Old Slug Porter | RCH Brewery

Old Slug PorterOld Slug Porter
135 Ratings
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 stirgy on 01-14-2002

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Ratings: 135 |  Reviews: 105
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
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!

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Photo of Mechphisto
3.21/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of Ahhdball
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of scooter231
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of Drew966
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is bottle conditioned, it pours an opaque dark brown to almost black with ruby highlights with a thick tan head from a brown 16.9 oz bottle. Quite vinous or ester-like in the nose. Good strong malt flavor that lasts briefly fading into vinous notes. Interesting, but not my favorite of the style, I tend to like coffee and chocolate notes in my porters, none of which are present in this brew (except possibly in the slightest amounts in the finish). Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An oddity found deep in Mount Desert Island. 500 ml, bottle conditioned

Deep brown that is a few degrees south of black with a handsome, fine-cream head that leaves a thin cap that lasts while painting the sides on my pint glass.

Strong roasted-malt nose, very caramelly. Strong and fine, a solid combo.

Strong roasted malt, again, very carameled. Refined malt taste, not sweet. No real hop profile, but balanced flavour. Perfectly unoffensive, forward malt-profile, nice and English.

Light-medium body. Dissapointingly not a fuller body, but still a great brew. Clean finish.

Great flavour that lends to a solid session brew (if I had a few more). The lightness of the body, I guess, actually helps this out. I wish I had this on tap somewhere. Alas, I will have to wait for another MDI adventure.


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Photo of bultrey
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at dba in Manhattan... a solid all-around porter. Very roasty chocolatey flavors melding with a good deal of hoppiness that was almost reminiscent of a good English bitter. Very balanced and drinkable to the Nth degree on cask. I would always order a pint of this if I saw it on cask.

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Photo of Naes
3.34/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This porter is almost black with a huge tan frothy head that leaves some lacing.
Its aroma is not a strong one, but is chocolaty.
The flavor is roasty and has a nice chocolate finish, though it is not overly sweet.
Mouthfeel is light in body for a porter and lightly carbonated.

This is a good beer, though it is not an outstanding one.
For the money that it costs to get a single bottle ($5.00) in America, I believe that I would have been better off with something else.

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Photo of fretlessman71
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Hope this tastes better than it sounds – Moose Drool ain’t got nothin’ on THIS name…

APPEARANCE: Deep, dark, rich root beer brown, clear as you’d want. Tight tan head has some staying power. Light lacing.

AROMA: This is a chocolate lover’s dream; it’s almost all I can smell. Sweet, dark chocolate with a slight hint of coffee. MMmmm.

FLAVOR: Now the coffee takes center stage, and of a slightly burned variety, with the chocolate taking a back seat. Black patent malt is coming through very nicely here. No hops to speak of, but this is an English porter after all. Balance leans toward the roasty side.

MOUTHFEEL: Decent weight; a little heavy on the carbonation, but not bad.

DRINKABILITY: One of these would be as much as I’d want, but at 4.5% ABV is certainly a quaffer if the really roasty porters appeal to you.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Wish it were a little sweeter, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of ADR
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance with cherry-colored highlights. Big frothed milk head of over 1/2 an inch in height and plenty of lasting power. Laces in thick attractive sheets. Sweet aromas, butterscotch and brown sugar. Lower carbonation and medium mouthfeel, easy-going. Starts out with a bittersweet chocolate and a nice integration with the aroma to give a milky sense. Bittering is mild, with a flowery tone to it. The texture falls a little in the later profile, diminished somwhat by the finish. Goes out softly, which makes it drinkable and appropriate at 4.5% ABV, but doesn't really stand as a memorable single bottle.

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Photo of WesWes
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a very slight black and chocolate malt aroma. It boasts of roasted malts and English ale yeast. The taste is good. It has a smooth and creamy black and chocolate malt flavor that is slightly sweet and dry on the finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a fine porter. I love the chocolate character, but the carbonation needs to be less. Anyway, this is a fine sessions ale; a good drinker.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.89/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Verging on opaque tobacco brown with amber-brown accents. The large head is malted milk ball beige in color and displays a fantastic honeycomb pattern on the surface and on the glass. It's falling more quickly than I'd like, but it sure looks great while it lasts. Thanks to an abundance of carbonation, the cap is reinvigorated amply with each subsequent pour.

There isn't much to the nose. It's pathetically roasted malty and is as one-dimensional as any porter in recent memory. There's absolutely no coffee, chocolate, hops... or anything else of note. I would have called it an average dark lager if blinded.

While things improve somewhat on the palate, Old Slug is impressively light. Again, there isn't a whole lot of malt. Weak coffee appears in the second half of the mouthful, along with a dusting of slightly bitter cocoa powder. The RCH Brewery website claims that the beer tastes like 'blackcurrant and black cherry', but that's sheer imagination on someone's part.

The mouthfeel is about as light and as airy as it could possibly be and still belong to a porter. In addition, the finish is frankly watery and just sort of gives up and wanders off into nothingness. There isn't much in the way of carbonation either, leading to an especially lackluster feel on the swallow.

Old Slug Porter (great name, great label) is one of the lightest porters that I've ever had. It's so light, in fact, that it seems unfinished; as if the brewers sketched the outlines of a good beer, but neglected to fill in the center, to give it substance. This one is skippable.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.52/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased the dark brown pint sized bottle from Wells yesterday. Has a different label on the front and export labels elsewhere. No born on or freshness dating, but this one is bottle conditioned.

The biggest plus of the slug is the appearance. It literally erupts from the bottle into the glass. One should pour it sluggishly slow to save the brew. Pours an opaque, dark black. Viewable through the beer are the thousands of rivulets of carbonation bouncing around. A thick, dark brown head lasted forever, finally leaving a creamy ring and glass lining lacing.

Tastes like a root beer soda. Where this wasn’t bad, I just expect more from a porter, especially when it is making the trip overseas. Very faint sugary sweetness and malts were available along with a light chocolate coffee. Very light mouthfeel that is not style centric and usual for a porter. This slug is not lethargic, but very quickly and cleanly exists the taste buds. Could actually see myself chugging this summer time.

Overall: High carbonation that added to the appearance really detracted from the brew itself. I won’t give up entirely, but will try to check out some notably fresher or cask versions next month in the UK. It may have lost something on the shelves at Wells. With all the other porters out there, both national and international, the slug only stays ahead by a clever label and some other nice appearances.

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Photo of shapudding
4.74/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

The label on mine is different than that posted, mine has an orange banner on black.
Bottle conditoned.
Gave a nice, slow pour, but still got a ton of Guinness-like head that filled the glass. Dark brown/black with a bit of ruby showing through only at the edges. Bit of sediment that settled at the bottom of the glass. Wonderful aroma, warm and rich dark coffe and chocolate, whiskey and vanilla... wow..
Decent amount of carbination, would enjoy it more with a bit less, but still has a nice feel. Great, dark tastes of espresso and hops. Walnutty, bit of oaky whiskey, aftertaste of chocolate and vanilla beans. Caramelly honey sweetness, but nothing that is too heavy or cloying. Very easy drinker for us stout and porter lovers.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a deep brown with red hints. The head is very fizzy and proves to be too big for it's own good. Leaves nice lacing though.

Smell: Smells rich in chocolate coffee, with huge caramel and woody notes. A little bit weak of a smell, but not bad at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A smooth, creamy chocolate taste rushes in, with an almost woody fruitness. The end is decently hopped with a dry, long-lasting aftertaste. Feels kinda watery in the mouth, but still smooth as can be.

Drinkability and Overall: A well balanced porter, but nothing stands out too much. It's still a very good beer I could easily make a session brew out of. Rich flavors but low ABV make this a classic quaffer.

Thanks to GClarkage, again, for the kick-ass beers.

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.31/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

While I generally stay away from slugs, I agreed to sample this brew thanks to my hubby's prodding.

The beer poured a dark porter with a massive head that looked like dirty, brown snow piled high on the side of a dirt road. It was over 3 fingers deep but quickly subsided leaving big, beautiful lace.

The smell had a tart, yet smoked fruitiness that enticed me further. The taste was much like the smell, with what I first noticed as green bananas! The malt, chocolate and coffee flavors soon followed. I wonder if I'll be the only one to taste green bananas in this brew?

Though a bit thick and sticky in the mouthfeel, I found it rather easy to drink. Odd little beer, but I'd drink again.

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Photo of DrewBeechum
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on cask at BJ's Woodland Hills. (Cool, eh? This is the third UK cask they've had in a few months) One straight side american pint glass full.

Beer arrives in the glass thick black with a faint and low beigish head.

Aroma is spicy with lightly roasted coffee, anise and pepper.

Beer is a medium bodied with a dry dutched cocoa powder traces through a sweet gale leafiness in the brew.

Clean finish and wide open nose makes the beer approachable and the spices lend it an exotic swing that makes the beer interesting.

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Photo of Boto
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle: This one pours a fairly opaque brown color. There was a bit of a tight, tan head to it. Some lacing down the glass. Some roastiness to the aroma. Maybe some subtle fruits in there also. The taste is mainly roastiness, with hints of chocolate. A decent porter.

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Photo of Doiv
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deepest ruby to copper with a big tan head, that settles to a modeartely sized film throughout most of the pint. Leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Aromas of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, hops, vegemite and toffee were very apparent. Very strong aromas certainly.

Taste was of coffee, caramel, vegemite, strawberries and blackberries, honey, celery, and roasted hops. Burned hoppy and chocolatey aftertaste.

Heavy mouthfeel, slightly sticky, but otherwise incredibly smooth.

Drinks amazingly well.

I get the feeling this beer does not travel particularly well. I bought mine in SW England, and it was great.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate with some controlled bitter roast. Overall thin, but very much to style with an archetypal fruity British yeast presence. A touch too dry and perhaps a little too much black patent or way too much chocolate malt, but a classic porter maybe with a touch too much carbonation.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with red highlights. Enormou cream colored head develops, recedes slowly leaving waves of lace on the glass.
Aroma of roasted barley, prunes and almost a red grape or port-like note, very interesting.
Flavor is also unique. I swear I almost got a chocolate mint flavor, like an After-eight mint. Along with the semi-sweet chocolate, got notes of coffee, roasted barley followed by a residual hop bittereness.
Mouthfeel flt a little thin for the style, as all English porters seem to do. (as an aside, I don't believe these beers are made to imported in bottles)
Drinkability was good but not sure I'd want more than one. Unique flavors but didn't make me crave another like a great beer should.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up on a whim. I thought the slug on the front was interesting and decided to give the old bloke a shot, needless to say, I was not disappointed.

While the head did not last nearly as long as I had wanted it to, I was still impressed with the residual lace that lingered at the top of the glass until it was empty.

I love porters and this is a fine example of what a porter should taste like: sweet, smooth, and very easy to drink.

I admit, I like this beer, but the price is a bit steep, I had to pay $4.00 for a bottle, but like i said, I was not disappointed, just not an everyday beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dashing invertebrate, this Old Slug is, all monocled and moustachioed, (see label, if you can), but how does he taste, that's all I care about...
Deeply, darkly black, as ebon as the night sky, with a full, lush, cocoa-tan head.
Aroma: richly roasted, full of espresso-ish notes, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, anise, maple..dang, me, I likes it!
Taste: kind of mild...nice, full mouthfeel, but the finish isn't too longevitous, leaves too soon, very smooth, very nice. A good porter, of that there can be no doubt, with notes of chocolate and coffee riding through the palate and on out in the finish. Every recurrent meeting of lip and cup conjoins in some sort of happiness. Good porter, nice and delicious. This took time to unfold, and it was well worth it...but is it worth it to spend $6 for a 16.9 oz bottle of British porter (that's what I paid), when you can find a 6-pack of excellent versions of the same from an American craft-brewer, for nearly the same money?
No, hook up with Anchor, Sierra Nevada, or Rogue...worth it for an excursion, but nothing else.

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Old Slug Porter from RCH Brewery
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 135 ratings
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