Shade Grown Coffee Porter | Real Ale Brewing Company

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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 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 chocosushi
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cuvée des Trolls glass
A ~ Pours dark brown with a copper hue. Not much lacing..

S ~ Oatmeal with Brown Sugar, Wheat bread, & Caramel. I'm really not getting any coffee.

T ~ Oatmeal follows through with caramel & brown sugar following right behind. Cappuccino powder...barely. Hops are very mild & earthy. Coffee is so mildly expressed I feel I am not even tasting it. Nice prune notes for what it's worth.

M ~ Nice sweetness, but turns grapey quickly upon warming. Mo roastyness akin to a good Coffee porter. Carbonation is spritzy & doesn't worth with the thin frame of this beer. Faintly grassy.

D ~ Pretty drinkable, yes, but not wroth seeking out. No coffee here. Frankly I'm pretty disappointed. Thanks Brad for the opportunity!

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Photo of Crispy34
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I grabbed a bottle from work. I poured it into a pint glass.

A: The beer looks like a nice, dark porter. Has a lasting tan head.

S: Has a very dark and earthy aroma, and coffee as well.

T: The beer starts with the dark malt up front and finishes with the coffee drying out your palate, making you automatically wanting another sip.

M: A nice feel to it. A little body to the brew. The dry feeling could be a little lighter at the end.

O: Real Ale did a good job of describing this beer with the title.
It tastes very much like a porter with coffee in it. I wish the coffee would have blended a little better so the actual malt could show through more. A decent brew that gives you what it says it will.

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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 bmwats
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A: Black. Pours about a 1 finger, tight and foamy, brown-white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a blanket of foam, and thick beer ring. Uneven, but thick lacing.

S: Rich malt, roasted coffee (not as prominent as I'd expected), a little dark chocolate, caramel, and black licorice.

T: Hearty malt, with a bittersweet flavor of licorice. There's a tinge of something of a synthetic feeling sweetness in there. The coffee is noticeably lacking.

M: Full and robust, with a heavy and slightly sweet start, and a dry bittered finish. Again, though, has something almost synthetic in there... Kinda' weird. Coffee comes out much more in the aftertaste, than the initial flavor.

D: Drinks very easy. Again, coffee seem MIA, but it's not bad at all just on its merits as a porter.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Deep, dark appearance, with a solid head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is coffee, chocolate, and subtle bitter and sweet tones. Pretty standard stuff for this style. Has a nice porter character, but coffee seems a little too subtle... almost absent. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of UTCengOwl
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went singles shopping at Central Market and this was one of the beers I ended up with. Cracked open the bottle and tossed it into a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter snifter.

The beer pours dark with minimal head and life. One of the more meh looking porters I've had. Was some interesting cascading bubbling action for a second there, but that's gone, too.

The nose has some good coffee in there. It's no Sputnik or Peche Mortel, but the coffee has a fruitiness and richness that's pretty nice. That fades into a finish that's almost cereal in its earthiness. Not fantastic on the finish of the sniff, there.

The taste is a bit better. Stiff the good coffee, but the strange earthiness is a bit muted. Still there. Finishes with a very light roasted barley flavor. Stays light and rolls on the tongue. Improves with temperature.

I honestly expect more from this beer. I've heard good things, but I can't help but think it's just meh. Maybe ABW's Sputnik ruined my coffee beer palate and my expectations are now too high.

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Photo of ms11781
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to RealZombieJesus. Best by 02/09/2012 printed on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a murky deep brown color with lighter brown hues at the edges and bottom of the glass. A thin tan head develops and falls rather quickly. A thin foam cap sticks around for a bit before also disappearing. Slight wisps of lacing are left on the glass but they also seem to dwindle with time.

The nose is made up of subdued notes of chocolate and some sweet malt. There is some dark fruit that struggles to peek its had out as well. There is no coffee detected in the nose which is disappointing from a coffee porter.

The taste follows closely with the nose with the addition of some roasty and nutty notes. The chocolate is up front again but it's quickly taken over by a big sweet malt character. Roasted malt saves the beer from being too sweet and there is a pleasant nutty characteristic in the finish and aftertaste.

Medium body with soft carbonation. There is a smooth, creamy mouthfeel to it. It's probably the best characteristic of the beer.

This one missed the mark for me. There was no coffee in the nose or the taste. The lack of coffee seemed to let other characteristics stand out when they probably should have been in the background. Considering this was consumed so close to the best by date my guess is that this is best when fresh.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz poured into a tulip

Appearance: 1 inch creamy white head with a black/brown body and sticky lacing

Smell: light chocolate with a full coffee and caramel finish, hints of dark fruits and some sugar show through

Taste: light roasted malts, chocolate and earthy tones supported by the coffee and a hint of prunes as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin for the carbonation, the body could be a bit fuller as the carbonation really pops through

Overall: Slightly one dimensional, wish it was a bit more complex. A good beer nonetheless

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Photo of army01
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a pint.

Drinking the Real Ale Coffee Porter now. It's pretty good. Completely different than the Bridgeport Cafe Negro. The coffee is a little less pronounced and a less chocolatey, but very creamy. Completely different styles, and both have their strong points. The more I drink of the Real Ale, the more it is growing on me. Solid offering.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, brew pours a very dark brown color under a nearly non-existent head. Mild aroma is that of dark chocolate, roasted bready malt and perhaps a touch of vanilla cream. Enjoyed at a cool temperature, mildly acidic roasted dark coffee and creamy malt sweetness harmonize really nicely toward a tasty dry cocoa finish. Delicious brownie flavor comes to mind.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to DaveHack for this awesome extra that he had no obligation to provide. Poured into a snifter. Best by date of 2/2012.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A very thin cream colored head of about a quarter finger rings the glass. Some touch and go lacing on the sides of the glass. Disappointingly thing head.

S: Pretty good. Strong coffee, chocolate, roasted biscuit, and grain. I'm also getting faint traces of vanilla and some sweet fruit.

T: Pretty low key. Caramel and creamy malts with a light coffee presence. Nothing very assertive here, it is subtle and quite easy drinking.

M: Thin for a porter. I'd say this drinks more like a coffee-infused brown ale. Lots of carbonation, too much for the style. It's more crisp than creamy. Sweet flavors cover up any roasted characteristics. The body just seems way too light.

O: This was an odd duck. The smell was good and I expected a thick, creamy porter with some delicate coffee notes. What I got was an overly sweet, thin brown ale with some coffee roast on the back end. By no means is it bad, but the body as a whole was surprisingly light and rather thin. Coffee presence should be amped up quite a bit and the body should be fuller and creamier to meet the expectations I have for a porter. By no means a bad beer, but stylistically it misses the mark by a good margin.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A- rich, deep mohogany with minimal light penetration. A khaki head forms, then quickly recedes to a ring around the glass with a slight lacing left in its path.

S- coffee, pecans, and dark chocolate

T- coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and a nutty roasted malt in the background.

M- a fair amount of carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. The overall texture definitely feels lighter due to the carbonation.

O- not too heavy, delicious in flavor, and lower ABV make this an incredibly enjoyable brew! Thanks to Texasclimber for yet another awesome extra!

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Photo of ballmouse
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on Jan 18, 2012. Best by Feb 09, 2012.

A: Nice deep, dark brown color with a good head. The appearance actually gives quite a good indication of the taste.

S: Can't smell anything really. Very faint coffee smell. Could be due to the age (I'm tasting a product that is sold during the fall during mid-January).

T: Love it. Extremely faint coffee (due to the age I suppose), but the taste is quite balanced. Not too harsh, but not too sweet either. Taste a good mix of chocolate, roasted barley, and hops.

M: I enjoyed this as well. It was not too thick at all, which made it a good 6% beer that one could enjoy a couple bottles of. Carbonation was very good and ensured a smooth drink. Could perhaps have a little less carbonation though. After all, this isn't an IPA (and I don't want it feeling like one).

O: Enjoyed this beer. I'd love to find it fresher though. I'm sure the coffee is much more apparently, and I'd love to be able to experience that dimension of the beer. Nevertheless, it's a very drinkable porter with some age on it.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in duck rabbit snifter from canadianghetto

another solid texas offering. This was from 2011 but I get the feel this is a) much better on draft and b) the coffee faded considerably in the bottle I had.

Perfect look - dark, deep coloring. Roasty, chocolate buttermilk head with billowy lacing.

Aroma had some of the coffee, but it was dominated by the roasted malts. The malt aroma itself was light, which made for a pleasant, but nearly unnoticed, aroma.

Good entry, rich malt taste but the body is a little bit light, which I've found in several of the TX porters that I've tried. Maybe its a regional thing but I like my porters to have a body that separates them from lighter fare.

The taste is lacking that coffee richness. Either a more bitter bite, or a gentle but full coffee presence. Neither is present in this bottle. The porter is good, it could be exceptional.


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Photo of BrewerB
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

miikezombie sent this to me in a recent trade. Originally I had this on tap at The Ginger Man in Austin and loved it. Have been craving bottles ever since.

Pouring into 3 floyds in glass. Deep mohagany-hued, good clarity. A thin light tan head formed on top but only retains partially. Lacing.

Prominent coffee beans in the aroma along with an almost equally intense semi-sweet chocolate. Slight earthiness.

More coffee in the flavor but this is more of a dark chocolate/espresso combination. Mocha-like but without overt sweetness. Bitterness is moderate and allows for a balanced flavor. Dry finish that leaves a dark toasted malt on the palette.

Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

Truly enjoyable coffee-flavored porter. Reminiscent of a dark chocolate, minimally sweetened mocha.

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A beautiful deep dark brown. Cream colored head that disappears quickly.

Smell- Coffee and chocolate in that order. Almost smells like root beer.

Taste- You can taste the coffee right up front. Maybe some dark bitter chocolate. Hints of roasted malt too. Alcohol sugar comes in on the back-end.

Mouthfeel- Really nice mouthfeel. Exactly how a porter should go down. Not as thin as an IPA, but not as thick as an Russian Imperial stout.

Overall- A great seasonal beer from a good brewery. Grab some if you still can, but drink them ASAP. These won't taste good for long.

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Photo of DavidST
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, best before 2.2.12. This pours a dark brown, almost black with a nice tan head with low retention. The smell is a little lighter than expected, some roasted malts and coffee. The feel is medium, taste is light also, some roasted malts and coffee, good but a little disappointing.

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Photo of coldriver
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Pours like cola with minimal head and lacing. Light coffee and toffee aromas. Taste some coffee and chocolate notes with sweet roasted malt. Finish is very dry but seems flat and thin. Would like to see more robust flavoring with this one - not bad but not great either.

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Photo of jkanavel
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, clear, bubbly, reddish around the edges. Weak head, no retention whatsoever.

S: Pretty standard given the addition of coffee in the brew.

T: VERY dry, this is not a sweet porter. Smooth vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate notes, definantly some nice coffee, but more like a french press coffee than an espresso. Not sure what degree of roasted the added coffee was.
Acid levels are WAY to high in this beer. After the first bottle I was done. No question about it. It left a sour gas station coffee flavor lingering on the back of my tongue.

M: Effervescent. Really highly carbonated. Thin, kind of water.

O: This beer tastes good on the front of the palate. Pretty good indeed, everything else about it falls flat imho. I try to drink local often, but this is just not what I want representing Texas's contribution to brewing. There's always Rahr and St. Arnolds...

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

Pours a burnt brown-slash-ruddy amber color with thin lacing.
There’s a lot of light-yet-roasty notes in the aroma. Some coffee flavor but it’s not overpowering. The roasty notes hold up while sipping. A pleasing warming porter with coffee? Pour me another, por favor.

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Photo of harrymel
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 01FEB12

A: pours brownish black with under a finger of off-white foam which falls quickly to a central cap and rim. Dark. No lace.
S: smells like coffee (not as strongly as I would have thought), and like a dry porter. Some toasted malts, some soil, a little nuttiness.
T: The coffee takes second seat on this beer. The porter is very nutty, almost a burnt cashew tone with some vegetal tones. the coffee comes back around, but in a sweet sense. Finish is a little gauzy. Has a nice creamy taste to it as well.
M: Medium bodied with lower carb. Gives it a full bodied feel without feeling heavy or burdensome. Semi dry finish.
O: Pretty good, as a coffee porter, I would suggest, but as a porter, I would offer as a decent example.

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Photo of eye2
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with very dark amber hints when the light hits it. Looks a lot like cola. Zero head. Zero bubbles percolating up from the bottom

S: Smells like good roasted coffee.

T: Superb. Strong coffee taste and bitter sweet.

MF: Perfect carbonation (even though it appears not to have any). Warm from the alcohol.

Overall: Top-Notch. Recommended.

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Photo of zdk9
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with some black walnut highlights. About a finger of uniform cocoa head and lots of pocadot lacing.

S- Heavily roasted nuts- almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts; fresh coffee grounds;

T- Bits of dark sweetness poke around lots of roast and coffee. A hefty amount of coffee and a hefty amount of sweetness leading to a nice balanced and complex pas de deuz of a taste.

M- Nothing too strong in terms of bitterness or sweetness, so it goes down nicely.

O- A very nice roasty porter with sweet and bitter notes throughout along with a coffee flavor that invites but doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my trusty snifter. Stamped with a best by date of 1-25-12. Wish I had a bottled on date - I'll drink some and cellar some and tell YOU when it's "best by".

A: Pours a dark brown color with mahogany highlights. A half finger head dissipates to a thin rim of off white bubbles. Nice lacing.

S: Tons of coffee and smokiness. In the backdrop you get some roastiness, but not a lot.

T: Smoke, pork and coffee again. Except in the taste there's more roastiness. Very sweet, but not cloying. Some caramel, some brown sugar. A very floral hop presence as well. The coffee isn't necessarily a dark, bitter, espresso quality. More of a "standard" coffee taste. And the dominant flavor is that pork/smokiness.

M: This is medium bodied, but there's a pleasant creaminess in the texture that helps it to coat the mouth.

O: Not bad. The coffee isn't as prominant in the taste as I'd prefer from something labeled a coffee porter. I'd almost call this a smoked porter actually. The mouthfeel is something to build off of for sure. A solid effort and I like that the ABV is slightly higher than most porters tend to be.

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

Pours a deep dark cola colour, with a nice tan head that fades before long, but leaves nice lacing as I drink.

The smell isn't quite what I had first anticipated, it's a little sweeter on the nose than I had been expecting. You can smell the cocoa and coffee beans, but not overwhelmingly. There's a thing roastiness to it.

It's a tasty beer. Follows the themes of the nose with the roasty chocolate and coffee being predominant. A little burnt on the back end, and a hint of the hops that must be in there somewhere.

Not quite as full bodied as I had expected, but that's not to say that it's thin or watery, just not as round and chewy as I had (for some reason) imagined. Good carbonation, but ends up being a bit filling for what it is.

I enjoyed this beer. Sorry, this is Texas, so I enjoyed this 'ale.' Sadly it's not available in my area (I picked it up on a trip to Houston to bring back), so I probably won't be able to try it again anytime soon. If not for the restriction of availability I could see myself drinking it semi-regularly. Definitely my favourite from what I've had of Real's brews. Check it out if it's in your area.

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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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