Brewer Patriot Collection - George Washington Porter | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Brewer Patriot Collection - George Washington PorterBrewer Patriot Collection - George Washington Porter
197 Ratings
Brewer Patriot Collection - George Washington PorterBrewer Patriot Collection - George Washington Porter

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with licorice, a proprietary hand-smoked malt and almost a pound of East Kent Goldings hops per barrel.

Added by AllThingsNinja on 03-26-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 176
Reviews by scottum:
Photo of scottum
3.94/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out blackish with a big fluffy tan headskie. Looks amazing! Tastes old school. Burnt flavor rises high with some hints of sweetness abounding. Balance works. A touch thin in body for the style, but it goes down very smooth and is easy to drink. I enjoy this brew and would certainly have another.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have to say its been an education drinking the Brewer Patriot Collection and I have for the most part enjoyed these beers.This porter poured a near black deep brown with a little ruby tint with a tight 1/2 finger head that held some good retention,big smoke in the aromas along with some mollases and earth.I have to say this almost seems like a smoked porter with its smokey profile in the nose and even more so on the palate,smokey flavors intertwined with molasses and I do pick up that licorice edge but its lends flavor support quite a suprising earthiness in thru the finish.Hey I liked it and its very interesting I could have drank this back in the day.

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Photo of Engibeer
3.47/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 01-07-07. Best by date Oct. 2006.

Dark and heavy in appearance. No highlights visible through the beer. Thick dense buff head that starts as a half inch blanket and subsides to a broken lace cap.

Aromas of licorice in the front but faint. As it warms the licorice becomes more prominent. Molasses aroma is much stronger.

Flavors of molasses with a bit of roastiness and dark chocolate. And the hops are certainly there.

Smooth mouthfeel, but not heavy.

Like the other three, I found this beer interesting. I think that since I kept it longer, the strong licorice others noted had mellowed. I would buy this again if it were made available.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 12oz bottle into my glass a dark, murky brown that borders on black with a creamy two finger head of light tan foam leaving some nice lacing. So far so good! Aroma is nice with a roasty, smokey dark malt in the forefront. Molasses and chocolate work in and after letting the brew sit for a few minutes I get a big blast of herbaceous licorice root. Quite interesting, I'm enjoying the aroma here.

First sip brings a nice dark roasted, kinda smokey malt upfront that's quickly met by a chocolate/molasses one-two punch. Herbal bitterness moves in halfway through with only a light licorice root note that's somewhat earthy. Finishes off with some herbal hops. Quite a strong, bitter flavor profile here. Definetly an interesting porter to be had here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. This one has quite a bit of body to it and stands up nicely. An interesting porter with a big herbal smack. I quite enjoyed this one and I could see myself coming back to it. Definetly a brew I would've been drinking if I had lived back in the colonial era.

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Photo of blitz134
2.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Another one in my cellar that is starting to age and probably shouldn't.

Not a bad looking brew at all. Looks black in the glass but when held up to the light it shows through with red, garnet highlights. Tan head, 1" on the pour and reduced to a lump mass with a nice tight web of lacing.

The licorice and molasses really stand out to me. I'm a huge licorice fan so it'll be interesting to see how I like it in this brew. Molasses comes through with a heavy slightly burnt caramel aroma. I wish I could get more toasted aromas out of this since I think it would work well with what is already going on here, but alas, I don't really pick any out.

Well...what I thought would work well above doesn't prove to be so when I taste it. I definately have found some toasted malts. They are fairly aggressively toasted and offer a touch of chocolate. The licorice is again prevalant, this time right after the swallow, and the molasses adds to the overall sweetness. The toasted flavors really come in at the end and linger after taking this one down. Some earthy hops come in faintly at the finish as well. The anise flavors just contradict the toasted flavors too much...

Good mouthfeel actually. Nice medium to full bodied beer. Carbonation seems about right for a porter, it adds a little crispness to all of this.

Its hard to say much about the drinkability. This one is fine to taste to see how things might have been, but I prefer today's incarnations of the style a lot better. After a while this one really sits strange on the stomach, kinda like eating too much sugary candy...

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recipe #2 from the Patriot Collection, best by 10/06. A pretty good porter, although the licorice gets in the way a little. It was a dark brown, with a thick coffee-colored head, and some nice lacing. It had a mostly roasted grain aroma, although I could pick out some licorice. It tasted sweet, coffee, with the aforementioned licorice. As it got warmer, I could taste hops faintly. Pretty decent beer.

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Photo of Todd
2.52/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

George Washington Porter. Authentic Recipe No 2. Best enjoyed before October 2006. Opaque dark wood stained brown in color, with muddy brown edges and a cola colored head that drops quickly to a ringed lace.

Strong and dominating licorice aroma, with an underlying robust molasses and highly roasted malts - near burnt like in the nose.

Thick-ish, deep blackstrap molasses character (sweet, tangy nectar) quite robust. Licorice is assertive, and smacks of herbal flavors. As the beer warms, both flavors become very intense, overpowering the palate a bit with some cloying action. Though some hop illustrations are on the labels artwork, any real hop presence is masked by the dominating molasses addition and licorice, however there is some and it peaks with a tannin feel and semi-citric sharpness. Rough and long lingering finish with molasses and soft anise residuals sticking to the palate.

Authentic or not, this is a tough one to drink. The use of molasses and licorice is simply overwhelming and without balance.

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Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is a few months old and shows it. Pours dark and opaque with a small tan head. Good retention with some patchy lacing. Aroma of licorice, almonds, and some dark roast. Medium body with what seems to be overcarbonation for a porter. Taste is nutty and roasty. Licorice is prevalent. Mild molasses provides some sweetness. Some cardboard noted from oxidation. Interesting, but not something I would want to buy.

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Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer , best before dating of Oct. '06, so this is just a month out of date. Pours very dark, almost black, long lasting, thick dark tan head, and leaving spotty,scatered lacing as well as some short lived sheeting. Nose here is boldly of molasas, burnt grains and smoke. This is a pleasantly flavorful porter, lots of character and burnt malts, and molasas flavors. Pleasant and complex quaffer, nice job by SA here

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Photo of magictrokini
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice beer. Pours dark amber with a decent off-white head. Aroma of burnt malt with some anise. Great roastiness with the malt and coffee up front that blends nicely into a sweeter and slightly licorice back. Much better than the 1790 Root Beer licorice bomb. Good balance.

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Photo of ADR
3.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sludgey thick pour, opaque very dark brown appearance with a 1/4 inch tan head. Good attractive lacing. Lightly bitter black licorice aroma. Medium body and carbonation. Flavor is sturdy, with plenty of bitter qualities, medium smokiness, anise and noble hops are sharp, and the molasses seems to be present in enough quantity to give that heavy aftertaste that you find in dark rum (and unfortunately, reminds me a bit of bilge water). It would be fun to see the exact recipe of this beer to see what is going on. An interesting difference from typical chocolate and coffee flavored modern renditions, there may be enough authenticity here to harken back to a day when lots of things might have been used in a dark Ale to bring about what would be taken as an acceptable balance.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a muddy dark brown color, with a thick fluffy tan head. The head fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a caramel sweet aroma. I smell the roasted malts well. It has a very subtle coffee aroma. It has a molasses aroma to it as well.

This beer has a surprisingly smokey flavor. I didnt smell much smoke in the aroma. Behind the smoke, I taste a sweet malt flavor. It is kind of hard to taste anything else with the strong smokey flavor.

This is a very aggressive beer. This beer leaves a very smokey aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

I doubt this beer would make a good session beer since the flavor is very aggressive, and not the most plesent.

Overall: Once again, I am let down by Sam Adams. I will never try this dud again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer has a black body with a tan mousse head that last and last. The beer stains the side of the glass after each sip.

S- The smell of dark toasted malt has a faint fresh cigar tobacco note with a hint of dry molasses in it. It smells very simple yet still has some nice depth to it.

T- The taste of dark earthy malt has some notes of molasses and lots of tar that is finished with a faint pine hop note with a slight hint of mint to it. As this beer warms it has more bitterness to the hops which balances the dark malt.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol or astringency in the finish.

D- This beer has a very stoic dark malt flavor that is well blended and very nice. It has a historic taste to it whatever that means. Many porters cross over into stout territory but this taste like a porter trying to be a great porter.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
3.69/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a imperial pint glass

A- dark redish brown when held to the light looks as a porter should

S- nice smokey roasted malts, interesting

T- some malt, smoke and a hint of bitterness in the back end

M- balanced as all SA are

D- an easy drinking porter, a bit more bitter than some but still a good sipping beer.

This was a good Porter. Although not my favorite of the style. I like what SA is doing with this collection from a historical and intellectual perpective but I would rather drink Sam Smiths Taddy Porter or my favorite the BBC coffeehouse porter

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.8/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is actually my favorite brew of this historic and rather unique 4 pack.

Appears Dark brown, thick brownish head. Good retention here.

smells malty, smokey with a sweet edge, molasses and caramel.

Taste is smokey with a nice hop bite, the molasses gives it the sweet hint, the licorice adds a unique difference to this porter.

Feels substantial, thick and smooth but not flat.

GW had good taste, this one could be sold seperately IMO.

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Photo of Dewey0603
2.12/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This pours a jet black with a huge tan foamy head. A very nice looking brew. The smell is surprisingly weak with only a hint of molasses The taste is roasted malt,coffee, and molasses,but it's very thin and watery. The aftertaste is very acidic making this alittle unpleasant ,especially with the licorice undertones. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing not altogether well. A period beer that doesn't translate well to this period.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Mahogany black brew with a one finger brown head that sticks around. Spotty lace is left on the glass.

S - Malty nose with little trace of hops. Smells like Count Chocula chocolate marshmallows. Rich and sugary like the way the milk smells in the bowl after you've eaten all the cocoa puff cereal. As it warms I detect some very light roasted coffee notes. This smells good, but it's a little too heavy on the sugary chocolate and a little too light on the roastiness.

T - Complete 180 of the nose! The nose is all sugary gooey chocolate, and the flavor is all old coffee-thats-been-sitting-on-the-burner-too-long bitterness. This isn't very good. It's surprisingly bitter and sour given the nose. This also has some of that "old log cabin" flavor that I found in all four of the Brewer Patriot beers. It's a bit off....and very unbalanced. It says that it's brewed with licorice and things that i love the flavor of, but although I can taste some black licorice it comes off as a very sour and bitter flavor that is not at all like some of my favorite anise/licorice booze (ouzo) or the black teeth-staining candy that I like.

M - Medium bodied and slick on the palate. I can feel the sugar coating my mouth. After the sugar slides away, the finish is very bitter with roasted grain sourness for about two seconds and then it disappears.

D - Not good. As with the other three brews in this four pack it does seem authentic and old-fashioned, but it really suffers from "odd-ball" syndrome and that makes it really hard to drink. I don't know what beer was like back then, but this seems like a good reproduction of how it must have tasted in the days of our founding fathers.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.14/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Final bottle from the BPC.

Pour: not completely black, but dark with garnet highlights under the thickest, frosting like head that I've ever seen on a porter. Lasts to the end with good lacing too.

Nose: smoked, bitter malts, chocolates, charred grain and an anise finish.

Taste: has a light smoked malt profile similar to the Madison Dark Wheat, rich molasses, sweet and spicy black licorice, chocolatey grain and a dry malt finish.

Feel: substantial, but not chewy, velvety carbonation

Drinkability/Overall: A real surprise here, a thick and tasty porter with rich licorice and chocolate and a nice smoked character. The most well-made beer in the pack for sure and just a nice unique recipe for a porter.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite its being unfiltered, the George Washington Porter pours a clear, very deep mahogany body that's almost black in the glass beneath a billowing head of frothy dark yellowed tan. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves wide swatches of creamy lace in its wake. The nose is richly malty and hoppy like fresh wort being brewed (it's like walking into a brewery not long after the hops have been added), and that carries over into the flavor as well. But there's also a burnt-sugar note from the molasses and licorice that's quite intriguing. It's quite remarkable, and I've never had a beer like it. It's chocolatey but not in a sweetish way, and there are plenty of dark-roasted malt notes as well. It's more bready than anything, I guess, with a toasty side and a thread of molasses running through it. It's balanced - not overly sweet, not overly bitter. The hops are quite leafy with a mild earthy and mineralish side upfront with some more floral character showing late in the finish, and I'm guessing they might be Fuggles and Goldings. More of the licorice and molasses become apparent in both the nose and the mouth as it warms, but they're far from overly aggressive and just lend that much more to its complexity. Really quite stunning! The molasses lingers after the hops have faded in the finish. I could easily see enjoying a pint or two off this one night down at the local: and I could readily come to believe that this is as fresh beer might have tasted back in the 1770's (although I'd guess there'd be a bit more of a twang attatched to it as well). If you enjoy English porter you'll probably love this very unique and historic brew!

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Photo of cliff1066
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DESTRO
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a very deep red with a small head. nice lacing. smells dark and sweet, molasses and licorice. taste wise? smoky, dark malt, nice hop balance. brings up thoughts of bbq sauce. in a good way. a bit thin in the mouth and a touch fizzy, which is the only real downfall. pretty drinkable and interesting.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky and nearly opaque dark brown with a massive cola colored head that retains well. The aroma is intriguing and seems authentic (if not particularly appealing) with big roasted notes upront, along with a strong earthiness, some molasses sweetness, slight licorice and some tobacco. The flavor is also quite unique and interesting (definately unlike any other porter) with big molasses and roasted character upfront, along with some licorice, tobacco, earthiness and some smoke. The mouthfeel is lighter than most modern porters but is appropriate nonetheless, and drinkability isnt too great because the huge roasted character is fairly astringent. I feel like this brew is getting a bad rap because people arent reviewing to style, this is supposed to be an authentic recreation of the original american porter not a modern day microbrewed porter.

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Photo of russpowell
3.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours purplish-black with a 3 fingers+ tan colored head.Super lacing & head retention

Smell: Licorice& mustyness, plus hints of choclate

Taste: Licorice, molasess & bitter choclate, isn't really blending that well. Finishes slighlty fruitty with presence of burnt grains& other unpleasant bitterness

MF: Medium with excelent carbonation

Drinks a little slow, tastes don't come together for me. Aesthetically a nice beer just doesn't deliver on taste. Strong flavor & scent profile, but not all of it is desirable. Make up your own mind, but this one I could take or leave, but easily my least favorite of the 4

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Photo of bditty187
3.4/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown in hue with reddish-black influences; my first impression wasn’t too positive. The liquid seems thin in color, it lacks depth. Again, this is totally subjective. Massive beige foam, I somehow managed to pour at least three fingers of head. Head retention was respectable, slowly the bubbles faded to a fizzy cap. Lacing started immediately; I always like that. The subsequent lacing was disorganized but widespread. Overall, the appearance is very solid.

The nose smells like molasses candy you’d find in an “old west” store or in Wall Drug, SD. I am surprised to smell smoky notes in the background along with hints of earth, vanilla, and wood? Leather? I get hints of chocolate, too. Very interesting… moderate potency; fairly chatty. I must say, this smells like no porter I’ve had. My first whiff was worrisome but after I really deconstructed the aromas, wow! I can’t wait to try this.

The palate fails to follow the nose’s lead. I find it harsh, bitter, and one-dimensional. This beer needs more malt sweetness, more depth too. The molasses candy taste is too cumbersome. Dry earthiness, dare I call it scorched earth? I don’t find the palate smoky, at least not like the nose indicated. Woody, earthy finish which lingers into the aftertaste where a kiss of vanilla emerges as well as medicinal notes. Overall, the flavor profile is very unique. While it wasn’t great it wasn’t foul either. I’ll remember drinking this one; it’s an odd little porter.

Medium/medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is a bit thin for the “style,” IMO. No matter, the mouthfeel doable if not skimpy.

I wonder if this beer would grow on me if I drank it a few times? For some reason I think it would but I doubt I’ll ever drink this beer again. I enjoyed the experience of quaffing this odd porter very much. It was fun to drink and I like figuring out what the hell was going on. Food pairings? Shit, I don’t know. Honey gram crackers? That sounds good. Thank you jwc215 for the bottle; this was really enjoyable!

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Photo of aluskungs
3.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany color with suds clinging to the glass. The head is staying, it's not going anywhere.

A strong salty licorice and mild burnt molasses smell to this dark and stormy brew.

A frontal assault of molasses and a salty black licorice bringing up the rear. Smooth roasted taste, not bitter at all. Good carbonation rolls around my mouth like a salty wave, but not like getting a face full of sea water at the beach. It's weird, I like the salt taste.

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Brewer Patriot Collection - George Washington Porter from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.25 out of 5 with 197 ratings