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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 379
Photo of cjgator3
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown color, almost black. The light tan head possesses excellent retention and lacing. This beer looks great in the glass.

S- The aroma is dominated by sweet chocolate with some coffee, molasses and roasted malts. Very nice!

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with some roasted malts which makes way for sweet chocolate and coffee flavors with a good dose of hops in the finish to help balance out some of the sweetness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Steelhead Scotch Porter is definitely a brew worth picking up to try. Good beer!

 651 characters

Photo of endincolorado
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, almost completely opaque with chunks of floating yeasty sediment (if you decide to pour it in). Great finger and a half of light tan head settles slowly. Light on lacing.

Aroma is of roasted malt, with notes of coffee, cocoa, and some toast. Faintest hint of hops in background.

Flavors are also heavy on roasted malt. Cocoa and toast, with some caramel, and a slight, bitter-dry hop character to balance. Taste overall is very tasty and not over-the-top

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and satisfying. with a healthy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty offering, and definitely a solid session beer.

 623 characters

Photo of jstilwell
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I am certainly 3:3 with this brewery! They know how to bring the malt, no doubt there. An aggressive pour releases a dark brown lightish black brew with a medium thick brownish head. Lacing lasts throughout, even when it warms. Swirling makes this nose shine! Hazlenut, caramel, roasted malt, cream and butterscotch. There is a great deal of flavor in this one with a thick creamy mouthfeel. Although my knock is going to be too much carbonation, the taste follows the nose with a tremendously balanced blend of sweet malt, crisp hops and warming alcohol. Why is this beer and this company not getting the props? Is it a scotch or is it a porter? Its more reminiscent of Founders dirty bastard than a porter. For this style, and a 6% brew, what more could one ask for?

 773 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a rich black liquid with a finger's worth of mocha colored foam

S: The nose has some aromas of smoke and peat which are quite nice. There's a little bit of roasted malt and some sweet caramel.

T: The flavor is a bit sweeter than I was hoping for, especially up front. The finish has a bit more of the roasted malt and the same peat that I picked up on the nose.

M: The body is a nice medium feel on the tongue with a mild to moderate level of carbonation.

D: I've sampled this beer a couple times before, but was more impressed with it in those instances. It's still a good beer, but I might have to try it again to see which perception of the beer wins out.

 677 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This is a nice black/brown color that suits the style, and the tan head looks pretty despite it's short life. Some sticky lace is smattered around the edges of my snifter, but only in random spots. Looks pretty good, but not outstanding.

S - Oh shit. Dark chocolate, charcoal, campfire, wet ash, cigar smoke, dark chocolate coated coffee beans, birch bark, cigarettes, and a vague hint of sweet Count Chocula marshmallow cereal. Ridiculous!

T - The flavors "follow the nose!" To quote Toucan Sam. Cigar smoke, woody campfires, wet firewood outside of an old cabin, gentle hints of sushi with soy sauce, and "musty (but pleasant) old house" notes if that makes any sense.

M- Medium bodied, but honestly on the light side for such a heavy hitting brew in the flavor department.

D - Killer. This is a well made porter that will stand the tests of time. I've never heard of the brewery, but I will seek out more of their brews if I can find them, and I would buy this stuff again in a heatbeat.

 998 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Love Mad River brews, but this isn't one of my faves of theirs. Brown scotch ale poured out, good head. Couldn't really tell you the difference between a porter and this scotch ale, they really looked similar here. All I know, is I usually like porters more than scotch ales, usually because of the different malts used, the lack of peat and better hopping.

The alcohol is hidden better by the usual, stronger malt profile in a porter. Probably hopped more than most scotch ales I've had, save McEwans, this one is easier to drink than McEwans, but not as good.

This is a beer to have once in a great while, but I just can't see drinking a 6er of this in a night. Its not a bad beer, its just my least favorite of anything they make.

 736 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Near pitch-black with some faint dark brown hues. Some sediment floats in the bottom. The tan head is a full two-fingers and fades fairly quickly leaving a small stripe of lacing right above the brew. Big sweet and toasted malts float to the nose. Tastes very sweet and malty, but not cloying, only well-balanced with a subtle hop bite at the end. A little caramel, pine, sweet chocolate and burnt wood exist in the very back. Goes down smooth and creamy with a little alcohol noticed at the very end. This is a near-perfect combination with the initial sweetness complimenting all the other porter-like elements.

 613 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine tipped me onto Mad River beers. I've only tried the Extra Pale so far, so here comes the Scotch style porter.

A: Very dark pure molasses brown color with barely light escaping through its bounds. A decent 1 finger frothy head speaks to me in bubble tongue. It fades eventually to a light head covering. The more I stare at the dark brown color the more it turns black and super dark.

N: The nose is pretty much what you would expect for a scotch ale crossed with porter. Lots of sweet smoked malt and porter aromas, blended with smoked malt, brown sugar, and even some dark fruits. A slight creamy malt aroma as well. Heavy aroma that hits pretty hard. A really good nose. I hope it tastes just like it. A

T: Starts closer to a scotch ale, with some caramelized brown sugar, lots of smoked malts, sweet malt and roasted flavors, dark dried fruits, creamy almost chocolate like malt flavors. Its semi sweet, but not very. The smoked malt comes out pretty well, as well as the roasted malts, a slight chocolate, and dark fruits, all blended well together. Its got a really nice flavor and smooth.

M: Pretty creamy and smooth, slight carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly sweet, and pretty creamy like chocolate milk. A slight earthy flavor comes from stout like roasted malts and smoked malts that linger for a short while, then dry off and finish pretty clean. A slight bitterness hits with a slight charred malts and perhaps a little hops. A very slight spice that probably also comes from some light hop presence.

Final thoughts: A very nice and drinkable porter scotch ale blend. Its got a nice blend of smoked malts, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and creamy flavors. I almost expected more coffee flavor, but otherwise its really nice and drinkable beer, with a great creamy mouth feel.

 1,817 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown, almost opaque, with an inch-thick creamy head that slowly settles. Lacing is excellent.

S: Smell is slighlty smoky with hints of chocolate, caramel and toast. Hops are non-present in the aroma.

T: Very rich flavor. Slightly smoky and earthy, with hints of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and some spice. Licorice notes, along with some dried fruit notes linger in the backround. The finish is sweet, smoky, and as long as the finish of a single malt whisky.

M: Full bodied and full of flavor. This beer attacks the palate and then comes back for another round.

D: Possibly the best campfire beer. A style of it's own, Mad River has impressed me once again. Even at 6% ABV, this porter is one that you want more and more of.

 751 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. One of the more interesting looking beers I've seen in awhile. Dark cherry oak color that's pretty hazy. When held up to the light it looks like it's glowing. It smells really good too. It smells similar to an American Strong Ale to me mixed with a Scotch Ale. It has a lot going on with the smell. The aroma is smokey with a mix of burned malts, hops and even some alcohol. The taste has just as much going on with it. Here's where the porter part comes in stronger. It has a taste of caramelized burned malts, again with a smokey taste. Doesn't taste as much like an American Strong as the smell is, but the taste of Scotch Ale comes in. With all that's going on with the taste, it's pretty well balanced. It starts off smokey than moves to the sweet caramelized burned malts, than finishes of with a bitter hop to it. All in all it's a great, unique flavor. The mouthfeel is very good, certainly full-bodied, pretty drinkable as well.

 984 characters

Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with mahogany hues around the edges. The head is about one finger thick that leaves a little lacing behind.

Aroma: Wow this one has a huge dark roasted malt aroma. Hints of burnt sugar and pumpernickel. A little bit of a dark roasted hop in the background. The malt scents conquer this porter. Lots of coffee and hints of carob round it out so very very well.

Taste: Light carbonation upon the first sip then it smooths out to a bit of a butery texture. Big dark roasted coffee notes. A wonderfuly malty backbone that is almost as sweet as a scotch ale.

Notes: What a great english porter perfect for a cold night. Cheers.

 661 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of tan head on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles quickly but leaves decent lace.

S - Mild aroma of caramel and toffee with little else. No roasted malt or hops.

T - Lots of carmel and toffee notes up front with bready malt. Some light, grassy hop flavor comes out in the middle, followed by chocolate malt and cola flavors in the finish. Lingering notes of toffee and smoke.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - I was a bit disappointed in the aroma as there is really nothing going on there, but it redeemed itself in the flavor department. The malt is rich and heavy on medium-dark, toffee flavors which gives this porter a definite scotch ale twist. The flavor really builds towards the finish with lots of rich, bittersweet chocolate character coating the palate. A nice beer, I would drink this again.

 891 characters

Photo of dolemite77
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours more or less still, with a thin dissapaiting head... read some reviews talking about a good head, so it might have been my glass... the color is a nice reddish/black. Aroma kicks in with heavy duty roasted malt... flavor is my favorite kind of malty... not just caramel, cloying sweetness, but roasted, peaty, and smoky... campfire would be a good comparison... moutfeel is a little thin, but the flavors round it out... that final salty note on the swallow gives it a very nice, almost imperial, type porter feel... good beer.

 533 characters

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

Enjoying this beer with some Sunday football and leftover ribs from Redbones. Quite the combo. At first pour this beer is very impressive - attractive dark brown hue with reddish highlights. Most impressive is the head retention - five or ten minutes after the pour I still have a perfect one finger's worth of creamy tan head resting peacefully on the beer. Aroma is full of malt, with some earth and a subtle peat smoke, contributing the "scotch" aspect of this porter. Nutty and spicy notes come through in the flavor supporting the big malty profile. Just a touch of herbal, spicy hops mixes well with the light smoke. Lots of subtle complexities here combining in a simple way to make a really flavorful yet easy drinking beer. Smooth an robust feel. Really a big fan of this one. Cheers!

 793 characters

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with a ginormous tan head. Nice.

Smell: sweet with notes of raisin and chocolate. An interesting combo; I like it.

Taste: very interesting. Again, sweet with big flavors of raisin and plum. There are hints of some roasted-malt chocolate and coffe flavors only at the very end when some of the fruit has subsided. Not at all what I think of when I think of porter, but it's tasty and, you know, porter's a pretty broad style.

Mouthfeel: medium body, pretty typical but not bad.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty good, but the fruity character is a bit much for me to enjoy in a session setting.

 677 characters

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

Consumed 9/10/09- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown, black in the middle, reddish hues around the edges when held up to the light. Thick one finger tan head, decent retention but not a whole lot of lacing.

S- Coffee, caramel, dark fruits and roasted malt.

T- Very rich flavors. Caramel, smoke, coffee, some oakish wood and dark fruit hints, and a nice smoky flavor.

M- Medium bodiedand slick, a little more watery than I expected.

D- This was a sipper for me. Very good brew but I wouldnt have more than one in a sitting.

I was wondering how the Scotch Style would be represented in a porter and if I tasted this blindfolded I would have leaned towards this beeing a Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy. Very well done.

 757 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a chocolate brown color into a standard 16oz pint glass sporting 1 inch of tan head.

Aroma is lightly roasty with notes of cocoa and caramel malts. A noticeable element of smoke is also present.

Chocolate, caramel, and toasty flavors mingle with smoked malt and are balanced by a firm hop bitterness. A few spicy hop flavors flash up here and there but overall the flavor is dominated by rich malts. While the flavors present are all pleasant, they seem a bit too muddled.

Mouthfeel seems a little light for the style. I prefer a more robust body in my porter.

Overall, a nice porter and I particularly enjoyed the smoky twist on the style. Something I could drink several of but I would probably pass on this in favor of other porters.

 747 characters

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

I've enjoyed other brews from Mad River, so I'm setting forth with fairly high expectations.

This pours a dark, coffee-colored brown--mostly opaque, but still with some efervecance around the rim. I also enjoy the sort of two-toned head. Seems to be a whipped mocha topping for a fancy Starbucks beverage, but with a sophisticated "burnt" look around the edges.

Smells heavily of coffee and caramel malts.

Taste is highly enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to enjoy this with a hearty stew--made from scratch by Mom. This porter complimented the Autumn night's dinner quite well.

Again, the initial feel is fairly viscous with heavy caramel malts--but eventually dissipates into a dry finish. Perhaps that of a scotch finish. Wonderful.

As heavy as this brew was on certain malts, everything seemed well in balance. Nothing too complex unfortunately, but easily drinkabble.

 877 characters

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

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 6-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy reddish brown brew. Head holds well, with average lacing. Aroma is peat, dark grains, touch of fruit. Taste mirrors the nose, without the fruit, but with a clean, lightly hoppy close. Mouthfeel is extra smooth, and drinkability is so easy. Nice brew.

 415 characters

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

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

Smell: Aroma of dark, roasty malts with notes of sweetened coffee and chocolate and, of course, the peat-laden smoked malts. Hint of dark, ripe fruits as well.

Taste: Dark, roasted maltiness with some lesser toasted qualities and a crystal malt sweetness. Taste of morning coffee dosed with sugar and chocolate. 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, sweetish finish.

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

Drinkability: A tasty, quaffable brew that takes a different spin on the humble porter. Why not give it a try?

 775 characters

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. into a pint glass/ no freshness date

P: This one is blacker than a lot of stouts I've come across, only showing a sliver of pecan brown light on the very edges of the glass. Huge, 3 fingered head of khaki foam is really thick, sturdy, moussy, and fluffy like a cumulous cloud. Showed good retention but didn't as much lace as expected. Still, this looks really good!

A: Quite powerful in the nose with big whiffs of roasted malts, citric hops, caramel, English toffee, wood, and a little smoke. I was expected to find some coffee in here somewhere, but never did find it.

T: Roasted malts hit first with big, bold flavors of cocoa, caramel, and that espresso that I knew would show its face sooner or later. Hops stay hidden behind the curtain of malts for the most part, but do manage to peak through with some citrusy notes. Nice woody undertones with some molasses, toffee, and a little hint of booze toward the back. Damn, this is big, bold, and full-flavored for sure. I'm impressed!

M: Medium-full bodied but feels like the flavors should have warranted a little more "meat" on this one's bones. It is smooth, but it's slightly oily and not as creamy as I would have liked. Maybe a little more chewiness would have helped the flavors shine even brighter on the taste buds than they already do. Nitpicky? Maybe.

Notes: This is a really good porter! Nice complexity with bold flavors that you don't seem to find in a lot of porters (at least not the ones I've tried). As mentioned, the body could use a little more to it, but this is a rock-solid offering that I will have to try again. Nicely done!

 1,615 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark mahogany color, nice big head that dissipates and a small amount of lacing to this one. Nice roasted malt aroma to this beer.. I love that smell. Taste is nice and creamy with a nice mouthfeel, nice smokey flavor overall to the beer. Seems very well balanced with finishes nice and smooth.. nothing really off here. I actually thought it could have used a tad more flavor or the smokiness.. I know it might be too much for some people but I just think it adds a cool flavor profile to a beer.. anywho, solid beer.. wish they distributed to CT tho!

 565 characters

Photo of mountdew1
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a dark brown, and was slightly cloudy, with a fair amount of bubbles rising from the bottom. Head was practically non existent, but left a small patch on the top, along with a thin ring around the glass. Smell was brown sugar, wheat bread, with a small hint of fruity sweetness. Taste was earthy, slightly burnt, with spiciness that reminded me of Asian foods. Felt tingly in the mouth, due to the carbonation that kept rising, almost like a soda. Also was a bit thin. Hard to drink due to the carbonation.

 552 characters

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

12 oz bottle received as part of a cellar purchase from another local BA who is moving. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown with red highlights at the edges. There is a small amount of head that disappears pretty quickly. There is really no lacing since there isn't really any head.

S: Roasted malt aromas with a hint of smokiness and a dash of chocolate.

T: The taste follows the aroma. The smoke is not at prevalent in the taste as it is in the aroma. It really seems more like a scotch ale that it does a porter.

M: Medium thickness body, but it could stand to be a bit more smooth.

D: A very easy drinking brew.

 646 characters

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

taste- chocolate, malt, smokey

color- deep red like a stout

smell- medium smoke and malt

body- mellow, mild bitterness

overall impression- nice solid porter

notes and comments- dry finish, complex malt balanced with mild hop flavors...scottish peated and german rausch malts are used in the making of the beer

 314 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.