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Marks & Spencer London Porter | Meantime Brewing Company Limited

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Marks & Spencer London PorterMarks & Spencer London Porter
18 Ratings
Marks & Spencer London PorterMarks & Spencer London Porter

Brewed by:
Meantime Brewing Company Limited
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 7
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
2.49/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

L- VERY deep mahogany. 3mm off-white head which soon goes to lacing.
S- Toasty and perhaps smokey.
T- Crisp, smokey like a German rauch-bier. The lable suggests 'sweetish caramal followed by a smoky maltiness'. Well, I don't get caramel or any sweetness, just toasty smoke.
M- Akin to stout, fuller flavour, but lighter body. Can get one-dimensional on the toasty/smoky end; maybe why I'm no big fan of black beers.
O- Doesn't do much for me, but interesting to try. OTT in the smoke/toast department for me.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut with loose, lumpy buff foam. 3.5
Carob in spades, with bits of sarsaparilla + salted peanut. 4
Cocoa, salted cashews, bread crust, some earth, Maltesers, and a bit of char. 3.75
Tight, clean finish.
Light, dry, crisp. 3.5

Unacceptably pale for any porter without "ruby" on the label. Nose compensates somewhat, and while the classic London Porter flavours are in place, they are wrapped in a watery package. It's so thin and snappy in body - almost lager-like - that it's actually ironically drinkable and could be good to session *if* it weren't inexplicably an Extra Special-level 5.5%. Shame; because this brewery knows how to make porter - or did pre-AB/Inbev, anyway. 3.5

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Photo of dcmchew
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of hdtrice
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Spike
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

This is a london porter produced for M&S by the Meantime Brewery in Greenwich. What relation it is to the highly rated, original London Porter from Meantime, I'm not sure. This M&S version is lower in ABV and two thirds the price per litre compared to the original so I suspect they're substantially different beers.

The appearance of the M&S version is dark, almost black, that turns to a rich, ruby colour when held up to the light. Clear. No carbonation. An off-white cap that leaves plenty of lacing.

There's a little chocolate on the nose. Sweet malts are dominant.

Malt. A definite smokiness. There's also something less pleasant in the aftertaste. Not sure what, but it's a little medicinal.

Mouthfeel is thin and lacks complexity. No carbonation. No bitterness. No alcohol. The fact this is a 5.5% ABV beer is well and truly hidden.

Overall, I'm underwhelmed. Looks great. Smells very pleasant. Tastes almost ok. Mouthfeel is not good. Not complex enough, which is surprising given the brewing process apparently uses 7 malts to recreate an original recipe from 1750. I need to try the other Meantime London Porter.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of soulcougher
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hayley_86
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of mick_cooper
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml brown purchased from Marks & Spencer Victoria in London.

Pours a very clear, but also fairly light reddish brown colour, with a slightly coarse head of pale beige. No lacing, and very little carbonation. It's decent enough, but not all that great.

Nose is quite pleasant, with smooth malt and a touch of toffee. Hints of anise and peely spice come through as well. It's way more spicy than I expected, and certainly nowhere near as much dark and roast as I expected, but it's still fairly pleasant.

Taste is thin, but again, fairly pleasant. Mild roast, clean neutral malt characters, and a finish with a little bit of metal. It's all fairly standard stuff, and not terribly exciting, but it's decent, and certainly brewed without flaws.

Feel is also a lot lighter than you maybe expect. A smoother feel would probably give it more weight and gravitas, but it's a bit dull in the end.

Not a great porter, not a great beer. It skirts the very periphery of decency, producing a beer that doesn't offend me, but is far, far away from inspiring me. It is perhaps the most medium beer I've ever had.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottled in 750ml bomber with champagne style cork stoppeer
pours a jet black body with minimal tan head
smoky charred rye bread aroma
esspresso mocha taste blending coffee and chocolate
good body

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Photo of MisledTitan
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of flyingpig
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle (£2.29 for 500ml from Marks & Spencer):
Dark mahogany brown colour with a foamy, off-white to light tan head that stays very well and great retention.

Roasted malts, a nice helping of chocolate and some caramel along with fruits, vanilla and sugar make up most of the aroma in this one and it has a nice balance although perhaps could have smelt a little richer.

Roasted malts but nothing too strong along with some nice chocolate flavouring and some darker malts. There is some sweetness from the sugar and a light, hoppy flavour as well.

Medium bodied, mild carbonation and a sort of creamy feel to the beer with a nice balance and a smooth, wet finish that is quite rich.

A pretty good beer although I suspect the original, non-Marks & Spencer one will be a step about this offering. Still this one was not without it's own positives, the beer was well balanced and very easy to drink with the chocolate and malts complimenting each other rather nicely.

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Photo of wl0307
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at the M&S supermarket, this non-bottle conditioned beer seems to be a limited-edition thing, as after seeing it on the shelf for only a few months it was put on clearance sale when I got this bottle, and has never been seen in my local branch ever since… The recipe is said to date back to 1750, using “7 malts”; BB 09/2013, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a very dark mahogany brown colour, topped with a tight, frothy dark beige head which lasts very well indeed, coming with fairly fine carbonation.
S: upon pouring the beer, initially the smell is full of calcium-pill like gristy maltiness and powered cocoa; as it retreats, there goes mildly smoky on the nose, underlined by a rich and dense flow of caramely and chocolatey maltiness, while dark fruits lag behind in the form of dried longan fruits, plum preserve, fig paste, and prunes with its lovely touch of acidity. Hops are the other major element on the balance, showing a vivid impact from English Goldings-like hops with a fresh orangey-citrus aroma. Fairly aromatic, balanced, and refreshing on the nose.
T: the foretaste gives out savoury sweet dark malts with a lovely kick of earthy bitterness, lingering burned sugar, mildly chewy peppery hoppiness, and lesser elements from dark fruits, resting on a satisfyingly bittersweet aftertaste full of notes of bitter chocolates, filter coffee, charred sprigs, crushed smoked longan-fruit shells, while a subtle touch of plummy acidity always stays fairly close-by.
M&O: very smooth on the palate, the carbonation level is next to perfect, making this full-flavoured and medium-plus bodied Porter ale an ideal session beer. I regret having not obtained some more bottles, esp. when I got this bottle it was put on a ridiculous “3 for 5 quid” deal! Don’t know if this is a rebranded product by Meantime as I don’t recall having tried the same from the brewery, but if anyone’s local Marks&Spencer still has this one and you love a dark beer, go for it – grab whatever is left there to avoid disappointment…!

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Marks & Spencer London Porter from Meantime Brewing Company Limited
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 18 ratings