James Squire Porter | Malt Shovel Brewery

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118 Ratings
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James Squire PorterJames Squire Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Malt Shovel Brewery
Australia
maltshovel.com.au

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
118
Reviews:
81
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
12.71%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 81
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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Photo of joecast
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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 aussielars
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a nice solid 20mm head that leaves lacing on glass. Head retention is above average.

Smell of sweet malt and nuts. Hint of molasses when beer started warming up (was poured a bit too cold).

Quite a nutty and sweet taste, not much hops in this one; very well balanced overall. Mouthfeel is light for a porter but unexpectably smooth with quite high carbonation.

A porter that goes down very easily -- it's very hard to stop at one.

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Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a pricy pick up today, but WTH? ($10 a sixer)

Pours a reddish mahagony with a 1/2" tan head. Some lacing & average head retention

Smell: Licorice, iron, chocalate & fruiityness in that order

Taste: Choclate & iron flavor up front, followed by a raisiny fruitiness. Finishes fruiity & more like a mild ale than a [porter

MF Thin to medium with a slight pricklyness

Drinks okay. not rich enough to meet my expectations of a porter, but better than lets say Tohoey's (sp?) dark. Still haven't found anything better than cooper from OZ. Would love to try this on its home turf

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.51/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

poured a black/amber with a beautiful craggy 2 finger tan head that melts ever-so-slowly to very thick, sticky lacing.
Aroma was almost non-existent...faint malts like are used in a Sam Adams Porter but lighter.
Taste is very light of toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness on the tail-end.
Mouthfeel is weak and very watery.
Aftertaste is thinly wet cardboard and toasted malt.
I suppose a good introductory Porter because there is really nothing offensive nor anything that stands out in this brew. Just very watered down, IMHO. Mostly it is the very, VERY thin mouthfeel that puts me off of this porter.

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Photo of Crosling
3.68/5  rDev +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 Finite
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: very dark amber, pushing stout colour. Tan head which hold out a little while and leaves only some lacing.

Smell: Coffee and toffee, maybe a hint of chocolate and alcohol.

Taste/ Mouthfeel: Smooth as, Great flavour profile. Coffee hits first with some hops following that and then smooths right out with a dark toffee flavour. Sealing the whole mix with a nice dry palette.

Drinkability/Overall: Very very easy to drink porter great beer. My first porter and I will have again for sure.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
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 misterscooter
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown and red with a good two fingers of head and lots of lace. Some light gets through and it looks pretty clean.

Mocha, malty caramel smell that carries over to the taste. Chocolately flavor with coffee on the edge, so much like that mocha I smelled. Like others have mentioned, it did feel like some stouts I've had.

Smooth with just the right balance of bitter hops. Well done.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The deep mahagony /brown but clear beer looks the part
The smell and flavour are predominately burnt /roaste flavours but there is a distinct nuttiness in there.It has a complex of flavours that meld to give it a lot of depth and interest.
I should think that it would drink well over a reasonable period of time.

 315 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

James Squire Porter – Bottle
September 12 2005
James Squire Porter pours a dark, ruby red-brown with, unfortunately, very little head. The smell consists of coffee and toasted chocolate malt flavours. Quite yummy.
The initial taste is a bit of bitterness thanks to the coffee and bakers chocolate-like. A good try at a porter. I’ve had better, but I’ve certainly had worse.

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Photo of fretlessman71
3.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Saw it, hadn’t seen it; couldn’t resist. ‘Nuff said.

APPEARANCE: Translucent brown with ruby highlights. Off white head, tight bubbles, pretty good lacing with strong ringlets as the liquid drops in level.

AROMA: Black patent stands out more than anything. Smells more like a good stout.

FLAVOR: Roasty biscuity black malt comes thru, just as in the aroma. Very little sweetness present; not much in the way of chocolate either. I’m inclined to say this beer is really a stout rather than a porter. Not a bad stout, though – kinda mild in that regard. Could it be that this is a true stout porter? Hops certainly come through, and not as flavorfully as the could have.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly acidic, but again, like a good stout would be. Med. weight.

DRINKABILITY: I could have a few of these, but truth be told, I was really in the mood for something more porter-like.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Enjoyable, but disappointing in the way that biting into a Snickers and getting a Milky Way would be disappointing. Less black malt, and LOTS more chocolate malt might improve this beer dramatically.

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Photo of hefevice
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Almost black with ruby tints when held to the light, fairly ordinary light tan head even when poured hard, although plenty of lacing was left behind as the bottom of the glass approached. Aroma somewhat disappointing, slight hint of roasted malt with a little milkiness which improves slightly as it warms. Taste is somewhat better, very mildly bitter dark chocolate and espresso with a slightly dry and warming finish. Mouth is watery; not what it could be I suspect. Sounds a bit like I am down on this one, but it is quite drinkable. Guess it could be summed up with "good effort, could do better".

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Photo of BeerNutta
3.26/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the Portland Hotel.

Good Beer. Poured a dark brown with a medium foam head that dissapated fast.

You could smell faint chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste was of dry coffee and chocolate start with a hop middle followed by a dry coffee finish.

Not too carbonated. However I couldnt drink too many of these in one sitting.

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Photo of dauss
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
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 Dmann
2.83/5  rDev -20.1%
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 Zorro
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby brown brew.

Smell is sweet with a solid basic grain smell. Lots of coffee and chocolate scents to this one, smells like a nice Mocha.

Taste is sweet and smoky with a clear sour under taste. Lighter flavor than most Porters has a definite cola flavor to it. Carbonation is stronger than expected.

Mouthfeel is certainly drinkable but light for the style.

A light drinkable porter, it is close to a porter soda in nature. Not a connoisseurs beer, but a refreshing darker beer.

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Photo of Kulrak
4.22/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown color, but not quite black like stout. The aroma is of faint coffee/mocha. It tastes very chocolatey and slightly like coffee. Very sweet, no discernable hop flavor/scents at all. Its very smooth and drinkable. A tasty brew, but probably not one you could drink on a hot day or all the time. But it's great on a cold night like tonite.

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