London Porter | The Emerson Brewing Company

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London PorterLondon Porter
Very Good
22 Ratings
London PorterLondon Porter

Brewed by:
The Emerson Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Porter is the oldest commercially brewed style. Dark, dry and mellow with some hop characteristics, it was the favourite tipple of London’s porters. London Porter pours a deep brown colour with reddish tints, and the aroma is toasty, with a hint of sweetness and some earthy hop notes. Firm-bodied, but not heavy, with a creamy texture, the dryish palate is full of roasted malt, coffeeish notes and a sustained bitterness.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of bwood06
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife and I took a trip to New Zealand a few months ago (very tardy on logging this review, I know...) and as is typical of our vacations, the trip turned into a wine and beer tour of the country. Mac's was recommended by a couple locals so this is one that I gave a shot. This particular beer was on nitro at a local pub.

This beer pours a pitch black hue that features cascading nitro bubbles and a creamy, off white (almost khaki) colored head that dissipates ultra slowly (per the usual nitro method). 4/5 The aroma is rich and malty with toffee, dark roasted grains, vanilla, cold pressed coffee, and dark chocolate really coming through. The hops are actually fairly vibrant here as well with a bit of grassiness and a slight bit of lemon peel. 3.75/5 The flavor profile is just like the aroma with the malt flavors really coming out strongly and then all of a sudden the flavor transitions to the hops with the grass and lemon peel providing a slight bit of bitterness that lingers slightly after swallowing. 4/5 This is a creamy, full bodied beer that is slightly dry after the creaminess wears off. The dryness does not linger and the carbonation is ultra smooth with the nitro effect. 4/5 This is a really flavorful porter that is really well crafted and is probably one of my favorite beers from our whole New Zealand trip. I absolutely love porters and stouts, so this beer was an awesome find for me. 4/5

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Photo of uuoo33
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black pour with no ruby see through; tight khaki head; cap disappeared quickly with some lace. Roasted malt and slightly nutty nose; a little caramel malt aroma as liquid warms. Flavors of lightly roasted malt and nuts up front; biscuit middle; toasty caramel malt finish. Medium lite, somewhat creamy mouthfeel, with lite carbonation. Overall, no harsh roast flavors and easy drinking.

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Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle with a Best Before date of 30 July 2014.

Pours clear but very dark brown body covered by a fine, light brown head that has very good retention and lacing.

Aroma: appealing and rich smell of dark roasted malts with some spicy hops.

Flavor: not complex, but very good flavor with a generous dose of dark roasted malts and a hint of molasses. Only a trace of burnt grain.

Feel: Medium-full body with lively carbonation for style.

O: worthy of a UK brewery, this is one of the best NZ porters I've had.

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Photo of flexabull
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small fading light tan head.
Nose shows enticing dark chocolate, toffee, caramel and roasted malt. Nice stuff!
Very similar flavours but more of an emphasis on the roasted malt. Very mild finish with a soft roasty bitterness.
Carbonation is a little high really, body a little watery. Could use some extra malt.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Platinum Liquor from their NZ selection on my continuing journey to drink a lot of Kiwi craft beer in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. Yeah. I know it doesn't really help.

Pours a very nice reddish hued, but hazy black colour, with a frothed and fuzzy head of beige. Lacing is very solid, leaving sheets of straight lace down the inside of the glass. Body is full, but not particularly heavy. Not a bad looking drop all up.

Nose is roasty and dark, with big cereal characters of wet oatmeal coming through and a pleasant toasted grain note. Some sweetness, but this mostly comes from the oatmeal flavours, which dominate. Not bad, but not that complex either.

Taste is smooth and supple, with pleasant roasted but mild characters. Plenty of flavour to it, but everything stays nicely subdued, meaning the roasty grain notes and malty bitterness can come out without overwhelming the palate. Feel is smooth enough--carbonation is nicely balanced so as to give a lift without adding much zest to the palate.

Yep, another nice beer from Emerson's. A very solid and very drinkable English style porter. It doesn't push the boundaries, but it delivers well within them.

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Photo of keitho
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Poured from a growler into glass mug,almost black with tan one finger head which leaves lacing and a thin head on top all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Smell-Chocolate and coffee roast malt.

Taste-Coffee malt,dark chocolate notes,good balance of hops which come in at the end, dry and good length.Tasty and smooth.

Mouthfeel-Good mouthfeel,not thin,smooth and good carbonation.

Drinkability-A tasty drink quite rich so do'nt think i could drink a lot in one sitting but a fine brew from one of New Zealands most respected brewers.

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Photo of ADZA
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive heard good things about this brew so got my hopes up,it pours a dark cola colour with average carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head with hardly any lacing at all,it has aromas of very roasty,roasty malts with a touch of mocha very enticing,it has an above average mouthfeel with a nice roasted coffee expresso start which finishes with a touch of hoppy bitterness but not much to perfectly balance out sweet and bitter,this is quite a nice beer that could drink alot of but for some reason was expecting abit more.

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Photo of lamarr04
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at Tonic in Dunedin. served in a nonic pint glass.

A: dark brown with a thin, creamy looking tan head.

S: Toasted malt and gentle sweetness. pretty subdued aroma

T: Toasted sweetness from the malt and firm bitterness from darker malts and hops at the back.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. smooth mouthfeel.

D: balanced porter. nothing special about it, but nothing hindering its drinkability.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into my righteous mug, With high expectations.

Black body with a limited amount of carbonation and small head. Decent lacing but nothing earth shattering its like a porter should be.
Smell- Very dry roasted nose, a slight hint cocoa.
Taste- A solid monotone roasted front opening up with small influences of chocolate. Its just monotone, but an above average sample at that.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability - A light mouthful with low carbonation making it exceedingly drinkable.

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Photo of joecast
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

about as dark as you can get for a porter with an attractive frothy tan head. nice lacing down the glass. low carbonation.

about as roasty as you can get for a porter. wait, i used that line already. ih, yeah so the aroma is incredibly roasty. the only beer i have had with more of a roast aroma than this is alaskan smoked porter and that was past roasty and into smoked jerky territory. so back to emersons. roasty yet delicate and refined. the only fault i can fond is that its kind of one dimensional, but it is a nice dimension.

chocolaty, and that dark malt dryness. a little roasty and a slight old/stale flavor. not sure if its intentional as its well within date, but if it is, its done very well. not a lot of sweetness or hop presence which keeps it light simple and sessionable but maybe lacking a bit of character.

nice smooth mouthfeel without being too heavy. simple but quite well done. good thing it comes in a half litre bottle as it goes down well. nothing about this beer seems out of place with all aspects fitting together very well.

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Photo of Macca
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another cracker from this mob. Do they do a bad beer?

This pours a very dark brown/black colour with a beige head which slowly drops away.

The nose and palate are dominated by roasted malts. There is a wonderful chocolatey bitterness.

Rich and creamy mouthfeel.

I want to try this with a double chocolate pud. I think they would both go down a treat.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: near black color with dark brown highlights, good brown head settles quickly to thin layer
s: roasted malts and slight sweet caramel aroma
t: roasted malts to start followed by sweet chocolate, then the two seem to go back and forth for a balanced finish
m: good carbonation, medium to full-body, smooth and balanced
d: impressive - perhaps not completely true to style, but one i really enjoyed. just a nice, smooth brew

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Photo of brendan13
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Almost black but not quite - very dark brown colour poured into a pint glass with a dense inch of light brown head.
S - Hard to get much from the smell but there is some dark fruit notes and some sweet caramel.
T - This is the showcase point for this beer; bitter, slighty burnt cocoa flavour dominates along with roasty maltiness as mentioned on the label. Some sweet caramel & fruit hints balance it out.
M - Smooth, almost stout like feel in the mouth. Quite full bodied with a low carbonation.
D - Another great beer from Emersons! Very tasty & true to style. It's quite filling so I don't know if you'd session it but a couple of bottles would go down well.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Opaque chestnut brown approaching black. Big tan head that twindles down to a small patchy head rather quickly. Leaves some nice lave though.
S: Nothing big but a little roasted malt and nutty aroma. Hint of caramel.
T: Tons of roasted malt with some beautiful bitter chocolate notes, both of which lasts throughout. Nice bitter finish that is keep from being too dry thanks to a bit of that caramel sweetness.
M: Smooth full-bodied brew. Little too much carb though for style.
D: No worries here. Could drink this all night. It seems just as much of a brown ale as a porter as some others have noted. Another quality brew from Emerson's that will be frequently visited during the eternally rain and gray Dunedin winter.

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Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Commercial Description: Porter, probably the oldest style of English beer... In keeping with an English theme...not bloody likely.

The bottle says, "Roasty, Malty, Bitter Dark Ale." I can’t think of marketing that is more suited to me.

This beer pours chestnut brown and settles into a dark brown. The head is massive, two fingers thick, craggy on top, tan and fluffy.

Has a toasty malt aroma with hints of roasted nuts and baked grains. More of a brown ale aroma (or a mild English Brown Porter I suppose) than an American Porter aroma...but this beer aint from America so that stands to reason. The real point is it smells good, fresh and enticing despite a journey to Europe and then to me in the US.

Molasses, brown sugar, toasty malts, some nuttiness, crisp carbonation, estery fruity notes, decent hop presence. Some will say this is thin, but for a classic Porter it really is dead on...slightly more syrupy than it should be, but not crazily so.

This is pretty solid. Tastes, as it smells, amazingly fresh considering it has a best before date of Aug 2005!

It’s not a style pushing beer, but it is damn tasty and fun to drink. I’d very much like to try this fresh from the cask. Very nice suprise.

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Photo of alexgash
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cola brown with dark amber edges. One finger of clingy, dirty khaki head. Nose is soft roasted barley, light chocolate, peat, coffee. Complex enough, but not overly aromatic. More pronounced flavors of singed roasted malt. Dark chocolate, dark-roasted coffee bean bitterness all the way to the end. Light cocoa sweetness flashes in an otherwise dry finish. Medium-bodied with generous carbonation (a little too much). Might be better represented on cask. Still a good beer though.

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Photo of koolk
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time for a re-review, as last review was done at a pub whilst on holidays in NZ back in Jan/Feb:

Dark brown in colour with low head that disappears quick. low bubbles and some hard lacing

A nice a complex mixture of dark chocolate, dark fruits, caramel and nicely roasted coffee.

Palate is nicely bittered and full flavoured with fantastic texture. The flavours are heavy on the chocolate side, with some really intense roast flavours coming on through. Really nice bitter chocolate aftertaste.

Good strong porter from a damn good producer. Try also the whisky porter, same stuff just aged in barrel. Don't drink this bad boy too cold!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Roasty Malty Bitter Dark Ale", reads the label of this 500 ml bottle, sufficiently warmed for this sampling. I've never seen labeling so simple, informative, and accurate.
Fully brown color, with a small, but sure, bubbly tan head, that stays for awhile.
Aroma: just as the bottle told you, "roasty" is the word, intensely bitter at first sniff, the perfect copy of the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. Nice stuff! The kind of smell I love to sniff!
Taste: still bitter on the tongue, but not too much so, nor is it too smooth, a very consistent, and appreciated bitter-/hoppiness. Fills the mouth quite well, and warmly!
My idea of a session brew, (I'm funny that way) and reminds me a lot of hometown favorite, Summit Great Northern Porter, with the bitterness. Not quite as roasty as a champ like Samuel Smith's, though. Other fine flavors emerge as we sip, chocolate, a touch of fruit. Nice, persistent finish.
My first New Zealand beer, and, if we're lucky, not my last?
Big thanks to the rastaman!

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Photo of rastaman
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A highly drinkable porter, roasty coffe smell, with hints of berry and banana, smooth, fruity start, balanced out with a roasty bitter finish, very good.

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London Porter from The Emerson Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 22 ratings