James Squire Porter | Malt Shovel Brewery

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James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter

Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dwarbi on 11-26-2001

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 118
Photo of Radcpa
3.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown appearance with a nice head and a little too much carbination. Mild aroma of chocolate. Taste is also mild chocolate that is a little disappointing. I was hoping for a little bolder taste from this porter

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From bottle, Getting chocolate and coffee which is quite nice. It's a quite easy drinking beer with a very thin mouthfeel. Could quite easy drink a few of these.

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Photo of Act25
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Much better at cash temp. James Squire (OZ original brewer) is kind of like their Sam Adams, at least as a brand legend character. But their beers are not as good and suffer from feeling a bit watery and mass. So far beers in Aus tend to be thinner and lighter and lower ABV than US.

A- Brown walnut color, not as dense as typical porters. Tan head full of large bubbles faded fast and did not lace much. (see thin, not sticky).

S- Roasted malt aroma with a slight metallic, iron ore note (rusty anchor stirred in cold coffee?) More coffee when it warms a bit.

T- Continues with the rust acid feel mixing with coffee roasted malt. Tartness to the finish of the malt which saves it. A goods light sipper. (but too thin)

M- Too thin mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- It's thin for a porter, without robustness.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: a standard solid brown 345mL bottle with a decent semi-boutique label.

Appearance: a dark brown body with a reasonable off-white head that lasts. Good retention.

Aroma: plenty of chocolate on the nose with some roast coffee and liquorice. Smells good.

Taste: dominated predominantly with the chocolate and coffee as expected, but with a touch of caramel and again the liquorice.

Aftertaste: more of the same, with some bitterness from the coffee. Quite smooth.

Mouth feel: a moderate feel with moderate carbonation. Not bad - almost a bit too easy to drink.

Overall: a decent Australian take on the English porter. The usual flavours of chocolate and roast coffee, with a touch of liquorice and caramel to boot. The price is right, at around AU$58 a case, but a slightly fuller body could have improved it somewhat. Nonetheless, an easy-drinking, reasonable beer.

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Photo of soju6
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Portland Brewhouse.

A: Served a mahogany color with a good tan head that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some chocolate with a bit of coffee and a trace.

T: Tatse of roasted malt, dark chocolate with a bit of coffee. Nice bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and quite creamy. Nice balance.

O: Very drinkable beer. Nice take on the style.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger black n tan. Fine head, which fades too quickly to a film. Little lacing.

Restrained aromas of leather, wood shavings, and chocolate, a little coffee.

Taste is malt - not too roasted - and dark chocolate well integrated. Smooth finish. Quite a moderatley bitter porter rather than the sweeter style to go with higher ABVs.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, carbonation a little high for style.

Overall a solid English style porter. Moderate flavour overall, doesn't build, doesn't overtake itself. Good beer-drinkers beer. Not the worst of the JS offerings either.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.07/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

16oz cylindrical James Squire glass at 30 knots bar.

Poured with minimal off-white foam. Dark brown to black appearance with a hint of red on the outskirts of this. The foam dispersed quickly to leave a little crown around the edge of the glass.

Smell was a little restrained, partly due to the cool serving temperature. Some light coffee grounds are there with dark chocolate.

Taste has a modest amount of chocolate there, with the barest trace of the coffee.

Mouthfeel is pretty full for the size of the beer. The finish is made full with the chocolate flavour. Not a lot of bitterness, but it doesn't really need it with the gentle flavour.

A pretty average porter. Nothing there to offend, but not much to get hyped up about. Pretty modest, dependable and reasonably sessionable.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Generous Squire in Perth. Very dark body with a reasonably dense head. Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate. The coffee flavour hits first, followed by toast and dark bitter chocolate. Not bad. Mouthful is a touch thin and fizzy. One of the better offerings from Malt Shovel.

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Photo of Raebies
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lightly carbonated dark beer with little to no head.. perhaps because I poured it straight from the fridge. Smells metallic and minerally. Nice smoky burnt caramel flavours, hint of chocolate and strong coffee aftertaste. Somewhat sour on the tongue and not very sweet, I feel it lacks the complexity of other beers in the James Squire range.

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep ruby red with a brown frothy cappacino-esque 2 finger head which dissipates quickly. Nice.

S- Raisin and coffee. Not detecting much in the way of chocolate on the nose.. Frankly, a little flat if anything.

T- Well, I am a little disappointed here. All this beer really consists of is roasted malts with little robustness. Ok, there is a nice, lingering bitter aftertaste but that's about it. Even the dark fruit aroma is barely present.. It's not actually unpleasant, I just expected a whole lot more from this brewery.

M- The first thing that strikes me is that this Porter is way too carbonated. Next, I found this to have little in the way of body.. Definitely not what I was expecting.

O- For such flashy advertising, I find this beer fails to deliver the goods. Mainly, the level of robustness was hugely lacking as was the mouthfeel in relation to the style. It wasn't a disaster or anything, just a bit underwhelming.

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Photo of Stew41
2.58/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours chunky. Nice medium chocolate brown. Stout like on the nose with roasted notes. Flavours promised on the nose don’t really translate but still drinks ok. A touch too fizzy for my liking. JS should have done better IMHO. Won't be back for this.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle picked up at a Canberra supermarket. Handsome bottle, something very turn-of-the-century to it.

Poured into a tumbler for lack of any better glassware around. A dark chocolate ruby hue, about a half inch of off-white head with a bit of lacing. Dissolves into a thin ring. Carbonation is visible - looks like a root beer in some respects.

Nose is quite pleasant - bread, yeast, caramel, chocolate, mild coffee, cream, sugar. A bit of sherry as well.

A nice little porter, certainly a welcome change from some of the pale lagers I've been having. Similar flavors as in the nose, but finishes tart and slightly bitter. Not as full flavored as I would have liked - this brew certainly could have been more assertive, but nevertheless it's quite nice.

Thin bodied, zippy carbonation, a bit like cola.

A brew that has a lot going for it, but also could have done a lot more. The flavors are very nice, but are a bit muted and the mouthfeel is off. Still, a fine little porter and an easy drinker. Would certainly have another.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.32/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On the nose I got toasty wheat bread.

A too thin, almost watery mouth-feel immediately disappointed me, but as it moved toward my throat I pleasantly approved of it's nice slow-burn bitterness. I don't know if it's because I'm in Australia, but something in this really reminded me of Vegemite on wheat toast with butter that was rescued from the toaster on the verge of being burnt. Scraped black crusty-bits being wiped from a dirty counter-top with a rag that had been used to absorb a coffee spilled earlier.

Overall, decent, but I prefer a fuller bodied porter with less carbonation. I think perhaps Australia's warm weather accounts for the thinner, bubblier variation on this type of porter, or perhaps, I'm just giving a mediocre beer too much credit

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Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes taken on a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is nice dark brown mahogany color with reddish highlights and a ½" light tan head. For much of the beer sipping leaves some scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aromas all seem to be based on the roasted malts, with some chocolate, coffee and licorice present.

Taste: The flavors involve a touch of sweetness, some chocolate and coffee. There also seems to be a light touch of fruitiness (raisins?) and possibly a slight hint of smokiness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light bodied side with lots of carbonation. The finish is medium in length and ends dry and lightly bittered with hops.

Drinkability: I thought this was one of the better beers I've tried from Malt Shovel Brewing and while it wasn't an outstanding porter it was quite nice and went down easily. I'd surely have another, but that said, would not go out of my way to choose it over some of the others I've had.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've gone a long time without reviewing this stalwart of the Australian beer scene. How did I get away with that?

Pours a nice red-brown-black colour, with a filmy head of cream-coloured bubbles. Retention is not so great, collapsing slightly to just a ring of edging. Looks supple and solid in the glass, however, and it has the body to create some bubbling in the edges when it's swirled. Not bad.

Pleasant chocolate on the nose, with a decent whiff of dark grain, and just perhaps a whiff of "Australian-ness" which I'm almost tempted to attribute to Pride of Ringwood hops. Surely not in this beer, though, right? Right??

Taste is pleasant on the front, with some sweet dark chocolatey characters, before all the sweetness drops right out of the palate, leaving a dry and grainy finish. A hint of that slight seltzer-acidity-slash-bitter-chemical character on the back which again reminds me of PoR - perhaps instead it's a generic Australian yeast stock. Whatever it is, it takes the edge off the sweet and dark genesis of the beer, which is something of a shame.

Mouthfeel is a tad too carbonated to my mind, but round enough with a pleasant lightness, that isn't quite thinness in the body.

It's a drinkable beer that I'm ever so slightly suspicious of. At least it's something worthy of drinking when all your other options are variations on Tooheys New.

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Photo of juju7
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably my pick of the bunch from the James Squire range. Haven't had this in years-good to see it hasn't changed much. A really nice pleasant chocolate driven nose backed by a touch of roasted coffee. Like most JS beers, this is a beer for the punters. Enough to keep a geek happy and not too far out to scare off Joe Average. A good medium bodied, medium bittered dark beer with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Goes down just fine this cool evening.

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Photo of sammiles
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my staple beers.

Love the colour of this one, very dark chocolate with a nice white head. Typical porter smell. Arguably it is not as complex as a good porter should be but it has nice chocolate notes and I rate it highly for its drinkability and sessional qualities, there are probably better choices but considering price and availability this is a standout.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark copper with a quickly fading head.
Nose shows lots of roasted barley, with sweet hints of chocolate and oats. Simple, but very nice.
Similar flavours, with roasted barley growing strong into a long-lasting finish.
Carbonation is a bit excessive, and the body is a bit watery.

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Photo of papat444
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to triple5 for this one. Shared half of it with my wife during our supper, homemade pizza.

Poured from a 345ml. bottle.

Appearance: Black like Coke with a decent amount of head that fades a little to barely a thin ring. Pretty much like most porters.

Smell: Strong brown sugar, almost burnt a little bit with some caramel. Quite delightful.

Taste: At first, it tasted a little like weak coffee but as it warmed, it became a little more flavorful with some chocolate and roasted notes. It's still nothing complex but it's still fairly good.

Mouthfeel: Higher than expected carbonation with a smooth feel. Good enough body for the style.

Drinkability: Not bad actually. I think once in a while is what would suit me with this beer.

Overall: Middle of the road porter with good enough taste though not as complex as the label would have you believe.. Worth checking out.

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Photo of neilcooper
4.25/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favourite beers. An outstanding porter. I've rated based on drinking the beer out of the bottle but it's exceptional on tap. Tried it at James Squire Brewery Alehouse at the Docklands when I was in Melbourne. Best beer I've ever had on tap. Phenomenal.

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Photo of ADZA
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice dark cola colour with good carbonation that leaves one finger head with subtle lacing here and there,it has aromas of malted chocolate and some subtle hops,it has an average mouthfeel with tastes of vanilla,chocolate,coffee and malted barley with a feint touch of hops,this is not a bad beer thats easy to drink but have had better takes on the style thats for sure.

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Photo of istarilord
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's definitely a porter. Dark brown with a light head & malty smell

It is good and malty, with light chocolate notes. Not enough hops for my taste, but I'm beginning to think that's a personal bias. Fairly smooth drink, without too much carbonation.

Alright, but not amazing. I prefer James Squire's pale ale.

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Photo of Macca
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very dark brown, a slight head but not a lot of retention.

Aromas of dark fruits dominate with a hint of chocolate.

The chocolate is more evident on the palate.

Good weigh to it. I find a lot of porters to fizzy but this is good.

Pretty good.

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Photo of Stavage
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured somewhat darker than a cola. Got about a finger of head out of it. Retention was ok, left a thick lacing though it didn't last the entire session.

Smell was quite pleasant. Dark fruits, dark chocolate. A hint of roast and caramels but not very much. That wheat graininess is present.

Taste has some of those darker nutty malt flavours with some dark fruit aftertastes. A touch of hops bitterness to balance things out. Not particularly strong tasting but like the smell its pleasant enough.

Medium to light bodied, maybe a little over carbonated for my tastes. Did have a smoothness to it though. Not bad. Easy drinking, not bland but not too challenging either.

A decent winter time beverage. I'd probably rather a stout though I'm sure this would be a good choice to break things up a little bit.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
2.18/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from chilled bottle into a pint glass. Initial appearance is a very dark almost solid black beer with 2 fingers worth of creamy head that settles nicely with and leaves behind tight lacing. When held to the light however the black hue reveals itself to be a deep ruby jewel color.

A thin amount of roasted nuts and dark fruit but overall the beer does not unleash any thick odors.

Taste reflects the status of the nose; mild amounts of roasted dark fruits sitting level with a fairly average malt taste. Carbonation is heavier than one would expect and the mouthfeel is tainted by the unbalanced nature of rather bland tastes.

Quick Review: I have half a dozen of these and this is the first, now I'm concerned about consuming the remainder.

Probably best to give this one a miss

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James Squire Porter from Malt Shovel Brewery
3.54 out of 5 based on 118 ratings.
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