Salt Spring Porter | Salt Spring Island Ales

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Salt Spring PorterSalt Spring Porter
22 Ratings
Salt Spring PorterSalt Spring Porter

Brewed by:
Salt Spring Island Ales
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark, full bodied and thick, with a toasty nutty flavour, our Salt Spring style dry porter is a perfect marriage of roasted barley, chocolate malt and hops". Noted beer reviewer Stephen Beaumont (the Oakland Tribune hails him as a "widely traveled beer journalist with impeccable taste") gave this brew 3 stars out of 4. If you like coffee or like chocolate, you will like this beer. The brewmasters have found that at festivals, women who say they don't drink beer love the stuff. It is a "sipping beer" with lots of flavour and is for savouring.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-04-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by Garin:
Photo of Garin
4.27/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: deep chocolatey brown with a good creamy head that left lots of lace on my glass.

The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, and a subtle smoky hint. Softly sweet in the nose, with the barest hint of something fruity.

The flavour is bright immediately, with a slight acidity and roasty barley dry character. There is the slightest hint of apple fruitiness in the finish as well.

In the mouth it's soft and rich, with a light carbonation and a warming finish. I am extremely impressed with this porter -- it is easily my favourite Canadian porter. Nice work folks.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BashOnABike
2.91/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

4oz taster @ The Island Beer Festival, Club 919

There's some really wildly-varying opinions on this, so I'll try a more conservative review.

A: Cola-dark, with quickly-dissipating head and virtually no lacing

S: Faint coffee and chocolate, but very mild. A dry stout a la Guiness scent, ie skimpy on extras.

T: Not much. Dry chocolate and espresso, with a little hop in the back

M: Creamy, still a little light, with the low carb made it watery

O: Meh, with so many better porters out there, I wouldn't buy it. Easy drinker though.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Good sweet and roast aroma however aggressive coffee acidic taste and sourish aftertaste. Astringent. Mid-sip touch of smoke. Thin-medium mouthfeel for a porter, yet unpleasant tingle.. Moderate carbonation. Doug Shoemaker party #1 - thanks to whoever supplied it.

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Photo of CWVegas
4/5  rDev +22%

Photo of ritzkiss
1.98/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

650ml bottle from BCL, pours a darkish brown, really thins around the edges. A thin finger of head which hightailes it for the hills at first chance.

Nose is a touch of stale coffee, some cherries and a weird yeasty sourness - bad omen.

This is a terrible beer. Sour cherries, a weird bready yeast, faint roast, cold stale coffee, a hint of cocoa, not a whiff of hops, thin and watery, slightly chalky. Definitely a beer to avoid, I choked my portion down but wouldn't do so again.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Salt Spring Island "Porter"@5.5% (first tasting was at Island Beer Fest served from a cask) now enjoyed from a 650 ml bottle served cold from the cellar poured
A-dark cola brown almost black with a big beige head with lotsa lacing , good carbonation
S-roasted barley , chocolate malts
T-toasty , nutty (maltier than Wolfs-Blacktail)
MF-full bodied with a dry finish
Ov-the beer label warns you that a brewers yeast may collect at the bottom of the bottle , pour gently into a glass leaving the yeast in the bottle , this was very helpful in enjoying a
fine beer , try one

Cheers LampertLand

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Photo of HipCzech
3.84/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 650 mL bottle poured into a small nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Deep cola brown with a lush head of tan foam and swaths of detailed lace.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee grinds, and earthy, leafy hops.

Taste: Lean malty body, plenty of roasted grain, nuttiness and cold brew coffee sour and bitter notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation.

Overall: Dry, drinkable porter with nice roasted character and flavors of cold brewed coffee.

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Photo of Derek
2.23/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Black with a slight ruby tinge. Tan head leaves a hint of lace, but there's no retention.

S: Slight roasty odour, not a lot in the nose.

T: Not a lot of flavour. Reminisent of a depression era porter? I'm guessing the malt bill is pretty simple, with most of the colour comming from Black Patent malt. Maybe a little chickory? (Is this a depression era porter?) Some roasty, nutty, astringent flavours. Somewhat offensive... but there isn't much flavour.

M: Light body, a little chalky. Slightly higher than moderate carbonation.

D: It's not entirely offensive, but I couldn't finish it.

It's like the Bud Lite of Porters. There really isn't much flavour, but the flavour that's there, isn't that good.

Certainly a below-average brew.

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Photo of leaddog
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with two fingers of frothy tan head.

Smell - roasted malts, dates, hint of toffee, hint of espresso, hint of cocoa nibs, earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - roasted malts are at the forefront. It then follows with a lingering sourness and the other ingredients are swept away due to the sourness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. A tad thin. Finishes with a lingering sourness with a subtle hint from the roasted malts.

Overall - An interesting American porter. It started off well but the sourness in the taste just took over and didn't allow the other ingredients of the brew to shine through. The roasted malts could've been a little more potent in the aromas. A little tweaking with the recipe will make this more true to the style.

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Photo of Mack
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Corson
3.66/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of EskimoDave
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of 604growler
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of Graham5161986
2.06/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Alright, my first beer from this Gulf Island Brewery.

This porter pours a nice looking espresso brown with a sizable tan head that has decent retention qualities and leaves some nice lacing behind.

Smells of roasted malts with notes of chocolate and coffee and spice with hints of hops in there as well.

Yikes, on the palate, this one comes out thin and fizzy with a pretty sour aftertaste. It has to be said that this is a major disappointing factor for this beer. To me, this is not how a porter should taste. You do get some chocolatey and coffee out of the roasted malt but they are completely overpowered by this brew's sour profile, lack of balance and acidity. It almost tastes like a gueuze!!! Weird.

On the palate, this beer, again, feels way too light, fizzy and acidic for it to be an enjoyable porter. On the finish, all you get is this bitter, puckering feeling that can't help but disappointed.

Given the weird sort of flavours and awkward mouthfeel of this brew, I can't give this beer a very good drinkability score either. It's just so far off anything easy to drink that I just can't see myself going for this beer again. What a shame.

I was really looking forward to a nice porter tonight. This is simply just not up to par. Disappointing to say the least.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with a big head this beer looks the part and thankfully its pretty well tastes the part as well. The burnt malt flavours and dry finish make this very food friendly and a decent pint. The overall flavours could be bolder but this is never the less a decent offering.
Try on tap on Saltspring at Moby Dick's Pub.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.2/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with this porter was BAD. I first bought it because I was curious to try a Canadian interpretation of a porter, and I was sorely disappointed. For whatever reason, the beer turned out to be 98% head. Poured into a glass, the foam shot up nearly to the top right away, leaving a centimetre or so of beer at the bottom. No matter how long I waited or how I poured, nothing changed. I drank a glass of foam.

My second purchase was an attempt to see if I had got a bad bottle or not. I am pleased.

"North American Dry Porter." I didn't know there was a dry porter, but I would describe this as dry. Scent of deeply roasted hops and chocolate malts. Taste similar to Guinness, but a tad sweeter. You can taste roasted hops and malts, almost overroasted...but then it is a "dry" porter. There is a smokiness to it; this would be great on a cold January evening with some smoked ham, or perhaps bacon and pancakes with maple syrup...I may give that a try.

Pours a chocolate brown with a thick, creamy light tan head that doesn't really go away until the last few sips. Feels good going down: slippery, but not watery; thick, but not a "breakfast" thick.

This almost could be a stout.

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Photo of Beervana
3.37/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of zduerr
1.5/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of ZachT
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of KalanM
3.75/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of mouver
3.58/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Salt Spring Porter from Salt Spring Island Ales
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 22 ratings