James Squire Porter
Malt Shovel Brewery

James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter
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Style:
English Porter
Ranked #271
ABV:
5%
Score:
81
Ranked #42,314
Avg:
3.56 | pDev: 12.36%
Reviews:
84
Ratings:
122
From:
Malt Shovel Brewery
 
Australia
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  2
Gots
  8
SCORE
81
Good
James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter
Notes:
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 122 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Decko:
Photo of Decko
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

i believe this is called jack of spades porter now, as thats what mine said, the style and abv are the same as whats listed here, and i dont think its been reworked or anything, this must be the same beer as is listed in this space. if in fact the jack of spades is a different porter, someone correct me please. for now, it will be reviewed in this space under the assumption its a rebrand, not a new brew. near black but a little thin looking under a fast fading head from the bottle. aroma of roast, some wheatiness too, bready and dark, dry, and with an english yeast that seems a little tired at this point, beers from australia and new zealand have that more often than not, it sure is a long ways for beer to travel. in any event, its flavorful and balanced in the taste, has a nice roastiness to it and decent structure. if the oxidation were gone, it would be a really nice and pretty drinkable example of the style. i like a porter with some yeast character, which this definitely has. fine example of the style, i like these guys.

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Photo of pbrian
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's a good porter, with all the right porter caracteristics, but not worth shipping halfway around the world for. By coincidence, i bought some Catamount Porter the same day this came in the mail from MJ's Real Beer Tour. Catamount is more complex in every way.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, medium head. A lighter bodied porter. Rich roasted malts, subtle hops. Mild, but robust flavor. Chocolate malts, slightly sweet. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty with a slight chocolaty finish. Milder, lighter tasting porter, but a nice beer.

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Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not that great, but a bit thin for a porter, apparently this is the shit on tap, but i haven't had that privelige yet, i'll eventually try it on tap though........OK, now i've had it on tap. Much better, more roast and chocolety nuttyness with a dry finish. Still a tad thin, but pleasant, nice for session drinking.

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Photo of Anonmatel
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't mind this porter, neither does the bottle shop that i buy it from, they hide it from the rest of the beers, and i get a respectable dirty look from the owner everytime i buy some. Has a copper head, that looks alot like it has too much sediment running through it. but other than that i can't say a bad thing about this Porter. It's not as complex as some porters, but it's chocolate, caramel, slightly nuttish finish is still pretty good.

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Photo of jreitman
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid, drinkable porter. This beer is not a great porter, but a good solid one. Noticeable toasty/roasted coffee-like flavors. Fairly light in body for a porter.

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Photo of packetknife
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Way too thin for a porter, have to say that up-front. Near black with a small dark-tan head. Roasty choclate and grainy malts. Has bits of coffee on the nose. If it wasn't so thin I'd really enjoy it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From southeastern Australia's Malt Shovel Brewery comes the dark and brooding, but somehow bright and lofty, James Squire Porter.

Squire himself was quite the character. Arriving in Australia via convict ship after several arrests for minor infractions in his native Britain, he started brewing almost upon arrival in or around 1787. In later years, with the help of the governor (who wanted to promote beer over the demon rum) in 1802, he planted, grew, and harvested the first hops in Australia (1805). He's now known as the father of brewing there; and Malt Shovel is named at least in part for James Squire's "Malting Shovel" tavern.

There's an interesting licorice note to the James Squire that's found in both the aroma and the flavor, and which is probably attributable to the hops. Beyond that it's chocolatey and coffee-ish with an edge of burnt brown sugar. Some mild yeasty fruitiness flitters through as well, but it's pretty well eclipsed by the dark malts. It's medium-light in body, and gently crisp on the palate. A firm bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry and coffee-like.

Very drinkable, fairly light, and at an average alcohol content, the Squire makes a great session ale for a night out with the lads; or as accompaniment to a casual dinner with the wife or girlfriend - of which Squire had many, sireing at least 11 children through 3 women! And although no children were had, that doesn't include his last affair!

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ruby in color, with a thin head. The aroma is malty, with hints of caramel and dark fruit (prune?) Slightly sweet. Flavor starts off malty, a little roasty with a hint of nuttiness. Dark fruits kick in mid-palate, and the roastiness re-asserts itself pleasantly in the finish, lingering on into the aftertaste. Body is smooth and bit coating. Only complaint is that the beer seems to start off a lot bigger than it finishes -- the complex combination of flavors at the start of the beer suggest a full-bodied, robust porter, but the beer finishes a bit on the watery side. Disappointing in the end, but definitely worth a try.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

James Squire was one of the convicts that we Limeys shipped south in 1788. WTF?!?? 8 years later when he gains his freedom, low and behold he redeems himself completely by becoming Australias first master brewer - we still would not let him back though.

A darkish-brown body that has a ruby-red character. Pours with a massively foamed tanned head that laces really well and resembles Mount Everest as it collapses and settles. Aromas are average in strength and of dark chocolate cocoa with some roast malts. Tastes are of roasted malt and a light caramel coffee middle, some hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is good, and this beer is quite acceptable, But if I have any constructive criticism, it is that it is a tad too light and it could do with a little more body.

This is my first Review of an Australian beer, and it’s not even a thin watery lager!
Who would have thought it heh? – Those bloody convicts made good.

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Photo of Gusler
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour a deep ruby red color, the head spumescent, beige, the lace chunky. Nose is malt, caramel, lightly roasted grains, pleasant. Front is malt sweet, the top washy, the finish is modestly dry, minutely acidic, slightly hopped. Drinkable and a "Beginners" Porter, lacks a "Robustness", I like in my Porters, not bad mind you, just a bit "Thin-Wasted.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with lots of ruby red color and a pillowy tan, light brown head which leaves sheets of lace. Coffee and cream aroma. Good balanced malt flavors: coffee, chocolate, and caramel. Light-medium bodied and creamy.

ABV: 5% (per bottle label)

Per M.J. flyer: O.G. 1250 / 12.7 Plato. Chocolate malt and Black Roasted Wheat. New Zealand Super Alpha and Australian Willamette hops (23-25 IBU). Brewed with a lager yeast.

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Photo of Dmann
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A unimpressive beer. This one had potential with its nice dark brown color, decent head and nice smell. But the taste was just average, with some slight coffee and dark chocolate flavors comming through. The beer would get a higher rating if it were not for the horrible mouthfeel. Thin, watery and over carbonated, this nearly ruined the beer. Pass.

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Photo of BierReise
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut brown colored with a thick frothy head. Excellent lacing with this brew. Aroma is similar to a dry stout, chocolaty with a good raosted malt aroma. Flavor is lacking a bit as it seems to me a bit thin and watery. Overall not a bad porter, could use a bit more flavor is all.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am sampling this room temp bottle in a small tumbler.

The beer pours a rich brown color with clear ruby highlights. There is a small tan head of 1 cm that fades to an edge layer. Leaves tight lattice as it recedes. Aroma is chocolate and toffee with no hops anywhere to be found. I find the nose very appealing. First sip reveals a velvety smooth body and fine carbonation that rolls across mh palate. Flavor is similar to nose with some toffee up front that rolls to chocolate and finishes just a bit roasty. Very Very smooth and easy to drink beer. QUite a nice beer that I would buy again!

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Photo of Crotor
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am simply delighted with this find.

It poured with an incredible head with excellent retention, settling slowly in a matrix of dimples. Ths, combined with the dark brown, slightly reddish color, made for an excellent appearance. It presented a slightly smoky, toasty, chocolate aroma. These characteristics were echoed strongly in the flavor, which was toasty and robust. A substantial body and lingering finish make for an excellent drinking experience. The grain bill for this beer must be a thing of magic.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: chestnut brown with a quickly dissapating white head.
Nose: Moderate roasty/coffee aroma
Flavors: Medium bodied, w/ a roasted taste. Some nice maltiness w/ very little hoppiness. The carbonation has a bit of bite on the tongue. A better than average porter, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from an 11.62oz (huh? - talk about precise!) bottle. Sported a dark brown color with ruby highlights and a firm, compact vanilla head that fizzled down to a cap, leaving gobs of lace behind.
The smell had aromas of roasted malts, some bittersweet chocolate and coffee in the nose, though not all that potent. Just kinda there and not meshing all that well. The taste was a blend of burnt malt, molasses, dark chocolate and old coffee. The finish had a touch of dark fruit also and a light, scampering bitterness that departed all too quickly. Again, the flavors seemd to have trouble playing well together as each vied for attention like little kids on a playground. The feel was medium-bodied (but leaning more toward light), thin and a bit watery.
Overall, a completely umremarkable brew. The flavors just didn't seem to get together as well as in other brews of the style. Nothing to wake up the neighbors about.

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Photo of joecast
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

re-re-review 8/06 best before 5/07
man, did i just have this two months ago? must have forgotten. anyway, JS must have taken my advice, because the substance that has been missing is here in a big way.
very smooth, with some subtlety about the smell and taste. nice chocolate notes make this an easy drinker.
---
re-review 6/06
not much has changed since my initial review.
taste has maybe come up a notch, but still has some work to do. lightly coffee/chocolate, but mainly too sweet. little hop bitterness to balance it out.
mouthfeel still too thin. overall needs a bit of substance, but drinkable.
---
initial review 2004.
very dark brown color with "pillowy" head. leaves traces of bubbles down sides of the glass. not much aroma to speak of, can just pick up a hint of roasted malt.

taste was slightly sweet malt. left an aftertaste that stayed with me for a while. not a bad one, though. reminds you of why you are drinking the beer in the first place.

mouthfeel was more subtle than i expected. which also goes for what i thought of this beer overall. its almost like a blackhole and the aroma and flavor just cant escape it. maybe its so good it wants it all to itslef? dont know. not bad but ill try something different next time. the guy att he bottleshop said it was great on tap...maybe?

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Photo of Mustard
2.66/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "best before" or "bottled on" warning; no ABV %; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a highly carbonated mahogany; huge, cocoa-brown head; c-cup's worth of lace; excellent head retention.

Aroma: Mildly of chocolate and roast; faint hop bitterness.

Taste: Largely dry; bland notes of roast upfront and throughout; slightly sour with a mildly bitter finish; hints of chocolate; somewhat light bodied; thin mouthfeel.

Notes: Totally forgettable, if not somewhat off-putting.

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Photo of dauss
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with a raised glass band at the base of the neck, with Maltshovel brewery written on it. Very long store on the label. No freshness date.

Appearance: Clear and very dark ruby brown, small tan head forms.

Smell: Sweet malty smell, brown sugar, and lots of coffee. Its like smelling light roasted coffee beans.

Taste: Start off slightly sweet, loads of coffee and some chocolate, slight acridness. Finishes very dry with chocolate. Very light on the hops.

Mouthfeel: this is a very thin porter. Almost watery.

Notes: Not bad, a little on the weak side in terms of flavor, but it is easy drinking. Dissapointed by how thin the beer was.

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Photo of Crosling
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Brown. Deep, well cooked brownies in the nose along with other roasted and toasted malt elements (chocolate, coffee). Tastes of roasted barley and its attributes (chocolate, cocoa and coffee) along with a distinct burnt malt element, notes of marshmellow and vanilla, and a subtle hop job. A tasty little brew on a Saturday night.

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Photo of diablo14
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

great looking beer, as most of malt shovels are, but often arent backed up for the rest of the trip. this porter is not a bad brew, but there are so many better. even emersons of new zealand's porters cane this one. again its better on tap than the bottle, but i havent drank it off the tap to rate it in that format.

sensational appearance of dark red and brown colors, with a lovely fluffy latte` like head. lacks a bit of punch in the aroma, standard hints of burnt grains. chocolatey elements also, but nothing really jumps out. it is fairly smooth tasting. nice gentle roasted flavor, chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of forest fruits and caramel in the mix. having said the word gentle in there, it says to me this just isnt full on enuff to be a porter, but is more of a schwarzbier. lacking the hop dryness or bitterness and a bit too light and bubbly to be taken seriously as a porter. despite this, its overall not too bad and quite drinkable.

there are better porters in this region, let alone the world. its not really an accurate description of the style. still its an inoffensively pleasant beer thats not a bad starting point for locals who want to drink dark beers that arent guinness.

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Photo of koolk
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep dark red going on brown.

Nose is a little quiet. Typical notes of roast grains, caramel and some malt with only a touch of hops.

Decent palate that starts of with roasted/burnted malt flavours and ends with a good bit of bitterness. Light finish with touches of cocoa and coffee. Good, but not great, stuff.

Both this and the IPA by Squires are a little 'underdone' in terms of style. Would love to see this with a little more oomph.

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James Squire Porter from Malt Shovel Brewery
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 122 ratings