Black Prince Porter | English Ales Brewery

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Black Prince PorterBlack Prince Porter
Black Prince PorterBlack Prince Porter

Brewed by:
English Ales Brewery
California, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 37
Reviews by baybassboy:
Photo of baybassboy
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce bottle which has simple brass colored crown cap. Single main label wraps around 2/3rds of the bottles body. Labeled as ‘Black Prince Porter’, the label has a picture of Edward, the Prince of Wales (1330-1376) who was the son of Edward III and a hero of English history because he kicked lots of French arse and actually took control of parts of France. Stated strength is 5.0% A.B.V.

Appearance: Dark black body which shimmers with some deep ruby brown flashes when backlit. Nice tan brown frothy covering forms immediately on the pour, but it does collapse all too quickly for my liking to a thin broken halo head.

Nose: Burnt sugar nose with a bonfire toffee hint, reminds me of the odors of the sticky black mass experienced when white granulated sugar is melted down. Not that appealing at all.

Taste: More burnt sugar. Molasses. Malt Extract and a sharp bitterness in the end, but not in a good way. Feels muddled, this is a stark simplistic collection of tastes that do not meld together in any discernable format. The carbonation disappears all too quickly and this soon becomes a flat burnt sugar mess.

Mouthfeel: Has a continuous thin feel, and it is even watery at times. Very light it felt wanting here, described as medium but I think it is lacking, especially as the moderate carbonation started to lower and evaporate.

Drinkability: Not that enamored with this one at all, there are just too many detractions for it to be anything other than a brew that I wanted to finish so that I could open the next one, and hopefully wash the aftertastes of this one away.

Overall: I loved the Monk’s Brown Ale, so I had high hopes for this one. Sadly there are too many entries in the minus column which severely outbalance the ones in the plus column. I’m sure this probably fares a lot better on Cask to be honest but from the bottle it is a let down.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer, hand-pulled at Toronado, resembles a thick oatmeal stout or Guinness in its pitchblackness and heavy 3cm tan cream top. Nose is toasted coffee, somewhat light.

There's an overall watery feel to this brew, which left me wondering if this would be how all "english-style" porters might be. Being hand-pulled and incredibly smooth, this beer worked well, strangely delicious and drinkable, despite the watery feel.

Taste is dominated by a lemon sourness and finished with a heavy and insistent graham cracker after. Overall, light and drinkable.

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Photo of Zorro
4.23/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown colored beer with a light brown colored head. Clear with red highlights when held up to the light.

Smells malty with caramel candy and chocolate being the strongest scent. Nutella on toasted bred sums up the remaining part of the smell. Chocolate and caramel with some nuts on toast, that is exactly what this smells like. Only small negative is the scent level is a little low, you will not smell it across the room after you pop the cap.

Starts out patent malt with a short sour zip as your tongue acclimates to the flavor. Chocolate with coffee at first, then the Carmel and chocolate appear. Little bit of bread flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK, really on the thin side for the style.

Pretty good drinkability. Tasty and pretty low in alcohol.

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Photo of IceAce
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep ruby-tinged body capped with a quickly degenerating collar of tan foam. Little lacing left on a beer-clean glass and clarity is splendid.

Nose is dominated with roasted malt with touches of chocolate and toffee.

Entry leaves an immediate impression with a thin mouthfeel and non-supportive carbonation. Midtaste is more porteresque with roasted malt finally hitting its stride. The finish is a fade featuring hit and miss appearances of chocolate and a short-lived roasted malt fade.

Try as I might, this beer simply falls short...starting with the grain bill...

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a nice head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing

Smell: Aromatic and chocolatey

Taste: Lays down a sweet chocolate base against which there is a mild lemony bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with just a touch too much carbonation

Drinkability: A pleasant porter which I tried in the bottle. Would have loved to try it cask conditioned at the brewery but they were out.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

02/07/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Pitch black pour with a nice gray 3/4 inch head and fair lacing.

Smell- Scents of coffee and burnt malts. Also a very bitter whiff strikes me...

Taste- Extremely bitter for a porter. Lots of coffee, malt and a bit of toffee, but overall the bitterness is the strong point in this beer.

Mouthfeel- Very creamy and a tad thick. Moderate mouthfeel.

Drinkability- The bitterness was a bit overwhelming for me, but not a bad brew at all. Had lots of other good flavors going on. Have had this one before a few years ago at the Englander in San Leandro.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a glass at the C Bar in Monterey, CA. It's not the biggest, or richest porter, but it's got a pleasant roasted barley cocoa taste with a smooth, lightly sweet base. There's definitely a candy-like English yeast character, but like I said, it's not a sweet beer this is quite drinkable and worth a try.

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Photo of Riggsy
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle acquired in Great BIF Race '06.
A: Pours a dark, opaque black with 1 finger of tan head that dissipiates quickly.
S: Aromas of coffee and roasted malt..not displeasing.
T: Not sure if astringent is the description but over done with black patent maybe. A sharp bitter taste, not pleasant.
M: A bit on the thin side. Thought a porter would have a little more body.
D: I just can't get by the taste to want another.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

July 22nd, 2015 - The aroma on this building block brew is a light met note, and in the taster it looks a but like a shot of soy sauce, with a cedar colored head and a very dark body. The flavor is pretty straightforward, with a good malty taste. It is both deep and sweet, with a pitch perfect reflection of roasted vegetables spiced with black licorice candy.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a chance to try this on cask at the Toronado

A: Deep brown with ruby highlights and a 1/4" thick dense brown head

S: Sweet in a baltic porter way with some roast and molasses

T: Thin in body but the flavors are OK - mild with a bit of roast but mostly leaning towards the sweeter side of things

M: Thin with a finish that suddenly disappears. Soft

D: Meh

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this with dinner at Fishwife, a nice swordfish. It carried over to desert which was a California style mocha cheescake that paired well.

12 oz. bottle poured into a mini-pint glass.

Pours a dark chesnut brown but a bit transparent with a one finger off-white head. Stickiness is there but pretty weak. Smell is a diluted chocolate malt with some toasted nut as well. A tingle of caramel in the nose too. Taste is a sweet nutty flavor up front with a pretty enjoyable hop bite. Aftertaste is a weak smokey chocolate malt with a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel is too light for the style with a good amount of carbonation. Somewhat watered down, not enjoyable in that sense. One is enough for me, glad I tried it, but I'll stick to my roots when it comes to English style ales and go with Middle Ages in good ol' Syracuse, NY.

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Photo of illidurit
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from Whole Foods. Poured into a pint glass. Darkest brown with a thin beige head that fizzles out pretty quickly. Light cocoa aroma with some dark bread crust and coffee. Flavor is black coffee with a slight metallic character. With warmth it opens up and gets a little sweeter and rounder. Dry, astringent finish with very high carbonation that also improves with warmth. Serve this one at cellar temp.

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Photo of nygannon
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of iguanodon
2.64/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Original rating 2014-12-29] Tap (cask) at London Bridge pub Monterey CA. Decent porter. Aroma of peat, smoke, earth. Taste of roasted malt, a bit sweeter in the finish.

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Photo of Nick3
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer a lot. I think part of the reason was watching the bartender draw the beer from the cask . . . it felt so authentic. The beer had a nice natural head almost cola like. Thick, opaque black color . . . like oil. Smell is dark roasted malts and molasses. Taste is similar, with minimal carbonation as you would expect from the cask. Very, very smooth, something you can drink quickly and in large quantities. I think I'll have another!

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Trails Pub (San Jose, CA), on to the beer:

This one has a creamy head with suds on top. Obsidian color in a dark lit place, but looks more ruby brown as more light is exposed to it. Faint roasted coffee aroma, a little sweet....milk sweet. Tastewise, it has a dominant toffeeish flavor. Bitter, astringent coffee compliments the toffee. Light, smooth, and creamy in the mouth, leaving a burnt flavor in the aftertaste.

Certainly more English-like than American-like. Not a bad beer, but a little more astringent for a porter.

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Photo of GoreStorm
4.65/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black (duh?) with a good tanish head on top. the room was dim so i couldn't tell exactly how dark it was around the edges.

smell was excellent, roasty wood, coffee and malts.

smokey, roasty coffee and malty flavors, very small touches of chocolate.

the mouthfeel was very light and smooth, and almost a bit watery for a porter. some may not like this, i enjoyed it however.

very drinkable, i could do several of these.

this was my first beer out of a cask, what a treat.

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Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Offa
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap in Monterey.

Essentially black, but not quite entirely black, with a small foamy ring soon thinning more.

Aroma is very mild, simple roasty with faint fruity coffee.

Taste is better, light roastiness, coffee, lightly sweet fruitiness (prune & dark raisin), hint of rootiness. It's fairly simple but very solid and enjoyable, and holds up well. Feel is good but fairly average.

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Photo of opwog
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Better than thier Fat Lip, but still not quite as good as something like the Tap Room Ale that they brew for the Tap Room on 17 Mile. As was the case with the Fat Lip, it reminded me of a generic home brew recipe, only one that came out a lot better than their Scotch Ale.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery, March 2010.

A - Black as night. Not much head at all, though some agitation gives maybe half a finger of it.

S - Not sure what it is about all of the beers from this place that I tried, but NONE of them have any aroma at all. You might have to snort it to get anything, but I wasn't willing to go that far.

T - This was actually my favorite of the three that I tried. Nice bits of molasses, brown sugar, coffee, and malt.

M - A bit thin and light, even for an average porter, but still pleasant enough.

D - Definitely could down a bucket of this stuff, being as light as it is. The low ABV helps, too.

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Photo of BeerisUber
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

taste- roasted malt flavors

color- chocolate

clarity- clear

smell- roasted malt, toast, dark chocolate

body- medium-body and length finish, smooth finish

appearance- dark, small off-white head, little carbonation

overall impression- a well balanced, above average tasting english-style porter. easy drinker and food friendly

glassware: pint

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Black Prince Porter from English Ales Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 37 ratings