Neustadt Big Dog Beaujolais Porter | Neustadt Springs Brewery

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25 Ratings

Brewed by:
Neustadt Springs Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark, smooth and rich, enhanced with 3% Pelee Island red wine giving a subtle fruitiness. Offsetting the deep rich bitterness of the original porter. This beer was designed to emulate the London porters of old with a slight sourness. Brewed with pure spring water, New Zealand hops and imported specialty malts.

Added by pootz on 04-01-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by Molson2000:
Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had the big dog aged in a Beaujolais cask, Bar Volo Cask Day 2006. The wine taste did not really come through, and why a Beaujolais cask anyways? Not very impressive, though medium mouthfeel.Light carbonation and some complexity of darker fruit, acidic bitter hop profile.

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

Pours a deep redddish-brown with bright ruby highlights and a light tan head that builds to two fingers on the pours, and then keeps growing gradually for another few minutes before gradually subsiding and leaving some thick lacing. Smell is very fruity, with cherry and strawberry appearing alongside the grapes and a light coffee aroma and mild hoppiness filling it out. Taste goes in a rather different direction, with coffee and chocolate the dominant flavours and the grapes and fruitiness taking a definite back seat, though still perceptible. Mouthfeel is thick and clinging, letting the finish go on for quite a while, and drinkability is pretty good. Quite an nice porter, with an interesting hook to set it apart. Nice to see some adverturous brewing, and thanks to pootz for the sample.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Beerbistro

A - Dark brown with a finger of light brown head.

S - Light roasted malt smell. A very weak nose. This was describled by the waiter as a "light porter" but this is weaker than that description even entailed.

T - Roasted malts, some toasted nuts and a light coffee flavour.

M - Light body, light carbonation.

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Photo of dipso123
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of uno99
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Accidently drove by the Brewery on my way from some business in Owen Sound. I did not know this brewery was so close to Toronto. I decided to stop in and I was welcomed by the biggest dog Ive seen in a long time and the owners of the brewery. VERY nice people, who happily allowed me to sample some of their newest brew's that had not been canned yet.

A: Poured gently into a pint glass yet head is thick and rich. Sticks around for awhile with minimal lacing. The color of the Beer is porter to a "T"

S: Lots of roasted malts. Cherry and apple and pear fruitiness. A hint of citrus.

T: Similar to Smell. Bitterness from the malts presumably. Chocolate present upfront. Citrus finish from hops. nicely balanced.

M: Very smooth. not oily. dry finish. medium bodied.

D: Excellent mouthfeel makes this one a winner in the realm of drinkability. Excellent appearence means its a beer to be seen holding!

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

Got this one from TheHammer in our last trade. Thanks pal. I like most of Neustadt's stuff so lets see how this one fairs.

Pours a heavily hazed, but not quite opaque, chestnut brown with scarlett red edges. One finger of off-white head is yeilded after an active pour, decently retaining, leaving strings of patchy lace.

Figs, dark fruits, and roasted malts more or less make up the nose. What's going on is nice, but it's sadly void of any complexity.

The nose telegraphs the taste to the T. A good dose of sticky figs and dark fruits hit the palate first and gradually give way to a well pronounced roasted character. Again, the flavour components of this beer are good, but these flavours are basic and straightforward throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp, with a good amount of carbonation. Dry in the finish thanks to the roastyness. A good balance is maintained throughout. Easy to quaff but remaining so simple from start to finish makes it not all that pleasurable to drink.

Overall, this seems like a decent English porter and a good intro to the style. Flavourful and simple enough to pick up everything that's going on without overwhelming the palate. I don't see myself buying this again, but I'm still happy to have tried one of Neustadt's hard to find offerings.

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

On tap at The King Edward in Ilderton, ON.- Pours deep cola brown with just a touch of light seeping through. Beautiful mocha head sits and lasts. Aroma of sherry, dried fig, vanilla, cola, some cherry, wood and a touch of smoke. Pronounced vanilla and dark chocolate flavours, with touches of dried fruit and smokey vanilla coffee beans. Marked bitterness in the finish. Medium body. Well done overall.

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Photo of Quej
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Almost black with great retention of white head and laces quite well.
S - Nutty coffee flavours along with some sweet caramel and anise.
T - Dark roasty flavours, but not very strong ones. No aftertaste and no real finish. It doesn't deliver what it promises.
M - Lack body, feels watery and thin which makes the beer less effective overall.
D - Alright, but nothing special.

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Photo of grub
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

sampled on cask as part of the volo cask days 2006. thanks to ralph and all involved for putting together an awesome fest.

this was the beaujolais aged version of this beer.

pours a deep ruby read, nearly brown in colour with a moderate head.

the aroma is tough to describe. really doesn't smell like a porter at all. slightly smokey with a little green hop smell. just a hint of nuttiness.

the taste is nice. slightly roasty. a little smokey. bittersweet chocolate. some lingering sweetness. not very porter-y, but interesting. it tastes very 'green' to me and might be better with time.

mouthfeel is ok. decent body and i enjoy the low carbonation level.

drinkability is ok. not my favourite beer, but it was neat.

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this hand-pumped from the King Edward in Ilderton, Ontario. It was near the end of the cask (the server had to draw it from the basement), but they went through it quickly and it still tasted fresh.

A: Mahogany with an off-white, slightly tan head. Some retention, good lace.

S: Dark bread, alcohol & nuts.

T: Chocolate, dark bread and nut with hints of dark fruit, roasted acidity and burnt caramel. A little warmth from the alcohol as it comes to room temperature.

M: Light to moderate body, smooth, somewhat creamy. Lightly carbonated from the cask.

D: Quite nice.

Certainly better than when I had it on-tap a year ago (I remember it being less chocolatey & closer to their 10w30).

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Photo of Seantmiller
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Viggo
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

No idea why this is retired, they make it every year. On tap at C'Est What?

Pours an opaque brown/red edges, medium tan head forms, some nice lacing, good retention. Smell is very fruity, rhubarb and strawberries, light roast, some chocolate, biscuits, bit of cherry, kind of neat. Taste is light fruits with a chocolate roast and biscuit middle, wine, bready caramel, light chocolate aftertaste, decent bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, kind of rough. Mouthfeel and carbonation were a bit whacky, some of the flavours are a bit strange together but this was okay.

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Photo of Pmicdee
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very good porter

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Photo of pootz
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 edition:

Many changes in this year's release...

Dark cola ( lighter than last year) with a great whacking tan cap that lasts and laces the glass up (malt protiens have been increased)

Aroma...less astrigent than last year...deep cocoa tones over fresh baked bread and some piney notes from hopping.

Solid malt spine, richer creamy mouth feel, solid body roasty-cocoa-hoppy character in fine balance.

Up front a big chew on (it seems) German dark malts like rich liquid toasted rye bread...then nice balance from the hybrid hopping mingles with subtle fruit under tones the cocoa/coffe tastes...finishes mildly crisp, and lightly bitter with a bready after taste.

If I had to characterize the change this year I would say it is "drinkability" and an increased body...a very nice porter in the London style but malty...I'll be buying enough to last out the winter.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes taken last night at Imbibe in Kitchener.

A beer that totally defied my expectations - very different, but thoroughly enjoyed.
Pours a beautiful black amber with ruby tones throughout the glass. A decent head and a good looking pint.

Fruit-forward aroma - lots of raspberry - with roasted dark and chocolate malts. The taste started surprisingly dry before becoming sweet. Lots of fruit, although personally I tasted more berries than grapes.

Wouldn't call it a perfectly balanced porter, but would definitely buy again.

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Photo of Jeffo
1.93/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this one from Hopsolutely this past summer. Cheers for the brews!

From a can into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: A clear, very light brown pour yields a two finger, looser, foamy, off-white head with decent retention. Very light brown in color, clear, with medium levels of carbonation evident. Looks more like a brown ale at best. Head fades quickly to a full wisp with lots of carbonation on top. Decent lacing lines the glass as it empties. Very light in color and too foamy.

SMELL: Dark malts, nuts, leather, and an off note of dirty socks. Probably not intended but it's there non-the-less.

TASTE: Sweet and dried fruits, leather, some nuts and dark malts at the swallow. Medium strength aftertaste is sweet with leather, dark malts, dried fruits and is a bit astringent. Some dirty socks are unfortunately there as well. Something off-putting in this one.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Slightly watery on the palate, goes down fine and finishes dry. A bit of astringency as well.

OVERALL: Not good. Oddly sweet with some off flavors and much too astringent. Something didn't go well here. Given the light color and oddly sweet, fruity flavor, something was probably wrong with the recipe for this one, as it's not very porter-like anyways. The astringency may have had something to do with the fermentation perhaps. In any case, not a batch I'd want to drink again, though I'd try a future incarnation just out of shear curiosity. Thanks again for the brews guys!

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Photo of TheHammer
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple cans of this stuff from the brewery on my way back from Sauble Beach. It's been on the back burner because I also bought a 2-4 of Wellington RIS.

Appearance: A little bit bright for a porter, as when held to the slight a slightly transparent ruby comes forward. It poured with two fingers of head and about a half finger retained itself which was good. A little bit of lacing as well, but not much.

Smell: I little bit more potency would be in order as it didn't improve much with warming. That being said, a nice aroma of smoky malt, figs, cherries, and a touch of molasses comes forward with excellent balance.

Taste: Solid, but it might not be what you would expect from a porter. It starts with molasses and a slightly smoky malt that persists throughout the beer. It then turns to more fruitier cherry and with shifting notes of biscuit, figs, and chocolate that ends with a smokey bitter kick.

Mouthfeel: The transitioning could use some work as it is a bit rough around the edges, but the carbonation is well done, as it comes of as not quite creamy, but just a half step back. A very nice aftertaste, as smokey oak and cherry subtly lingers.

Drinkability: Medium bodied, so you wouldn't pound it back all night but no issues getting it down. The carbonation is very well done and adds to the experience. Truly and all around solid beer.

Final Thoughts: My biggest qualm, and I think others have noticed, is that it seems like a more heavily roasted, tweaked version of 10w30. That being said, 10w30 is an excellent beer, so I wouldn't say I'm complaining about it. I really enjoy the smokier aspects on this one, it just needs to be smoothed out a bit more. All in all, worth buying a 6 that is for sure.

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Photo of Bf_89
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this at C'est What during the last Cask Crawl and loved it, so I picked up a can of this at the brewery this past weekend just to see how it compares.

Pours a deep, dark clear ruby with not a lot of head or head retention.

Smells malty and a little smoky with just a hint of coffee.

The taste is roasted malt and brown sugar with an assertive but not overpowering hop bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little thin.

Cask conditioning softened the edges and improved this beer a lot, but even out of a can it's a satisfying porter.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as a local from the Gentlemen's Club BIF. Thanks Eric! Poured from a 16 oz. silver can into a pint glass.

A- Holding this silver can (with no labels) almost makes me feel like I am on an episode of Lost. Plain with a sticker on the side of the can stating "Big Dog Porter; 5.5% ABV." Pours a dark, coffee bean color. Pretty decent clarity with ruby hues throughout. Produced a half fingers width of cream colored head. Decent head retention for such a small head.

S- If only the aroma was more potent...noticing some distinct ingredients. Definitely a bit of figs and dark fruits in the nose, along with some mildly smoked malts.

T- A pretty good take on a porter. The fruit aroma that lacked in the nose, definitely steps up here. Instantly a flavor of ripe figs hits the palate. This lingers and lasts for a while. A subtle vanilla flavor kicks in paving the way for a lightly smoked malt flavor. The beer finishes with a bit of bitterness.

M- Light to medium bodied. Plenty of carbonation. Left the mouth a little on the dry side...not particularly what I want for this type of beer.

D- Extremely sessionable. Goes down really easily.

Overall, not a big fan of porters, but this was pretty fantastic given the style of beer. As stated above, very sessionable. It's a simple beer, but packs a decent amount of punch in terms of flavor. Good stuff.

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Photo of bobsy
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at C’est What? Huge off white head on a dark ruby body. Roasted malts and coffee in the aroma are carried into the flavour, which finishes off with a nice bitterness. There’s a good level of oakiness there too. Even with the remains of a cold I can still tell that this is a very decent beer.

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Photo of valianes
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of allergictomacros
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a very dark brown with a bit of foam.

S - Prominent notes of molasses and coffee.

T - Tart upfront. Dark sugar, molasses and fruitiness in the middle and a hard bitter finish.

M - Light mouthfeel with some noted astringency.

D - Fairly drinkable straight-up porter. Maybe a little rough around the edges and could use a touch of mellowing though.

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Photo of cratez
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at The Morrissey House. Eye-catching tap handle is the head of a St. Bernard dog.

Pours a dark ruby brown with a cream coloured head and sheets of lacing on the glass. Smell and taste are smokey roasted malt, a bit of coffee, caramel/chocolate sweetness, some vanilla, cream, and fig, with a raisin-like fruitiness and spicy hop bitterness. A little nutty. I'm not getting the wine or barrel-aged flavours that others have noticed. In fact, this bears a strong resemblance to the 10w30 brown ale, with more of a roasted/bitter character. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium-bodied, good bite from the hops, zesty carbonation, chalky dryness to end.

A very enjoyable English porter, not up there with Fuller's but still an impressive take on the style. Neustadt has yet to disappoint me.

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Neustadt Big Dog Beaujolais Porter from Neustadt Springs Brewery
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 25 ratings