James Squire Porter | Malt Shovel Brewery

James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter
120 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 120 |  Reviews: 82
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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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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James Squire Porter from Malt Shovel Brewery
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 120 ratings
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