Back East Brewing Company

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Porter - American
Ranked #275
Ranked #16,573
3.91 | pDev: 11.51%
Back East Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States
Very Good
Notes: Back East Porter is a full-bodied chestnut brown porter with notes of chocolate and caramel. This hearty beer offers a thick light brown head and is hopped just enough to offset the sweet maltiness and roasty undertone. This bold beer is refreshing enough to be enjoyed year round, but is at its best as a satisfying winter warmer or paired with a grilled steak, pork roast, or a burger.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 127 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NickZip99
NickZip99 from Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This did not disappoint! I was looking for a porter and found a 6 pack of this for $9.99 + tax, etc

Well balanced and smooth. Very drinkable.. not overly flavored or sweet. Can have more than one without needing to switch it up. I would like a little bit more flavor but regardless this is a solid beer!!!

Jan 22, 2021
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like caramel, roast, chocolate, and some light vanilla.

This is pretty basic, but well done, and hits all of the typical notes. There's some caramel and vanilla sweetness, with a bit of roast and chocolate bitterness.

This is very drinkable, with a nice light creaminess, and a smooth finish.

This is pretty solid stuff - a no nonsense porter for sure.

Sep 15, 2020
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GarrettB from Colorado

3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This Porter (in an unassuming can) packs a *ton* of meat char flavor into a lighter bodied beer. It's almost like a stout, but isolating that charred, maillard culinary flavor and amplifying it over other traditional porter notes. The aroma? The appearance? Hard to comment when drinking from a can at a picnic table, but what I do know is this competes handily with food served and maybe even a celebratory cigar.

Jun 21, 2020
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown body with a beige head. Good retention and plenty of thin, webby lacing.

S: Light roast coffee, toffee, caramel, hazelnut. Pinch of brown cocoa powder. Hay, grass, and very mild earthy hop spice. Great.

T: Nutty, cocoa, medium roast coffee with some acidity, roasted barley, caramel and toffee. Earthy hop tones. Trends sweet overall, but Dries into the finish with a lingering smokiness.

M: Medium body. Silky and creamy with a bit of a whipped feel. Like a fine chocolate melting in your mouth. Fine but firm carbonation. Epic mouthfeel.

O: This is just a fantastic porter. It nails the Brown Porter category, and it’s no wonder this has racked up multiple GABF and GIBF medals in recent years. I fear it goes largely under appreciated around here. It’s a real local gem to the true beer connoisseur, though.

P.S. Incidentally, I’ve been looking for a great beer in the brown ale/porter range to use as the base of a Hot Flip, an old colonial-era cocktail that was very popular in its day. I think I’ve found it.

Aug 15, 2019
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CodyBasden from Texas

3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice and dark with a dark reddish tint with a tan fluffy head that holds with lacing, nice roasted smell with hints of caramel, good roast flavor with caramel follow low bitterness, light body almost watery with light to no carbonation

Jun 16, 2019
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Standard can into a tulip with a dark brown to black body and a massive nutty brown head. That cap is about 3 fingers high with a foamy and creamy consistency. Very good head retention and thick sheets of lace.

S- Coffee really comes to mind with a fairly dark roast bean alongside strong roasted and browned malts. Toasted nuts, roasted barley, chocolate malts, toffee, caramel, cocoa powder, slight anise, a moderate sweetness and a just a touch of yeast bread.

T- The sweetness kind of cuts into the roastiness here a bit but it still has plenty of the blackened and browned malt flavors on the palate. Opens up with very dark chocolate and cocoa nibs with espresso beans and toasted nuts backed up by hints of caramel, sweetness, anise, bitter charred grains and toffee. Honestly get a hint of earthy and spicy hops here and just a touch of yeast bread and dark fruit from the ferment.

MF- Light bodied overall with just a touch of a frothy texture. Comes off as just a bit thin as the lack of texture is apparent right away. High end carbonation and a charred barley bitterness in the finish.

Definitely a well balanced Porter that has a great balance of roasted grains and the flavors from those alongside a moderate sweetness and just hints from the hops and yeast. Overall very drinkable and just well brewed.

Feb 17, 2019
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HanTran from Connecticut

4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Dark not opaque brown body, head a lasting skim coat but a bit skimpy in the pour, good lace.
Nice lasting nose of toasted grain, black cherries, chocolate, and just a hint of citrus.
This is a sweet porter but not cloying with some cotton candy and chocolate notes followed by a middle note at the back of the mouth that starts like orange peel, finish is slightly odd sour note.
The body is creamy yet somehow a bit thin/watery.

Nov 06, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; deep brown, approaching black; 1 finger light brown head that receded to a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: deeply roasted grain, almost burnt; dark chocolate, coffee;

T: roasted grain up front; bittersweet chocolate comes in mid-palate, but fades before the finish; coffee and lightly burnt grain at the end; moderate to high bitterness at the end that lasts;

M; a little thin; moderate carbonation;

O: very nice, complex flavors; body was a bit weak;

May 09, 2017
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$ 9.99 (Including tax)/six pack ($ 0.139/oz) at Max Wine & Spirits, Danbury, CT
Undated can at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – chocolate malt
Head average (Maximum 4.3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to a creamy four mm ring and heaped layer
Lacing - none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter roasted malt, chocolate; no hop flavor, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, almost creamy, soft carbonation

An average porter, nothing special here. I’d buy it again but wouldn’t seek it out.

Appearance 3, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 3

Jun 28, 2016
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dd43 from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a particularly strongly flavored porter. Executed well enough, but somewhat lacking in flavor and aroma intensity. Roast qualities are present, some bakers chocolate in the nose. Allowing this to warm up should help improve the expressiveness of the flavors and aromas in it. This would probably pair fairly well with food because it won't dominate or overpower anything. Malt backbone is pretty good, I can definitely taste the grains here. Hop balance is just enough to let the malts still come through, while imparting a modest floral and earthy bite.

Jan 27, 2016
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Dopen993 from Rhode Island

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into tulip. No date that I could find. Drank at cellar temp.

L. Pitch black in color with off white head and 2 finger head. Moderate lacing.
S. Chocolate malts and a touch of nut and coffee. Not much going on.
T. More than made up for the lack of smell. Lots of chocolate and nuts with a little bit of smokeyness to it. Finishes pretty dry.
F. Nice mouthfeel with above average carbonation. Light alcohol made it very easily drinkable.

Jan 04, 2016
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BierRunner from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color is a bit lighter than I expected but a nice tan head and lacing. Nose doesn't foreshadow the actual taste. Taste is strongest aspect, chocolate and Carmel flavors, but a little sweet on the finish for my taste. Nice viscous feel but not quite enough carbonation. This has a lot of potential. Almost ready for the next level.

Dec 26, 2015
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Char, Toast, Cacao, Quaffable

The basic Porter is not exactly a common style, although many geeks strive to find examples. Back East has produced a benchmark-level brew that is packed with flavors of unsweetened chocolate, caramel and coffee. A kiss of alcohol and just enough hop bitterness. Lots of balance with a hefty degree of robust roastiness. Finishes semi-sweet and leaves the palate wanting more.

STYLE: American Porter | ABV: 6.0% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #98 (MAR 2015)

Aug 25, 2015
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KTCamm from New Jersey

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

3/1...12 oz can. Pours dark black, all lights out, thick heady tan foam. Coffee nose, subdued, light roasted sweetness. Smooth creamy taste, light bitter, just a hint of coffee bean twisted in. Earthy. Some lactose milkiness. Smooth tasty, efficient.

Mar 14, 2015
Photo of MCImes
MCImes from Connecticut

3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

this is an ok porter with a good malty profile, but needs a little more body. to me it needs a little more malt in the mash so the final beer has more body and a little residual sweetness. I won't buy it again.

Feb 01, 2015
Photo of TWStandley
TWStandley from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from the can into my Delirium tulip.

Appeared a dark brown color with an off white head. Impossible to see through but very bubbly in appearance.

Smelled of roasted malts and a touch of vanilla cream.

Taste was subtle yet tasty. Nice dark chocolate notes.

Not overly sweet - pretty subtle flavors. Definitely a very drinkable and tasty porter. Was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

Aug 17, 2014
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Crazy4LegMoose from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Thick opaque black ale w/ 3 fingers of creamy golden brown head. Leaves thick fluffy lacing w/ a thick pillow of head retention. Great looking brew.

S: Dark chocolate and smokey flavors hit you at first. A little bit of anise in there. Smell reminds me of chocolate croissants fresh out of the oven. Roasted bittersweet chocolate with a hint of nuts also.

T: Smooth roasted chocolate croissant flavor with a hint of coffee and roasted macadamia nuts. A bit of tanginess in the middle that finishes slightly bittersweet and chocolatey.

M: Full bodied creamy beer. w/ lots of roasted flavors. No real fizz more creamy.

O: Solid porter that is sweet but not to sweet or overly bittersweet. Nice balance of chocolate and roasted notes.

Aug 09, 2014
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pouring a cellar temp can into a snifter. THe beer pours a rich deep brown color with frothy beige head of 3 cm foaming up on a gentle pour.
The head recedes slowly during the sampling with tightly packed lattice and some wispy islands by midway point.
Aroma is roasted malt and some brown sugar sweetness. I also get a little earthy hop note mixed in on the nose, but this is a malt driven brew I think.
First sip reveals an average body and fine fizzy carbonation. The texture is smooth and coating on my palate. Nice physical beer.
Flavor is sweet chocolate malt with just a bit of roasted notes and again a little earthy hop. The finish is all roast and lingers after each sip. My tongue tingles from the carbonation too.
Overall a nice drinking beer that feels good and is tasty too. I like this porter and will pick it up again to take out to folks and introduce them to a nice CT made beer.

Mar 05, 2014
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WhaleHopper from Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice porter from BE. Nice Malty flavors without much roast. A subtle nuttiness and nice light mouthfeel. A style that can sometime go too heavy, this one stays in check and suits multi rounds and as they describe can pair well with many pub style meals. My favorite from BE, hands down!

Jan 16, 2014
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: high carbonation, 1/3 inch head, opaque, dark brown in color

Smell: cocoa and vanilla

Taste: cocoa, vanilla, and coffee towards the end

Mouthfeel: Sweet with a roasty bitterness, medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall: A solid and tasty American porter that I was glad I had the chance to try. The smell of the beer is great. Certainly a great local porter to look for if in Connecticut.

Dec 26, 2013
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PicoPapa from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Pours a dark brownish black color with an inch and a half of head. Almost looks like a glass of coke with a ton of carbonation. Minimal lacing. The aroma is roasty, smokey and malty. Earth, chocolate and some spicy hops. The taste is earthy with some chocolate and roasted malts. Smoke and some charred wood. Lots of carbonation. Happy to see a Porter in a can. Back East has made some good brews so far, glad they are here in CT. Overall, worth having again.

Nov 11, 2013
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Durge from Connecticut

3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown color with a decent tan head and a very nice web of lace. The aroma is giving off some subtle grass with chocolate and charcoal subtleties. Not very strong but pleasant. The flavor offers caramel and pecan with grain mixed with a stout-like blend of charcoal and chocolate ideas. It's medium bodied with a dry, chalky feel, somewhat aqueous in an inviting sort of way. Very drinkable and decent.

Jan 27, 2013
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BeerDude203 from Connecticut

4.81/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer from a growler and draft. Both are excellent, especially on draft. To me this porter is nearly flawless, it's the way I imagine a porter was intended to taste when the style was created. Nice and roasty toasty with a nice full body and a chewy mouthfeel. It's definitely a porter though, not too thick and syrupy like some that cross the line into stout territory. Great job by back east, all the beers I've had from them are great representations of their particular styles.

Jan 20, 2013
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

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

Poured from a growler into a tumbler pint, the beer is a dark, ruby-highlighted brown coloring with a frothy, dense, foamy, light brown head that started around an inch, but settled into a thin, clingy film coating the surface. Aromas of mocha, with a heavy, dark roasted coffee backbone supporting a bittersweet chocolate highlight. Smells sweet, but balanced. Flavors are roasty initially, with the sweet and rich chocolate sweeping in behind it. The flavors become entrenched with sweet, fudgy chocolate characteristics. Light, smooth bodied, the beer remains drinkable because the body helps to carry the rich flavors without overpowering. Roasted and bittersweet aftertaste with a clean, smooth finish. Very solid, tasty brew.

Dec 25, 2012
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davey101 from Connecticut

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

64 oz growler into a pint glass. Had no idea this took gold at GIBF, congrats Back East!

A - Pours a dark brown/black body. Lets a bit of light shine through. Nice and foamy two fingers worth of a tan head forms and settles into a thin cap with plenty of large bubbles. Lacing and retention is moderate.

S - Milk chocolate, lightly roasted malt, coffee, and some vanilla. A touch of floral hops. Very inviting and pleasant. Great balance between sweet and roast with neither really outshining the other.

T - Milk chocolate, sweet vanilla, bitter coffee beans and some metallic notes. Very solid porter. Mouth feel is medium bodied with average carbonation making for a highly drinkable beer.

O - Just a well rounded porter here. Very tasty and highly drinkable without coming off as too sweet or too roasty as some porters tend to. Back East is doing some great things.

Nov 28, 2012
Porter from Back East Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 127 ratings