Old Slug Porter | RCH Brewery

very good
104 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Old Slug PorterOld Slug Porter

Brewed by:
RCH Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the old brewery we had a problem with slugs getting into the brewery. As the beer leaves a trail down the glass as you drink it like a slug, that's how the beer was named.
A delicious traditional porter with a full bodied taste of chocolate, coffee, blackcurrant and black cherry with a good aroma. A near black colour with a good white head when served through a tight sparkler.

Added by pezoids on 01-14-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 104 | Ratings: 134
Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Brown-black with a light-tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Plenty of chocolate, bread & a light fruityness.

T: Roasted grain, bread, brown sugar & nut. Great flavour for its weight.

M: Light to moderate body; very dry finish.

D: Quite drinkable.

 254 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coffee in aroma. Big white head on reddish tinged black. Bold taste spurred on by the fruit, whatever the red cherry is. Medium mouthfeeel. Refreshing, above average carbonation, a good effort to get this flavour with an under 5 abv. Above average porter.

 255 characters

Photo of haz77
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with an inch of thick, creamy tan head.

S - Honey, chocolate, toffee, coffee.

T - First mouthful is initially fresh and surprisingly biting. The honey/toffee flavours move forward. Bitter chocolate taste creeps in and builds all the way to the finish. Nice bitter aftertaste lingers for quite a while

M - Light to medium body. Carbonation is initially sharp in the mouth, but softens quickly.

D - Easy drinker. A very nice Porter.

 455 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a small amount of tan head. You really have to hold it close to light to see a ruby showing on the liquid. Mild coffee tones. You really have to pull at it to get something. Flavor is good. There are some richer characters here, but overall it seems a little bit thin and watery. What is there gives a nice malty flavor, but I feel like it could be (and should be for the price) thicker. Feel has a good carbonation to it, but just like the flavor, the liquid feel is too thin I say. Could stand to have more body. Overall a decent porter, but not really worth the price at all. Have had much better examples out there.

 646 characters

Photo of Cedromar
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served on Cask at the Moan and Dove:

A: Dark brown, very nearly black with a light, fluffy head.
S: Had a bit of a cold at the time, but some fruity notes were detected.
T: Wonderful taste of cocoa powder and some coffee
M: Too watery for my liking.
D: Overall, I liked it. Would make a good session beer.

 306 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours forth from the 500ml bottle a deep brown to almost black with some ruby highlights, the head is a thick and creamy tan that piles high on the body of the beer, after its demise, the lace forms a thin veil to obscure the glass. Nose has a rich toasted grain aroma, sweet with slight hints of coffee, quite pleasant. Start has a decent roasted grain flavor, sweet with a touch of bitterness; the top falls in the medium category, just barely. Finish has a mild acidity with the hops apropos to the style, and the aftertaste has a lingering sweetness with just a touch of the roasted grain bitterness sticking to the palate.

 636 characters

Photo of matylight
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown nearing black with reddish hints as the light hits. an off white 1/2" crown settles back quickly in the aftermath.
S: bitterness up front on the nose then the smell of english hops stumbles in. roasty, hints of java (though i know there isn't any)
T: roasted malts shine through on this one. fairly dry but the english floral accents balance out the roast well. bits of chocolate and coffee jump in and out of the equation.
M: medium full body with light carbonation and the alcohol is so subtle that i almost forget that it's there
D: i like this one. it's easy to kick back with and you could probably do so with a few of them and still be able to remember where you were the night before. cheers!

 713 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous black opaque with off-white head. Very appealing from the pour.

Nose is very, very Guinness draught like to me - roasty, nougaty sweetness with marbled icing flavors (choco/vanilla).

Palate isn't so exciting. Very ordinary porter taste, some roastiness with balancing hops, but nothing to get exciting about.

Medium to light bodied and a very drinkable beer. This could wash down just about any happy hour pub fare without slowing you down.

 466 characters

Photo of Nipitato
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Somerville, MA.

A: Light tan head with good head stand and sticky lacing. Dark brown color with reasonable clarity despite suspended yeast from bottle conditioning.

S: Malt characteristics are grainy and bready just very slightly roasty. Some unspecific hop character and some fruity currant/chery esters.

T: Malt flavor is sweet and just subtlety roasty. Some dark fruity esters in the mix. Both nutty and musty flavors as well.

MF: Thin and insipid mouthfeel. Too watery. Not carbonated enough for my liking. Smooth but not velvety smooth with a very clean and dry finish.

D: Mild easy drinking porter. Lacks strong flavors normally attributed to porter. Quite sessionable nonetheless.

 756 characters

Photo of crwills
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown into a pint glass. Surprisingly clear. Not much head, although temperature may have been a factor.

Aroma is mildly bready with some pepper spice and a bit of smoke. Hard to discern. Taste is milk chocolate, bitter coffee, and lots of smoked malt. Very interesting and different. Mild sulpher aftertaste, and an oily mouthfeel. Not bad!

 365 characters

Photo of blakesell
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature into a Harpoon pint glass. Amazing thick tan lingering head on this beer, like a rock. Wild splotches make it look like a sponge minutes later.

Thick malty aroma, slight chocolate, nuts and some roasted notes in the scent.

Great flavour. One of the better porters I've had, if all CAMRA winners taste this good, I'll have to try them all. Chocolate, coffee, some yeast flavour but not overpowering.

Creamy and silky in the mouthfeel, I could drink this all day if I had a penchant for drinking the same beer all day.

Low abv makes the alcohol almost undetectable, great liquid bread for porter lovers.

 644 characters

Photo of mattcrill
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Moderate fruity esters initially that remind me of dark fruits (raisins and plums). Light chocolate notes woft out of the glass. No alcohol or hop aroma detected.

Appearance: Clear deep brown pour with garnet highlights. A creamy off-white head develops. No carbonation noted in the body.

Flavor: Chocolate and coffee notes that assert themselves initially. No hop flavor detected. No fruity esters tasted that were in the aroma. Seems quite light and slightly acidic as it warms up.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Finishes slightly bitter and astringent. Just a bit of creaminess that finishes in the back of the palate.

Overall impression: A little on the light side. Overall, a well crafted beer. No real flaws but may benefit from a more complex grain bill.

 796 characters

Photo of dherling
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out jet black with a tan head, and styrofoam-like lacing. The nose has big sweet dark fruit, some coffee and chocolate, anda bit o alcohol. The taste slices your throat with dark caramel flavors, followed by some tiny amounbt of chocolate. Has a cola like mouthfeel, and finishes remarkably clean.

 304 characters

Photo of mynie
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Map Room.

Pours a very dark ruby with a great head and only the slightest hint of light coming through, at the very bottom of the glass.

Smells rich, raw, and bitter. Big hops, surprisingly, against bitter roasted malt. Doesn't quite have the unfinished earthiness I'm used to in a porter, but it more than makes up for it in fruit hop complexities.

Tastes much sweeter than the nose would have you believe, with some very distinct fruit, bitter malt in the back, and ending on a node of hops and pears. There's a nice fruity hop aftertaste, to boot.

 575 characters

Photo of JasonA
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with thick 2 full fingers of beautiful mocha head. When held up, plenty of light shows through creating a maroon hue across the glass. Head and lacing looks great for a bottle.

Roasted malt. Sweet. Not as much as a boquet as expected. No alcohol present, though with the small ABV is expected.

Stout dryness, paleness. Biscuit. Little bit of creamyness. Some dry roasted flavor.

Nice carbonation level. Sits well. Carbonation smoothes out in the end.

Somewhat boring for an English Porter. I would wager this would be considered a Macro Porter in England. Nice for the states, but not something I would actively look to return to. Not special enough for me to want to try again.

 709 characters

Photo of Sigmund
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml brown bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. bottle conditioned, ABV is 4.5%. Very dark brown colour, nearly black. Decent and lingering creamy tan head. The slug-like "trail" of the head down the side of the glass as you drink has allegedly given the beer its name - together with the fact that the brewers had to "fight" slugs coming into the brewery at the old premises. (As we know, slugs LOVE beer.) Pleasant aroma of prunes, mild coffee and chocolate. Roasty flavour, fairly dry, notes of coffee, dark bread and chocolate. Some fruity notes in the finish, "coffee" aftertaste. A decent porter with a moderate ABV.

 632 characters

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation on this bottle caught my eye when I went to Boston for BBF and made a stop at Downtown on Sunday. My non-beer drinking friend loves his share, so let's see what this one has to offer.

Dark cocoa/black bottom with a only a tiny hint of ruby red light penetrating the darkness at certain angles. Weak, unimpressive foam that gets a little rise from the carbonation and then falls timidly. Average looking porter, nice lacing.

Rich, fragrant aroma. Cocoa powder. Woody. Sweet malts, like honey. A touch of fruity, dark berries. Pleasant.

Big, watery flavor that has some light cocoa/dark chocolate notes hitting the tongue. A bit of dark fruit, cassis-like. Very nutty. Dark, roasted malts in the background with some honey lingering on the tongue. Sticky, with a dry, cocoa finish. Watery mouthfeel.

Totally non-offensive beer that is easy to drink and refreshing, minus the dry finish. I like porters, I could definitely drink this one again, but it's not particularly noteworthy.

 1,005 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown, almost black, with not much of a head at all. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, cherries and coffee. It tastes the same way, except that there's a slight nutty flavor too, along with a bitter finish. It's medium bodied with very low carbonation. The beer goes down very smooth too, the mouthfeel is nice and a little bit on the creamy side. Overall, it's pretty good, I liked it a lot. Not much alcohol in this one (4.5 ABV) and it if wasn't for the cost of a single bottle, I would drink this as a session beer.

 569 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from Sainsbury's as part of a Great British Beers Selection 3 pack...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red / brown... Creamy tan head poured thick and foamy (very tight bubbles) then faded to thin layer... very little lacing..

Aroma - Strong coffee notes, roasted malts, slight smokiness, dark chocolate, light hop bitterness, leathery, woody, slight dustiness, peppery, aniseed hints...

Taste – Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, slight aniseed notes, coffee, dark fruits (light blackcurrents, prunes), faint nuttiness, earthy, some creaminess / milkiness, biscuity hints...

Feel - Quite smooth and creamy... Full body. Pretty drinkable...

Overall - An excellent example of a porter.... Very drinkable... Recommended !!

 749 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Well I recall reviewing this one from the bottle a year or two ago, erm, November 2004 it seems, wow time flies. Well, I saw this gem on sale at Fernandes Brewery Tap during a recent trip home, and, I just had to have a Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown body, the settling light brown conditioning raced up the body of the Pint glass as it sat on the bar and formed a tight creamy tan colored that framed a pornographic looking Pint. Bitching looks that had something of an Oatmeal stout about it. Intensely strong infinitely dissolved conditioning helps to form an overall look which is nothing short of fantastic.

Nose: Coffee, dark chocolate Walnut Whips and some chocolate covered cherries mix with maize and roasted malts. Nutty tones. Lovely nose all round.

Black beer malts, roasted hints, plums, dark skinned cherries and lots of chocolate malts and flaked milk chocolate. A very nice nose indeed from this fresh sample.

Taste: The nose does the business; lavish aromas explode form the Pint. Dark chocolate, roasted nuts, deep roasted malts, espresso coffee all mingle with some dark fruits, aniseed and liquorice. Smooth entrance, fruity middle and a dry roasted Stout-like finish.

Mouthfeel: Rich in character and complex in feel. Exuberant with a rich luxurious silky touch to it. Affluent body with prime ingredients of the highest quality. Sheer Bloody Extravagance.

Drinkability: Shatteringly quaffable; rumor has it that the RCH Brewery has a Old Slug Porter River running through the Brewery ala Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, if so, I’m up for a Augustus Gloop style swim in there.

Overall: An all time favorite from the Beer Engine; a sublime chocolate laden Porter which just shines from the Cask, and dare I say, is utterly radiant when pulled through an Angram with a sparkler. The hop finish and complexity in this is self-evident when sampled just a day apart if properly cellared. The early smooth creamy chocolate transcends through a bitter roasted phase as the beer ages. Incredible stuff.

Awesome!! Good from the bottle, but never miss this when on Cask. Ever!

 2,132 characters

Photo of Mechphisto
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting bottle art. Cute. =)
It pours with a nice, thick, nutty cream colored head. Very thick if you're not careful, but reasonably thick with a careful pour. Almost edible.
It's a deep, cola color with a slight red hue to the extremely dark brown/black.

The scent is nearly undetectable. A very slight citrusy smell and a slight nuttiness.

The taste is bitter, with a bitter aftertaste that hangs around in the back of the throat for a while. However, oddly, only when it's cold. As it warms up that aftertaste doesn't exist.
(And no, it's not because I drank too much of it. After noticing this as I nursed the first glass, I waited quite some time before I poured the second glass from this large bottle, and there was virtually no extended bitter aftertaste.)

It has a slight cloa, coffee taste with a hint of burnt nut. Very rich, nice mouthfeel.

 868 characters

Photo of Ahhdball
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Slug? Now this sounds tasty, doesn't it?
Deep auburn ale with red highlights. Pours thick with no head but leaves a nice coating in the glass.
Smells of cocoa, heavy coffee, and hints of burnt almonds.
More coffee at first, a malty sweetness to follow and finishes bitter. Drinks great, goes down smooth and leaves a nice experience.

 340 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Beverage Depot in Flushing NY.
The first thing that came to mind when I tasted this was RC cola. Definately a sugar candy type thing going on. Some molasses notes.
Looks like a porter should, smells a little bit weak but malty sweet; maybe some raisins.
I imagine this is much more interesting and exciting in the cask. As it stands it's a decent porter in the bottle.

 389 characters

Photo of scooter231
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very pretty beer. Deep dark brown, with a huge, tan head that stays for a while and leaves lovely lacing around the glass. Just gorgeous. Smell is almost all chocolate. Sweet and rich. A hint of coffee in the background. Taste is less chocolatey, more bitter and earthy. Loses some of the depth and richness of the nose. Mouthfeel is full and decidedly chewy. Pretty drinkable, a bit on the heavy side though. Porters aren't my favorite, but I could get in the mood for this now and then.

 488 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great/terrible name for a beer. Pours quite dark, nearly black, with nut brown highlights. Great, sticky head that never quite disappears. The aroma is quite powerful with loads of roasted malt and bitter used coffee grounds. There's also a slight, honeyish sweetness in the nose. The flavor is sweet first-off, and that sweet undertone remains throughout, even when the bitter roasted malts kick in. The bitterness in this beer snaps very pleasantly. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good -- this beer is well balanced and easy to put down, but also continually interesting. Highly recommended and highly regarded.

 623 characters

Old Slug Porter from RCH Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 134 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.