Coal Porter | Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ

Coal PorterCoal Porter
455 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 455 |  Reviews: 287
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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Photo of TheBierBand
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the brown bottle into a pint glass and formed a 1" tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin cap over the top of an ebony liquid. Only the slightest hint of copper shown through when held to bright light.

The aroma was rather subdued. I picked up a roasted malt smell.

The taste was rather bitter. I guess I prefer a bit of chocolate malt sweetness from my ideal porter. This was completely lacking in this beer. Tastes a bit like burnt, charred, cold coffee... I don't mean to make this sound so bad.... it's not. Just not my favorite porter.

Mouthfeel was above average on carbonation which accented the harsh taste.

Drinkability: I don't believe that I will search this out... wouldn't refuse one if offered.... but not one that I will buy again

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Photo of mobud
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into SA glass from bottle.

A- Really dark brown with dark oatmeal and creamy head.

S- There is a sweet roasted coffee/toffee smell that is very inviting.

T- Roast to burnt malt flavor jumps out at you. It is not all bad, but different than I usually expect from a porter.

M- Medium with the creamy head adding a little extra on the backend.

D- This beer was a nice change from my usual porters. I would have again, but would not hunt it down.

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Photo of jmalex
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought this from the brewery this past week during my trip to Maine. And as is my usual feeling - Bring on the porter!

APPEARANCE: Pours a deep brown/black with ruddy brown highlights. The head starts well and drops to a medium collar and a modest patch of bubbles.

SMELL: The aroma is not too strong at all. Some deep whiffs yield a mostly roasted character heavy on burnt black malts. Very vague hints of caramel exist as does a trace of diacetyl.

TASTE: My first reaction is that it's waaay to heavy on the bitter black malts. The taste is harsh and burnt... like coal(!), kind of. Before the onslaught of harshness, the beer has some good rounded caramel and chocolate flavors, but all are destroyed as the bitter charcoal flavor lingers beyond the end.

MOUTHFEEL: Well bodied, but a bit low on carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: Sadly, this suffers here because of the harsh quality of the beer. The alcohol is masked well otherwise, and one could certainly do worse than to drink this.

Overall, I'm not too impressed with Coal Porter. I've had far better in the style and would seek out one of many alternatives in the future.

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Photo of argock
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass

A: Beautiful dark brown with reddish tint and thin but ample mocha head

S: Roasted malts, coffee, cocoa, and some vanilla; best feature of this beer

T: Mellow and not syrupy with roasted malts, coffee and chocolate overtones and a nice touch of bitterness in the finish

M: Gritty feel and a bit thin with an astringent aftertaste that is not pleasant

D: Not a bad up-front taste but the mouthfeel is tough to take

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Photo of beeragent
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a deep brown, forming a thin mocha head. No lacing on the glass. The aroma is mostly coffee and roasted malt. The taste is roasted malt, along with a light coffee/chocolate flavor. Nothing special. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Easy porter to drink. Overall, this is just an average American porter. Nothing special, but that doesnt mean its bad. I could see keeping a sixer of this in the fridge. Try it!

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

Very dark beer, with just some ruby tinting on the edges. The head on top is solid and long-lasting. Nose is slow to deliver: on first whiff after the pour I didn't get much, but now I find a nice roasty cocoa aroma. Flavor is quite roasted, more stout-like than typical porters, but there's a pleasant accompanying chocolate taste, though it takes a back seat to the roasted malt. Bitterness is above moderate but no noticible hop flavor. Black malt flavor lingers for a long time. Body seems a tad on the thin side for a beer of this strength.

Not my favorite style, but I can appreciate it as a well-done porter.

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

Appears blackish-brown with a touch of red. Pours a frothy brownish head that settles pretty quickly. The smell immediately struck me as roasted coffee beans. The tatse brought out more of the charcoal flavor, true to its name. It has a thinner consistency than most porters but it isn't what I would call watery. A pretty nice compromise for a very "drinkable" porter. Not overpowering at all. I like it and would consider this something that would always be a solid choice for taste and refreshment.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: 12 oz brown twisty, best before July notched, but no year notched, which is a bit scary. No other information what so ever.

Aroma: Green hop, maybe a bit of Fuggles, a good dose of vanilla, and a bit of clean yeast. Some deep roasted malt and chocolate rounds out a very nice nose.

Appearance: Deepest brown bordering black with thick ruby edges that show good clarity. Dark tan head lasts but drops to a thick collar without lacing.

Flavor: Mirrors the nose, maybe all a bit more muted. Heavy roasted malt approaches a burnt quality. Hops are just a ribbon of bitter toward the swallow and linger a bit. Some sweetness manages to hold out.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body, slightly creamy texture and a bit oily in the finish.

Overall Impression: Great nose fails to deliver on its promise. I’m not a big Porter fan, so review might be a bit heavy handed. It’s a fair beer with some nice qualities, but it’s no Cadillac Mountain.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep brown/black with ruby highlights and a 2 finger brown head with spotty lacing.

S - Roasted malt and choclate with a slight astringency. There is the slightest off aroma that I can't place, maybe a touch vegetal.

T - Roasted malt and burnt coffee with some bitterness on the finish.

M - Slightly on the thin side with low carbonation.

D - Good but just a step below from the many other fine porters available.

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Photo of HumuloneRed
3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. Bottle. The beer pours a clear dark red with a creamy light tan head and soapy lacing.
The aroma is roasty, malty, and somewhat grassy.
The flavor has a lot roast with notes of nuts and bitter- sweet chocolate with a bitter almost astringent bite in the finish. The finish becomes less astringent as it warms but it still has a chalky and unpleasant mouth feel.

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Photo of Nipitato
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Somerville, MA.

A: Deep dark brown. Tan head dissipates almost completely after pour.

S: Not a particularly impressive aroma for a porter. Mild sweet coffee aroma. Slightly roasted. This is what a porter should smell like but neither characteristic is robust.

T: Taste points don't really flow well together. Roasted flavor through out. Very bitter almost burnt dry finish gets in the way of taste. No prominent coffee or chocolate characteristics.

MF: Medium light. Too watery. Astringent. Pretty high carbonation.

D: There are definitely smoother and better tasting porters out there. I would not buy this in a bottle again.

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Photo of drseamus
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: This beer pours a deep brown that shines with a deep ruby color when held to the light. The head is very thick and frothy and is a light mocha color. The head lasted forever and eventually fell unevenly creating a pillowy surface.

S: Roasted malt dominates the aroma in this beer. There are some dark fruits in the background. It isn't very strong though.

T: There is a good roasted flavor initially, but it becomes very thin towards the end of the sip. There is some chocolate in there as well.

M: This beer is too thin. I like my porters to be a bit creamier or heavier, or anything like this really.

D: This beer isn't that bad, but it isn't among the top porters I've had. I'd go to it in a pinch.

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Photo of KevPet84
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to think that this is whaat most people think of when porter id metioned. It is dark in color, black to presise. Tan head that was decient and laced well. The aroma was malty and roasted.The taste was not as sweet as the smell leads, roasted character, and the bitter. The same kind of bitterness that the dry stouts have. All in all a good beer, but not my favorite porter. To bitter and dry for a porter that smells sweet.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very dark ruby brown color with a very small 1/8" head of tan bubbles that fell within about 20 seconds. It ended up as a barely detectable ring. There was no noticeable lacing left on the glass after swirling.

Aroma: Very reserved roast with a more defined sweet and toasty malt presence that is more dominant...this is a little unusual for a Porter. There is a mild metallic note to this beer that I wonder if it is a false impression that I am getting off of the dark malts.

Taste: The flavor is pretty clean and malt focused with only a mild floral hop presence. This beer is really light bodied with some serious toasty malt complexity. It remindes me of a watered down Trappist style like a Rochefort and Soda or some such...if you can imagine that. The finish is definitely malt balanced with a sweet and mildly syrupy finish to linger. There is not much here to challenge the malt...there is a bit of balance from the roast malt, and a bit from subtle hop additions but that is about it.

Opinion: This beer comes across as as much as a brown ale as a Porter. I think that the overall presentation of this beer is a bit lacking. I like balanced Porters, but this one is kinda weak IMO. I imagine that this beer is made with the idea of appealing to the masses so that there really isn't much outstanding about it so that you can sway the newbie to craft beer. It is OK, and I have a whole six pack to drink. After I go through that, I doubt that I will pick up another one any time soon.

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Photo of Liquids
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Left out to warm to cellar temp before pouring, a rich brown with deep amber notes, a full cascading head that is creamy and a bit bubble - this one really loved being warm and took a long time to settle. Letting it do so turned the head into a pillowy mass with a darker than off white almond- brown color, and the head held to the end leaving a dollop of foam in the bottom of the glass.
Aroma is very english noble and dark malt aromas. Nice. Taste is roasty, sweet, charred, full flavored, especially with the temp not making anything here. The balance here is actually between malt sweetness and roasted charry bitterness of the malt instead of hops. Hops are present but dont make much of a showing. I prefer smoother porter style, but this is an impressive, well done version if you like it rough around the edges rather than smooth and silky. Mouthfeel is on par, full and not over carbonated, and possible to little for some. Overall, a great beer from a company I just learned about.

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Photo of muffguy4beer
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into tulip glass.

Appearance: dark brown in color with decently thick brown head.

Smell: coffee, smokey, hops. hints of chocolate.

Taste: coffee, chocolate and nice hop bitterness to finish it up.

Mouthfeel: light body, noticeably carbonated.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable but I would probably only have this once and a while. Solid porter, I have had better.... but not many.

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Photo of JMD71
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Warriorsoul. Thanks, bro! Sampled & reviewed 1/7/07:

Ap: Deep ruby red to dark brown hue with very little head when poured. Almost reminiscent of a imp stout in apearance from little head. Carbonation seems a bit low for a porter.

Ar: Earthy fruit, roasted barley & chocolate notes. Toast & a slight roastiness prevades.

Ta: Wonderful rich roasted malt with bitter chocolate malt noted. Very well balanced between sweet, roasted malt & hop bitterness.

Mo: Medium bodied. Smooth & clean. Carbonation was well suited to style after it seemed low in appearance.

Dr: Very easy drinkning porter. Flavors well balanced to make this go down smooth.

Comments: Good example of a well balanced porter that exhibits nice roastiness with a slight offsetting hop profile. Recommended...

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a dense brown body with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that can be seen when held to the light. There is a creamy thick dark tan head that last for a good bit.

S- This beer has a soft black roasted malt aroma with a slight earthy note.

T- This beer has a nice dark roasted malt flavor with a slight black grain bitterness in the finish that takes the place of hops. There is a soft dry cola note to the malt and a hint of tar in there. There is a chalky taste in the background of the malt but it is pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery note in the finish.

D- This beer fits the name very well and has a taste with good depth. There are no real hop qualities but the bitterness of the malts helps the finish.

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Photo of orfeu
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obscure mahogany with a creamy taupe foam cap. Aromas of sweetened coffee, souring black patent and chocolate malts, and a tart, leafy hop addition. Substantially bitter in the taste, with coffee flavors predominating. Toasted grain husks and grassy hop spice emerge later in the sip. Slightly fuzzy and expansive in the mouthfeel. Medium body. Off-dry and somewhat angular bite at the finish. Rides the porter fence betwen brown and robust, and it stands out as a memorable session worthy ale because of that. Recommended.

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Photo of brstilson
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer pours dark with a reddish-brown hue on the edges. Not quite black like a stout

Smell: Beer has a deep, smokey aroma with some nut overtones. Hop aroma slight but not very detectable.

Taste: The smoke flavor is immediately apparent. Additionally, a strong pine flavor accompanies a very intense hop bitterness

Mouth Feel: Silky, but just a little bit sticky. Very dirty and unfiltered (not a bad thing)

Drinkability: Quite heavy and the smoke flavor may put off those with less of a taste for it. This beer is best a mouthful at a time, not for chugging.

Head retention: An Ivory colored head about 1 finger high resulted from a pour from the bottle into a mug. Dissipated as soon as it was disturbed. Left absolutely no lacing on the glass.

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Coal Porter from Atlantic Brewing Company / Mainely Meat BBQ
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 455 ratings
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