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: 80 | Ratings: 117
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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Photo of dgilks
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

345ml bottle poured into a mug glass.

A - Pours a deep brown with a thick 1 tan head. The head is long lasting and keeps a thin layer the entire time.

S - Slightly weak, nothing amazing. Some roast on the nose.

T - Roast malt is evident, a fair bit of chocolate and some coffee. Slightly acidic. Not bad.

M - Quite thick for the style, almost syrupy. Low carbonation but still acceptable.

D - Sessionable ABV, tasty enough and not so thick as to be a challenge, this is quite drinkable.

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a slight orangey tinge around the edge. A little head with fairly good retention. Nice lacing, thick.

Nose has roasty notes with a hint of sour fruit. Nothing really out of the ordinary really, this is a very standard porter.

Taste is roasty and a bit gritty, like badly dissolved coffee. A bit weak, really. Unpleasant finish, like...Yeah, badly dissolved coffee. Mouthfeel is nice, quite full bodied, bit too much carbonation for the style. Apologies for a very unimaginative review, but I really think this is a very middle-of-the-road beer, quite unimaginative as a beer.

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Photo of madvoice
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate in colour with a creamy head that lasts for a while and leaves some lacing on the glass. Smells very chocolatey and sweet. Smoky chocolate flavours with a slight bitter aftertaste. Nice mouthfeel with light fizz. Not a bad drop.

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Photo of WHROO
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nearly opaque, but good just see through its dark redness on the edge of the glass.
Minimal creamy head, athough happy with the lacing. Couldn't see any carbonation or line of bubbles, nuffink..
I love these dark beers...smokey aroma, chocolate & roasty.
Taste is ditto: Smoky, cocoa bitterness, dark chocolate (like the old cooking choc), finished a little bitter. All round nice porter & smooth.
Mouthfeel was creamy & deep - enjoyable.
I love porters as they have alot of the intensity of stouts, but are lighter & easier. This was a good porter for sure - Love the old porter style.

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

Consumed during a "Beers of Oz" tasting my last night in Hobart, TAS. Poured samples for the other "tasters" and discussed tasting technique. Fun times were had by all.

Pours a very dark amber-brown with a creamy tan head. Looks like a porter. Aromas of dried fruit (dates?), coffee, with a slight astringency. Tastes of the same dried fruit plus a really lovely burnt-sugar sweetness, some soapiness toward the end, slightly "dirty" aftertaste. According to my notes: "verrrry nice." Highly drinkable, moreish, not too complex to want another round. Best beer I drank in Australia.

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

Bought a carton of these for $50. Served into my dogbolter glass - creamy head that lasts for a little while before reducing to a whisp. Jet black colour - typical porter smell. Like a spicy stout. sharp roasted barley taste with a hint of cocoa. Nice drawn out dark sweetness and a slightly bitter finish.

Very nice London style porter - rare to see an Aussie made one too, and at a sessionable (well 2-3 at a time) alcohol level.

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Photo of dill
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep brown color with a cream colored head which quickly receded. The smell was a bit sweet with notes of caramel and mocha. As it warmed the aroma of soy sauce started to come through. Taste was also a bit sweet with a bit of toastiness. Medium bodied with tight carbonation. This is an easy porter to keep drinking.

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Photo of WJVII
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a deep chocolate brown color with a medium bodied cream head that diminished very shortly after the pour. This brew had a strong smell of wild cherry and coco and coffee notes. The flavor was heavily chocolate and had a mild bitterness in the finish. There was also a sweetness that was unexpected. This had a moderate carbonation which fit the brew well. Nice work.

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Photo of Cs1987
4.07/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark with a thin head, which reduced.

Smell - A strong mocha scent with absolutely nothing to put anyone off.

Taste - See smell. This beer tastes great, just as the scent suggests.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, great aftertaste. Not quite as smooth as I was hoping.

Drinkability - Although porters certainly aren't fast drinking beers, this one is tasty enough to keep you coming back for more.

Overall - I may be quite biased towards porters, but they taste so good that I can't help giving them high scores. This beer is no exception.

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Photo of brendan13
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with dark red tints when held up to light. Thick off white head that persists.
S - Sweet caramel maltiness with some hints of bitter dark chocolate and faint earthy/grassy notes.
T - Along the same lines as the smell but with the sweet cara/choc coming through a little bit more.
M - A bit lighter that what I was expecting but still full enough.
D - Tasty and sessionable porter for these colder months.

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

Appearance - 4.0
Poured an impressive three fingers of fluffy light brown head, which disappated rather slowly. The colour is a near black, although where the light catches it, it glows a deep reddish mahogany. Nice.

Smell - 3.5
There is a faint expresso smell, along with the major scent of toasty to burnt malt. Very nice, but not quite as strong as I would have liked.

Taste - 4.0
Definitely a bit easier drinking than some stouts. There is very little hops or bitterness to speak of, just a smooth palate of malt and toast. The aftertaste is slightly burnt, with a character not dissimilar to a cheapish red wine.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Surprising light on the palate and quite fizzy at first, but this subsided drastically as I got nearer the bottom of the glass. Became near-flat a little faster than I would have liked.

Drinkability - 4.0
Not quite easy-drinking enough to sit back and knock back a few, and not quite interesting enough to warrant drinking a second. Still, for a beer of this kind it is very easy to get through, even if you are not a stout lover. I liked this beer when I did not like Guiness.

Another very good beer from James Squire! This is easier drinking, and more interesting to taste than most stouts. There is a small premium over mainstream beers, but for the quality you get it is more than worth it. This is an excellent beer for winter's nights, as it gives a real warming feeling, unusual for a beer than is not particularly high in alcohol.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an nonic)

A- This beer has a brown walnut wood color to the body that is clear but a bit dense, although not as dense as typical porters. This beer has a tan head full of bubbles which is supported by a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- This beer has a light roasted malt aroma with a slight watery or iron note to it. There is a soft hint of cream and coffee when it warms a bit.

T- This beer has a carbonic acid taste before the taste of chocolate roasted malt comes through. There is a slight tartness to the finish of the malt and then a soft roasted bitterness in the finish that fades very quickly. There is a nougat hint that gets stronger as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- This beer is pretty thin for a porter and the flavor and smell if very light. It is smooth drinking but not much of interest is going on.

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Photo of drpimento
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served with a nice small head and some lace. Very dark almost opaque brown. Nose is dark malt, a little dark fruit, a little hop, a little yeast, perhaps some coffee and roastiness. Flavors the same but with some significant sourness. Just a little too much. Velvety texture. Drinkable. Nice beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
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 Shadman
3.59/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

last in my case of 'world of beer' 8 pack. An Australian English Porter..should be interesting.

Dark black, tan head, decent lacing.

Rich aroma - dark roast coffee and sweet, almost smells like black forest cake.

bit thin on the intial swig. flavor comes thru nicely on the back end. roasted coffee and black forest fudge brownies.

has a crisp med. bodied mouthfeel

easy to drink..would have to get my store to order it in though.

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Photo of rowew
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.65 oz longneck, nice looking label, lots of description on the label.

Appearance: Dark brown with just a hint of red around the edges, thin head fades quickly.

Smell: Coffee and a bit of hops. Slightly sweet with some roasted aromas.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel and hops, same roasted and coffee flavors.

Overall impression: Middle of the road porter. For the price most shops here charge, there are many better options.

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Photo of rec
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A dark body and yellowish-cream head appear after pour, and cheap roast coffee paired with the smell of an actual brewery comes through strongest in the otherwise relatively uncomplex aroma.

The taste is overwhelmingly coffee, and unfortunately I just don't like it all. This falls into a similar category of dislike as Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which is something I couldn't actually finish a glass of due to the strength of the coffee taste. Strangely enough, the second taste distinctly reminds me of a local beef jerky I buy. So similar I feel like going and buying some.

James Squire's Amber Ale remains my favourite from Malt Shovel Brewery, with Golden Ale in a close second. While I can appreciate that this is a quality brew, I'm forced to give it a poor review due to my dislike for coffee, and the fact beer shouldn't take like beef.

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Photo of willjansen
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to say that I think this is a good beer, but I'm still trying to nail down what "appropriate for the style" actually means for porters since it seem to be a broadly interpreted style. That being said:

Appearance: Very dark, but a few shades down the scale from black - more of an opaque reddish-brown (the description on the bottle says ruby-mahogony, and I think that sums it up well)

Smell: Nothing punches you in the face, rather you have to search a little... dry chocolate, toastiness, hints of coffee, but overall fairly subtle.

Taste: The word to use again is "subtle", most flavors are inoffensive, but the chocolate characterstics of the roasted malts are definitely present and stand out the most. Very lightly hopped - just enough to balance the light malty flavors - finish with a distinctly dry chocolate taste and slight aftertaste of coffee.

Mouthfeel: Watery is the first word that comes to mind, but creamy is another - so if you want a nice roasted grain beer and a stout seems to heavy, this will work well.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, definitely could make my way through a few without needing a change. This is a great beer to help a novice take a step towards stout-appreciation.

I think it's a great beer from James Squire - would love to see their take on a stout some time. A great take on this beer is their seasonal rum rebellion porter - it introduces a more exciting element to the beer to add to all of the "subtle" descriptions above. I may be a bit harsh on the mouthfeel score, but I may re-adjust when I find out just what consistency a porter should have.

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Photo of mynie
4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exceptionally dark and opaque, for a porter with such a low alcohol content. Slight hints of red shine through very slightly, at the bottom. Small brown head that sticks around.

Smells of roasted, earthen grain, rough dalt malt, and a big old chunk of milk chocolate. Very nice.

Tastes like chocolate milk upfront, moving quickly into a middle of roasted grain and a very slight, dry hop and then finishing on a wonderfully smoky end. Leaves behind a dry and bittersweet hop aftertaste and the remnants of some nicely rough porter malt. Wow!

A whole lot of flavor from a fairly small beer. The shelf life of imports at the place where I bought this isn't exactly great, and so this is probably even better if drank fresh. A true treat!

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Photo of elricorico
3.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black in the glass, with a creamy tan head about one finger thick. Lacing sticks all around as the head fades.

The smell is hard to put a finger on. A little bit like ash, but not exactly. Burnt coffee, left in the bottom of the pot? Doesn't really smell bad, but a bit odd.

Very toasty flavour, retains a bit of the burnt coffee, but it is more pleasant in the taste than the smell. Smoke lingers in the nose after each taste. Dark chocolate peeks out in the finish as it warms. I like it.

The body is a bit thin and the carbonation is a touch on the fizzy side. Not really the feel I want in a porter.

This one has its ups and downs, but it is tasty enough in the end. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with red-amber highlights. Clear with a low tan head.

Aroma of rich coffee, no burnt notes and little to no caramel. Roasty coffee continues into flavour. There's a faint underlying sweetness but the coffee predominates. Body is light-medium, carbonation is moderate and overall the beer is clean, perhaps a little too much so.

Also perhaps a little one-dimensional, there's not much to it other than the roasted coffee. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, of course.

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James Squire Porter from Malt Shovel Brewery
3.54 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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