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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: 286 | Ratings: 761
Photo of rajendra82
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A colorful colonial looking label, and some history of the beer on the back made this a good looking and informative bottle. As I uncapped it, the foam started rising above the top. Pouring it confirmed a highly carbonated beer that was difficult to pour in the first pass, as a majority of the pint glass was filled with a thick foamy head.

Underlying the head, the beer was murky, reddish brown, rather than the typical nearly black Porter. The aroma was musty, sprucey, and sour, rather than the roasty chocolaty smell I typically associate with Porters. This smelled more like an Old Ale.

The taste was tangy, woodsy, and sour with some chocolate like taste. There was almost no burnt taste in here. The molasses mentioned on the label must have been used sparingly, as the beer taste rather light and thin, but somewhat sweet. I am sure they even used any hop, because there wasn’t a trace of hop bitterness or flavor.

Felt a bit too experimental and homebrew like to fully enjoy. A different take on the style to be sure.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is one year old and has been aging in the back of my refrigerator since July 2004.

Appearance: Deep murky brown color with a big and fluffy tan head. The head is made up of identically sized small bubbles. The head also leaves very fluffy and stiff lacing on the side of the pint glass. This lacing lasts just as strongly as the head, which has nice retention itself. In fact, the head lasts the entire glass leaving a bit of foam on the bottom of my pint glass when I was finished. This is a nice looking beer with presentation that makes the beer more appetizing and desirable. Well done here.

Smell: Very floral and roasty nose with a light scent of chocolate. The nose is nice but certainly not where this battle will be won.

Taste: This beer is roasty and woody and smoky up front with a sight undertone of cherries. More flavor as the beer warms up and opens to soy sauce and a sweeter smokiness. The beer is nice and roasty with only a slight sourness coming from the roasty flavor. This tells me that the dark malts are nicely roasted but not overly so. As the malt takes over there comes more borwn sugar, toast, and burnt coffee. This beer hides its 7% very well. There is no taste of alcohol making it very quaffable. The aftertaste is a bit more spicy than the original flavor with sage and cumin showing up.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sticky with nice carbonation. Very nice feel on the palate. Medium to full bodied.

Drinkability: This is quite a good brew with a big roasty character. I would say that this beer got a bit better after aging a year. It's still just as good with BBQ though. This beer is one of the many porters that borders on a stout. Wisely they still call it a porter and it represents the style quite well.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a huge almost overflowing cream head and excellent retention. Nose is rather light, some coffe, sweet milk chocolate, maybe a little sour milk. Taste is much better, sweet molasses, chocolate, caramel, toasted malts, slightly wine taste. Mouthfeel is extremely creamy with a nice dry finish. This is a really nice tasting porter, I'd buy it again.

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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.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

General Washington's Tavern Porter....

Appearance-dark brown, almost black with a simple yet majestic head of foam that leaves lace and slowly dissipates.

Smell-some notes of coffee and dry hops, very dark sweet malt almost chocolatety, a lot of aroma.

Taste-dark chocolate on first sip with a simple flourish of coffee malt and some hops, fairly full and thick but a nice mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel-not bad, thick yet good flavors, dry aftertaste and it goes down smooth.

Drinkability-hey man, it's a strong porter not exactly a sessioner but you can have a few for the night if you like it.

Overall-I haven't had many porters but I must say this is the best one I've had, full of flavor with a nice mouthfeel and balance and while it isn't exactly complex it's certaintly one to pick up.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown mahogany pour into a pilsner glass with a scattering rising bubble carbonation meeting up with a thin wafer cap.

Scents of Tootsie Roll & rye grains.

First swigs: Fruity roasted malts. (House flavors...note to self: Find out what yeast YARDS uses) Toasted rye wheat grain meets cocoa and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Clean sticky thick medium to full, but not a Baltic.

Last swigs: Strong Porter! Rye & toasted coffee. This bottle saved my visit to Rembranbdt's on a pubcrawl. This was the best beer they had.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours an opaque reddish brown with a huge off white head. Retention is kind of rediculous as I can't seem to get the whole bottle into the glassat one time. Nevertheless, I enjoy that every once in a while. Lacing is nice as well.
Whiffs of coffee, toffee, caramel, and perhaps some molasses in this one. There is definitely some chocolate in there as well. Definitely toasted malts as well.
Wow, very similar to the smell but a little bit sweeter than I would have imagined. Alcohol and hops also make themselves known.
Overall, a good porter, very robust and quite enjoyable. It's kind of hard to believe that this is George Washington's real recipe. A darn good beer

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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 nvsblman
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Overly carbonated, took forever to pour this one! Very thick, pillowy head that is lightly coffee colored. Rich dark bark color to the beer. Nice lacing as I drink it. The aroma is fully of roasted malts and nuttiness. A little coffee in the background too. This is a very tasty beer! Loads of molasses, roasted nuts, toffee and some espresso too. Just enough hop presence for a nice balance. The mouthfeel is very creamy and the carbonation just seems to stick to the toungue.

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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!

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, deep chestnut brown in color. No real head to speak of. Low aroma-some roasted malt and a slight cinnamon spiciness. Good flavor-roasted malt,slight chocolate flavor and an almost vanilla finish in the backround. Nice body-maybe a touch beefier for my liking. A very drinkable brew-my only complaint and it doesnt affect the overall review of the beer is the price. $9 and change for a six pack is a bit stiff-might be my locale but Ive seen it this price in 3 states-overall it doesnt warrant that price. A damn good porter but theres better ones out there for cheaper.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of AKSmokedPorter. Thanks, dude!

Poured a bold-looking deep and dark, dark brown, almost black in color with a nice-looking dark tan head that not only lasted but also managed a good ring of lace multiple times on the pint glass. Aromas are heavenly...all sorts of requisite porter scents: cocoa, dark & bitter chocolate, toasted malt, coffee beans fresh from the grinder. Flavor sees the same profile as the nose, but there's a sweet twang that I would attribute to the molasses. Not as big as I'd expected, but still flavorful. Ends with a dry and bitter chocolate-red wine flavor. A little on the thin side but still drinkable.

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Photo of shippos
3.51/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to ppoitras for the opportunity

poured with a light coffee colored head and a clear mildly dark brown color. smooth creamy in the aroma with an underlying sugary sweetness and a dry burnt quality. everything is fairly subtle and subdued/balanced wcept for the lingering sugar sweetness that stands out amongst everything. smooth mouthfeel, kinda weaker and bit thin than most porters. chocolatly witha subtle sweetness and a burnt malt aftertaste. still very good and definetly not to be passed up.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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Photo of garymuchow
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sample come courtesy of Pezoids and Secret Santa '04. Many thanks!
A rather mild aroma for the style with a slightly sweet character, but not of heavy malt. Has a unique (vegatable?, yeast) type aroma.
Dark brown (red hues). Firm 1/4 inch head-> lots of lacing.
Nice unique taste. All of the Yard's beers I've sampled have this taste to a greater or lesser degree. This is lesser and it balances nicely with the darker malts. Mild roast moving to a fairly long dry finish. Caramel with some other sweetness.
Thin for style. Very nice smoothness and softness makes up for the thinness.
I'm wondering if the unique Yards taste is in the yeast. As noted it works best in this ale-> the best I've had so far. Also as noted I love the historical references and attributes. George Washington on the label and cap. Bravo to Yards.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one, as it was recently stocked at my local beer store and I really like their Love Stout.A very interesting take on the Porter style. What got my immediate attention was the fact that this Porter did not have any telltale bitterness, very soft in the finish. Another positive attribute is that the 7% abv was not overwhelming by any means; just a creeping warming feeling. I don't know about the claim that this beer is based on General George's recipe, but I really like this one and will buy a bunch more. The next time I'm in Philly, I will be sure to stop at City Tavern to seek this one out on draft.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

General Washington would have enjoyed this red-brown ale that poured with a think head and left evident lace lines down the glass.
There was a good amount of sediment which clouded the color if the bottle was turned vertical.
The taste is warming with a fruitiness(cherry?) and a bit of yeastiness. Some coffee notes as well in a quite drinkable brew. No loud hops which was fine for this malty dark fruity ale. I think the yeast brought out a bit much ester, but overall it went down easy and would like to try it on draft.

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Photo of merlin48
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark brown, nearly opaque, body with a small, beige head that retains well, and coats the glass with sheet and patch lace.
Aroma has the expected, dark roasted malts with hints of cocoa, but an interesting fruitiness of pear and apple aromas suggests that this is not your average porter.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy, with low to medium carbonation.
Taste is unusual for a porter. Dark roasted malts are suggestive of mild chocolate and a hint of coffee, but there is no burnt bitterness. Pear and apple fruitiness play as prominent a role as the dark malt flavors. Finish has a hint of coffee, but it's not a burnt or bitter note. The 7% abv is not in evidence.
The hidden alcohol, and lack of bitterness combine with the fruity flavors to lend this a pleasant drinkability. Very offbeat for a porter, but this is said to be modeled after 18th century recipes. The Founding Fathers imbibed well, if this brew is a true indication of their favorites.

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Photo of donnebaby
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark coffee looks and light medium bubble, soft head make for a nice appearance. Musty dirtiness lines the heavy syrupy sweetness. Cherry liqueur, tabacco.

I expected a much larger beer from the outgoing smell and alcohol content, but this one is smooth and balanced. Taste is small and sweet in the mouth, notes of coffee, caramel, and toasty graham. Clean and controlled finish: smoothness with a late touch of mineral hops. Goes down fast and smooth.

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Photo of clvand0
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another pleasing beer furnished by kmpitz2. Very nice label. Pours a dark brown color (a little light for a porter) with a small head that sticks around. The aroma is full of a dark fruity-ness as well as some coffee/chocolate. Interesting flavor. Not what I expected. Lots of caramel flavor and a good malty character. This seems a bit thin for a porter, but it's still a great beer although a bit odd.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep dark brown with finger of head that sticks around to cover the beer. The nose is interesting. Theres some fruity grape in the nose, not what I was expecting, but intriguing. The flavor is also interesting. There is a sweetness and a roasted bitter that lingers after swallowing the beer. The label says there is molasses in there. That may be some of the oddness I find in this beer. The mouthfeel is thick, but there is something I don't like about the feel. Drinkability suffers from the odd flavors. I guess its the original flavors in Washingtons beer, but its not on my list of things I want in my beer.

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Photo of far333
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Looks more like a dark ale than a porter. Thin-looking body, light showing through the liquid at the edges of the glass. Beige head doesn't really rise, but dissipates quickly. Aroma is toasted malt and cocoa, plus some hops shining through. Mouthfeel is full and round, leading to a quick initial roasted malt and cocoa flavor, but morphing almost immediately into bitter coffee and a cherry tang. Cherry flavor lingers, as does a tannic talc feel. With each successive sip, the cherry builds and adds a bit of raisin. The tangy flavor unfortunately overwhelms the malt profile.

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Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, lacking any freshness dating, Boo. Pours dark chocolaty amber, light for a porter. Tan head, with decent retention. leaves long stringy lacing. Nose is maple syrup. Medium bodied and fairly chewy. Malt sweetness upfront, more maple, caramel and some light coffee notes.Sweetness linger and leads to a dry and slightly bitter finish, with some chalkyness in the mouth. Eh, so so porter

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General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 761 ratings.
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