Coal Porter | Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ

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Coal PorterCoal Porter

Brewed by:
Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Maine, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A superb porter, hearty & dark. This one is a staff favorite, made with pale, crystal, Munich, chocolate, and black malts. The darker malts give Coal its color and rich flavor. We use Target and Willamette hops to yield a very subtle hop flavor in this porter.

We cellar this beer for close to six months before releasing it on the thirsty throngs of fans.

Added by UnionMade on 11-04-2001

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Ratings: 450 |  Reviews: 284
Photo of auxiliary
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Pours black color, with a nice tan head that formed, but then settled to a ring, and a patch. Lace on the side of the glass sticks, but i think as i get down to the bottom, nothing will stick.

smell - Roasted malts, and coffee grounds.

taste - Nice dark roasted malts, all the way. Little bitter at the end from hops, but not much.

mouthfeel - Medium body, roasted smoke present.

drinkability - This is a tastey porter, enjoyed this one. I see others liked it too from thre rating.

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Photo of Lothar666
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown, almost black with a semi translucent body topped with a frothy, off white head that was over two fingers thick. Decent head retention.

S- Faint smell of dark malts and perhaps a bit of coffee. Nothing overtly obvious, very mediocre.

T- Sweet dark roasted malts, a strong presence of black coffee and a tiny bit of hops to balance out the finish. Quite tasty, though nothing spectacular, and the aftertaste from the acidic coffee leaves much to be desired.

M- Thin and light, slightly acidic; very little else can be said about this one.

D- Smooth but nothing special; goes down easy but without leaving you wanting more.

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Photo of jspruit
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this 12oz bottle in the states and drank it back home in Ireland.

Pours a very dark brown with a 1/2 finger white head that fizzes down to a small lacing that goes down as I drink it.

The roasted hints of coffee are the first thing that you notice when pouring. Some caramel and chocolatey nutty aromas come through nicely too. A bit of bitterness and hops comes through as it warms up more.

Tastes great right off the bat-everything that you would expect from the pour and from the smell. Doesn't linger too long in your mouth, but makes you thirsty for more.

Full of body and taste but not too heavy really. There is some dryness at the end of each sip, but mostly that just makes you want to have another.

No detection of high ABV really and very pleasant overall. I would drink more for sure, but I dont think that I could drink these all night.

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Photo of drperm
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Durham, NC World Beer Festival 2007
This is certainly the best porter I’ve had in a long, long time, from either side of the Atlantic. It has a superb, excellent balance with nice subtle chocoloate hints -- but not the sort of chocolate that would limit it to a dessert pairing. This is the sort of chocolate note that says, "try with chicken in mole sauce....or marsala...or filet mignon..."

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Photo of MillRat
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown/black with a tan half-finger head that fades to a persistent ring leaving a little lace behind. Chocolately aroma without roasted notes, a little bit of malt, too. Flavor leads off with a little hop bitterness, into a slight malt sweetness, and finishes with a dark dry bitterness and a slight alcohol cleansing feel that prevents the sweetness from being felt. A very sessionable beer that is interesting enough to keep your attention without overworking your taste buds. I'd have guessed that ABV about 2% lower than it is.

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Photo of Vancer
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice porter sent by wickedpete via nice trade, thanks again.

The coal porter is coal black, har, with a tan head and sheets of lacing. Big aroma of coffee, burnt toast and charcoal. Dry and towards the hop side on the finish. Bit thin by mid-bottle, but that’s just nit-picking. This one drinks very easy and is a solid porter.

Hard to believe it’s 6.5%, slides down like a 4% session brew.

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Photo of williamherbert
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a dark chocolate brown. Nice finger of light brown head. Extremely dark with some light at the edges.

Nutty, grainy malt aroma. Not bitter of burnt; no coffee. Has a sweet, semi-chocolatey aroma. Smells dry and a little roasted but not typical porter. Not strong but nice. Coffee increases as it warms.

Chocolatey sweet flavor with a dry malt backbone. No new flavors, but balanced and nice enough. Nice tart aftertaste. Turns coffee-bitter toward the end with warmth.

A bit ashy and chunky. Appropriate for style. Good body. A really nice, solid porter. Typical, but enjoyable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque very dark brown with a tan head that rises off the pour but falls fairly quickly. The nose is really odd. It smells like a shirt I would wear while going exploring in a mine and not washing it after wearing it 25 times. Dusty. Old. Stale. Flavor is pretty decent. Nice thick malted flavor with a strong touch of earthy influence. Feel is thin with bubble. Not much really going on. It is drinkable I guess. But I am not moved at all by this offering. Oh well. On to the next.

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Photo of baos
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into Atlas mason jar.

A: Dark dark. 4 finger tan head with really good lacing.

S: Deep dark maltiness. Dark burnt butterscotch toffee.

T: Hops at first then toffee coffee and a hint of coffee. Ends very very dry.

M: Medium bodied. Pretty nice.

D: Very dry and bitter but, very good too, maybe not as refreshing as a beer should be but there is definitely a time and a place for this beer. Give her a try.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head with lacing that will never die. Nice dark brown color.

Smell is of caramel and chocolate malts with hints of tofee, mint, and an undertone of black licorice.

Taste is awesome with caramel, chocolate, tofee, undertones of mint, and a faint, but balancing hop bitterness. I am very surprised by this porter, considering the fact that I was unimpressed by other atlantic porter brews.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, but a little watery, needs a little more fullness.

This porter is awesome. I could easily make a session out of this beer.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Something about having the word coal be part of the name that initially turned me off this beer. That is until I actually drank the beer, which turns out to be a very good porter.

Pours very dark but has a red tint if held up to the light and observed.

Smells of roasted malt and coffee.

Taste strongly represents what is smelled, but with a slight chocolate undertone.

While the taste is pretty good for a porter, the aftertaste has a bitterness to it, fortunately that doesn't stick around too long.

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Photo of RedBaron
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A toasty dark porter good for a damp winter's evening.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a fast-dissipating white head.
Smell: Espresso-roast coffee in the nose
Taste: Caramel, roasted nuts, dark chocolate
Mouthfeel: Malt-heavy, roasty and dry up front, but finishes with a pleasant nutty sweetness that I wish would last longer, but doesn't quite do it.
Drinkability: An overall fine beer. I admire the fact that this beer is probably truer to an English-style porter than most American beers, but I just wish it had a little more balast to it in the end. That said, it is a delightful dark porter to sip.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Utterly black in color, with dark amber highlights when viewed through a strong light, and adorned with a massive, persistent, coarse light tan head, with thick, scattered lacing.

Aroma: Deep and profound aroma of roasted coffee beans, bitter cocoa, and earth, quite beguiling.

Taste: Opens mildly sweet, with strong, but mellow roasted coffee notes, rather like coffee infused with a generous portion of cream, as the taste progresses, bitter cocoa notes ascend to the close of the taste, where a mild, earthiness, and a slight herbal hop presence appear. These carry on far past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Smooth and pleasant, quite full.

Drinkability/notes: A really well-made example of the style, very pleasing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce long neck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of Sweasty
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep dark mahogany, almost black. Red garnet hues appear when held to the light. Tan short head that quickly falls to a thin covering.

Smell - Dark roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate aromas. A well rounded porter nose.

Taste - Matches the nose. Black coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors abound. Slight grassy/spicy hops make an appearance near the finish. Finish is dry with a sight but lingering char note.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Smooth and creamy against the palate.

Overall - This is quite the tasty brew. A wonderful rock solid porter. I could definitely knock back a few on a cold winters night.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with some ruby highlights in the right light. The pour generates a pretty good off-white head that hangs in there and leaves some lace. The aroma is pretty interesting with a fresh roast coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of tar. The flavor is clean and pretty good; there's some coffee, burnt caramel malt and bits of toasted malt and charcoal. The hops are pretty much in balance until the finish which is a touch hoppy (notes of cedar). I would certainly drink some of this again. Thanks go to RedBaron for the sample.

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Photo of EBEdwards
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Like most have said: a pretty tan head that doesn't last long (blame my glass if you wish). Proper porter color.

S: Mmmm... smells roasted with that great round malty-coffee linger. Sadly, soon after the pour you really have to get your face into it to get a nosefull.

T: Dark roast malt transitions well into a clean middle and a surprisingly strong coffee finish. A little wine-snob-like aeration gives a very rich, creamy malt bump.

M: The first sips have the harshest carbonation (of course), but half way down the glass the bubbles make that otherwise simple middle transition a little more exciting. The bitter hang can be a little rough, as it leaves you with a dry feeling like you need to drink more to wash it on down. "Drink more," you say?

D: Only had one so far, but expect to leave few survivors in the six-pack. Draft would bring out more of the flavor and knock off some of the rough edges. Looks like I owe Atlantic a road trip.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a nice hazelnut brown color with a small tan colored head that faded almost immdiatly and was replaced by a thin layer of lace on top. Hardly any side glass presentation.

S - Aroma was somewhat nutty and full of caramel. Light though and it did not have the depth I had hoped for. Some slight coffee notes in the backround.

T - The flavor was somewhat muted with a healthy dose of dark chocolate and caramel and some slight notes of metallic taste throughout. A bit of a bitter dry finish and a good follow through till the next sip though.

M - Decently smooth, and a nice medium bodied ale. I did not detect much in the way of thinness or a watery feel. Good carbonation left a great impression.

D - Pretty sesionable to be honest. No real strong flavors and it did not really have that fullness that would lead you to stop after the first one.

Overall this was a pretty decent porter, albeit just a tick above average but still more then decent overall. I would not really go out and buy it again only because there are soo many other goodies out there, but you could definitly do worse.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Three fingers of khaki head form over top a solid black liquid that was impenetrable to light. It took a while for the dense head to dissipate as it clung to the sides of the glass on its descent.

S: Bold, roasted malt aromas of coffee grounds and a hint of chocolate, all while staying rather mild. Definitely a bouquet that asserts itself, but stays subtle as well.

T: The taste, however, proved otherwise. Up front, there is a large roasted malt presence that is rather delightful, tasting more like fresh coffee than anything else. Subtle hopping toward the middle that seems to soften the transition to a rather lacksidaisical finish, which feels drying and somewhat weak compared with such a strong introduction.

M: Carbonation is not too much, but certainly gives it a fuller character, and the mouthfeel is alright. Roasted malt clings to the palate.

D: Maintains a quite drinkable nature, but does not thoroughly impress. While I can say this is different from other porters I've tasted, I wouldn't go so far as to give it a rave review. Coffee flavors were nice, but wasn't balanced enough for my tastes.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark brown that was slighly translucent. Head was a foamy off white that was 2 fingers thick at the start, clung well to the sides of the glass, and left a thin head even at the end of the beer. Aroma reminded me of candied heated nuts coated in brown sugar, with a touch of the alcohol peeking through. Flavor was slightly sweet, heavy on the malts, with a bit of bitterness in the back. Felt acidic in the mouth and was very slightly watery. Definately a sipper, but a reasonably strong offering.

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Photo of bassmantin
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly dark brown, semi-transparent. Moderate tan head that barely clings to the glass.

Smell leaves a little to be desired; just not much there. The taste is interesting. Begins with fairly intense carbonation with some pleasing hoppiness. The middle is an absolute vacuum of taste, but the finish is surprisingly complex, with a nice balance of sweet roasted malts and unusually strong hops. This porter has some great hops.

Bottom line: A nice little porter. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but I am always searching for a breakthrough. This one comes close with some interesting hoppiness.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I agree with most other BA's. This is a good quality, well brewed, well forumulated Porter that focuses heavily on chocolate flavors and backup notes of coffee and nuts. Not much else in the flavors...including off-flavors. The beer is very clean tasting and finishes airy and with a hint of milk chocolate. Low alcohols and hopping rates leave the beer quite sweet and drinkable. The low carbonation makes the beer weighted on the toung, providing a full, round texture, albeit flat. The beer is quite tasty and drinkable, even if it is one-dimensional.

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Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark brown with a thin wispy off white head that was gone in a flash,first thing I noticed aroma wise was a hefty bit of bitter chocolate with undertones of earth and dark roast coffee nice and full in the nose.A little thin in the mouthfeel department but not to the watery stage it just added to the drinkability a little really,quite dry flavors some bitter unsweetened chocolate and earthy tones dominate underlying dark roast coffee comes in to play in a decent finish.A solid Maine porter no frills really just solid.

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Photo of meechum
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint tumbler, poured very dark and black with a hint of red notes when held to the light. Very moderate to small head that fell quickly but left a nice little lace in it's wake

S - Very roasted "coal" smell to it I thought..big hints of burnt toast and freshly ground coffee

T - Very heavy burnt toast and coffee flavors but with just the right amount of hops to balance it out

M - Kind of middle of the road for was good

D - If you are a fan of porters or stouts this would be a good one it certainly isn't for a beer initiate or somebody used to light lagers. Good choice overall

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Photo of MrBen
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good porter. Not a life-changing beer, but a good one.

Pours a nice, dark brown with some reddish notes. Puts up a good head that settles to a whisper on the beer's surface. Flavor is on the traditional side, but I clearly detect some bold, hoppy notes in the brew. This is about as much hop presence as I can tolerate in a beer of this kind. Any more, and I'd have regretted the purchase. That said, the hops do belly up to the bar, but the bitterness and acidity work okay with the rest of the porter.

I'm not a huge fan of strongly hoppy aftertaste, but in this case, the hop in the finish marries pretty effectively with the darker malts used in the beer.

Overall, this is a drinkable, good beer. A little hoppy, but reasonably approachable. It is, at least, an interesting porter.

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Photo of number1bum
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black brew with about a finger and a half of tan head. Head leaves a thin lace and some stick on the sides.

Smell has a very strong roasted malt character, almost to the point of being burned, like charcoal. There's a whiff of hops in there, too, as well as some coffee.

Taste is primarily, again, of rich roasted malts, that border on tasting like they're burned. It's not unpleasant, but I can see how it might turn some people off. It's more roasted flavor than most porters. There is some hops to balance it out through the finish, and between the hops and the char/roasted flavor it's a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and very smooth, and I think this is a pretty drinkable porter. I get the feeling from having visited the brewery, where they talk about the awards this beer had won in the 90s, that this used to be a better beer, before they ramped up distribution. It's a good porter, but not great. Still definitely worth a try.

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Coal Porter from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
3.73 out of 5 based on 450 ratings.
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