General Washington's Tavern Porter | Yards Brewing Co.

very good
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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: 777
Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fairly strong, dark porter with a nice, rugged brownish head and good lacing. I liked the maltiness and full body. Not a bad choice, served on tap for Valentine's Day (and on Presidents' Day weekend). I would definitely get it again.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into glass

A: blackish brown with a slight reddish tinge, minimal head
S: some coffee and spice on the nose. Just had Heavy Seas Deep Six the other day (same style category). in comparison, the Yards one isn't as complex or assertive.
T: surprisingly refreshing for how heavy it is. Sweet from the molasses with long bitter finish. Sweet/bitter combination reminiscent of slightly flat tonic water.
M: decent amount of carbonation to cut through the heaviness.
O: Not as unique as Deep Six but more refreshing; solid and enjoyable all-around.

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Photo of Anthony21014
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Wasnt a big fan of the taste. Tasted almost like somebody poured a shot of whiskey in my beer. Had the other 2 revolutionary ales and this was by far the worst one. Usually love Yards beer but this wasnt my cup of tea

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Photo of wattoclone
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours a medium dark brown with huge tan head and chocolate aroma.

Taste is surprisingly sweet from the molasses. Almost as sweet as a milk stout. Notes of coffee on the palate but the sweet chocolate predominates. Drinks like a light milk stout. The finish is bitter dark chocolate. No wonder we won the war.

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Photo of ppvora
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a chilled 12 oz. bottle into an ale glass.
Appearance: Dark brown color, 1 finger of head, some aeration and lacing.

Aroma: Malts, molasses, molasses, and caramelized sugar.

Taste: Caramelized sugar in the background, smoky molasses and lots of malt. My previous review of this beer was "meh" but I had it again yesterday and loved it. I don't think they've changed the beer (but maybe they have) so it could be that my tastes are changing. But this one belongs in my beer harem.

Mouthfeel: Very clean taste, no lingering bitterness or sweetness.

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a slight red hue. Virtually no head, maybe a millimeter of white.
S: Smells of dark coffee, rich cocoa, roasted pecans and walnuts, toffee
T: Tastes like it smells with a deep coffee flavor coming through in the beginning (with the help of the nose) and the after taste. Even a faint taste of butterscotch within the java flavor along with dark syrup notes
M: I was almost worried that my beer was flat because there was almost no head or lacing to the beer, but once you taste it you realize there is a carbonated bite to the porter that makes it refreshing and deep and flavorful. Still wish there was a little more fullness to this porter
O: Other porters I have had are either too strong in the coffee, chocolate and other complex flavors. This beer is very drinkable and has more simple flavors than many other porters. But, this beer still has a delicious balance of more simple ingredients that makes it very drinkable but still tasty

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Photo of slusk
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep clear garnet with a thin tan head. God lacing

S: Light coffee and cream with some dark fruit, currant or raisin. A bit of vanilla.

T: Chocolate, coffee and toffee are in the forefront. Nice complex malt profile. There's some dark fruit, mostly raisin. low hop flavor but a decent amount of hop bitterness, just enough to balance the big malt profile. Some dark bread crust Starts sweet but finishes somewhat dry with a bright bitter aftertaste on the back of the tongue.

M: Not as full bodied as a stout but a medium full body, creamy. A definite astringent character is present in the finish. Low carbonation but there's a bit of an acidic bite to this. Not overwhelming but enough to let you know its not a stout.

O: This is quite a nice porter. I would recommend this to someone who doesn't want the chewy flavor and mouthfeel of a stout. It's essentially a mini stout, Good complex flavor in the malt and nice balance that leans toward the malty side.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated 12 oz bottle at 35 degrees into 12 oz standard pint
Aroma - weak aroma of roasted malt
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing excellent covers the entire surface
Body very dark brown, chill haze
Flavor begins with roasted malt and sweet molasses; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

I last had this in 2008 and don’t remember the circumstances, but I will upgrade the rating in my database. This is a very pleasant porter with a definite molasses flavor and sweetness but is not cloying. The appearance is enticing, the aroma is weak, and the flavor and palate are very good.

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Photo of sommersb
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 07-05-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

Dark brown beer with red highlights. The big, tan head has very good retention and good lacing.

Smells have caramel malts and brown bread. Also aromas of toasted grains.

The roasted malts have some coffee like bitterness in the taste, with notes of cocoa and slight sweetness of molasses.

Mouthfeel is thick, and finishes with coffee flavors and an earthy bitterness.

Overall a good, well-rounded porter that I enjoyed.

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Photo of scotorum
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into the only available non-paper vessel, a ceramic mug.

a: Black with a thick tan head which receded to thin surface foam an dense lacing.

s: Slight dark malt.

t: Mild dark sweetness, hints of coffee and dark chocolate and some smoke. Sweet to dry finish.

m: medium with good body.

o: A tasty and easy drinking porter with a slight muskiness reminiscent of old-time taverns. Or am I just imagining the latter? No, and I like it.

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Photo of Boggdogg
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a merky looking thick black color with a nice tan colored head that fades quickly into a nice ring of lacing.
Smell is sweet to me with some malt tones, coffee and dark chocolate. I can tell just by the smell that this is a complex porter.
Taste is excellent. Extremely balanced between bitter and sweet. It actually tastes even better than it smells.
Has more body than most porters I've tried but maintains a nice smoothness.
Overall excellent. Highly recommended.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, and pale yellow in shade. Texture-wise, it's not quite as uber-creamy as some porters. While retention isn't the best, a nice ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I really pick up a nice molasses note, mainly. Smoke, chocolate, and aniseed lie beneath. There are also nice touches of roasted coffee and dark fruit. The (relative) complexity of the nose is catching me off guard, in a good way; but it's a bit on the mild side in terms of intensity.

T: Molasses is the predominant note here, with stewed dark fruits secondary. Some licorice, herbaceous, and grape flavors help finish it off. The roasty/chocolaty notes are sadly muted, but this is otherwise a nice porter that's on the sweet side.

M: Since this one is on the sweeter side, I'm left wishing for a bit more body to help support it. Even with its more slender feel, it's not extremely drinkable. Another problem: it's overcarbonated. Nonetheless, it goes down fairly easily.

O: I cannot tell a lie: this is a fine porter. It's not up there in the elite tier by any means, but it's certainly not gross, either. Personally, I think it's a bit too licorice-y. Oh well, still worth trying.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yards Washington Porter was good....not spectacular. The beer poured an opaque black with white head that left a slight lace. The scent had hints of earth. The taste followed the scent....but I thought I got a bit of anise. The mouthfeel was medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall it was ok.

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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.

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Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, possibly black, no light gets through to be able to tell. It has a moderate tan head that has almost no retention, but leaves a little lacing. The aroma is mild with some dark roast notes and a little hint of alcohol sweetness. The taste is very roast forward with just a hint of earthy hops on the finish. There is a little silkiness to the mouthfeel and a slightly lighter weight to the body. An above-average porter from the first president.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (BO: 01062014 830 13:14 or 1/6/14)

A: This is a dark, dark brown with just a bit of amber and copper around the edges where the light shines through. Just a bit of lacing.

S: Roasted malts, with dark chocolate and cacao nibs. Slightly sweet.

T: Slight roast taste with that bittersweet dark chocolate taste. Also, just a bit of sweetness. You get a bit of that molasses as well. The only downside here might be the aftertaste, depending on whether you like that roasted aftertaste.

M: Very smooth with only a slight hint of carbonation.

O: This is a great porter and a great beer. I like to believe that George Washington would have been drinking something very close to this. I love weird/old stuff like this. I mean DFH's Ancient Ale series got me into beer. This has me very excited to try the other two ales of the Revolution.

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Photo of IronLover
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown in color with good clarity (you'll need a bright light of course). Poured with a short, rich, light beige foam that slowly reduced to a wispy cap. Roasted malt and sweet toffee aromas with earthy, herbal hop and dark chocolate notes beneath. Medium bodied with a creamy smooth feel and soft carbonation. Dark roasted and chocolate malt flavors with sweet toffee up front and earthy bitter hops through the middle. Bitterness fades to roasted malts at the end as this finishes crisp and dry. Outstanding.

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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 metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color (black when viewed from afar) and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of sweet and smoked malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts along with nutty and chocolate malts and notes of smoke towards the finish. A light amount of sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely easy to drink and has an interesting mix of aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Nate139
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, very dark brown around edges. Tan brown head that dissipated quickly

S - Malty chocolate, subtle coffee notes

T - Strong chocolate and coffee, faint dark fruity (almost cherry like) taste at the end

M - Very smooth, medium bodied

O - Pretty good beer all around

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Photo of fourstringer
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Smith pint glass. Moderately aggressive hand. Didn't see any date on the label or bottle. Apparently this is ol' GW's original recipe. Would it taste better in a powdered wig and wooden teeth?

A: Very dark amber that appears mostly black from afar. 1 finger of light beige head with ok retention. Light lacing.

S: Roasted malt with dark chocolate notes. Lighter coffee. Slight presence of piney hop. Faint molasses. Honey. Smoke.

T: Roasted and rather smoky malt with a pleasant nuttiness. Gradual transition to a moderate hop bitterness. Dry finish. No alcohol of note. A little tang on the back end.

M: Moderate carbonation with a moderate body. A bit more fullness wouldn't hurt, but feels smooth.

O: I enjoyed this. Well balanced with good scents and flavors. Texturally, kind of thin on the palate, but very drinkable.


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Photo of jjboesen
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is part of their "Ales of the Revolution." It is a robust porter based on George Washington's own recipe - apparently, our first president liked to tipple as he also had his own distillery. The spongy vanilla head head immedialty dissipates ( a metaphor for removing the crown from our shores?) to leave sketchy lacing olong the glassrim. The body is a dark ruby color that is impervious to light. There are pleasant notes of cocoa nubs, molasses and malt. The palate is tickled with semi-sweet chocolate whisps, while the mouthfeel is balanced enough to belie a 7% abv.

A delicious beer, by George; is it no wonder we all carry pictures of him in our wallets.

Note: This beer was tasted at the Yards' Brewing Tasting Room on January 18, 2014.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown. Sudsy beige cap. Looks like a porter.

Sharp earthy bitterness and staled floral hops. Malty roast is roasty, but flatlining. Not the malts, nor the hops want to take over... and that's called balance, folks!

Flavors open up with a rich smoky malt backbone, all-of-a-sudden robust roast, meaty char, dark chocolate, bitter French roast coffee, earthy hops, hints of spearmint, and English malt toffee. Utterly ridiculous how good this tastes after the dud of an aroma.

Nice rolling carbonation on the tongue. Body full of wealth and richness. Feels great.

Kickass beer! Why was is so hard for them to evidence the goodness in the aroma? A fault is a fault, but it's still a 4.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 8/21/2013, poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 12/26/2013. So 4 months of age. Part of my recent drive to try a bunch of porters..

Pours a light cola brown colour, with a 1 finger length of tan head that dissipates quickly into a thin collar. Not much lacing, just spots of it. All in all, a decent porter that doesn't look awful thick.

Smells very good- molasses jump out, plus some chocolate, bits of coffee and some roast malts. Its actually smelling sweeter than a typical porter. I'm enjoying the smell of this porter.

However, this doesn't come together quite that well. Lots of molasses, toffee and butterscotch in this. Some roast malts in the background, hints of coffee and chocolate. But this is a very sweet porter. It's not what I'm used to, but if this is a historical recipe, well this is more like a dark barleywine that isn't quite a barleywine.

Thin bodied, OK carbonation. Quite watery on the palate, a decent earthy-mineral bitterness on the backend.

Its interesting and different than most of the American porters I've had recently- perhaps its a reflection of the English porter style. Its not as roasty or chocolatey as it is straight up sweet with molasses and toffee. It has a little more in common with barleywines than it does stouts, indeed. I won't try this one again, but it was definitely an interesting change of pace for porters.

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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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General Washington's Tavern Porter from Yards Brewing Co.
3.82 out of 5 based on 777 ratings.
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