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Pig Iron Porter | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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very good
69 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A classic porter, dark and full of roasted malt flavor. Chocolate notes are well balanced by a slight bitterness.

37 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 193
Photo of mempath
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

had a sample while waiting for my pint of something else.

wow. dark, coffee black-hole color...smells of nuts...has a nice roasty, nutty flavor. maybe the best porter i've had. maybe i got lucky.

thick mouthfeel, but not in a chewy sense. which makes the flavor spread evenly with the low carbonation held at bay.

very drinkable. challenging and not bitter in the least. what a balance. glad i live 1.2 miles away!

 417 characters

Photo of bgildea
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Great looking dark beer, with slight brownish head.

S: Smell great, nice dark roast smell.

T: AMAZING, perfect balance. Great dark beer with hints of coffee, nuts, and a tasty finish.

M: Great hearty feel in the mouth, but lighter than you might expect.

D: Extremely drinkable, I could drink this beer all night... and I have.

Overall: Best beer that Iron Hill serves on a regular basis. Best microbrew porter I've ever had. This beer keeps me going back to Iron Hill whenever I'm in Media.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark, but translucent brown color and a modest head that leaves a few splashes of foam against the pint glass

Smell: Fudgy chocolate with hints of berry fruit

Taste: Rich chocolate flavor, up front, with a burgeoning raspberry fruit flavor arriving by mid-palate, along with a touch of bitterness; after the swallow, the chocolate returns to the forefront but the raspberry re-appears in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A supurb porter - love the fruity character and thick body

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Photo of Jarod
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured into the glass a very dark brown color. The head was very creamy and tan/beige in color. Lace was present and dragged on the sides sparingly. The aroma had hints of chocolate, coffee, and hops. The taste was smooth and just like the aroma. You could taste coffee, chocolate, and a small amounts of hops to break up the flavors. Very nice. I liked this beer allot. Simple flavors but memorable. Also a good beer that as it warmed it got better and the flavors became more prominent.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite porters, if not my favorite (for good reason!)

Pours a deep smooth looking black. Plenty of carbonation with a nice creamy off white head.

The scent of this beer is intense. Heavy smoke, dark chocolate and coffee esters.

Taste is nice and smooth, creamy, dark chocolate, coffee. Well balance with a little hop bite in the background. Finishes with a bit of slight caramel and tons of roasted malt.

Such a good beer. Love this one!

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my usual go-to beer when it's just the normal offerings on-tap. Had it again last night. Pours a dark, opaque black with a tan head that leaves good lacing. Aroma has roasted coffee, caramel, and some dark fruit. The flavor profile is the same, with everything sharing almost equal space. Nothing really overpowers the others. Fuller bodied, nicely carbonated. Very easy drinking porter and easily one of my favorites from IH.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown body with just a hint of ruby hues around the edges. Small, tan head that leaves a bit of lacing behind. Decent retention.

A bit of malty sweetness, some coffee and a bitter roasted aroma.

Up front a pretty strong coffee flavor comes through, followed by some malty sweetness that reminds me of toffee and molasses. The finish has a touch more coffee, some bitterness, and a good roasted flavor. Coffee and roast flavors stay with you in the aftertaste with just a hint of sweetness. This Is a great tasting porter.

Mouthfeel is between medium and full for the style with moderate carbonation; very well done.

Goo drinakability for sure. This is a great porter.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark brown with a thin tan head, which may have been more a function of the conservative pour than anything else. Some light coming through lighter-brown parts at the edges.

The smell is pretty workmanlike for a porter, but with lots more chocolate and roastiness in it. A light hoppiness is there as well, but it's got a little caramel in it, too.

The flavor is quite sweet, even by porter standards, with a plum-like quality on top of lots of caramel and cocoa chocolate. It's a lot of fruity sweetness as it hits your tongue, but it mellows out a bit and lets some roastiness in before finishing with a big roasted barley and chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium.

Overall: A great brewpub porter. Seek this one out!

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Photo of BillyB
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent porter sampled at Iron Hill Brew Pub in North Wales on Nitro Tap.
Poured a dark brown, opaque, almost black color, with a thick creamy tan head.
Smelled and tasted sweeter than the non-nitro version. Also was much creamier and a much thicker head than the CO 2 version, due to the smaller nitrogen bubbles.
Light smokey aroma and taste. Overall very drinkable. I prefer the nitro version over the regular CO 2 keg.

 428 characters

Photo of kernalklink
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this brew at their Newark location- poured dark with a thick head and lasting lacing. Aroma was dried fruits and roasted malt, with a hint of hops. Very refreshing coffee and chocolate flavor, with a mouthfeel that was light, though balanced and substantial enough for a porter. A light hop finish just as the sweetness of the brew fades. Very drinkable, and pairs well with most of their food.

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Photo of jancona
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is the perfect porter - pours a dark copper color with beautiful khaki foam. Smells of roasted malts and the flavor is a perfect balance of sweet and roasted malt - a touch of Melba toast, bitter chocolate and Nilla wafer. So happy to have this locally!

 258 characters

Photo of tubdog13
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pig Iron Porter
A - 1/2 inch head that dissipated slowly, nice lacing (good clean glass), nice dark amber color, looks very inviting
S - roasted malt and cocoa smell 
T - sweet malt with a light dryness/bitterness, very well balanced sweetness with the bitterness coming late  
M - dry cocoa feel on the tongue, leaves mouth a little dry(not a bad thing) 
D - very, may have to have a few more through dinner, think this would be a porter for a newbie to try

Starting to think there is not a bad beer out there if you sample and do some research....

 553 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How I Amuse Myself, Third Iteration.

Now what? Let me guess. Handpump, right? You know, you can be a real pest, Woody! Hmmm. I've heard that somewhere.

This was such a rare opportunity (to have one beer three different ways) that I could not pass it up. It was presented with easily two fingers' worth of thick, foamy, deep-tan head with excellent retention. For a cask beer, I do not know if it was her expertise in pouring (pulling, actually) or Paul's brilliance as a brewer, but this was fantastic! The color became darker and denser with each pour. On this one, I noted some ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass, along the rim, but otherwise it was straight out of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Even the white bits were black. The nose was MUCH more muted. It was slightly malty, but beyond that, it was anyone's guess. Here, the mouthfeel was medium-to (dare I say it about a cask beer?) thick with a much smokier taste than I had experienced on the previous two pours. The finish continued with a lightly smoky flavor. IMHO, this was the best of the lot, although none of the different pours were any slouches.

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Photo of boelker62
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a virtually diminishing, off-white head with almost no lacing throughout. The body is a deeply red-backed brown to almost black body.

S - absolutely delightful. A moderately malty brew with hints of molassess and STRONG bitter coffee. There is alight hoppiness to balance it out, without being strong enough to pull varietal nnuances from it, but nevertheless there.

T - there is a brilliantly clean, smoky toasted cramell and coffee taste to this traditional brew. Really, quite full in palate and works differently all over your mouth. t starts sweet, then the bitter coffee hits you, and a SUPER long finish is a very intersting addition, cigars. (being a cigar smoker, I can appeciate this taste)

M - the soft carbonation and medium to full body, and just right wetness, lets you...

D - ...keep drinking this all day and night if you'd like.

No wonder why this is one of IH's year long brews, but I do wonder why it is not more celebrated.

 971 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, rich mahogany with alluringly clear ruby margins. A finger of fluffy light tan head sustains nicely. Twisty ropes of lacing knot the inside of the glass.

The aroma is damned near blissful, rich with the earthiness of roasted malt, and dense with chocolate, coffee, dark caramel, and tease of hop pepper. And it blossoms more as it warms.

Upon tasting, the roasted malt carries a pleasing sweetness of dark chocolate and dark berry fruit. Also, caramel is earthy but less sweet, and a lightly charred dark coffee bitterness carries through. A combo of roasted nut and biscuit drop away slightly as the hops assert mildly and leave a spicy crispness in their wake. The finish is presaged by a bit more well-baked biscuit, and then pulls along with a dry glow that lingers nicely. It's a classy version of the style.

Medium bodied, it comes off as even fuller, feeling foamy and creamy and cottony on the palate, though the final drop is a very little bit abrupt, and so not quite perfect.

Yes, it's a little sweeter than I expected, but it's a strength, because it's not often you get a well made, sweet-ish porter that comes in at a session level ABV. This, and the fact that it's complex without being busy, help make it nicely drinkable. The only nick is a quick fade in the mouth. This is the kind of beer that makes me mourn the loss of Iron Hill in NJ, and hope for its eventual arrival.

 1,415 characters

Photo of mikeg67
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Iron Hill Phoenixville. Pours black hue with a thick, tanned head. Aroma is of roasted malt, coffee and hints of dark fruit. Medium, smooth body. Coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malt and molasses fill the mouth. Long, bitter-sweet finish. Everything what should be in a good Porter is present in this brew.

 323 characters

Photo of afksports
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm enjoying this one on tap with a couple of good old friends. I
surprise it's not higher rated on here, because this 2010 vintage is a solid example of a porter.

Appearance is well laced and headed with a dark robust brown to black look. It's got a strange smell to it
in addition to the typical coffee chocolate and burnt malt elements. Maybe a cream or some type of soap coming through. It's not bad, just different. Adds an intrigue. The Tatar is standard porter. True to style but not exceptional. Follows the nose and stays rich without being too much.

I can't argue against this one. It's a beer I remembered from long ago and still held to form. Cheers, iron hill. You didn't disapoint.

I'll be back. Also for nachos.

 733 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice roasted malt aroma jumped out first but a canned vegetable aroma followed that was unpleasant.
The beer had a wonderful deep mahogany appearance and good head quality.
Nice rich malt flavors come through with some bittersweet chocolate notes adding just the right amount of balanced bitterness. Just a hint of alcohol warmth to entice you to have another pint.
Overall a very smooth and enjoyable robust porter. Good with a meal or to have on it's own.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Wilmington on 5/25/14

A-Pours a deep brown with a thin tan head. Good lacing.

S-The aroma is coffee, roasty, chocolate.

T-The flavor is identical but improves. The finish is bitter chocolate and coffee.

M-Mouthfeel gives medium body well balanced with low carbonation.

O-Overall a pretty impressive porter would have again.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Flowing from the firkin at The Grey Lodge pub in Philadelphia.

A- Pig Iron Porter looks creamy, the hard whisp of cream colored with tan foam on top tells me this is one healthy looking beer. (disclaimer, I experienced a clearly infected porter from one of the Iron Hill locations but that's neither here nor there). The liquid wasshoe shine black and pretty hard to see through although some red spots poke through up to light.

S- Roasty robust roasted malts (say that one ten times fast) underneath a creamy almost milk like scent with some cocco and small chocolates. Some burnt coffee and a dry appeal as well. Some hops off in the distance.

T- And, it's good. Pig Iron is roasty indeed with a slight smokey effect to itself. Getting some char and coffee and creamy milk in the middle finished off by some dry hop attributes almost like a extremely faded or aged storm king in terms of hops, yes those hops. Chocolate is there in spirit as well as some nutty appeal, this one is all about the roast.

M- It's off a firkin, the body is nearing medium and is not that watery. OK it seems like it's on the verge of being watery but not really, the body remains strong. Easy feel out da firkin. Smooth and creamy, yet not that creamy, the hops towards the end take away from it, but add something in their own right.

D- I really liked this porter and wish I had a firkin of my own for the upcoming winter time blues.

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Photo of rodrot
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured nearly black with a solid 3/4 inch tan head that left a good layer of lace behind. I could just barely see the faintest light shining through the glass. Aroma was roasty with a hint of smoke in the nose. Taste was a nice combination of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and licorice. The finish was dry with just a touch of bitter hops. Mouthfeel was light to medium in the palate. This is a very tasty porter that is well balanced and easy to drink. Anyone who likes dark, roasty brews needs to seek this one out.

 533 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a snifter

A- Dark brown with a two finger tan head.

S- Sweet roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate.

T- Very close to the smell, coffee and chocolate stand out more, with a different, some what hoppy bitter finish. The finish has taken me a few sips to get use to but I do enjoy it now that I know what what is coming.

M- Not as light as a light beer, but I feel that it would be better if it was thinker and heavier.

D- Easy to drink and enjoy. I think drink a whole growler in one sitting is a lot, but if you have someone to share it with it is good.

 581 characters

Photo of GnomeKing
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The roasted flavors come through strongest in this highly-drinkable porter, from the instant it hits your tongue to the aftertaste following the last sip from your glass. A nutty flavor plays a supporting role. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style, and the brew is only moderately complex relative to other members of this category, but the trade-off is that the flavor is smooth and consistent, and the ABV allows you to drink more than one in a sitting. Overall, it's a really nice brew--well-made and well-balanced. I love easy drinking porters.

 556 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of IHBC more well known offerings. Its almost opaque, with a deep cherry amber-ebony hue. Amazing how the darkness reveals such secrets. The tan head was slow, clingy, thick & foamy, lacing beautifully.

Nose was nice (as a good porter should). Hints of semi-sweet chocolates were the predominate aroma, with some light hints of hops.

Its rich on the tongue, with strong malt and chocolate-coffee undertones that played with a surprising sharp up front hoppiness. All of these swirled and blended into a nicely bitter finish that reminded me of that last sip of coffee. An excellent porter, well worth a try.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this as my second beer. This should be the nitro tap beer!!!!

A - Almost pitch black with a nice short dark tan head
S - roasted grains, chocolate, sweet malts and coffee
T - incredibly well balanced mix of sweet and bitter roasted flavors. Follows the aroma but in a much more satisfying way.
M - medium bodied, creamy smooth and nicely carbonated
D - Low enough ABV to be sessionable. Tasty enough to not care about the ABV. Paired incredibly well with the catfish dinner.

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Pig Iron Porter from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
3.92 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
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