Sleeman Fine Porter (68*) | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)
Liked This Beer
3.07 w/ 107 ratings
Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first in the John Sleeman Presents series, Sleeman Fine Porter is straight from page 68 of the family recipe book. The original Porters were the drink of the working class in 1700s England where they were seen to be more nutritious. Take a sip of history today and experience this brew just as George Sleeman presented it back in the 1800s.

Added by DrJay on 10-30-2004

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Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

September 2003 batch. A bit of aging may have helped it. Still strong carbonation. Lagerish body with porter flavour, welcome but of bitterness. Not thin but on weak flavour for style. Quaffable. Blackish with some head, mollasses aroma. Not a bad one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

There's enough in there to be called a porter, but not enough to be called a good porter. The chocolate, coffee, and caramel flaovrs are present, but do little to improve the character of the malt. There are low level bittering that really don't balance the medium malt base. The flavors are quite separate and don't meld well. The caramel flavor seems a bit artificial. The body is what I'd expect from an amber ale (Amber Bock-ish), and never shows creaminess or smoothness. It's a beer that's has 'value engineered' the quality out. I don't think it was intended to be a good beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml clear bottle, thankfully part of a closed six-pack. Called 'Fine Porter' in these here parts.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby red hue, with two fat fingers of foamy, pillowy pale beige head, which leaves a decent array of spidery webbed lace around the glass as it slinks away. It smells of thin bready chocolate malt, some equally undermined nuttiness, a hint of ugly butter, and an indeterminate sweet metallic nature. The taste is edgy, anemic bready caramel malt, a bit more of the metallic booze, and earthy, leafy hops. The carbonation is average, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit too edgy to be considered outright smooth. It finishes with more of that neutered caramel and bastard nuttiness, with a further, almost sour character, unrelated to the original intent of the style.

I haven't had a Sleeman offering in a long while, after my dalliance with them many years ago. Now, their weaknesses are all to obvious - plain, timid, and just lacking the weight of the standard bearers of the style in question - talk to the boyz in the Winnipeg hood for tips, Johnny-boy...

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Photo of emerge077
2.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep crimson color in the light. Big, irregular foam, with sheets of lacing as it settles.

Smell is basic and average, just a grain odor that could be applied to any random beer. No roasty aroma. Also a mineral smell that i've only noticed in eastern euro lagers and pilsners. Could have something to do with age, but this bottle has been in my fridge for 3 mos. Who knows.

Taste is sweet, very mildly bitter, not roasty. Style-wise this is more of a Dunkel lager. None of your typical porter characteristics. Stale tobacco and metallic notes unfortunately linger in the finish.

Thin and sweet, kind of gross. Not sessionable, avoid this.
Part 3 of my personal average porter tasting aka "cleaning out the fridge".

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Like all the Sleeman's, another good looking beer; deep brown color with garnet highlights, a long-lasting head and good lacing

Smell: Roasty aroma with a strong licorice aspect

Taste: Starts out with a big coffee flavor that mellows a bit by mid-palate; after the swallow, some off phenolic flavors appear and then, at the finish, there is some moderate hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: After three drain pours from Sleeman, I actually think this one is pretty tasty; not the best porter I have ever had, but I will finish the bottle

Purchased from

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Photo of zeff80
2.88/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a black/dark brown color with a small, white head. Leaves a little lace.

S - It smelled of malt and not much else.

T - It tasted of roasted malt and a little dark chocolate.

M - It was warm and creamy.

D - Not a bad porter. It just didn't grab me in terms of flavors. It wasn't as complex as it should be.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.57/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Blood-soaked tobacco with bright orange trim. The head is three fingers after a spirited pour and looks better than decent. It's malted milk in color, with a soft frothiness that still permits a mild rockiness. It falls in sections and is beginning to leave fine tatters of lace that don't quite cover half the glass. Note: much more lace is seen in the end.

Sleeman Porter looks like a porter, but it sure doesn't smell like one. In fact, it doesn't smell like much of anything at all... except maybe an exceptionally weak, mineral-infused, hopless Euro pale lager. I know that doesn't sound appealing. Believe me, it isn't.

The flavor has more guts than the nose. However, in the grand scheme of things, it's still virtually gutless. This is hideously undermalted beer. Minimally roasted barley is the only thing greeting my taste buds. The flavor profile can best be described as watered-down chocolate and weak tobacco tea. A near complete lack of sugar allows what hops are present to deliver their full complement of bitterness.

The mineralness noted in the nose is present on the palate, but isn't bothersome. As I drink, I'm amazed by the amount of bitterness and find myself wishing for more malt to alleviate the dryness of the finish. A little more flavor is available with warming. In the end, this is tolerable beer more than it's good beer.

The mouthfeel is light. I'd even go so far as to call it thin. It's off the bottom end of my 'porter mouthfeel' scale, but it does fit with the rest of the beer's attributes.

After tasting Sleeman's abysmal Honey Brown Lager, I had no illusions that Porter 68 would be great beer. The 68 is supposedly a reference to this beer's page number in an old beer recipe book found in a family member's attic. Anyway, I can't bring myself to recommend it for any purpose (cooking maybe?), even though it isn't horrible and gained some measure of my respect by the final ounce.

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Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted scent that boasts of black and chocolate malts. It's dry and earthy with a slightly sweet edge. The taste is decent. It has a smooth, yet earthy flavor that goes down easy and finishes a bit sweet and toastey. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an easy drinking porter. It's quite earthy with nice sweet maltiness.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best product sleeman has offered. By far.

It has a light mouthfeel, with a well rounded malt flavour. It has a toffee-like flavour, with a hint of chocolate, rather than the black patent flavour of some post-industrial revolution porters.

A fine beer indeed.

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Photo of BillRoth
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of biegaman
2.28/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

For a style that is so often thoroughly black it's a bit unexpected to find that Sleeman Porter is hardly black at all: it's complexion is perfectly clear and dominated by flaring auburn highlights. (Considering the brewery's portfolio and reputation, however, perhaps this shouldn't be so shocking.) To its credit, at least, it generates a decent head.

At best, this aroma could only generously be described as that of a dark lager. It is nothing even abstractly like what a porter should smell like. There's scarcely any roast barley, nothing chocolaty or nutty or sweet - just cheap caramel and a nasty bout of diacetyl. The poor quality (and stingy use) of ingredients is made immediately apparent.

There's a colloquial expression that captures my impression of this beer: yuk! Any remotely robust or dark flavours taste synthetic and/or spoiled: chocolate (cheap, dollar-store kind from three Easter's ago); coffee (yesterday's, with the grinds floating in it); and malts (or, rather, the chemical- and corn syrup-based kind used only by industrial breweries).

But forget the taste, it's the mouthfeel that's truly a heroic monstrosity. So bad, in fact, that in a strange way it's almost commendable. The way in which cloying, synthetic corn sweetener is blended with that astringent, acrid "roast" element is applaudingly awful and must have required someone who really had no clue what they were doing.

Likening this to any halfway-decent porter is like considering Steven Segal's movies to be thought provoking and emotionally stimulating. You'd have to be stupid to believe this is a real porter. I'm all for Sleeman drinkers expanding their horizons and trying different, less pedestrian styles but it's obviously a bad idea for the brewery itself to try to do the same.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.11/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger, light tan head that fades to a shallow layer leaving a good lace. Deep amber color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt coffee flavor, finish is burnt coffee. $1.29 for a 330ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a light, slightly creamy head with little retention and eventually a film that lasted only five minutes. Color was a transparent brown with a few garnet highlights. Some minut lacing.

Smell- A somewhat roasted malt aroma penetrates the nostrils with some dry hops mixed in.

Taste- A little too much dryness for a porter, but some alright roasted malts and vanilla help make for it. With a dry, unobtrusive bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel- A little tart but some nice creamy notes are noticed in the middle of the palate. Pretty easy going down and very easy to drink.

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Photo of Suds
3.51/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep rust brown color with an attractive and rocky light-tan head. The aroma is of roasted malt and grain. There’s a little huskiness that seems a little off-center. Also, some chocolate and caramel aromas. Rustic and a little dry in front. The brew has a decent bitterness, and a nice hop presence that comes forth in the mid-taste. Nice use of bittering hops. Somewhat astringent in the finish (maybe from that husk-like quality in the nose?). Medium to the lighter side of body. Very easy to drink. Better than I expected, to be honest.

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Photo of DrJay
2.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The package indicates that this is a limited edition beer for 2004 and that we can expect a new offering each November from Sleeman.

Clear, dark brown with ruby highlights topped by a tan head of fine bubbles. Moderate retention and nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Light roasted/chocolate malt aroma mixed with a light floral (almost noble) hop character and a very noticeable licorice or cola smell. The flavour starts with a weak malty and roasted sweetness, followed by a sharp bitterness that becomes quite strong at the finish. The licorice character carries through as well. But overall, the flavour is kind of mild and is missing the maltiness that I expected. Fairly dry, not quite astringent finish. Medium/light body with medium/low carbonation.

341 mL clear bottle.

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Photo of drpimento
2.68/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured with a GINORMOUS tan,foamy, frothy head and a slathering of lace. Color's a dark, clear brown. Aroma is quite mild, chocolatey, and malty. Flavor's a little more complex with the above characteristics, but also a bit of fruit, a bit of bitterness, a bit of hop, and a hint sour. On the thin side. Not too bad, but it seems they're a bit over frugal with the malt bill here. Finish is - eh...

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Photo of andrenaline
3.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The last of my tasting notes...

A - Pours a nice dark mahogany colous with a reddish hue, finger of head with decent retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Mild but some nutty and chocolate notes come through.

T - The chocolate notes dominate, although come across a tad bitter. The finish is creamy with some milk chocolate undertones.

M - Medium bodied, but a bit prickly going down, however, finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty porter and a surprisingly tasty offering from the Sleeman line-up. Probably the most flavourful I've had from the company to date and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.58/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light brown color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of cream with a hint of roasted malt. The taste has more of a roasted character than the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this beer is more like a Dark Mild than a porter. I could drink this again when in the mood for a milder dark beer.

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Photo of papat444
3.25/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Flashback #307

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Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Porter is nice and dark although far from black. The head came up well enough.

Smell – Wow, there are some dark malts in this puppy. They are really hard core, almost like an RIP like Old Ras or something along those lines. The coffee is generous, and the light bready aspect of this bouquet almost got me thinking about Belgians.

Taste – The flavors here are big and intense. There’s more fruit than I picked up at the nose, I’d say something cherry-esque. The malts are roasted dark but there’s a nice toasty middle to the flavor profile. Just when you think it might be a bit much, it pulls back and let’s you off the hook.

Mouthfeel – This is almost medium-bodied, in fact I’d call it that, and lightly carbonated with some stiff bitterness up front of all places.

Drinkability – This was a very different AP but well worth a look. I don’t remember who sent this to me as it has been in my fridge for a while, but I owe someone a big thanks.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine June 2007.

One of the highest-scoring Sleeman beers on This Porter is drawn right from page 68 in the Sleeman family recipe book, hence the name.

Deep-brown color with garnet hues when held up to the light. Quick to foam, then slowly subsides to a dense rocky head with great retention. A tad roasty in the nose; metallic, with a mild sweetness rounding out the aroma. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel meets a light yet tight crispness within the medium body. A one-note roasty flavor blankets the palate for the duration. Moderate hop bitterness with a faint herbal flavor to balance. Light, fruity twang doesn't have enough to rise above the roasty character. Finishes with that same roasty flavor, along with a bit of sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

The trite roasty temperament just does not hack it--far too many other craft-brewed Porters on the market today are in a totally different league. There's nothing specifically bad about this beer, but the flavors just don't mesh, and it leaves the beer like a jigsaw puzzle that's missing a few pieces.

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Photo of DaPan
2/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of canucklehead
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the classy packaging and the fact this is a limited release. This is nowhere as good as Tree's Spy Porter but I consider this to be the best beer from Sleeman and a good pint. Pours Opaque black with an okay head. The nose is average but the taste is quite nice. Burnt malts and a sweetish finish make this very drinkable. Not a sipper but rather a session porter, this is a step in the right direction for these guys.

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Photo of Brent
2.6/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not bad, but possibly one of the most boring porters I've had. Poured dark brown, but a bit lighter than average. General roasted malt aroma and similary nondescript roasted malt flavor. Doesn't really go anywhere, just bland - like a bit darker version of the equally unimpressive dark ale.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.5/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from notes
A - Clear but nearly impenetrable deep amber, thumb od tan head retained well

S - Roasty, grainy, chocolate maltiness, mild adjunct

T - Roasty and syrup sweetness, dark chocolate, light leafy hint and subtle smoke

M - Medium weight and brightly carbonated, light bitter with a bit of a chaulky finish

O - Pleasantly surprised given Sleeman's usual mass produced brerw, I may be given a sypathy point or two here given the lacklustre nature of their usual lineup, but thi has me optimistic about future offerings in this series if it does continue

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Sleeman Fine Porter (68*) from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Beer rating: 6.5% out of 100 with 107 ratings
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