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

BA SCORE
75
okay
107 Ratings
THE BROS
70
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Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)Sleeman Fine Porter (68*)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada
sleeman.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
107
Reviews:
81
Avg:
3.07
pDev:
18.57%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep reddish brown color with moderate tannish head.

Smell shows some roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, but very light.

Taste has more of the roasted malt character, with some dark fruit flavors also note. A touch of bitter coffee also shows through.

Finishes with nice taste retention and a long lingering dryness.

Really a very good beer. Much more than I expected.

 383 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

341 mL bottle taken from a Sleeman Selections pack picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled and poured into a mug. I've wanted to try this one for years, but not quite enough to buy 24 of the damn things.

Pours a deep reddish-brown colour, not quite opaque with 1.5 fingers of puffy, creamy, light beige-coloured head appearing at the surface. It wilts slowly over the next few minutes, depositing a veil of lacing around the glass and eventually settling into a dense, creamy cap. Looks great, but the aroma is nothing inspiring - kind of reminds me of the Honey Brown, except the malts have a more roasted character. Otherwise, it's a little nutty, with caramel/corn syrup making up the remainder of the bouquet.

Very basic porter flavour, but pretty tasty for a Sleeman product. Roasted malts, toasted nuts and a very slight chocolate note are detectable, followed by a caramel sweetness that gradually fades into a light, earthy bitterness in the finish. The bittersweet finish is a much-appreciated touch - the only reason I can see myself tolerating this one in larger quantities. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with slightly more body than the other products from this brewery I have tried... still kind of watery for a porter, though, and much too fizzy. That's where my complaining stops, though - this is actually quite easy to drink, with a mild, agreeable flavour. Nothing wrong with that - not every beer needs to blow me away to be likeable.

Final Grade: 3.09, a C+. Sleeman Fine Porter isn't bad at all by macro standards - I could see myself potentially having a pint or two of this if it were on-tap at a bar without much in the way of craft options. It's also the best beer in this sampler pack by a considerable margin. That being said, anyone who has tried a quality craft/imported English porter will probably quickly forget about this brew, as it isn't an especially great example of the style. Possibly the best beer carrying the Sleeman name, although I'll need to try the Original Dark to confirm that, I suppose...

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Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark opaque brown poured from the traditional clear Sleeman's bottle. Full head, some tiny bubbles from continued carbonation, left a hint of lace. Dark, roasted malt aroma, plus smell of brown sugar and some nuttiness. Taste is of dark roasted malt, some coffee and cocoa, and slight hop finish. Medium bodied, yet thin and almost watery, but still a nice effort from Sleeman's. Good flavors and very drinkable. Not sure how it would stack up against other brews in this style.

 478 characters

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.25/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of IronDjinn
3.47/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Now this is an interesting step for Sleeman, this limited edition porter. Comes in a fancy-pants rustic packaging, reminescent of the labelling they put on higher end scotch. Except the font reminds me of the one they use on President's Choice products. Actually it reminds me of the look of John Labatt's Classic a little too. Still, it's a classy looking 6 pack. What I also took note of that was out of the ordinary was there are actual labels on the clear bottles as well, which is out of character for Sleeman, but they still have the logo embossed on the other side of the bottle.

Pours out fairly thin in body, but has an pleasant mahogany appearance with amber highlights. A small tan head on the pour, settles quickly to a wafer-thin cap, scant traces of lacing. The aroma is a winner for a Sleeman product, a fair amount of character. Toasted and chocolate malts, some toffee, with notes of licorice and roasted coffee. Although the flavour contains similar elements, there is no real backbone to it until the finish and the lingering aftertaste. Starts out weak and watery, picking up momentum for an aftertaste of chewy roasted malt, hints of espresso and chocolate. Curious that it tastes better after it's already been swallowed, no real action in the mouth. Aside from being fairly light and watery, even this porter suffers from the classic Sleeman carbonation issue, a little caustic on the palate. By far the best thing I've tasted from Sleeman to date, they are heading in a decent direction here, but still have a ways to go to put together a well-rounded offering.

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Photo of ADR
2.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The cap still says "John Sleeman presents", the package and neck label say "Porter 68"...

Thin pour, but dark in color, lets brown highlights shine through. Head rises fairly high, almost an inch, is tan, and laces pretty well. Aroma is mildly malty, but with some stale tones and almost a rancid popcorn back half of the nose. Light body, lower carbonation. The taste is not too bad, aspects of cocoa with a bit of roasty tang that's pretty striaghtforward. Minimal hop expression. Mouthfeel and solidity of flavors are just too fleeting, the close is pretty watery with some tobacco residue in the finishing qualities.

 623 characters

Photo of woemad
2.12/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $1.66. First time I'd seen it. I'm always up for a new porter, but things I'd heard in the past about Sleeman were less than complimentary, so I opened this one with few illusions. No freshness date to be found. I found it odd that there's no mention of the location of the brewery beyond Canada. Last time I checked, Canada was a big place.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer's appearance. This poured a dark brown/black color that took on a reddish hue when held to the light. A big tan head sat atop the proceedings. A spotty lace was left behind. Sadly, this would be the highlight of this beer.

This is one of the more anemic-smelling porters I have encountered. There's a vague bitter dark chocolate scent and a more sweet caramel scent... and that's about it. No hoppiness to note. As this warms up, the sweet aspects become more cloying. This begins to smell like an overly sweet brown ale with some coffee thrown in.

The nose is remarkably similar to the smell, except that it's more watery - not the quality I look for in a porter, to be sure. The vaguely bitter roasted malt taste is first, then quickly is beaten down by a watery sweetness, before the proceedings finish with a dry steel note. Ugh.

Mouthfeel? What part of watery didn't you get from what I said above?

This is vaguely drinkable in comparison with some of the worst macro swill imaginable, but it really doesn't shine when compared to anything else. This porter richly deserves the rating it's come to have on this site. I shan't be buying any of these again.

 1,613 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.03/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another in the Sleeman line from the mixed twelve pack that appeared magically at my distributor last week.
The appearance is bland but dark and cloudy and totally lacking in head. The nose has muted chocolate and roasted malt and is nice enough, just not very strong.
Taste starts well but has something artificial in the aftertaste. Texture is far too thin and watery. If it could back up the half decent taste this beer might be something. Instead, it's just another macro porter wannabe.

 497 characters

Photo of Durandal_777
2.75/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of bashiba
2/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into my glass looks exactly like a glass of cola.

Smell is bitter and slightly pungent.

Taste is very bland, and the taste that is present isn't very pleasing. I don't know how to describe it other than not good.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, especially for a porter.

Overall not the most drinkable beer, I will be avoiding this in future.

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Photo of GoHabsGo
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of pootz
3.63/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard 341 clear embossed Sleeman bottle. Date coded labeled "fine porter, Limited edition 2004". Served at 40deg.F after an all day chill.

Pour reveals a dark, clear mahogany-red ale with a medium- pored, sticky 2-finger tan cap that laces nicely on the glass. (heads like a quality porter should) Carbonation seemed toned down from other fizzy Sleeman drinks (It looks very promising)

Aromas of sweet caramel, toasted grains, a wisp of grassy hops....and some other signature Sleeman aroma (dextrin?)

Front end is malty with a burnt toffee pronouncement....this then turns to an unexpected creamy mouth feel as the hops take over the balance and depart a distinctive sharp balance between burnt toast and tangy resinous hopping. Finish is average and not as fast as I would have expected for a Sleeman ale. The finish is where the hops really take over and leave a metallic after taste preceded by a kind of sweet charred discernment.

Overall a flavorful mild porter with a couple of sharp edges. A good attempt at a mega porter, a sure step up for Sleeman. I'm impressed...I'll buy some more...I want to see what some age will do for the few sharp edges and the under lying charred grain tastes in the new brew. These are all that keep this from being a smooth mild tasty porter. Maybe that signature Sleeman dextrin taste will disappear as well.

 1,378 characters

Photo of Drew966
2.59/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sleeman Porter 68* pours a dark chocolate brown color with an off white head from a brown 11.5 ounce bottle. There is only the slightest tinge of roasted malt in the aroma, I think I can smell some hops too, just barely. I can't help but think that I would like a thicker mouthfeel, but this one is at least marginally adequate. There is a slight roasted malt taste, mostly in the aftertaste, and a bit of hops in the middle, but really just a little bit. Caramel flavor becomes more apparent as the beer warms. My biggest complaint about this beer is that it just doesn't have enough flavor. What little there flavor there is, it's gone in a moment. Disappointing, but not awful.

 680 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of pmcadamis
3.16/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lets set one thing straight....I hate Sleeman's bottles. It's lack of label and it's raised lettering make it look like a kiddy root beer, and it makes it hard to tell which one of their beers it is. Wait, Westvleteren does the same thing...but somehow it's much cooler when it's a mysterious and virtually unobtainable abbey brew. The shape of the bottle is cool, I wish they would just put a label on it. I love bottle artwork, and this sort of thing spoils it for me. Anyhow,

A - This black brew has a red cast to it, and supports a big brown foamy head that has pretty good retention and leaves a good deal of lace on the glass. The head never dipped below a thick finger, and swirling built the head up even more.

S - I smell toffee and caramel right off the bat, along with a nice dose of hay-like hops. Dark chocolate, and a little hint of roasted coffee show up as it warms. Nothing really stands out, and it could be a bit more assertive IMO, but it's a nice standard porter aroma with maybe more tobacco and less chocolate than most.

T - Bitter cooking chocolate and dark roast coffee show up first, then a powerfully smoky and roasty tobacco flavor comes through and really asserts itself much more than the weakish nose. I actually taste cigarettes and pipe tobacco, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since I used to smoke, and still enjoy a very occasional cig if I'm out too late with my few friends that still smoke.

M - Light bodied and moderately carbonated with a bitter and slightly dry finish. Really sticks to your teeth and won't let that cigarette taste go....just like a real cigarette!

D - A decent porter that is somewhat forgettable, but nice. I can't say anything bad about this brew, but there is something about that tobacco-laden taste that is a bit too much. That said, I could drink a few of these.

 1,839 characters

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

Slightly above average but much room for improvement. Not quite dark enough for your standard porter, and a bit too thin and watery. Taste is okay, a bit industrial but not terrible.

Sort of a porter-lite, easy to drink a good session beer. Too bad that this is limited availability.

 286 characters

Photo of yesyouam
2.88/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sleeman Porter 68 is a very dark and dim red ale with a huge, frothy, waxy and dimpled off-white head that leaves great lacing. Looks supreme. There is a sharp metallic tone in the aroma; a whiff of freshly-dug earth and grain that resembles... wheat? It is medium bodied, a bit creamy and the finish is alkaline. It's well bittered and there is a dark flavor from the malt. Not much roastiness, like instant coffee. The most pronounced thing is the long finish of bitter green shrubbery: juniper, arbor vitae, etc. There is a tiny crumble of chocolate cookie in there. The lacing and the aftertaste lasts all night.
(rated Aug 2, 2007)

 636 characters

Photo of bzach
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Blakaeris
2.03/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours rather thin and watery. Head dissipates quickly to a very thin ring.

Smell is bitter with burnt dark malt and not much else.

Taste is similiar to smell but much stronger. There is a strange smokiness to the beer. Unfortunately it is not well balanced. The flavor seems disjointed.

Mouthfeel is very thin for a porter. It seems to be watered down.

I will not have this brew again. I am surprised that this brew is so poorly crafted.

 449 characters

Photo of KStark
3.5/5  rDev +14%

Photo of CurtisD
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.25/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Gehrig
2.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This and other Sleeman products are drastically reduced at the terrific Neil St. Piccadilly, with their having procured a ton of it and others when a distributor went belly-up. I mixed a sixer and tossed in a couple Porter 68s. Nice look, a deep muddy brown with a slightly tan top, ringing the trusty Yankees pint glass with ample lacing.

I'm not impressed with the aroma, which emits faint coffee and chocolate malts but is on the whole thin on character. I expected more, as with the taste, which is a bit better. The coffee emerges a bit more in the taste, but I'm left wondering where the malt is. After all, this IS porter. This could use a lot more chocolate and caramel malt, which would do wonders for the taste and add some much-needed heft. As it stands now, this is thin. I'm glad that its carbonation stands up well, yet mouthfeel is far more than that. This lacks texture. I'm highly intrigued that the title of the brewery is "Sleeman Brewing and Malting." It would do well to remember the latter part of this, for malt is woefully absent from Porter 68.

As far as porter goes, this is ordinary. OK in a pinch, but not one I'll buy again.

 1,156 characters

Photo of maxpower
2.26/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

11.5 oz thick brown bottle pours a clear dark brown color with a small head of large bubbles that leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate aromas, caramel, chocolate and smoke flavors, light to medium bodied with a watery and thin mouthfeel, not much going on with this porter.

 278 characters

Photo of Pmicdee
3/5  rDev -2.3%

Sleeman Fine Porter (68*) from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
3.07 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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