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Pig Iron Porter | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

very good
69 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States | website

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: 192
Photo of PSUDREW
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Going to a chain pub like Iron hill, I wonder what the various beers taste like at the locations, and, with the word of mouth for this beer, it has piqued.

It pours abrownish ruby color, with enought ransperencey to see the rom and the light in the glasses relefction. Smells light a sweet, with hnits of chocolate. Tasting ti the chocolate and malts are there, with enough hints of hop to make it interesting. The tase does tend to stick in the back of your mouth, and, as our waiter said, makes it a nice desert beer. Finishes a little stickey sweet, but in a good way

 574 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm having a hard time remembering this beer, since it's been a few years, but I do remember it having a pretty robust flavor and a rich color. I also remember enjoying it, so that's good too.

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Photo of prodgerm
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good basic porter had both regular tap and cask conditioned. Rich color with low carbonation, especially the cask condition. Both a bit thin bodied. Roasted smell and flavor comes through but not over powering. The 5% alcohol makes this a good session beer. (Also had Baltic Porter see review)

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Photo of Tucquan
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The porter arrived at my table with a tan, 3/4" head floating on a dark chocolate brown liquid. It's very attractive.

The nose is mild with hints of coffee and malt. The taste is also coffee and nuts with a bit of chocolate. It's very creamy served this way.

An enjoyable porter but not a session beer. I followed it with their IPA.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pig Iron Porter @ Iron Hill West Chester

Pours a dark brown/amber with ruby highlights, short livid off white head. Smell has alittle roast, light cocoa and a bit of vanilla. In the taste, roasted malt, light coffee flavor but alittle watery. Mouthfeel also a bit on the thin side. Still the flavors work, just alittle light and the feel could be stronger. Not one of the most impressive offerings Iron Hill has.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had on-tap at the Media location, served in pint glass.

dark brown almost black in appearance, with thin white head. smell and taste are roasted malt, a little bitter. not much in the way of your typical coffee and chocolate notes typical of a porter.

mouthfeel was on the thinner side, medium carbonation. fiarly easy drinking and smooth.

 341 characters

Photo of rawhydes1
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Characteristic dark-brown. No head when it arrived at my table, so, cannot evaluate.

Mild smokiness to the nose.

Average complexity of flavor for this porter. Subtle molasses, coffee, malt, and smoke flavorings.

Goes down VERY EASY. Maybe a good choice for a session, for the porter drinker. Very drinkable.

Overally, a moderately flavorful, very drinkable porter.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

A tasty porter. Poured dark brown to black with a finger of off-white head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, and roasty malts, just the way a porter should be. Similar in the taste; malts came across a bit smokey almost, smooth chocolate and coffee notes retained. Medium bodied and drinkable.

 331 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the night I visited the new brewery they had two versions of Pig Iron: the co2 and Nitro versions. I tasted a sample of the first, but opted for a pint of the second.

A - Appears like Bailey's it has so much gas making it appear like creamy coffee, but the slow cascade brings an off white head to the surface. It reminds me of a milkshade it is so smooth and it measures about 2 fingers atop the dark brown liquid.

S - Big fresh roasted coffee and roasted barley notes w/ a full nutty dry scent in the aroma. Rich toasted notes and light yeasty scents dominate the nose.

M - Smooth, full and creamy as expected in this nitro version. A gentle nutty roasted aspect appears w/ low carbonation in overall texture. Slightly dry in the finish w/ a gentle spiced quality.

T - Rich, sweet malt swirls 'round the tongue w/ a light chalky dry element as it warms w/ a very roasted flavor. Subtle full malty essence w/ a rich overoasteed quality that hints at a nut shop in the midst of roasting action. The flavor has plenty or malt and a bit of hops to keep it balanced. A basic porter w/ subtle boost of smoothness w/ the nitrogen.

D - I could probably drink several, but consider it an average porter in the scheme of things. Not highly drinkable, but better than average and I appreciate the chance to taste it in the nitro version. I suppose a fan of Guinness might like the mouthfeel, but it has more roasted character than sweetness. Not one I would return to often most likely.

 1,485 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Media, PA.
Pours with a red-brown body that has excllent clarity and highlights. Minimal head yet decent lacing.
Very good bitter-sweet balance. No sour or other off notes. Light smoke in the finish and aftertaste.
Medium body and carbonation.

 274 characters

Photo of RiekerStarBrew
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was served this beer from a nitrous system. Compared to the CO2 version, the nitro is definitely creamier. The color was a dull, dark brown. In the aroma, I smelled sweet, roasted grains giving it a chocolate scent. There was also a slight hint of raisins. In the flavor, there is an upfront dark chocolate note. While this was good, it hid some of the hop qualities I look for in a porter. The beer is generally malty or bready, coupled with the roasted grains, it gives a dark toast finish which distracted me from the overall beer and made it a little less drinkable than expected. All in all, I found it to be an average porter.

 634 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A smooth porter with a minimal amount of bumpin' flavor touches. Consistent and nice. I think that's where its strength lies is in its consistency and not so much in any unusual flavor settings. Carbonation and the bubble is high and biting. Pleasant enough.

 258 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Iron Hill West Chester on 11/20/11. Served in a goblet.

Pours a near black, with a ½ finger of off-white froth. This maintains a creamy richness, which soaps the sides of the glass with heavy swathes of lace. The aroma smells of chocolate and roasted coffee, along with some green leafy citrus notes and even a touch of spice.

The taste is cocoa and caramel up front, which is quickly cut off wall of green feeling hop bitterness. The malts return in the finish with a dry, burnt, and roasty finish, which really gives this some character that hangs on the palate for a while. Those fresh citric hops really drive this for the most part though. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm and prickly feel up front that lays some sharpness down on the tongue, but then works itself into more of a crisp smoothness as this rides along the back of the throat. This is easy enough feeling.

This is definitely my favorite of the staple beers from the Iron Hill chain and is honestly one that I should be drinking more of. This glass today wasn’t the best that I’ve had from the different locations but it was certainly good enough. A fine American Porter.

 1,170 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Iron Hill Media.

Opted for a pint of porter to finish up Friday night dinner while my wife ate her dessert.

Beer pours a dark brown, not quite opaque, a little reddish mahogany around the edges when held up to the light. Fairly nice, thick egg-white head that slowly faded into some moderate lacing.

Nice smelling pint...roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is similar. The roasted flavor dominates but there is some trace hops bitterness that compliments the malt flavor. I've always enjoyed the taste of this porter. It's full-bodied, robust and well rounded. The carbonation is good and the drinkability is quite high. It's a nice way to end a night at Iron Hill.

 677 characters

Photo of MmmIPA
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Now this is my favorite IH beer.I think they made a great beer when they brewed this and it really shows.

Brown body with a tan head.Nice lacing on the glass.Coffee and chocolate smells and with the taste paired along with some hoppy goodness to balance it out.Thick body and easy going down and a really good drinker.I wanna try the bourben barrel version of this asap.I would drink this beer all day and all night.Great job IH and for making my day.

 452 characters

Photo of kaszeta
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Iron Hill brewpub in Newark.

Pours as a dark brown slightly muddy beer with a thin frothy head. The smell is mostly toasted malt, with some chocolate notes. Taste was a bit more bitter than you'd expect, similar to dark chocolate, with a malty finish. A bit light on the mouthfeel, however, and a bit dry. Not bad, and definitely drinkable, but not overly remarkable, either.

 393 characters

Photo of lionking
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft in Newark, DE.

Draft beer in the glass with a suprisingly weak half finger head. Nice pitch black body.

Smell and taste are of chocalate and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel was a little lighter than I was expecting given the appearance and smell. As for drinkability, i would rate it favorably. A little higher alochol content than what you taste when you drink it.

 374 characters

Photo of AltBock
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Media, PA was serving up this one on 5/17/2008 during their beer festival. They served it to me in a standard pint glass.

At first, I thought it had poured a solid black color, but a closer inspection lead me to believe that this was actually a dark mahagony brown color. On top of this beer was an off white colored 1/2 inch head of foam. I thought it had decent retention that left behind a skim of foam and some foamy rings along the edge. It did manage to leave behind a spot or two of lace. The aroma was nice and roasty with bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and a some dark fruits hiding in the background. The taste was roasted too, but it loved the bitter dark chocolate. That was the main flavor in this one. Behind the dark chocolate was roasted coffee beans, roasted malts, subtle caramel, and a hint of roasted bitter hops at the finish. The mouthfeel was dark and roasted with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a touch of roasted hops. The chocolate aftertaste will linger on while the other flavors will fade away. If you like your chocolate with plenty of roasted flavors backing it up, you will like this one. I know I did! This is another Iron Hill beer that I could easily enjoy again.

 1,240 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So many to try here. I ended up getting a 16oz glass. Poured a cloudy brown color with a caramel heading. Smell was very faint nice easy smell of dark malts. Taste of chocolate and a nice blend of malts nothing too crazy but an excellent brew for a brewpub.

 257 characters

Photo of JimsArcade
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, Pig Iron Porter produced a significant three-to-four-finger dark-tan head which soon dissipated to a thin, coarse coating leaving little trace on the side of the glass.

In the nose, roasted malts and coffee dominate. Surprisingly, there is little extra when bringing the aroma into the mouth.

The first sip is all coffee with some hops. The above-average carbonation makes this brew more refreshing than usual for the style. As the beer warms, the carbonation starts to dissipate rather quickly. Roasted malts and coffee remain in the finish.

Of all the beers offered in a sampler, this brew easily proved to be the most interesting. If Iron Hill were to have a signature brew, this should be it.

 731 characters

Photo of ffejherb
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Iron Hill Lancaster on 10/16/09.

A - Deep brown body with ruby highlights and one-finger creamy tan head that retained quite well and produced thick, foamy lace that slowly slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Subtle roasty aroma with hints of chocolate/cocoa, coffee and toasted nuts. Slight lactic notes (similar to those that would appear in a milk stout) are also present. Aroma is rather muted overall.

T - Roasty and dry flavor with sweet lactic notes and hints of chocolate and coffee. Some nutty astringent notes emerge in the middle and extend into the backend. While hop bitterness and sweetness are minimal, there is plenty of roasty malt character. Finishes with just a touch of leafy, earthy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth, fairly robust mouthfeel, though just a tad watery due to the cask conditioning. Finish is dry with light bitterness on the palate.

D - Very drinkable cask conditioned porter. While I found this to be a bit light on the aroma, Pig Iron has lots of dry, roasty flavor that struck me as a cross between a dry Irish stout and a milk stout.

 1,105 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Media.

Pours a very deep brown, nearly black color, with a cream colored head that settles slowly and nice lacing. Very traditional in the aroma; very roasty, charred malt, with hints of espresso, and a bit of herbal and floral hops underneath.

Traditional and old-school in flavor as well; it’s all about the roasted, slightly burned malt flavor, with suggestions of black espresso and bittersweet chocolate, and a subtle floral hoppiness lending additional bitterness to the picture. Buried underneath but slowly emerging as the beer warms is a hint of sourness not strong enough to be disconcerting, but that nonetheless feels like a slight flaw. The modest sweetness of the beer dries up almost completely in the finish.

Medium bodied and carbonated, with a decent amount of smoothness on tap that elevates the mouthfeel above many other bottled porters of this type. A solid and dependable example of the style.

 943 characters

Photo of garuda
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap, dispensed into a pint glass, dark ruby brown, almost black with a finger thick, creamy, off-white head with good retention and some lacing. Smell is a little faint, but is mostly roasted malts, and maybe some coffee. Mouthfeel is pleasant with a medium to full body, and low carbonation. Very smooth across the palate with just a hint of hops in the finish. Lots of roasted/ sweeter malts, dark chocolate, and some coffee in the taste. Overall a beer thats true to style, nothing special, but delightful to drink on a cold night.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on cask with coffee infused at the Lancaster brewpub.

A: The porter is a mahogany red color, full enough to be brown/black. The hand-pulled brew has the cascading head that is rather stunning while it lasts.

S: The nose is mostly coffee with light chocolate below the surface. The coffee is not in-your-face, just generally present throughout.

T: The coffee isn't as dominant as you'd expect. This isn't a coffee bomb, rather it is the porter with a nice twist. Coffee is mild, with a full flavor that doesn't overtake the porter. The handpull has created a smooth, creamy body that seems best for the pig iron (I am not a fan generally). Porter flavors are chocolatey with a toasted finish.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth, aided immensely by the cask conditioning. Coffee isn't the dominant aspect, willing to share the spotlight with the porter.

D: A decent ale, not quite like the imperial coffee of a few months back, but drinkable enough.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From 12/23/14 notes. Had on tap at the new location in Ardmore, PA. 4 oz. pour as part of a sampler.

Pours a deep brown, almost black color, with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

Nose is awesome, sweet milk chocolate, roasted malts, bakers chocolate, vanilla, cream, toasted malts. Taste is a little more bitter, not as flavorful as the nose. Light body, a bit too thin, low to moderate carbonation evident.

Overall a nice porter with a great nose. A bit thin and the taste has more bitter dark chocolate, but would try it again.

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Pig Iron Porter from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
88 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.
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