General Washington's Tavern Porter | Yards Brewing Co.

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General Washington's Tavern PorterGeneral Washington's Tavern Porter

Brewed by:
Yards Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Detailed in a letter from the General to his officers during the war, Washington’s recipe employed molasses to aid fermentation and give rich caramel notes to this robust, roasty ale. The recipe reflected his admiration for Philadelphia-style porters, especially those brewed by Robert Hare (whose original brewery stood just blocks from where ours is now). Our Tavern Porter, inspired by Washington’s, is dark, smooth, and complex with just a hint of dried fruit in the finish.

Added by SixpointJMH on 09-30-2003

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Reviews: 289 | Ratings: 775
Photo of KinkyEconomist
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My absolute favorite beer I've ever tried. This porter puts Guinness to absolute shame.

Look: IT pours a very dark brown with a rich head bubbling up- no "gizmo" required. Head is thick and a light brown color, not white. Lingers forever.

Smell: Smells like hints of coffee and chocolate and wonder. And a moderate alcohol smell.

Taste: This is where it really knocks it out of the park. VERY rich flavors. The coffee, coco, and the malt of the beer are perfectly bouqueted but offset enough to not be cloying. Pleasant aftertaste that lingers.

Feel: Thick and rich, in a good way. The carbonation is just right to avoid it feeling like oil, but no more.

Overall: Try this beer. This is another fantastic offering from my new favorite brewery.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into glass. Head was about 2 fingers and the color was dark and rich not quite yet black. Taste was smooth and malty. Overall mouthful, this beer went down really smooth and was no after taste to it. Overall a good beer just the way General Washington intended it to be. Thumbs up and Bottoms Up

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.93/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Porter is one of my favorite style's. This one is a standout. Perfect porter profile, sweet chocolate and coffee notes. Subtle hop profile. Nice head and great finish TRY THIS BEER!!!! Its a great…nay the best porter in PA. I would put this up against founders and great lakes for the best representation of the style. I am glad I bought this case. I will be savoring it this winter!

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a very dark brown where if you look at the base of the pint in my picture it is actually quite clear with a tan one finger head that remains as a full ring and center cap on top of the beer and leaves a very nice wet lacing pattern on the glass.

The aroma is of molasses, caramel malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, a hint of bread and sweet dark fruit with not much in the way of hops, maybe something piney, but so distant that I can't make it out.

The taste is a very similar profile as it's nose. In fact, just reread what I wrote above and add in a mild bitter finish that balances the beer almost perfectly if not perfect (to keep it from being overly sweet) and leaves you slightly dry and in complete anticipation of the next sip! A slight peppery tastes lingers as well and there is no hint of the high 7% ABV content of this beer.

Mouthfeel is definitely creamy, smooth, slightly sweet and very full in body. The carbonation is just under moderate and refreshing. Mildly dry finish.

Overall, I would like to say that this beer is world class. I think that some may argue with that assessment on the grounds that it may be too sweet with too much molasses or somehow doesn't completely fit with the grain bill. But it seems to me that this is a pretty broad category in beers and allows for such differences. I'm going out on a limb here and calling this 5 out of 5. It's so very complex, sweet yet dry, balanced with the only hint of the ABV being the warming feeling in my stomach. World Class!

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Photo of tgbljb
4.67/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep brown color with reddish highlights. Moderate creamy off-white head that left slight lacing as the glass. emptied. Smell is toasty with very strong notes of dark bitter chocolate. Taste is reminicent of strong black slightly bitter coffee. Some nice ripe dark fruit taste is also present. The alcohol is slightly present, but really compliments the other flavors in the beer. Finish slows a moderate bitterness, mixed with coffee and chocolate and leaves a truly excellent taste in the mouth. Nice and creamy. A perfectly balanced beer. Excellent.

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Photo of loveingminor
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nice dark amber color. Definitely "porter" colored. Has a nice head.

Smell: Nice rich, roasted, porter smell.

Taste: Complex, rich, roasted. I don't really taste chocolate, but then again I'm not much for chocolate in my beer.

Mouthfeel: Not overly carbonated, but has a smooth feel.

Overall: I'm glad I picked this one. Can't have more than 2 in one night, but that just makes my stock last longer.

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Photo of MichaelMeister
4.57/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the City Tavern in historic Philadelphia. I think the fact that my wife and I sampled this brew in such a significant historic setting may have influenced my review of this beer quite a bit. Still, we both loved this porter.

The bartender at the tavern showed us the original recipe copied from the original book written over 200 years ago. It was very interesting to see how it was described. One could not try to clone this brew from the ancient formula, but it was interesting to see the wort to molasses ratio involved. The molasses had much to do with it's smoothness and sweetness.

Another historic fact about this particular beer is that it's original ABV was 17%!

We spoke with chef/proprietor Walter Staib who told us it took quite a few trials and errors to reduce the ABV down to its present 7% and get the taste right. That, they certainly did! Very good porter!

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: A thin caramel colored head with a rich, dark chocolate body. This is how a porter is supposed to look.

S: Strong aroma of coffee grounds. Heavy chocolate notes with very toasty malts. Through all that, you can still smell the alcohol. This should be fun.

T: Very nice classic porter. Bold toasted malt flavor hits up front. Semi-sweet chocolate with a bit of coffee. Nice little bite on the finish.

MF: Surprisingly crisp. Solid body, but lighter than you'd think. Lingers a bit on the back. Medium carbonation with just enough body.

D: Excellent, given the strength. No wonder we won the Revolution. If you’re ever in a war and one side’s drinking this while the other is drinking tea, bet on the side fueled by this beer every time. Big flavor, but surprisingly light body makes for solid drinkability. Much lighter than the flavor would suggest. Overall, very nice composition. I love it when a “novelty beer” delivers above and beyond expectations.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How have I not reviewed this beer already? I've been drinking this for years now...

Poured into a chalice glass, color is dark brown to black, opaque; head is tan and huge! laces very well and lingers very well.

Smell is roast, light sweetness, light coffee and cacao, touch of grassy hops. Pleasant and not off in any way.

Taste is a step up from the scent, stronger notes of roast, coffee and light chocolate malts - nothing overpowering or overdone, but suitable to the concept that this is what GW was drinking. Solid bitterness to back up the flavors, maybe some earthy notes.

Mouthfeel is very solid, slightly strong on tongue but expected for the type of brew, solid carbonation.

Overall, this is a great beer, to style and unique at the same time. Porters are always under-appreciated. Even better brew on cask or at the brewery.

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Photo of Otto_Maddox
4.49/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am not a huge porter fan, but this beer just delivers. The history of porter fascinates me, especially when it comes to the colonies. So it is no surprise that Yards has nailed it as far as provenance is concerned. They did their research and putting all packaging aside, I'm willing to bet that the taste of this porter isn't too distant from what was being proffered in Philadelphia pubs during the revolution. How that taste was made is a different story.

Great beer and happy to have had it.

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Photo of turnstile
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the cask at Varga Bar in Philadelphia.

Appearance: Dark, dark brown with ruby highlights; a creamy one inch tan head sticks around till the very end. Phenomenal lacing all the way down the glass. Looks chewy and inviting.

Smell: Dark sugar aromas up front - molasses and dark brown sugar. Some dried cherry notes as well. Malts are sweet and roasty.

Taste: Molasses, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruits, and roasty malts. Bitterness is minimal and finishes sweet. The complexities hide the ABV well.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with minimal carbonation. Built well with a medium body.

Drinkability: Exceptionally drinkable and therefore my favorite porter. No wonder why Washington was our first President.

It's undeniably best served from the cask at cellar temperature. The molasses involved in the brewing process makes it a great dessert beer or even a winter warmer. I'm content with just one, but if you happen to this brew in the cask soak it up while you can.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: 17 January 2013...Glassware: Yuengling pint...Occasion: The Blind Side on NetFlix--probably the last football fan to see this film (call it a Ravens aversion)...Appearance: dark burgundy body and a thick brown head; fits the bill for a porter, and an old-school one at that...Aroma: fragrant, lactic scent with a hint of peat that is indicative of a deeper flavor--rum and spices (nutmeg?)...Taste: malty, pleasant, smooth and lightly smoked--easily a win when considering the weighty 7% abv this beer's pushing...Palate: thick, creamy, full-bodied porter--much creamier than expected...Overall: Nice to know that goodbeer doesn't change much in terms of its recipes; this is my favorite of the the Ales of the Revolution sampler--and that is a Hancock-sized compliment! This takes its place among the Yuengling, Samuel Smith and Victory's offerings...

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Photo of stirgy
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and dark murky brown with some amber highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is very interesting and complex. Getting hints of old leather and prunes, caramel, brown sugar and butternut cookies. The taste is rich and smooth, with a strong and dark sweetness that shields the presence of any alcohol. It’s full of flavor with caramel, a variety of fermented fruit, molasses, figs and licorice. There’s a solid malt undertow running through this beer. Smooth, well blended and highly rich. It’s chocked full of goodness.

I really enjoyed this unique and rich porter.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled August 2013 from bottles in pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, thick tan head that lasted for a while.

Smell: Strong coffee aromas, with some toasted/burnt hints.

Taste: Full-bodied with great balance of malt and hops. Dominated by toasted malts, but with some coffee and chocolate taste as well.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but smooth.

Overall: Great porter, very close to a stout. Best if you enjoy a combination both strong hops and malts. One of my favorite porters.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky magenta, with able cocoa-toned froth.
Aroma, rich and toffeeish, coffee-ish, chocolatey, a little...a trickle of treacle, some molasses and anise. I like.
In the taste: nice, a repeat of the above, with a little bit more. Sweeter, richer, thicker, and quite tasty. Different from the average porter, that's for sure. A bit stronger, as well, and it is felt.
this was George's own recipe? Really? Damned good general and president, but mightyfine brewing man, too!
Yum...I could get acquainted with this one!

much thanks to KafkaESB.

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Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a surprisingly pleasing Porter. (I like my porters). This is so much more than I expected from Yards.

Appearance: Pours a brown that looks black when not to the light and it has a creamy tan head with minimal retention but when it fades the beer still leaves a nice coat of lacing down the edge of the glass.

Smell: Dark chocolate, fudge, caramel, berries, dark grapes, plums and coffee; mmm.

Taste: Dark malts, chocolate. Lots of chocolate and berries, red berries and molasses and caramel Kayro Syrup more fruits and then bitter chocolate and hops; a bit of dry burnt malt and a hint of alcohol showing through. A perfect dry finish that is slightly bitter with some pleasant fruit notes bordering on vinous and hints molasses in the aftertaste, makes this a good choice for burnt Porter fans like myself.

Mouthfeel: A slick chewy almost medium body beer.

Drinkability: This was my first General Washington's Tavern Porter. It won't be my last. Next time I am buying the case. I drink porters as my everyday beers. I love 'em. I have been on a Sierra Nevada kick but that is over. This is one heck of a tasty beer and a new regular in my rotation.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

General Washington's Tavern Porter
Yards Brewing Co.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a mocha cream head with good retention. This beer has legs, and lace...hey now...

Smell: Molasses, dark breads, alcohol. Alittle bit of cocoa. Roasted malts. Coffee.

Taste: In the flavor, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, coffee, faint spruce note. Astringent roasted malt mixes well with the sugars. Chocolate emerges again. If one was a simple town-person in Washington's time, I can see the quality of this beer developing an army of loyal followers. Hell, I want to grab a pitchfork and hit the streets right now! This beer is delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy feel. Carbonation is solid. Flavors of coffee and vanilla linger into the glorious finish.

Overall: This is impressive porter. If Washington brewed a similar beer, he truly was the right man to lead this newborn nation. I wonder if he sold six packs?

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This compared favorably to the bottle version of the ale, which I'm quite fond of.

With each successive pour you're not rewarded with much head. Even with a little agitation from a vigorous pour, maybe a 1/3''. Same as the bottle and not surprising for the style. Syrupy, blackstrap molasses color which makes sense due to the molasses in the recipe. In any case, it looks like any ole porter with a richer constitution.

Smells wonderful. The balance between the malty, syrupy sugars and the subtle roasted bitter is quite inviting. It teeters on unrefined because the sweetness is almost cloying, but I feel it falls in line with the charm of this being a historical, homebrew recipe.

Easily one of the tastiest porters I've had. Despite the added sweetness, by way of the full-bodied maltiness and, I'm assuming, the molasses, compared to the average porter, the essential characteristics of porter are most definitely intact.

Goes down like liquid candy. No significant carbonation to slow you down. If you dig the flavor, you can put back several of these in one sitting, especially when pairing it up with a hearty meal - turkey, stuffing, potatoes, root veggies, for instance. I will admit, though, that the sweetness does grow to cloying after 3-4 without any food to intercede. But, nonetheless, this is one of my faves.

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Photo of Schmidts
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle Pours black tan with a beautiful tan head that stays. Loads of laceing.
Smells of cherries and sweet chocolate and malts.
Tastes of Black cherrys and a little bitterness and then the malt flavor comes through and finishes with a nice hit of Alcohol. Creamy and smooth the Laceing is still there with a little bit of head.
Having worked at a Distillery right out of High school back in the day I enjoy that little hit of Alcohol taste.

Very Refreshing in your mouth and creamy smooth going down, a very drinkable porter and Yards has hit a home run with this one.
I give it an overall of 4.5 this is a very good Porter.

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Photo of droomyster
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a beautiful, frumpy tan head that sticks all over the glass. Aromas a brimming over with molasses and spices like cinnamon and ginger. There's far more alcohol on the nose and far less roastiness on the nose than I normally like, but the uniqueness of its spicy bouquet has completely stolen my heart. This porter tastes (in order of flavor intensity) like sweet molasses, burnt sugar, Christmas spices, dark chocolate and general roastiness. Unlike any porter I've ever had. Intriguing stuff, for sure. I'm going to give this beer, along with Yard's Spruce Ale, as gifts to fellow beer geeks this December.

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Photo of ark57
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It is a dark brwon to black in color. The aroma has some roasted malts and dark fruit in the nose. It is really smooth and sweet. Not overly sweet, but it is on the sweet side making it an excellent close to any meal. There is chocolate, fruit, and caramel notes. In finishes with a long molasses taste. It lingers for some time and coats the mouth well. There are so many flavors going on, that i did not notice the alcohol. It is comforting.

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Photo of rabsten
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from the Yards Variety case. Poured into a pint glass: Thick, thick head, good retention, solid lacing. Dark mahogany to ebony, depending on the light, while the head is mocha colored. All you could ask for in a porter appearance.

Light malt smell with fruit undertone. Plums or some other stone fruit, perhaps?

Sweet and dark tasting. The sweetness is not cloying, like some molasses porters I've had before. Maltiness grows with each sip. Pure speculation here, but: If I could keep from drinking it so quickly, it may open up into a whisky-like quality. There's a residual taste of anise, as well.

Easy to drink, pleasant mouth feel. The sweetness lingers a bit too long at times, making an ice water chaser a good decision, but other than that, very nice.

So, General Washington wasn't just the Father of our Country, but a pretty good brewer as well. This makes me want to seek out the Samuel Adams take on the recipe. .

It's not a favorite yet (SN Porter and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald are at the top). Right up there with other good porters from all over.

Yards has a winner here. Worth getting a six at least, and a case if you like the style.

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Photo of engisch
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a nice lacey head that coats the glass. Smells a bit of chocolaty sweetness with a slightly roasty or dark chocolate aroma.

Sweet malty slightly bitter chocolate flavor. A hint of molasses. There is a slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

An all around nice porter. I would definitely drink this again if it crossed my path. Nothing crazy going on here. Great balanced porter.

Way to go Kehoe!

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Photo of MrOH
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with reddish brown highlights, two fingers of khaki head, decent retention. Lots of lace.

Chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruits. Like really high quality dark chocolate.

Slightly ashy roast for a second in the beginning, then dark chocolate and fruit. Quite tasty.

Silky, heavier side of medium, low carbonation.

A really solid porter. I tend to like a bit more oomph from the black patent, but this is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours dark, almost black with a large head which takes several minuets to dissapate and lacing which remains in the glass throught.

There is the strong smell of coffee, chocolate and molasses. With a "smoky" quality.

The taste is pretty much like the smell with the chocolate and the coffee alternating for attention on your taste buds. There is only slight bitterness, much less than most porters.

The mouthfeel is a little thin and malty.

The taste that is left in the mouth after swallowing is that of chocolate and coffee with a "smoky" quality with a hint of bitterness.

This is an excellent porter for a cold winter night. If Washington did brew a beer similar to this it was definitely worth fighting for.

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General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 775 ratings.
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