Porter | Bitter Root Brewing

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19 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bitter Root Brewing
Montana, United States

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Known as "Three Threads" or "Entire". Porter became England's first national beer in 1722. It was called porter because of its popularity with that group of laborers. Bitter Root Brewing brews this rich dark ale with a hint of peat-smoked malt as a salute to English brewers long forgotten.

Added by Gusler on 05-09-2004

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, from the lovely Rosauers grocery chain of the Pacific NW...

This beer pours a clear, deep dark cola hue, with an abundance of fast-rising, foamy, rocky pale tan head, which leaves some chunky lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of peaty smoked malt, dry chocolate, a bit ashy, a wee bit medicinal, and some dry floral hops. The taste is sour smoked malt, with some mild chocoate/coffee undertones, and herbal, floral hops. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body medium weight, smooth, and somewhat creamy. It finishes mostly dry, ashy, fruity, and sour.

This is my first "English" styled beer that contains such prevalent peat notes. Nonetheless, they marry well with the sour, fruity maltiness, providing a glimpse into what I imagine is the distant past of this style.

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Photo of elricorico
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark for a porter, appearing black almost throughout. I can very faintly see some brown on the bottom edge of the glass. A finger of creamy coffee coloured head sits on top and leaves lacing as it goes.

Smell of campfire smoke and ground coffee first notable to the nose. A little cold to start so I'm waiting for it to open up. A little warmth brings out a touch of bitter chocolate.

Coffee and ashes are again the dominating features in the taste. Very faint hint of peat in the finish bringing to mind a scotch, and setting in apart from some other porters.

Medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Feels a little thin in the finish, but not bad.

A pretty good porter, certainly worth checking out.

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer after departing the 22 ounce brown bottle sits in the dimpled Raven mug a deep brown to black with some ruby high lights, the head is Brontosauric in size, the color a winsome tan and the consistency creamy, as it ever so slowly dissipates the lace forms a thick and sticky sheet to cover the glass. Nose is sweet, hints of toasted gain, fresh and pleasant to the senses, start is sweet, the malt profile decent and the top middling in feel. Finish is astringent, the hops mild and pleasant to the palate, dry and lingering aftertaste, a nice mild porter and well worth a sample.

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Photo of Jameswoody
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of beergil
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of hopdog
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with kyzr (thanks!).

Poured a deep brown color with an averaged sized off whtie head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, and I'm getting a woody earthiness as well. Tastes of roast, smoke, chocolate, and has a light coffee bitter finish.

Notes from 3/12/08

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Photo of thebigredone
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of neckbeered
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/12/05- Purchased at the brewery in Hamilton, MT.

Presentation- Poured into my Hangtown brewery pint glass. 22 oz bottle with no dates.

Appearance- Dark brown-black pour with a small 1/2 inch head and light lacing.

Smell- A laid back scent of malt and coffee. Maybe even a bit of fruit in the mix.

Taste- Nice sweet malt taste with a semi dark raosted flavor with coffee and maybe a bit of dark chocolate. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel- Great carbonation makes this go down with a creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability- One of the good porters out there. Definitely worth a try if you can seek it out.

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4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nutty medium roast iced coffee aroma coupled with a single slice of burnt white bread toast.

Fairly dark, very little light permeation around the edges, and warm Dr. Pepper-like head.

Tastes of old coffee grounds, campfire ashes of maple and popple, pipe tobacco ash, and again with the burnt white bread toast.

On a sip, CO2 pocks the front end, while the back end goes slick. On a cheek-puffing, port workingman's pull, the CO2 cooperates with a dirtiness that is spot on for a porter, and a caramel sweetie befriends the arsonist who toasted so many things earlier on. What the hell. I'm a fan.

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Photo of Dope
3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium to dark brown pour. Obnoxiously huge dense foam on top of it. Solid lacing all over the glass.

S: Mild roasted malt and smoke aromas. As it warms, hints of chocolate and coffee and a little caramel.

T: Smoke, peat, roasted malt. A little caramel and then finishes with just the slightest bit of chocolate and bitter coffee.

M: Excessive carbonation makes it a little to light and foamy unfortunately.

O: Overall not a bad porter. It's fairly subtle and a little too carbonated, but not horrible.

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Photo of Shango42
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of chumba526
2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appears black with as small almost nonexistant light brown head.

It smells extremely smoky there is a mild sugary smell as well maybe a bit of caramel. The smoky smell dominates other smells in the beer though.

Like the smell suggested this is a pretty smoky beer. There is a slight rubbing alcohol taste to the beer which is a little unpleasant. The smoky flavor is balanced with some sweet malt. I get a slight toffee taste to the beer at all. Overall the flavors blend nicely with each other, but I still taste this nasty rubbing alcohol flavor that I can't get over.

The carbonation is moderate low which is appropriate for the style. The carbonation adds smoothness to the beer.

Drinkability is about average for they style. The beer is easy enough to drink.

Overall a decent porter though there are some flaws in the beer. In particular the raw alcohol taste I get form the beer is not very pleasant. Overall a decent beer though: it is worth trying.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.24/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Bitter Root Porter at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color and is nearly opaque. Thick chunky beige head dissipates slowly and leaves sheets of lace on the glass.

Smell is an earthy acerbic smoke aroma. No sweetness, candy or fruit, in this one.

Taste is a bitter charcoal taste, with some earthy peat flavors. It's a bit one-dimensional, and lacks some of the caramel and coffee flavors found in some American porters. There is a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated, with a chalky sensation.

A drinkable porter, lacks complexity in the flavor. I have had better, and I'm not sure I'd go out of my way for Bitter Root again, especially at $4.59 a bottle.

NOTE: A bit of beer history on the label. It says porter was England's first national beer, in 1722, and was popular with laborers know as porters.

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Photo of jrob21
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a bubbly, thin, off-white head.

Smell: Dark malt aroma with a note of fruit syrup and a slight smokiness.

Taste: Dark maltiness with a chocolate taste and medium sweetness. Hmm. There's an odd, tart fruitiness that's somewhat off-putting. Finishes sweetish and questionably fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not so good; an indefensible porter.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.41/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 10/10/08. Bottle courtesy of bitbucket. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of buttery popcorn and sweet malt. Flavor is pretty similar, but mostly sweet, slightly roasted malt. Super sweet. Weak body. it's not terrible but it's not very good either. Meh.
5/4/5/2/11 (2.7/5)

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice brown color, minimal head that's lighter than expected, spotty lacing and a thin film on top.

S- Chocolate, dark fruit. Baking chocolate. Plums and raisins. Big malty goodness.

T- Deep malts, a smoke that wasn't there in the nose, and more dark fruit. The chocolate in the nose has disappeared. A very good smoky element here- really groovin' on it.

M- Great body, good carbonation despite lack of visible head, good balance- a bit heavy on the smoke/roasty malts and dark fruit but I like it. They counter each other well.

D- Moderately high. I was surprised by this beer, and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a good porter. This is a very solid beer and I will have to seek out more from this brewery.

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Porter from Bitter Root Brewing
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 19 ratings