General Washington's Tavern Porter | Yards Brewing Co.

very good
288 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 773
Photo of jakester
1.97/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a pilsner glass. It looks like an attempt was made to put a date on the bottle, but it was mostly rubbed off when I bought it.

Pours a slightly hazy deep garnet with a brown tint. A two finger head of tan foam forms on top. The head eventually drops to a good coating and a ring, with great lacing on the glass.

Why is it that everything from Yards has the same off smell? Every damn one! It's an odd, cardboardy fruit type smell, not real pleasant. I can also pick out a citrus hop aroma in the back, and maybe a little chocolate as well.

It has the same off flavor all their beers have, too. It's a hot cardboard, band-aid taste that is in all of their beers. There is some chocolate and roasted flavor in there, but it is just overwhelmed by the cardboard. This could be hard to finish.

Mouthfeel is kind of smooth, semi-sweet, with a weird metallic finish.

This could be the last Yards beer I ever try. Almost every one I've had has the same damn off characteristics. Someone at Yards needs to completely dismantle the brewery and sterilize everything. They've got bugs in the works. If, for some reason, these are the flavors and smells they are seeking, they need a new recipe writer, or a new yeast, or something. Their stuff is just weird.

 1,334 characters

Photo of RBorsato
2/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Mahogany/brown color with a full pillowy light brown head and highly carbonated. Oxidized/Infected overcarbonated aroma and flavor -- very much like the TJ Tavern Ale. No hints of molasses comes thru the infection.... Very surprising considering the Best By date. Bubbly light bodied due to overcarbonation/infection.

A bit pricey to take the chance of trying it again... Sorry Yards -- Once Again, bone up on the Quality Assurance!! There should be a revolution against these poor "Beers of the Revolution"..

Label States: "Brewed with Molasses" & "Authentic Recipe" & "Bottle Conditioned"

Best Before: 04/03/06 (lasered on neck)
Tasted: 12/28/04

($1.79 / 12 oz.)

 677 characters

Photo of klewis
2.19/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this one.

A: Pours a lighter than average brown (per the style) with a miniscule head and little lacing.

S: Sweet smell of caramel and molasses.

T: Stale, vegetal taste - corn, celery, etc. Bitter with no typical porter flavors at all. Tastes slightly oxidized. Where's the molasses?

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Oily, slick texture.

D: Sorry George, this one's a dump.

 430 characters

Photo of Brent
2.22/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a nice dark color with a long-lasting mocha head. Surprisingly little aroma - what there was seemed to hint at sweet chocolate. Flavor profile was puzzling - almost no roasted malt flavors other than the barest coffee at the very end. The predominant flavor was an oddly wine-like flavor, both sweet and tart. The combination did not harmonize well. Bottle notes that the beer is brewed with molasses. Perhaps I'm simply too acclimated to beers brewed in the traditional English style and the American interpretations to be able to appreciate this reincarnation of the Colonial "Philadelphia" style.

 606 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
2.43/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saw the interesting labels for this and the other "revolutionary" ales during my last trip for the first time.
Pours a fizzy dark brown with red highlights.Ringlets of bubbles, but not much of a head or lacing was evident.
Faint malt in the nose and a bit of earthiness.
Tasted like a fountain cola. Extremely light mouthfeel, with some overboard carbonation on the tongue, really detracted from any of the flavor profile. Acidic, but not ver bitter, with only a hint of the roasted malts. Finishes clean and not very enjoyable.

I don't think I'll be drinking the second one I had.

 589 characters

Photo of TongoRad
2.44/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a translucent blackish brown color with a temporary one-finger soda-like head.

Aroma is unusual- there is an overriding character that I can only describe as 'wet plaster'. Underneath that is some acidic roast malt notes and some resiny/floral hops. I don't get sufficient malt to make it work.

Flavor is way too roast-malt acidic. Yes- there are other beer-like characteristics and some coffee and chocolate-like qualities, but the acid dominates to the point of being a real detriment. Something could have gone wrong with the bottle conditioning, but I just didn't enjoy this beer.

 596 characters

Photo of jtierney89
2.65/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep deep amber color with noticeable clarity for the darkness. Big 2 finger off white head. Nose has those classic english scents. Very earthy with touches of barnyard, slight minty hop presence. Head eventually subsides to a half finger lace with pretty good lacing.

Tastes of peat barley and coffee with a very minor hop presence. Beer starts big and malty but thins out kind of watery on the back end. Flavors dont linger too long which is good cause they arent fantastic. Like a weird thin smokey chocolatiness. Like having a BBQ in london on a misty day.

Theres a bright fruit sweetness somewhere in here if you look for it. Eh.

 644 characters

Photo of ybnorml
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark brown in color with a small tan head. A distinict vanilla aroma dominates the smell. The taste has none of the afore mentioned vanilla charactistic. It starts out hinting at a roasted malt but quickly goes away from that to an almost sour finish. I know that vanilla flavors in beer are not high on alot of peoples list but I think if it had a little of that in the flavor to match the aroma it might have increased my enjoyment of this beer.

 452 characters

Photo of antott0523
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, with a thin light brown head that completely disappeared. No lace.

Nose: Some sweeter malt notes of caramel. Some alcohol on the nose. Earthy notes of mushroom and moss,

Taste: Sweeter malt notes of toasted bread.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with mild carbonation

Overall: A decent porter that is not complex, but has a good flavor. Would not seek out again, but glad I tried, based on how much I liked the Chocolate Love Stout from the same brewery.

 476 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown appearance. Thin light tan head with little retention. Lace is negligible. The aroma is funky and barnyard....yes, like a lambic to an extent. Seemingly there's some cherry as well. And some chocolate malt as well. The taste is funky as well. I think something has gone awry here. But not in a real bad way. It tastes o.k., maybe a little off putting, but not dumpable and in no way does it taste like a porter. It's sweet and cherry like. A little husky astringency. Dry finish. A titch sour, but not disturbingly. A little acidic. Not something I'd reach for again if this is what it really is supposed to taste like.

 635 characters

Photo of mralphabet
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Pint Glass.

A: Very dark brown with a hint of red. Good 1 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice layer with very nice lacing.

S: I'm getting some molasses and coffee with a slightly burnt malt.

T: Molasses and coffee are the 2 strongest tastes here.. more on the bitter side than sweet. Aftertaste is bitter coffee.

M: Sharp and a little over carbonated for a porter, also a little on the thin water side.

D: Not as porter like as I was hoping. Not a bad beer by any means just not what I was expecting. Worth noting because it is brewed from Washington's recipe... beyond that not much.

 623 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is very muted, but some mild sweetness of indeterminable origin comes through. Dark brown with a large creamy head. More sweet than roasty, but it has sort of sulpher tinge to it rather than any molasses I have had. Some mild cherry fruit flavors in the finish. Doesn’t have that roasty wholesomeness I expect froma porter.

 330 characters

Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle with little to no head and very small carbonation retained. Appears dark brown as I would expect. Smell is very inviting of roasted grain or almost like a burnt oatmeal. Cocoa sweetness is upfront in the flavor. Although it finishes a little more watery than I would have enjoyed. Drinkability is okay.

 332 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a reddish-brown color that lets some light through and has about an inch of light tan head that quickly dies down to a cap of bubbles. Leaves a good bit of lacing rings around the glass that sticks around for a while. Smells more of a brown ale then your typical porter, with slightly sweet malts coming though with light scents of coffee and chocolate. Sweet malts and a bit of nuttiness are the main factors in the taste with a good amount of hops as well. Overall a very mild taste and smell. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but well carbonated and the drinkability is not hindered by any taste of alcohol. This is a decent beer that seems more of a hybrid of a porter and brown ale that is a little too light on the flavor for me.

 741 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown pour, flimsy head. Plenty of malt and molasses in the aroma.

Taste was smooth. Malt runs around without a bunch or roasty bitterness. Earthy feels. Expensive.

 174 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown appearance, not much in the way of head on it. Aroma was molasses and malt bomby.

Taste, pretty smooth. Velvet dark malt without a heavy roast presence. Alcohol seemed a little noticeable. More molasses. Sweetness tamed by the heavy malt bill. Surprising bitterness at times, didn't think the hopping would be anything more than nuanced. Despite the prevalence of molasses, the viscosity isn't way up there. Maybe some tobacco and leather to it.

The cost of this stuff is atrocious, what, is Washington's family getting royalties or something?

 557 characters

Photo of mgbickel
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. A sliver of tan foam that may be mistaken for "head" formed, despite an aggressive pour. No need to comment on lacing... The body is stout-esque...thick and black. The lack of head makes this look like a glass full of used (heavily used that is) motor oil.

Weak nose - faint hints of coffee, molasses and roasted malts. The aromas increased slightly as the beer came to temp., but still not impressive.

The taste matches the flavor and strength. The only flavor that jumps out at you is the molasses. There is a pretty decent black coffee after taste however.

Medium mouth feel; slightly oily with little carbonation.

This is drinkable, but nothing I would go out of my way for. Pretty average.

 731 characters

Photo of MrNuggets
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Head is light tan, big at first then slowly dies down into a creamy film that stays for the rest of the beer. Dark brown colour filled with ruby highlights. Fruity smell splashed with malt. Unexpected fruitiness up front, this caught my off guard and made me fear I did not like this beer. Thankfully I'm quickly given a healthy blast of malt. The chocolate in background teases my confused taste buds. For some reason this beer is not very pleasing on the palate. It's hard to say why. I wouldn't go out of my way to try this again.

 533 characters

Photo of nomad
3.19/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very dense head that is creamy and thick, whipped up like a meringue - unique and going nowhere. The beer is dark brown and transparent with red edges. Thick lace and stain all over. Smells of dark roast, some soda-like quality (think Dr. Pepper), and some quite nutty scents. Taste is sourish at first, almost-cherry like, with dark toasted flavors slowly creeping over. Slight molasses notes, too, with a dregs of coffee flavored, drying finish. Full-ish mouthfeel. Looks better than it tastes.

 504 characters

Photo of fretlessman71
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Big thanks to Chazwicke for providing this for me.

There’s a blurb on the bottle about how Ol’ George created this recipe for his field officers. Also says it’s brewed with molasses, which might help to explain the 7% ABV. Not quite Imperial Porter status, but seems like it might be pretty close…

APPEARANCE: Dark root beer brown. Light easily passes through. HUGE foamy tan head that took up most of the glass, has since settled to a frothy cap, leaving behind moderate lacing.

AROMA: Kind of sour. Not bad at all, really, but I’m a little gunshy about infected beer these days. Not a big nose to this one; picking up a few prune-like aromas, some red wine, and a little tiny bit of malt. Maybe I’m picking up the molasses, since I’m unaccustomed to its taste. Bits of chocolate coming through as well.

FLAVOR: High alcohol content is evident at first sip. Almost winey on the sides of the tongue. No sourness here – must have been a false alarm. Roasted malt, chocolate, a little hop bittering (were they using hops in the late 1700s?). The beer gets a little sweeter as it warms. Black malt is just barely there. I’m warming to this one, but it might be that I only had a light meal first and since I’m such a lightweight 7% ABV is rather noticeable to me! Then again, it may turn out that it’s because I can taste the molasses better with every sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly astringent, but otherwise smooth. I’m sure the astringency is due to the higher alcohol content.

DRINKABILITY: Boy, one of these is enough for an evening. If I were to continue, I’d probably change to something else at this point.

OVERALL COMMENTS: A decent beer; reminiscent of homebrew experimentations gone right and wrong. The final sip was far better than the first with this brew. There’s something a little funky about every aspect of this one, yet it is imminently endearing. I’d love to try this one on tap, and I’d probably even get it again in the bottle despite all of my complaints. It’s certainly different, and in a good way!

 2,085 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin lacey off-white head. The aroma is decent. It has a warm, roasted, dark malt scent that reveals it's elevated abv. . The taste is average. It has a rich malty flavor that goes down easy, but finishes warm and bitter. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average porter. I like the concept, but I'm not sure I can drink too many more of these.

 437 characters

Photo of keanex
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass from a 12 ounce bottle with no freshness date.

A: Almost opaque clear garnet with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates.

S: Licorice is heavy, very fruity on the nose with hints of molasses. Smells good!

T: Slightly roasty with a black licorice slightly coming through. Slight molasses and fruits coming through. This is a bit confusing really. It's okay but I'm not thrilled over it.

M: Full bodied with light carbonation.

O: This is an okay beer, I won't buy it again, but it's very cool to try an old historic recipe!

 565 characters

Photo of ngandhi
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tangy on the palate and zippy on the nose. Dissipating fusels -- as if we've caught this beer right after primary fermentation. Gueuze earthiness, but nothing wild. Unpleasant, foamy mouthfeel. The numbing carbonation -- so much so that it mutes anything of possible interest in this beer -- is backed by earthy hops and fickle chocolate malt. I like the interaction there; I even like the thin body which, along with a void of malt or hop bitterness, firmly puts this in the porter category. Autolytic. Treacle.

This is a trite offering from Yards -- arbitrarily formulated and mashed low to keep it thin, drinkable, and true to its nominal image as a Tavern Porter.

Relax, relax.

 691 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at City Tavern, Philadelphia.
Look: Dark brown / black pour.
Taste: Carmel, coffee notes with a late bitterness
Feel: light carbonation
A hearty porter.

 181 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an odd brownish red...maybe I expected darker. Barely any head though some bubbles cascading to the top show it does have some decent carbonation. Soft aroma of dark chocolate and used coffee grounds. Mouthfeel is kinda thin, and the flavor is severely lacking. Tastes like...well, nothing. Just begins to hint at some nutty, chocolate undertones, but doesn't build into anything at all. Maybe this is how beer tasted when Washington lived...if so, we've come a long way. Maybe that's what Yards is shooting for, I don't know. Kinda reminds of the flavorless bread I ate one time that I was told was a clone of what soldiers during the civil war ate...I think it was called "hard tack" or something. Ughh. 7% ABV can be felt somewhat afterwards as it is slightly warming, but not really detectable in the flavor. This is pretty disappointing. Yards brews some good stuff, but this isn't included.

 902 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 773 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.