Slumbrew Porter Square Porter | Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)

very good
91 Reviews
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Slumbrew Porter Square PorterSlumbrew Porter Square Porter

Brewed by:
Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rich black porter with a unique blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted and nutty flavors. Brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate. Bold flavors from the cacao nibs and black malts are balanced with a special blend of pale malts, oats and wheat to produce a lush and lingering mouthfeel.

Added by beerdepartment on 11-23-2011

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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 386
Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark brown pour with a large dense light brown head adorning it. Retention is excellent, fades ever so slowly. Leaves big thick lines of lacing on the glass.

S: Wonderful chocolate aroma. I get both milk chocolate and some bitter baker's chocolate too. Surprising amount of bitter coffee to go with it too. Some caramel mixed in there.

T: Loads of chocolate and coffee up front. Coffee almost overpowers the chocolate, very prevalent. Fades out a bit into some roasted malt and caramel. Just a touch of smoke. Chocolate really comes to the forefront once it's fully warmed.

M: Smooth, creamy and medium bodied.

O: Very nice porter. Not as thin as some, and not as smokey as a lot can be (especially English style porters). Big hits of chocolate and coffee, definitely a must-have for lovers of one or the other.

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Photo of gwalson
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slumbrew tends to concentrate on one particular ingredient of their beer. In this case, the "secret" ingredient is Taza Chocolate Nibs, which are used like dry hops; the beer is conditioned over a pile of these pre-chocolate bits of the cocoa bean. The beer is dark, and has the slightly bitter taste of a typical porter. You smell the chocolate essence and taste it almost in the background. This is not a chocolate beer; just a very tasty porter.

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Photo of CraftVA
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a deep brown/black color with a finger of tan head. The color has a hint of reddish tones and there is good lacing.
S - The predominant scents that come through are chocolate, malt, caramel, and coffee; did I mention chocolate! It smells like a delicious cold dessert. Very pleasant!
T - This beer has a complex flavor profile with the semi-sweet chocolate and malt coming out in the beginning and a slightly bitter chocolate finish. A lot of flavor comes through from start to finish. You can really taste the coco nibs.
M - Rich and creamy, with a bit of a boozy kick. Just right!
O – Slumbrew has done it again for me! They’ve created a complex and delicious beer that pairs incredibly well with a steak dinner or a chocolate dessert (I know, because that’s what I paired it with). The Taza Chocolate nibs used in the recipe really bring out the chocolate flavor without adding too much sweetness. This is a beer I could drink with dinner every night. Really fantastic!! Well done!

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Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bomber with a freshness date.

LOOK: A pretty brown, dark yet the light shines on the edges. Good lacing all around.

SMELL: Burnt raisins, bread crust, leather, chicory, cocoa powder, dark berries

TASTE: Sweetness upfront, smooth, creamy, medium body, cooked raisins, cocoa nibs, coffee, molasses, modest hopping, warming alcohol, hop bitterness, roasty, semi-astringent, pulling dryness nearly puckers

Love that they use Taza in this brew but I think the nibs really dig in deep and don't let go. It is a good brew all together but the astringent quality gets the better of it.

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Photo of sentomaster
1.78/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This beer was an awful mess. I was really looking forward to this based on the reviews, but it was terrible. The nose started out ok with a good smattering of English hops, but it really didn't go anywhere from there. No roast and no chocolate. Meh, maybe it tastes better....NOPE. lots more English hops with a thin chalky body leaves a tea like medicinal taste in your mouth.

This turned out to be one of only a few beers I've had to drain pour. I tried to drink it but it just got nastier and nastier. My buddy dumped his glass too. Maybe it was a bad bottle, I can't believe so many reviews could be so far off.

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Photo of jsanford
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Pours a dark black with a creamy mocha head that settles to a nice cap, leaving ring of lacing.
Smell - Pleasant aromas of sweet chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee-and-cream. Smells decadent.
Taste - Good amount of chocolate - both sweet like a candy bar and bitter like baking chocolate - with a nice roasted malt backbone, and touch of coffee, and some cream. Sweet, definitely, but still quite drinkable.
Mouthfeel - Velvet-smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and good carbonation.
Overall - A solid Porter with lots of nice chocolate character. This would pair great with a Chocolate Torte.

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Photo of peebsTPA
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For somebody who drinks a lot of Porter, I was very impressed at Slumbrew's first offering in this category. Like a recipe perfected over decades of experience...but these guys are hitting a home run out of the gate.

The first thing I look for in a Porter is that it tastes like a Fuller's London Porter - i.e. not too sweet, sickly, sticky etc and actually tastes like BEER! PSP has a very balanced and mellow/smooth flavor, very satisfying on the palate. You can taste the chocolate, but it is subtle and does not overwhelm. It pours beautifully and retains a frothy head for most of the pint....even though the 'pint' itself didn't last too long - delicious.

If this is the way of things to come with Slumbrew, then I am very excited indeed for what's in store. This beer is up there with Fullers...which is a an outstanding achievement for a first brew. We should all watch Slumbrew very closely.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 3/12/12

Appearance: Dark brown, dark beige head, fades to a ring that leaves spotty lacing

Smell: Chocolate everywhere - cocoa powder with dry, beany cocoa nibs - a strange astringency makes me think this is oxidized (but I doubt it, this bottle is about 2 months old) - roasted malts, coffee, some vanilla - nicely dry, minimally sweet

Taste: Better than the aroma - many layers of chocolate - cocoa powder, hot chocolate mix, and cocoa nibs everywhere - nice malt profile - very roasted and a little burnt - some coffee - very dry, very low in sweetness, which works with the chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely dry, nicely carbonated

Overall: Interesting, but not that exceptional

This porter has a good base, and the use of cocoa is great. Overall, however, this is not particularly remarkable. There is something odd with the aroma, and I will probably have to try this again to confirm the semi-oxidized weirdness.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" dark tan head over the cloudy almost opaque dark brown brew. Fluffy head lasts well, with lasting lace. Aroma is roasty malts.

Taste follows the nose, rich dark sweetness to start, a peek of citrus in the middle, and balancing bitterness smooths into the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice porter to me.

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Photo of codsmith
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11-2011 - purchased from Binny's Chicago - served in Tulip glass

A: Pours black with a light caramel tan head that dissipates very quickly.

S: A very nice smooth and sweet coco powder aroma mixed with some spiciness from the cacao nibs.

T: The smell and taste are very similar. It has a very unique spice & bitterness coming through.

M: A lot thinner than I was hoping for. Carbonation seems a touch off. Very smooth and easy to drink.

O: A very interesting and unique taste. It is worth a second bottle.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a bubbly cream colored head. Some slight retention, and some surprising lace.

Some good dark roasted malt, some charred notes and a decent coffee aroma.

Disappointed here. Nice dark roasted malt up front, which actually has a little creaminess to it. Then a true earthy bitterness follows. Some scorched coffee, a touch of dark bread, and the long earthy bitterness again. I kinda get the nibs, but in the end, I find this type of bitterness, which is rather overbearing, quite unpleasant. I poured a pint, drank about 2/3, and dumped everything in the the glass and the remainder in the bottle.

Decent mouthfeel. Right amount of carbonation.

Overall, I recognize that there are many factors that play into the quality of a beer. Taste is probably the most important. I did not like the flavors coming out of this one. Well made beer, good quality, just not for my palate.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an almost black color with a thick, light tan head and great lacing.

S - Rich chocolate notes, slightly dark cacao. Roasted malts, faint hops, and a little cream. A little earthy oak as well.

T - Dark and slightly bitter chocolate. Creamy with a nice blend of roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and faint hops.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation...pretty smooth, but there is some lingering bitterness from the chocolate. No noticeable taste of alcohol.

O - Porter Square Porter is an excellent chocolate porter and I'm glad I picked up a bottle of this while I was in Boston for EBF. A chocolate porter I would love to have again!

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Photo of Phelps
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a schooner pint.

Deep burnt brown, opaque in the middle but clear and coppery at the edges. A nice, two-finger head is dense, frothy and the color of ground ginger. The bubbles descend very slowly, decorating the sides of the glass with circular arches.

Wort-packed nose. Sweet and grainy like boiling malt, with touches of earthy yeast, sourdough and milk chocolate.

Lightly roasted coffee beans, fairly big earthy hop note. Lightly toasted sourdough. Smooth, burnt roast rolls in slowly after the swallow.

Smooth body, a shade under medium light. Clean and light on the palate. Very gentle carbonation. No alcohol.

Porter Square Porter is redundant in both name and flavor. It was tasty, but boring after about half the bottle.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown and not quite opaque with a 1/4 inch tan head and good retention

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate, and some toasted nuts

Taste: Roasted malt with a touch of smoke and traces of chocolate and oak in the background

Mouthfeel: Just under a medium body so I found it just a touch thin and medium carbonation

Overall: This was a good porter that I am happy to drink again

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Photo of greenengineer
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bottle into my imperial pint glass
A - dark brown, thick sticky brown head, looks yeasty and sticky
S - can smell it as soon as the bottle opens, malty, slightly sour aroma
T - deep roasted malt taste, bit of hops bitterness in the aftertaste, but crisp, can taste the chocolate, but more of a pumpernickel sort of taste for me.
M - crisp, carbonation there on the tongue. Not tasting a lot of alcohol, but I guess it is ther
O - a good porter. Not one for gimmicks but the Taza Chocolate nibs give it a nice accent. I like the Slumbrew IPA better (style preference), but this is good

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a brewery that I was unaware of.

Pours a very dark brown with a two-finger brown head into my glass.

Certainly "Porter Squared" due to the creamy, cocoa texture in the nose.

It shows in the taste too. Cocoa, licorice and a dollop of cream. Not your usual porter.

The mouthfeel teems with a licorice aftertaste that serves to compliment the malt at hand.

I like this porter. It's one of the better examples I've had lately.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at New World Tavern. Served into a pint glass

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, moderate carbonation, black in color, opaque

Smell: smoky roasted malt and chocolate

Taste: roasted malt, sweet and dark chocolate, a nice smokiness throughout

Mouthfeel: sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, moderate carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: I really liked this beer. This ranks right up there with Cape Cod as the best porter coming out of Massachusetts. The chocolate is a great mix of sweet and bitter. The smoke puts this one over the top. The best offering of what I have had from Slumbrew and certainly one to have again fresh.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at a tasting at MrHirschybar's place.

Pours a semi-opaque dark brown with a tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, peanuts, and some fruity aromas. Taste is the same. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good porter but the peanut and fruit aromas are a bit off putting in my opinion.

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Photo of silentjay
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours deep brown to black with some mahogany hues when held to the light, though very little light makes it through. a huge khaki head quickly settles to two-fingers in height leaving behind lots of lacing.

malty aroma of roasted nuts, vanilla, amaretto, some chocolate (not as much as i expected) and some espresso. a bit of woody, piney hops.... but just a bit.

vanilla, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, some burnt grains leaving an astringent taste. lots of bitter chocolate with a charred finish.

a bit light bodied with creamy carbonation and an odd astringent yet charred aftertaste.

its good, but not what I expected reading some other reviews. wouldn't put it in the same class as Edmund Fitzgerald, Founder's Porter or Hill Farmstead's Everett, but its pretty tasty. a bit of refining and this could be a great beer.

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Photo of rinhaak
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a very dark brown bordering on black. It's got a tall, foamy, latte-colored head that lingers for a while. It's a very nice pour!

The nose is dark; chocolate, dark toffee, burnt caramel, and coffee grounds are all present. But there is almost something artificial about the nose: it reminds me of the old scratch-and-sniff books and the stock cocoa smell.

Rich, dark flavors with a lot of coffee grounds. Though there is some chocolate tones, there are not as many chocolate flavors as I was expecting (though they do become more pronounced with more contact to air). The chocolate character balances nicely with a minor hop bitterness right on the edge of the tongue.

Overall a heavy and dense beer with a very rich profile. I would be curious to see how it ages; I suspect the flavors will blend better with time as it seemed a little raw. But a nice offering that has me wanting to try their other work.

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Photo of Florida9
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown in color. Appears black from a distance, but it is not. There is a slight bit of translucency around the edges. Forms a decent sized deep tan head that reduces to just a thin bit of surface coating. Very light lacing.

S: Cocoa and chocolate dominate with notes of roasted malts, vanilla, and brownie.

T: Loads of chocolate with some roasted malts and a hint of caramel. There is a light sweetness and some vanilla. Very brownie-like.

M: Full bodied and robust. Mild bitterness.

O: A very nice, easily drinkable chocolaty porter.

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Photo of 00trayn
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A deep brown color with a sizable head that really lingers. Excellent lacing as well.

S - I just want to eat this brew with a spoon. It smell like a dark chocolate and coffee roasted dessert. Hints of malt and caramel come through as well.

T - A fantastic blend of the chocolate and the roasted flavor. I can't drink enough of it. There's a slight bitterness from the chocolate. It's a rich, complex taste that leaves a sweet and bitter taste lingering in your mouth.

M - Medium bodied beer with good carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

O - This beer has entered my Top 5 all time favorites. The chocolate flavor really comes through and it tastes like dessert in a pint glass. I can't wait to have more.

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Photo of willseph
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a tasting last weekend, served in a snifter.

A - About half an inch of mocha colored head that settled to a solid ring around the glass after a few sips. Very dark brown in color with hints of burgundy.

S - Great smelling beer. Lots of dark roast coffee and highlights of semi-sweet chocolate and malt. Slight hints of spiciness and sourdough bread.

T - The coffee in the nose gives way to the chocolate in the taste. Lost of bitter cocoa and toasty malt with a slight hops taste on the back end.

M - Quite thick and meaty, but noticeable carbonation. It finishes a little drier than I expected, but very drinkable all the way through the beer.

O - For what it costs ($7 a bomber), I've been hard-pressed to find a better porter off the shelf. This could get very rich with some age, but right away it's a great choice. I'm really glad they've started distributing in my area!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Binny's after hearing positive buzz about these guys. Served in a tumbler.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a thin cap and thicker collar. Dark brown body with some reddish-brown coloration at the edges of the glass.

S - Cocoa powder, roasted malt, sugar cookie, nuts, yeasty bread, and a touch of caramel and vanilla sweetness as it warms up. Despite the aforementioned flavors this is fairly low in sweetness and well-attenuated.

T - Taste is similar, with greater emphasis on the roasted notes, and a touch of that 'green' cacao nib flavor. A bit more smoke and char too.

M - Medium body, with nice heft for only 6.5%. No alcohol, a fairly smooth texture with only a touch of grit to it, and a dry finish. Carbonation is an appropriate medium-low and unobtrusive.

D - A textbook robust porter, with a mild twist from the cocoa powder and cacao nibs. Nothing mind-blowing, but reasonably priced at $7.49 for a bomber. This would make a nice go-to beer if we got it in kegs, as I could imagine having a few glasses of this one in an evening.

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Photo of kamoore63
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to give an official review to this awesome new local brewery!

Appearance: Beautiful tan head with ruby highlights; approaching black in color with ruby highlights; a beautiful pour!

Aroma: Slightly burnt caramel with hints of chocolate and a suggestion of citrusy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and surprisingly light on the palate. Goes down very smoothly!

Taste: Complex and full. A hint of bitterness balances the sweetness of the malt and particularly the addition of chocolate. The addition of cacao nibs isn’t obvious, suggesting that they’ve added just the right amount and that it is, in fact, a great additive. (Gasp! I don’t normally allow anything extra in my beer!)

Drinkability: Burp…. Bartender, could I have another?

Visit my beer page at

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Slumbrew Porter Square Porter from Somerville Brewing Company (Slumbrew)
3.95 out of 5 based on 386 ratings.
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