace around the glass.

Smell - A healthy amount of deep chocolate overtones make up the bulk of the aroma, while lesser notes of coffee and earth play it up nicely.

Taste - Doesn't quite live up to the strength of the nose, but still kicks with great flavor and balance. Milk chocolate upfront, followed by a light coffee bitterness before giving way to a moderate, perfect amount of peat smoke character on the back-end. Touches of caramel in the aftertaste. This is really, really good.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate, somewhat lively carbonation. Goes down smooth; slightly silky.

Overall - Quality brew. Good flavor; incredibly smooth and drinkable. Dare I say, sessionable? Incidentally, I had a slice of chocolate topped cheesecake toward the end of my drink, and the pairing was nothing short of heaven. Wish I'da paired them together a lot sooner. For those that think the Stone and Alaskan Smoked Porters are too smokey, give this one a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of beergoot
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice brown body with a thick, chunky faint tan head; sticky lacing. Dark malt and cocoa in the smell. Bitter chocolate and sugary sweetness make up the bulk of the taste; some sweet caramel and a soothing, light bitterness builds up at the end of the taste. Medium-light in body; clean with a lightly sugary finish.

A fair porter that delivers on the basics. Nothing over-the-top, and no real wow-factor, but very enjoyable overall.

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

Poured into a snifter. No fresh/expiration dates.

Pours a nealry black dark brown body under a compact finger of head that falls slowly.

Certainly smells more English in style, with peaty light smoke over frothy chocolaty malts. Little to no hops to speak of.

The flavor takes this in a new direction. The smoke and chocolate are minor in comparison to the fruity dark malts and coffee flavors. This is almost going baltic in profile. The dark fruit and coffee are quite dry, and accented nicely by a touch of smoke. This lands somewhere near Irish dry stout, English porter, and Baltic porter. at points it almost seems like this is dark chocolate with cherry. Quite nice.

The mouthfeel is full at first by surprisingly dry, with just a touch of acididy. This very well may be like the real original English porters.

Conclusion: Amazingly true to style. Well done Mad River! This is the first of their beers than I have tried, and I wasn't expecting something this good.

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Photo of BB1313
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No date. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy brown, nice khaki head, nice lacing and retention. There seems to some sediment. The aromas are pretty subtle. Lots of milk chocolate, malts and grains. The flavors match the aromas, subtle. There's more chocolate blended with skim milk. I'm picking up a touch of caramel, butterscotch and toffee, but it's muted. There's a decent bitterness that lingers with this one. Maybe a touch of black coffee, but it seems faded. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, smooth, light, nice amount of carbonation. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed.

Overall, average and kind of boring. I'm thinking this was possibly an old bottle. It actually isn't bad, but everything seems so subtle and one note.

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Photo of plaid75
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brown hue with a half finger foamy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft cocoa and a touch of caramel.

The taste consisted of creamy chocolate and soft caramel malt. A good dose of lactose detected as well.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a muted chocolatey porter.

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Photo of chinchill
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz undated bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Pours a hazy, dark brown; semi-opaque. Although the bottle was emptied, considerable sediment remained stuck on the bottom of the bottle. The small tan head is short lived but leaves spotty lacing.

A: Quite pleasant, if unusual for style, with hints of sweet caramel and red wine. Roasted malt aroma is surprisingly faint, even after warming.

T: The flavor is a bit sweet up front, but this changes to a nicely balanced mix of sweet and bitter. Nice complex and dynamic mix of malts, with hints of toffee and dried plums. Rich dark malt dominates the slightly smokey finish and aftertaste. Approaching 4.25

M: Medium+ body; smooth; well chosen medium level of carbonation; some dryness in the finish.

O: "Scotch Porter" indeed, this is about mid-way between a Scotch Ale and a porter. In any case, fine flavor and easy to recommend.

Review slightly revised after further sampling in June & Sept. 2012; May 2013.

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Photo of RickS95
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clearish brown color with some burgundy thrown in for good measure. The head is slow-forming, an off-brown color about two fingers thick, with great retention.

Very, very malt forward. The malt backbone overwhelms everything else. Scent is similar to cola so there's a caramel element as well. There is something else, kind of smoky.

It's really good. I don't typically care for malt bombs, but this has a balance taste. The malt is still dominant, though the caramel teams up with it, but the hops finally make an appearance to bring that balance.

Very creamy in the mouth. Only slightly sweet, not close to cloying, with a bit of bitter and smoke near the finish for balance. Great lacing, by the way.

Much better than I expected. It smelled like I expected, but I was blown away by the balance in the taste and feel, and that's what put it over the top for me.

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Photo of tronester
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark chestnut color, with a thin tan head. smell is a bit of toasted grain. taste is rich velvety caramel malt, followed by a rich peaty smoke flavor. mouthfeel is smooth. carbonation is a bit high, but nothing crazy. overall a great beer, I will be getting this again.

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Photo of RudeElf
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a chalice. Tan head repidly dissipated. Overall, a garnet brown color, slightly opaque. Smells of malt with a hint of underlying sourness on the nose. Tastes malty and smokey. A bit thin on the mouthfeel Fine carbonation. Smokey aftertaste lingers for several minutes.

Overall, not a bad porter. Typically I like my porter a bit smoother with more body and a little less smoke.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Deep, dark brown and solidly opaque, with a one-finger head of khaki tan brown, tight foam that quickly becomes a thin haze on the surface that lingers during the entire glass. Held to a strong, natural light, the edges of the bottom of the glass display just a trace of deep ruby red.

S - 50% dark chocolate, dark caramel, roasted malts, cocoa with a few marshmallows, all softly wrapped in a soft peaty envelope.

T - Dark chocolate/thick dark caramel with hints of smoke woven throughout. Moderately-burnt toast. Like a dark semi-sweet chocolate Dove bar with chocolate caramel ice cream. What hops are present are very much in the background and there to balance the chocolate, not compete with it.

M - Fundamental creaminess includes enough carbonation to cut through and clean the palate. On the thin side, in the traditional English porter style, but definitely not watery. Good, balanced structure. Not much of finish, although chocolates linger.

O - A bit of smokiness, dark caramels, and some bass in the chocolate dress up the standard English porter quite nicely. No confusing this with a stout, it's been pulled in a different direction. Probably a bit too focused on the chocolate to drink several, but it would pair exceptionally well with anything complemented by chocolate, such as vanilla ice cream or raspberries. Requires a fuller cigar with a dark but mellow wrapper. It should be noted that the "Scotch" has been dropped from the label, but "Porter" is printed on a tartan background. Recommended for non-hop-heads looking for more from a porter but not the burnt bitterness of a stout.

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Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown in color with little head. Nose is definitely roasty, but it is not super impressive. This a a solid classic porter - roasted malt upfront with a bitter malt finish. This is a respectable effort and the yield is a solid session porter even if the abv is a bit high for those purposes.

For me, it is certainly a positive bonus that this offering is proudly union made by brothers and sisters in the IAM.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

excellent excellent porter. pours chocolate syrup brown with a tall lace head. smells peaty, like a nice scotch, a bit smokey, and full of deep roasted chocolatey malts. flavor is complex as the peat notes really come through. gentle coffee bitterness creeps in at the end to round everything off. feel is nice, full bodied and properly carbonated. this is easily my favorite mad river brew ive had, and one of the better porters ive enjoyed this winter. really nice beer

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Photo of tdm168
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a mountain of thick, dense, foamy, brown head that has great retention. The nose offers notes of soft, roasted malts and faint coffee. There is also a faint musty smell that is natural to English beers. The taste is rich and malty with notes of dark, roasted malt and faint coffee. There are some very faint hops in the finish that add balance and a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.

This is a very enjoyable, smooth, easy drinking porter. I would have this again.

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

A- This be a pretty Porter. Thin frothy khaki head. Head, while diminutive in stature, retains well and leaves curtains of lace. When held up to the light I can see through it but only very slightly, not because its opaque, just because its quite dark.

S-Nose is sturdy to say the least. Chocolate, coffee, smoke and even some nuttiness. Smoke is definitely the most prominent feature in the nose. Much of the traditional Porter aroma is there as well (coffee/chocolate).

T-Nose and taste are similar. Smoke rules but is not overbearing. More chocolate and coffee appear as they should. I normally am not very enamored by a smoked element in my beer, but here I find it to be quite pleasant. Molasses dances around after ever sip too.

M-Medium body. Carbonation is fairly prickly. A bit dry but has a nice smoothness that lingers after each sip.

O/D-Super-deal ($4.99 a six-pack) makes this a ridiculous deal. I enjoyed this more than their DIPA. Smoke is set to an elegant tune. A solid, sturdy, brawny porter.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and smokey. Dark brown in the pint glass. Very grainy with tastes of oatmeal and buckwheat. Smoke pretty well gets in the way but it's not a bad smoke. Campfire and charred wood rather than peat. Malt gives some rich, slightly sweet flavors. Light mouthfeel. Something of a dishwater aftertaste. Not particularly pleasant for drinkability.

On tap at The Linkery on 30th for San Diego Beer Week.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a thin film. Foamy chunks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. However, there is a sludge-like substance that sinks to the bottom of the glass after the pour. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee. Taste is the same as the smell with a emphasis on roasty flavors - especially with the malt and coffee. A very mild roasty bitterness quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. A bit too much carbonation for the style in my opinion. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing really stands out for me.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a really dark brown color from a 12 oz bottle. Almost pitch black once it is in the glass, and a lot of visible sediment floating around the edges till it finally settles.
One finger tan head that dissipates very quickly.
Aroma is high on chocolate, malt (more like chocolate malt balls) with hints of roasted coffee.
Taste upfront is slightly sweet, with the sweetness slowly consumed by a hint of bitterness in the finish. Surprisingly inspite of the bitterness, the finish is a nice lingering sweetness.
This is a very delicious porter. Medium bodied and easy to drink.
Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a Pilsner glass

A: Very thin, tan watery head. Half a finger width and zero retention rate. Deep chocolate dark, moderate lacing. Weird little floating bits?

S: Roasted malt, coffee overtones. Some sweetness in there as well.

T: Coffee and chocolate flavoring. Smooth and tasty. Would go great with chocolate.

M: Wonderful, smooth all the way.

O: Nice Porter, despite the poor head and retention. Mouthfeel and taste are top notch.

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark ruddy reddish brown. with a creamy finger thin cream head. Deep full appearance with a total opacity. I have never seen a beer with so mysterious an appearance. I really love the interlaced red and brown.

Smell is of dark fruits, roasted caramel smoke and tobacco. Mildly yeasty and some esters.

Taste is malty and sour. Big roasted flavors and a light hop backing. Coffee and milk chocolate. Dark fruits, cherry and dates.

Mouthfeel is chewy and heavy. Finishes slightly dry and sour This is a beer to drink at a casual pace.

I enjoyed this beer and would drink it again. A wonderful porter. Enjoy with food or on its own.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DARK in appearance, nice brown, nice carmel foam. Smell is complex, smoke, coffee and malty. Mouthfeel is nice in and out with some malty aftertaste, not bad. Taste has a well balance of flavors. This is a good scotchish beer you can almost taste a hint of peat. This is going in my bq sause. Overall this has its place in the fridge.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a Steelhead Porter (not Scotch Porter) at 6.5 ABV but I didn't see the Porter on this board, so I went with the closest option for review purposes.

Appearance - this was a perfect pour with black color, 3 finger compact bubbled head looking superb in the pint glass

Smell - really nice complex scents with a smokey, chocolatey hoppy presence.

Taste - A wonderful flavorful porter, with really complext and balanced flavors. Nice chocolaty and malty flavors balaced with a slight smokey and slightly hop crispness.

Mouthfeel - Decent but slighty watery for the higher ABV

Overall - this is a superb porter that I really enjoyed and will seek out to buy again. Easy to drink yet quite flavorful...a great combo.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has a realy complex mix of tastes, does not have the color or flavour of English Porter. It has an almost burnt but not unpleasant taste. Peatmoss fired maybe?? Nice biteiness in the aftertaste. I would not recommend to someone who never tried Porter before, it would not give a true impression of the style. I would, however drink this again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brown with a creamy tan head. Nice lacing on top as well. Slow settle revealed some nice side glass lacing and a small pillow of tan on top.

The aroma was steep with roasted malts. Rich notes of caramel and molasses. Light grain touches and a bit of a herbal note persisted. Nice robust flavor, rich and sweet with a dry finish. Lots of roasted malts and a classic coffee and chocolate profile. Smooth, mellow and quite nice actually with an easy sessionability

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Photo of ckollias
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark black with mild amber highlights and a thick dark brown 2-finger head after a violent pour that sticks around for awhile and dissipates and leaves a wispy lace. Leaves a gorgeous trail all the way down the glass.

S: Smokey roasted malts fill the nostrils with my first whiff. Nice chocolate and hoppy background aroma.

T: Similar to the smell the smokey roasted malts dominate this porter. Great chocolate and coffee overtones, with a solid malt background. Smooth and a little bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: Awesome porter! Scotch porter? - This is a smoked porter if I ever had one. No matter what you call it I like it! This was my first beer from mad river brewing co – but I will trying more!

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a rich dark brown with amber highlights around the edges. a fairly decent buff colored head fades to a frothy cap that leaves bits of lacing.

earthy, peaty, and hints of hops. malt and bread with more herbal, earthy hops. somewhat subdued, but a pleasant, earthy malt.

Rich and dark, with a hefty malt sweetness. some smoke, peaty, dark cocoa and chocolate with hints of burnt coffee and rye. hints of wood. There's a nice and subtle bitterness at the end to remind that the hops are there.

Full bodied although a bit lighter than the aroma alludes to. The carbonation is a touch on the heavy side - could be the tap. makes it a touch on the bubbly, fizzy side for the flavor profile, but not horrible.

This is one of the few brews where the bottled version outshines the tap. I was able to compare both side by side, and the bottle has more complex, earthy, and smoky elements that just fall fairly flat off the tap, which is unfortunate. Still a good brew, but the bottle is better.

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