Shade Grown Coffee Porter | Real Ale Brewing Company

very good
357 Ratings
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Shade Grown Coffee PorterShade Grown Coffee Porter

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by assurbanipaul on 12-07-2003

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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 357
Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There's no indication on the bottle lable that notes the "Shade Grown" title but it's the same beer in the end.

This Coffee Porter is a middle-of-the-road base of chocolate, pale, and a bit of roasted malts. Roast is intensified by the coffee additions which pick up a 'columbian coffee' nuttiness. Though the coffee is present, I have had regular Porters with as much coffee flavor and boldness. Bitterness is a good blend of hops and coffee resins with a bit of grassiness comming into the flavor hop flavor mix.

The beer is a dark brown color with some opaquness particularly around the edges. A loosely knit head falls apart under the coffee influence (a lot of coffee beers do this). Some lacing and foam holds onto the edges before completely disipating after a few minutes.

A grainy, tart-sour thing happens as the beer warms and carbonation subsides. I'm not sure if this is part of the beers character or if it is becaue I am drinking toward the tail end of the 'Best By' date.

The body is pretty light and could use a fuller, maltier, breadier mouthfeel. Without it, the beer seems thin as the carbonation is fleeting.

Thanks Exiled.

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Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark coffee brown color with ruby highlights and a foamy beige head that holds well and leaves sheets of lace down the glass

Smell: Roasted malt with plenty of black coffee aromatics

Taste: Roasted malt and dark bread up front with coffee flavor joining, mid-palate; after the swallow, the coffee tones persist although there is an odd mouth-puckering acidity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice porter with good coffee elements but I wasn't as crazy about it as some other reviewers

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Photo of mothman
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer

Pours ½ finger of khaki head. Color is a caramel copper dark brown.

Aroma: Very roasted. Not a lot of coffee here. Chocolate, vanilla, and caramel.

Taste: Vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, nuts, and chocolate. The coffee shows more here.

Mouthfeel: Dry, roasted, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends bitter, roasted, and clean.

Overall, a decent coffee porter, but I didn't like the coffee that was used very much. Still, it had a decent drinkability.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a trade. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 2/2/2012. Pours slightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice fairly dense 2 finger khaki head with good retention that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, and light herbal hops. Nice and well balanced aromas with decent strength. Taste of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, toast, caramel, and light herbal hops. Slight bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, and rasted malts on the finish for a bit. Good balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very easy and smooth to drink; with hardly any alcohol warming present for 5.6%. Overall this is a nice and enjoyable porter offering. This one was past best by date, but maybe if it was fresher the coffee would be more prominent.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

THis interesting looking coffee porter thanks to TexasStout. My first Real Ale beer.

It pours a lighter 1/2 finger head that is bubbly but fades slowly over an essentially pitch black beer, with very slight hints of light sneaking through.

The nose has plenty of dark malts, some crystal, a little chocolate, hint of roast, some sweetness, and a hint of a boozy aroma (a little much for 6%). I get some very light earthy hops as well. There is a bit of a coffee aroma, some fresh roasted coffee too which is nice, but I think much of the coffee has been lost while it sat in my fridge. I'll have to get it fresh and try it again.

The taste is similar, but coffee actually comes out into the foreground a lot more here. It reminds me a lot of my coffee nut brown homebrew. A nice coffee taste, light acidity and fresh roast, a light kahlua like coffee flavor too. Some dark malts, but they take a back seat to the coffee. Some crystal malts, a light chocolate and roast. There is some bitterness, not a lot, brought a bit by the coffee and roasted malts, but also a hint of an earthy hop. It finishes with more bitterness which comes out more on the finish, with a little more creamy kahlua and coffee flavors. It's not a dark roasted coffee, more like a lighter to medium roast, so it doesn't destroy the rest of the beer. It plays very well.

The mouth is a medium body with decent carbonation.

IT has a medium drinkability, with a bit of the syrupy sticky feel on the mouth lingering, and the bitter roasty flavor comes out more late on the finish. The nose brought out a little more alcohol aroma than I expected, but it was not there in the taste at least. I wouldn't call it sessionable, but it drinks well.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz hand bottled bomber. Thanks to Deuane for splitting this. I believe he received this in a recent BIF. Poured into a snifter.

Pours black with a thin head of mocha colored foam. Great looking flareup leaves some nice patchy lace back. It takes some aggressive swirling at first but I finally get a nice enough release of roasty coffee character. It's not overly burnt or acrid smelling, with the overall bouquet coming off as more sweet in the nature, thanks to some backing notes of caramel and chocolate.

The taste gives it up much easier, with a largely toasty feel, courtesy of coffee and roasted malts. The coffee character seems to have a pleasant fresh aspect to it, with more mellow notes of chocolate and toffee sweetness balancing out some of the bitterness and light astringency in the back. The mouthfeel is lighter medium feeling with a softer carbonation that gives the flavors an easy flowing feel.

Not much to complain about here. This was a solidly done Coffee Porter, with some nice roasty accents and balancing sweetness. An easygoing body helped this one go down well. I've been wanting to try this one for a while and for the most part, it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter. Poured a dark brown color with a thin tan head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has more of a roasted grains and chocolate flavor coming through then the coffee. The coffee is there but I was surprised it wasn't more evident then it was. Still a pretty nice porter aroma though.

The taste has roasted grains, coffee and some bitter dark chocolate. The coffee is there but isn't as strong as a lot of coffee flavored beers. It finishes with more of the chocolate flavor then anything else. The coffee actually blends into the roasted and chocolate flavor nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a nice flavored and easy to drink porter. I liked the way the coffee added some good flavors but didn't overpower the beer which allowed for some of the other nice flavors to show through.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one for the after dinner drink as the kids opened theirr presents. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/24/2009.

The pour was nice, dark brown, nearly black in color with a nice little puff on tan colored head on top. Nice lacing as it drops down the sides leaving a broken crown along the top. Aroma is solid coffee, with light notes of lactose and touches of something sweet balancing in there as well. Rich coffee notes with light touches of sugar are the way to go here. Smooth, easy sipper as each taste seems to bring more of the coffee flavor up to the forefront. Lighter feel then I would have expected but with the more the adequete carbonation it really seems to work here. Easily drinkable as this one went down without a fight and forced me to move on to something else.

Again not the best coffee porter I have had, but I liked it. It worked as it was lighter then I was expecting but it was well put together and some good depth could be found.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks so much to captinredbeard for this unsolicited beer - cheers Corey! Poured chilled from the 12oz into a willybecker.

A lovely cola colored porter w/ translucent clarity and garnet hued as the base w/ a frothed milkshake head of 2 fingers w/ a miniscule bead. The lace sticks well and retention is excellent - a beer that appears like you could sink your teeth into it! A smell of caramel covered in cocoa and mild milk ball w/ light roasted aroma and gentle toasted elements w/ a slight dark cocoa bitter scent. The feel is rich and malt drenched with nutty and semi sweet texures. The carbonation is medium w/ a subtle bitterness and toasted effect w/ slightly dry and clean feel overall.

The flavor has lots of smooth roasted and bean flavors w/ a cocoa and nutty coffee cohesion. The flavor is creamy with a mild vanilla and sweet caramel malt tast in the middle. The mild brown sugar tip is toffee tinged w/ a nuttiness and almost dessert-like malt ball flavor. I really enjoyed the porter I could probably handle a few at a time without hesitation. The balance and smoothness gives a very drinkable and seemless quality. I appreciate the fact they didn't just dump a bunch of coffee for intensity's sake. The porter base is respected in this.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is almost black with practically no head. The aroma is strong and rich. Initially the smell seemed to be that of a standard chocolatey porter, but soon a rich roasted coffee aroma dashes in and adds a nice complexity to the mix. The taste is much more of the same, a great porter flavor enhanced by an intense roast flavor. Also I sampled this off a newly tapped keg and was rewarded with a very fresh sample. Shade Grown Coffee Porter is too smooth and tasty not to get high drinkability marks from me. Get this on-tap while you can and if you know anyone at Real Ale tell them that this beer is too great not to be available in bottles.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Thanks to JJFoodie for this bottle!

Does the shade really matter? Regardless, this guy pours a slightly translucent dark brown with ruby highlights and a quickly-fading head of ecru foam. The nose comprises coffee, molasses, roasted malts, and a hint of leather. The taste echoes the smell, though the coffee and leather bleed into each other, diluting one another a little bit. They do come back in the aftertaste, though. The body is a straight medium, with a light carbonation, smooth feel, and fairly dry finish. Overall, not a bad coffee porter, but something's lacking in the flavor department. I can't quite pin down what exactly, but something... Still worth a shot, though.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.74/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As with some others, this came to me in a trade. Actually, it was an extra in a trade, which always seems to make me feel extra-guilty for not reviewing such beers on a timely basis.

Right off the bat, I got a beautiful finger of deep-tan head that both hung around and released a fragrant nose of coffee in doing so. Color was a deep, dark cola-brown with little light penetration and deep brown at the edges. Nose was ... wait, let me turn off the coffee pot before it burns. Hold it, the coffee pot was not on!?! The beer was that redolent with coffee. Now what - in lieu of coffee; blend with fresh coffee; pour out and have some coffee? Ha! to that last musing. Full speed ahead! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and although the coffee and its attendant bitterness were there, I also got spearmint and chocolate on the tongue. I kid you not on the mintiness. The finish made me think that I had just brushed my teeth with coffee toothpaste. Zounds! OMFG, do NOT have this around me on a school day! I'd have this with my oatmeal or grits and head in, only to have real coffee upon arrival. This is liquid danger, Will Robinson. Katz Coffee, eh? I may have to look into this. Slurp.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a trade with TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a dark as night brown that borders on black with the faintest of brown highlights on the outer edges. Stingy tan head dissipates quickly leaving minimal lace. Smells of coffee and chocolate up front with a sweet milk sugar aroma in there as well. Lots of coffee up front in the mouth. Followed by some caramel, dark fruit, some sweet malts finishing with a long lingering roast bitterness. I though I might have found some hops in the taste, but then I lost them again. Mouthfeel is almost creamy bordering on watery. Body is kind of thin, I was expecting a bit more, and the carbonation is medium to high. Decent brew although I would have liked a bit more body. Maybe if I was drinking this in Texas in Aug I wouldn't be saying that. I certainly would turn down another one if it came my way.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mora2000!

Best by 03.08.10:

Pours very dark brown to black with a thin, small-bubbled head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee with a chocolatey backing.

The taste is of roasted coffee beans, iced coffee with a chocolatey, earthy backing. Finishes with a roasty dryness.

It has a robust medium body. A bit spritzy.

A porter with a strong roast coffee character - A fine replacement for your morning coffee!

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to JJFoodie for this one.

Best By: 01/21/10

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/foamy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some coffee notes, slight toffee as well. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, nice little coffee/toffee note. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, glad to have had a chance to try it.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle at Jo's Coffee in Austin. While I liked the balance of coffee and roasted malts, this drank more like a brown porter. There's a mild, but not too bitter coffee flavor. It tasted like a very light roast and was quite drinkable, but you'd expect a richer beer for a coffee porter. Give it a try, it's certainly a new take on the sub-style.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with some slight brown highlights around the edges when held up to the glass. When you smell the beer, you wonder if you are smelling beer or strong coffee. I can also smell some malt in the aroma, but it is well hidden behind the strong coffee smell. The taste is what you would expect from a beer that smells just like coffee, with lots of coffee flavor and some roasted malt. I expected this beer to be thicker, but it is a relatively thin beer in the mouthfeel department, but that is not a bad thing. When it gets cold outside, I could drink lots of these beers while sitting by a fire.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.6/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Cheers very much to my bro Aaron for bringing this back from a recent trip to Texas. It seems Texan beers are rare in the parts of the US I ever get to visit.

Pours a disappointingly light looking brown colour, with oily hints at the corners. Head forms as a passive slick of film across the top of the glass. Body is also thin and light, but with a pleasing fine bead of carbonation. It's ok, but the negatives draw down the positives leaving it looking pretty average.

Nose is mild with filtered coffee aromas, and a touch of husky malt giving a twinge of grainy sweetness. Other sweet confectionery hints give notes of marshmallows and powdered sugar. It's not very full, and the coffee flavour seems lackadaisically layered on top of a relatively substandard beer otherwise.

Taste is also thin, with weak filtered coffee flavours riding along for the ride, awash a faint watery palate of nothingness. Slight raw beany character towards the back, and a slightly gritty finish like coarse dirt. Eh. Feel is particularly empty, letting even the purported marshmallow sweetness drop away to nothing.

A pretty disappointing brew, all up, and a sad initiation to Texan craft beer as far as I'm concerned. There are two more to come from Aaron's haul, so hopefully there's some redemption there.

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Photo of corby112
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark mahogany/chestnut brown color that's completely opaque with golden ruby/mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy dark beige head that slowly fades into a thin lasting cap and ring. Sporadic spots of lacing.

Deep roasted coffee bean aroma with lots of dark toasted malt. There's a lot of bittersweet dark chocolate in the aroma along with subtle lactic creaminess, roasted nut and subtle hops.

Slightly chewy medium body that is very well balanced and not as roasty as I expected/feared it was going to be. Although the roasted coffee bean presence is most prominent, this beer is very well balanced by a sweet dark chocolate malt character and a nice lactic creaminess. There's also nice roasted nuttiness along with hints of toffee and licorice adding to the complexity. It's a nice change of pace to drink a coffee beer that isn't just charred coffee bean flavor dominating and overpowering all other elements. This beers balance and complexity make it extremely quaffable. Very good!

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Photo of ppoitras
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from kiltedtxn. Thanks for the opportunity. <Jeremy2002 = bad trader>

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/4" tan head above the clear reddish brown brew. Head fades gradually, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet coffee. Taste starts sweet, then goes ever sweeter like a milk stout, coffee comes on at the end. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is alright. Not all I was hoping for, but not bad.

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Photo of champ103
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Cask at the Gingerman in Houston.

A: Pours a dark brown color. A two finger tan head forms a sticks throughout. Sticky lace is left down the side of the glass.
S: Sweet and toasty malt up front. Chocolate and vanilla. Coffee is present, and never fades to the background. Though it is never up front and center. A soft, but excellent aroma.
T: Toasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla. A huge smooth chocolate flavor with just enough coffee that always in the background. The coffee is never acrid or sharp. Subtle and excellent again.
M/D: A medium body with low carbonation. This is supper smooth and creamy. Exceptional to drink. I quaffed several of these with ease.

This is just an excellent porter all around. Even more so on cask than on tap or in bottles. I love how the coffee is definitely there, but it never takes over. With so many coffee beers it is just acrid and astringent. This is incredibly smooth and subtle. One of my favorites, and highly recommended.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to SamuelJackson45 for this extra

Pours a full opaque black with little head and retention. Everything fades out quickly, leaving some streaks of lacing along the glass.

A decent bouquet of scents with espresso, floral hops, light chocolate, and roasted malts.

A surge of caramel and molasses up front with rich flavors washing across the palate. Bitter hops combine with syrupy tones through the middle. Another wave of espresso and coffee flavor finishes it off with light hop bitterness.

Fuller medium body with higher carbonation. Alcohol is masked completely, as the beer drinks like a ghost. A pretty solid porter, and the coffee flavors are right on.

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Photo of gtermi
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours like your typical Porter. It is dark brown with a thin white head.

S: The first think I can think of when I smell this beer is chocolate covered coffee beans. It is one of the best smelling beers to me.

T: I get a decent amount of coffee and some roasted malt. It later has a slight dark chocolate as it lingers on the tongue.

M: The beer is pretty smooth, but has a decent amount of carbonation. If it had a little less carbonation, it would be better.

O: I feel this beer is one of the best from Real Ale. I always enjoy their beers and get excited every year when this comes out.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best by date of 12.29.09. Pours a damn near black color with just a bit of brown showing around the edges. Fluffy brown head displays average retention and lacing.

Nose is well balanced with roasty coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and mildly burnt toast. I cant really find any hops in here, nor any yeasty esters...a very clean smelling porter.

The roasty coffee flavor is easily the most dominant flavor in the beer. Not much sweetness and there really is not an abundance of hop bitterness, but that seems to be ok as the coffee seems to lend plenty of it. It's a very smooth tasting beer, low carbonation helps the beer go down all too easily. A bit of mild fruitiness shows up as the beer warms to give it a much needed boost in complexity. This is a nice beer and one of the better Real Ale offerings. Fairly simple, but the smoothness of the beer and fresh, good coffee flavors make this a worthwhile and enjoyable drinking experience.

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Photo of Brenden
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this from JJFoodie and boy, am I glad he lives near this brewery I'd never heard of until we started trading.

This brew pours out a deep, dark brown with some clarity in the light brown highlights. A light brown head sits stiffly at one finger for a long time and leaves moderate lacing on the glass.
The aroma is strongly of roasted malt with smooth roasted coffee with a note of bittersweet, caramel and a creamy sort of sweetness.
The flavor is not as much like drinking black coffee straight up as coffee with creamer; much of the harshness, acidity or astringency that marks some coffee brews are blessedly absent here, making this one smooth and very enjoyable, especially with the flavors of cocoa and caramel rounding it out and a roasted grains flavor underneath, finishing with a light hops flavor to really even it all out.
The body begins rich and smooth in a full body, not losing much of that character even in a dry finish.
This is a great coffee porter.

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Shade Grown Coffee Porter from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 357 ratings.
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