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London Porter | Meantime Brewing Company Limited

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London PorterLondon Porter
458 Ratings
London PorterLondon Porter

Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 08-28-2005

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 458 |  Reviews: 286
Reviews by Chrysostom:
Photo of Chrysostom
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I'll lay my cards out before I begin: this is the best porter on the face of the planet. It's probably the best stout or imperial stout, too, being an extremely strong (6.5%) porter, and a somewhat weak imperial stout.

This stuff is $9/75cl. Thank you to Blacklick Wine and Spirits.

A: The new label isn't nearly as cool as the old one. Cork is removed with little pop: mild carbonation. 750mL bottle, corked and caged. Poured in to a Chimay goblet. Pours red, turning to black. Appears black in the glass, or as brown as one of the 1985 Cadillac Sedan DeVilles, but has blood-red (darker than ruby) highlights when held directly up to a 100-watt lightbulb. One finger of small, light-brown-to-camel-coloured head recedes to a patchy coating, something I associate with high-alcohol, low-hop brews. Lacing is minimal, but existent (barely). EDIT: My last bottle of this, when poured vigorously, had extensive lacing. YMMV per bottle.

S: Leather, tobacco, dark salty liquorice (like a mild salmiakki). Perique pipe tobacco, namely, and the smell of freshly-worked leather, including the shavings - as if in a workshop making sword scabbards and horse saddles and razor strops, while the leathermaster was smoking a pipe of the finest tobacco available, with an aroma of bitter to semi-sweet baker's chocolate emanating from parts unknown, and blending perfectly with the other components, for a truly excellent odor that begs one to smell it again. This stuff takes you back to the Middle Ages or to Middle Earth (or some other sword and sorcery book), whichever is thy preference.

The smell is unique: there is a definite leather, but smells of several types of tobacco, with Perique dominant, and Latakia obvious, but including cavendish and possibly burley undertones. With the drink cold, the salty liquorice and leather smells become predominant.

There are no liquor or alcohol smells present, but the mix of leather and tobacco aroma lends it a mild similarity to Macallan 25 year old scotch whisky, which is a testament in greatness.

T: Much as the bouquet, but with additional tastes of semi-sweet baker's cocoa and of burned caramel, along with a sumptuous raw, freshly-worked leather, some extremely mild floral character, and extraordinarily fine pipe-tobacco. Some salty liquorice, almost like Finnish salmiakki, although not as strong as the salmiakki-smell in the nose.. Mild-to-moderate hop bitterness, which is not present (as hop-smell) in the aroma. The bitterness seems more to be not from hops, but to be from roasted and burnt malts; however, this beer is moderately more bitter and hoppy than the average Porter, whether American (the signal example of which is Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald), or English (Samuel Smith's). This is a "dry" porter.

M: Not very carbonated, but the lack of carbonation blends well with everything else. A little thin and sharp for the style, and for the rest of the beer. 3.75 to 4, subject to revision.

D: Moderate. This is a heavy, complex beer. Even with the low ABV, the taste is too rich to drink more than 1 750mL bottle of this at a time, IMO.

O: 92/100 for style. Maybe 95. Somewhere between 90 and 95. Out of all beers (my personal taste leans towards porters, stouts, and Belgians), probably an 82-85, being pushed down a bit by heavenly nectar such as St Bernardus Abbot 12 and Chimay Blue.

This beer varies significantly from batch to batch in incidentals such as mouthfeel and appearance. The nose and taste remain somewhat consistent, although with nothing near the consistency of larger brewers. My rating is based on the bottle(s) that I've had: YMMV.

This is a signal English Porter, a better exemplar of the style than even Samuel Smith's Old Taddy. This is the Porter, by which all English Porters shall be judged.

Pairings: "Dark goes with dark" is borne out here: recommended for caramelized, carbonized, and very spicy foods.

Specifically, tobacco comes to mind (a good cigar, or even a cigarette, enhances the flavours of both), as does tiramisu or other chocolaty desserts, highly-spiced meats, such as spicy Mexican burrito meat or Jamaican goat curry, and some examples of Indian curries. Greek gyros without the tzatziki would also pair well. Would be excellent with burnt steaks, such as the Pittsburgh-style, or anything that has undergone carbonization or heavy Maillard reactions. Would likely go well with roast or grilled fajitas of pork or beef (not shrimp), and some game, especially duck, frog, squirrel, and to a lesser degree, venison.

I strongly recommend against pairing this with Italian of any sort, anything that is sweet or overly acidic, contains tomato or citrus, is a "light"-tasting food, or seafood. It may possibly be paired with raw oysters, mussels, and clams, at your own risk (for symphony and synergy in taste), but it is not a pairing that screams at me, as do the pairings with spicy meat dishes and carbonized steaks.

 4,941 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with an amber hue with a creamy 1/2" head that sits nicely atop very good staying power.Very nice aromas of semi sweet chocolate,earth,even a touch or iron.A porter on the drier side,coffee and unsweetened chocolate,and quite woody mainly in the finish.There is a herbal (fuggles?) note that comes thru late even more as I drink more,nice creamy mouthfeel holds up to the dryish flavors making it very drinkable.Is it worth $11.99?Well not so sure about that but a very well done porter one of the better I have had in awhile.

 545 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a dark but thin brown in color with a modest head worked up from a vigorous pour.

Smell – This incredibly complex nose screams quality all the way. The malts seem both roasty and toasty. The brown sugar provides the limited sweetness to this beer. There’s some super-mild smoke as well.

Taste – This is less intense at the taste. There’s some raw espresso bean coming out now and the sugars are even weaker on the tongue. The toasted malt flavor seems to be bigger here, though. It’s a very complex beer and probably needs several samples to properly taste.

Mouthfeel – This is a little short of medium-bodied with a nice, subtle carbonation and some good coffee-like bitterness.

Drinkability – This is a good drinker and would probably be killer on-tap or especially on-cask. Ah, dare to dream . . .

 841 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle that I thought was a real bargain at $5.00. Poured into a pint glass the beer was black in color with red highlights. A thick tan head. The aroma was mostly roasted malt. Quite tasteful, with coffee and a little chocolate. A bit on the bubbly side. Very nice beer.

 279 characters

Photo of FatheadBrew
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark, clear brown with a slight reddish hue. Foam was a little out of control. I poured slowly down the side of the glass and it still filled almost half the pint glass with foam! Foam lingered throughout.

S: I get a little chocolate and roast barley, but not much in the way of aroma.

T: Good balanced flavor. Finished was roasty and a little dry.

M: Overall was medium, but way too much carbonation. Very prickly and over-bearing.

D: Would have scored it higher if it weren't for the carbonation, it was just too much for me.

I had higher expectations, but in hindsight, I would stick to Fullers or Sam Smith for porters.

 637 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, best before date info etched onto the bottle. Pours very dark honey amber, with a dark tan head, leaves a long lasting thick film and a gentle swirl, creates splotches of lacing. Roasty nose. Notes here of more roasted grains, some smoke, vanilla, nice tasting porter. I'm no expert, but to me this tastes what a British style porter should taste like. Not overpowering, but still sturdy and flavorful. Nice bottle presentation, makes this one well worth seeking out, bring it to a dinner party and show some folks what a classy brew this is.

 574 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is roasted malt with some earthy hops and some astringency. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and some nuttyness. I also get some earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 263 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of sm0key
5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of BrianParsons
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of magictrokini
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep auburn pour with a short off-white head. Rich aroma of caramel and malt. Sweeter than I expected, but that seems to be Meantime's calling card. Bittersweet flavors of malt, brown sugar, cocoa, mixed with an astringent bite. Slow-drinking and very enjoyable.

 262 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown in color and very cloudy. There's a fingernail of beige and moderate lacing. I smell notes of caramel and chocolate. The nose is as advertised with plenty of caramel and chocolate. The mouth is light, smooth, and creamy.

 235 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Rich deep brown with ruby highlights under a 1” light tan head reduces to a thick film that delicately laces the.
S: Rich Malt aromas with slight chocolate, no roast, no coffee, no hop, no DMS, no diacetyl.
T: Rich, complex malt, chocolate, a little fruit and a slight sourness in the finish. Lingering dark malt tastes are not burnt or harsh and also not overly sweet or cloying. Finishes drier than you would expect.
F: Very creamy, medium body, medium carbonation, very fine bubbles make a full mouth feel, no astringency or burnt malt bitterness.
O: A very pleasant, drinkable porter with richer body and flavor than that found in some of the more ubiquitous northern English porters.

 697 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750ml bottle with a BB of July 2013. Acquired ages ago from a supermarket and stored in my garage. The label suggests that this porter was created using a historic recipe from the 18th century.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. Appears black in the glass, however when held to the light it is revealed as a lovely ruby-chestnut hue with good carbonation. Yields a massive head of creamy beige foam with good retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of dark roasted malt with hints of chocolate, nuttiness, mild coffee, molasses/caramel, faint dried fruit, earthy yeast and stewed hops. Dry, subtle and delicious.

Tastes of roasted malt with a delicate, earthy character and a dry finish. Notes of roasted grain, mild chocolate, faint coffee, hints of caramel/molasses, dried fruit, musty yeast and stewed hops. The overall flavour is balanced but understated, with a dry maltiness upon swallowing. Little bitterness to speak of, though there is a subtle sour quality in the background. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with pleasant carbonation. Body is decent but errs on the thin side. Somewhat astringent, with an aftertaste of chocolate malt, old tea and earthy yeast.

Rather nice, though falls short of perfection. Perhaps it's a little too old (despite being in date). Nicely presented in a corked/caged champagne bottle, and looks appealing in the glass. The aroma has a satisfying depth to it; the flavour slightly less so. The mouthfeel could be a tad more viscous. A tasty brew that goes down nicely, but could perhaps have a more defined roasted malt character. Nonetheless, a quality porter that is well worth trying.

 1,653 characters

Photo of BGDrock
3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark like motor oil, but with a ruby tinge under the light; head the colour of caramel, fine and sticky, good retention

Aroma: acidic, a bit of tang, hinting at the roast; bitter chocolate/espresso; fennel; hint of raspberry, cassis, cherry

Taste & Mouthfeel: chocolate dominates, along with a sharp bitterness in the finish; mouthfeel is more watery than I'd like, feels like it's missing some substance; flavour leaves something to be desired - it's not that rich, full chocolate, but thin like corner store coffee; really just plain, slightly burnt roast and not much else

Overall: not bad, but not interesting, the definition of average

 655 characters

Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of kwkdmk
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.32/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a Nonic)

A- The top opened with a strong "pssst" then about 5 seconds later a volcano erupted with most of it getting into my glass. Once the glass of solid antique white head melted down into a jet black body it left only a cobweb like head on top. I couldn't see any bubbles but I suspect it had a strong carbonation.

S- This beer had a soft roasted black malt hint with a strong cream aroma to it. There was a dark coffee roasted malt aroma that increased as the beer warmed but it was otherwise pretty clean smell.

T- This beer has a slight watery taste that blended into a flat roasted black malt flavor then finished with a slight smokey tart hint with no aftertaste in a clean finish.

M- This beer had a light mouthfeel with a airy texture and no alcohol heat or astringency.

D. This beer tasted a bit thin and watery with not much malt flavor or depth and was supported by a tart hing but no hop notes at all. I found the over-carbonation a bit frustrating and I don't think I will try it again just because there are better porters and lower price points. There were no off flavors just no real flavors at all

 1,136 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all I want to go on record as saying this is my favorite beer bottle ever! I love the classic label and the tapered, bottom heavy, bottle. The brew is a deep rich ruby red with a light sudsy tan head that I wish lasted longer.

The nose is a magnificent blend of roasted malts that range from sweet fresh baked bread to some coffee. One of the best smelling porters I've ever come across.

The taste doesn't disappoint in the malt department either with bold roasted flavor. However the flavor lessens slightly towards then finish and gives me the impression of fresh melon mixed with coffee. A great start but a slightly flat finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with a thin carbonation and a body that is approaching full. Not a bad beverage at all. I wish the malt flavor lasted longer but it's still a tasty brew. Well worth checking out.

 854 characters

Photo of rbouton
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet. Thick bubbly tan head which quickly dissipated. Smells of coffee and roasted malt. Tastes like coffee/bittersweet chocolate/brown sugar. Slightly alcoholic aftertaste.
Surprisingly light tasting for the rich color.
Very enjoyable and drinkable. No ploblem finishing the bottle in one sitting.

 334 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice dark brown with a touch of lighter brown and ghost of a reddish hue at the edges and in the highlights, the original London porter certainly plays the part. It grows a tight, creamy brown head that peaks at almost exactly a finger, maybe a hair over. A good quantity of l acing is left in patches.
The aroma is approriately malt-forward, slightly roasty but not excessively, and a bit toasty as well. A touch of char is kept well in check. A faint touch of chalk reminds me it's an English through and through, and it finishes with a bit of cocoa.
The flavor very much follows. With Meantime, what you smell is what you taste. This beer is real, and it's something American drinkers who are on the verge of blowing their palates should get into to learn a lesson in balance and brewing full-flavored beers that don't need to blow your face off. A very light note of earthy and leafy hops bitterness lends an herbal note in the finish.
The medium body is perfectly sized to the style. My main issue is that the carbonation is really lively; it's not spritzy or big-bubbled, by any means, but it's really foamy. Otherwise, it's a lesson in how to make a porter just as robust as it needs to be without being too strong.

 1,224 characters

Photo of azorie
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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London Porter from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 458 ratings
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