Winter Porter | City Brewing Company, LLC

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Winter PorterWinter Porter
29 Ratings
Winter PorterWinter Porter

Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-27-2002

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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of DaveMiller
3.21/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dragomni
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Chaz
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of gio540
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of hopdog
3.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade (Mystery Swap v2) with DocLock (thanks!).

Poured a deeper mahogany color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, and caramel. Tastes of chocolate, roast, caramel, and a very light coffee finish.

Notes from: 2/11/07

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Photo of dsa7783
3.38/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, twelve-ounce bottle copped from The Palisade Liquor Store in Jersey City...
Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with a minor foamy and frothy head that soon receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Aroma: Mild, unassertive aroma with minor hints of roasted malts, chocolate, and espresso...
Taste: Flavor strongly complemented the aroma, with hardly any alcohol present on the tongue... Makes for a refreshing, light American Porter, not too exciting in this department...
Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied mouthfeel, could've definitely been a lot thicker...
Decent level of drinkability given the lack of cloying flavors and modest ABV...

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Photo of tgbljb
3.88/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very ddep brown-reddish color with moderate tannish head. Average retention with sporadic lacing.

Smell shows some roasted malt and licorice, but very restrained.

Taste has a solid roasted malt floavor, a touch of coffee, and more of the licorice.

Leaves a not-to-sweet taste in the mouth. with good taste retention.

Not the best example of the stykle, but moderately priced and enjoyable.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

City Brewery's Winter Porter pours out a tan head about a finger
thick over an opaque black brew. The nose is dark molasses, not
too much carbonation here. The flavor is sweet up front with a toasty
malt and hop finish. Out of the whole city brewery sampler I picked up,
this is the best of the bunch. The aftertaste is subdued- just a bit of hop.
There's nothing really flashy here, just a good workman like beer. Tasty.

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Photo of hero27
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

Very dark, nearly opaque chestnut color. Some lacing holds on for dear life, but most of it slips down into the black liquid.
Light chocolate aroma, some roasted malt & hazelnut undertones. Milk chocolate and burnt malts dominate the flavor.
Simply too light in body for the style. Came off a little slick when I would have liked a bit more to chew on, so to speak. Overall, the chocolate flavor was pleasant and a little more body could make a big difference to improve the potential here.

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Photo of weeare138
3.41/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a near black, dark brown with a 3 finger, fluffy tan head that slowly fades out. Lots of sticky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is grainy, roasted barley with brown sugar, tobacco leaf, and light cocoa.
Taste is slightly bland but highlighted with brown sugar, light caramel, and a hint of cocoa & cream with a gentle banana flavor hidden in the background.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, sugary, with some sweet banana, cocoa, and caramel lingering.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted chocolate nose. Starts sweet, malty molasses flavor, bitter chocolate finish. No best by date but tastes fresh. $1.19 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

The thin tan head on this pitch-black beer falls fast to a thin layer and leaves a decent lacing. The nose is chocolate a berry fruit. The main flavor here is coffee with a little cream. There is slight chocolate in the background with a metallic/earthy bitter bite, which is exaggerated by a stingy mouthfeel. Great aftertaste. I'd say this really more stout than porter. Just another one of those decent and interesting midwest beers where the real strong point is the price. At 4.99 a six pack, I'd pick up more in a heartbeat.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.52/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. City Brewery's Winter Porter pours out a dark brown color with a tan head. Roasty aroma, but very weak. There is almost no smell coming from this beer. A little cocoa flavor, but like the aroma, the flavor is lacking. No hop flavor at all. A totally unmemorable flavor. Very watery. Low carbonation. Ugh, what a mess. Nothing really awful about this beer, I suppose. It's just completely bland and watery.

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Photo of bditty187
3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown in the middle but not black, around the edges it was shiny, reddish brown. The color seems a bit weak, I’ve seen more hearty looking Brown Ales but I won’t judge a book by its cover. The head was beige in color; at the apex the foam was over two-fingers in height. Impressive. Head retention was excellent, it slowly faded to a clumpy cap, and this cap was still a half finger in height, after awhile the cap was soapy but the head retention was very impressive. There was some subsequent lacing; it was webby, unorganized but widespread. It is pleasant to look at. The nose was damn weak; I got a suggestion of roasted barley that offered hints of cocoa and coffee. Hops don’t say much beyond a suggestion of earthy herbs. The bouquet is not very impressive. With a name like “Winter Porter” I expected something louder, stronger, and more aggressive. I got nothing special. Hell, I didn’t even get something good. It was not inviting because it failed to say a damn thing. The palate is not too shabby. It doesn’t live up to the image of a winter seasonal American Porter. The bottom line is this; it is tasty and quite simple. As is, that is not a bad thing. The roasted flavors are mild but pleasant. Some of the tastes are louder than hints, like the coffee vibes. Chocolate is subtle and I get a kiss of vanilla. Roasted acidity. Chalky and bare at the end, the finish is clean and there isn’t anything rounded about the taste. It also lacks those fruity qualities that say “ale”. In a blind taste test I would not have labeled this a Porter, I would have called it a big, American-made (wannabe) English Brown Ale. I like what I taste but it is nothing special. Medium-light in body, it is a bit watery for my tastes and way too watery for the style. That is annoying but it doesn’t ruin the beer. The mouthfeel is slight and boring. This beer is very easy to drink; I could zip through a six-pack if I wanted to. I don’t want to though. This beer doesn’t really have a point, I can think of much better Porters that are just as cheap (like Boulevard Bully! Porter). It is not a yawner but it was a one-time drink for me. There just wasn’t anything compelling about it. I purchased one 12-ounce bottle in Iowa City. Not bad but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.86/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown pour with ruby red coming through when held up to the light. A small tan head rises and then falls fairly quickly to form a ring around the top. Roasted grains upfront with some hints of chocolate and dark berries. Basically pretty boring nose to me overall.

First sip is a roasted, toasty malt with some light hints of chocolate and fruitiness. A slight grassy hop flavor is prevelant as well. Overall it's just seems to be lacking to me....more of a dark lager than a porter.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side and carbonation is a bit too much for me. There's just nothing that stands out to me here...I doubt I'll be coming back to this one again soon.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with crimson highlights, thin, light tan speckled cap keeps pretty much throughout the entire session of drinking while dispersing a minimal lacing in globular spotting as it is consumed.

Aroma is slightly sweet of chocolate and black malts. Clean but faint, takes a bit of wiffing to reach it. Seemingly a dark cherry and raisin fruit tone emerges up and in after taking sips.

Taste is mildly sweet in the front, clean, very moderate build towards the middle where some added chocolate maintains a nice smoothness. Glimmers of dark fruits hide behind the finish. Tame dryness in the finish, some small amounts of roasted grain, bitter chocolate and hops do render across the palate lightly.

Easy going, smooth, clean feel emersed within a fairly quick and limited medium light body.

A decent drinker, clean, smooth, and flavored with enough intention, slightly above average with a sessionable edge that could get boring after two or so.

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Photo of ADR
2.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle out of a variety pack...

Deep brown appearance, dullish red highlights transmit at the bottom. Head is a middling affair, 1/8 of an inch and short-lasting. Laces in sparse dots on the glass. Barely roasty aroma, a little bread and a minimal tartness. Body is thin and its a little limp from low carbonation. Approaches watery early in the profile, and the bare malts, mostly semi-sweet chocolate hints and brown sugar, don't step in enough. Hopping is minimal on this one. Finishes as thin as it begins, but slightly more bright if not green tasting. Relatively drinkable but unremarkable, some aspects remind me of Henry Weinhard's Porter of a few years back.

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Photo of alexgash
3.07/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First off, I don’t think regular porters should be called “winter porters.” Regular porters should, in my opinion, be a year round offering. When I think of a winter porter, I think of a regular porter with spices and/or more warming alcohol. Okay, ranting aside, this “winter porter” poured a very dark—beet—red, with a light-tan head that doesn’t last too long.
Smells of bitter dark chocolate, roasty-metallic coffee, and a pinch of vanilla.
Taste starts out with briefly-sweet cocoa malt. This is overtaken by a chalky, tart bitterness. Weird. Finish is dry, bitter, and slightly chocolaty. Medium-bodied porter that’s overcarbonated, and feels a little too minerally.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown, with a fast fading gingerbread color head. Smell is roasted barley malt and slight maple syrup. Taste is dark choclate sour roasted malt. I think i am starting to see a pattern in the flavors of different porters, more sour than hop bitterness. Not my favorite style, but pretty good, nothing offensive.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.21/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up in Iowa. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: Nice, deep reddish brown porter that let plenty of light through when held up to the window. Tan head rose up to three fingers easily and settled down slowly. There were thin tendrils of lace left on the side of the glass.

Smell: Right after the pour, the aroma was deep, rich, and almost chocolately. After a little time in the glass, though, it thinned out. Smoky roasted malt combined with light cream. There were hints of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Smooth upfront, almost silky, but the high carbonation made itself known in the back of the mouth. A little too light bodied for a porter.

Taste: Started out with a sweetness that was quickly overcome by deep roasted malts. The roasted flavors became too sharp, taking on the quality of charred wood. An odd sourness arose on the finish; almost like dark, sour fruit but not quite. There might have been hints of hops floating around on the aftertaste, but it was difficult to tell.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.01/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This stuff poured blacker than midnight. The head disappeared very quickly and I personally thought this beer seemed very flat. Now this is supposedly a winter porter, but I cannot seem to notice any distinctiveness that most winter brews have. I enjoy flavored porters, but this is just wierd tasting for this style of beer. I wouldn't say this is a bad beer by any standards, but just not a very good porter!

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour black with a head that quickly dissapears. The aroma is light in roastiness, with grain and just a hint of chocolate. The flavor is light in the roasted malts, with a touch of sweetness. It is very light in its hop flavors. It is a light-medium bodied beer with a smooth creamy finish.

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Photo of Loki
2.78/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

Poured dark blackish brown with a generous biege head that faded very quickly and leaves no lacing.

Faint aromas of chocolate and roasted malt. Nothing much really and a little off.

Tasted, well it didn't really taste like much. Very watery for a porter with hints of chocolate and roasted malt. No hops and no bitterness. Very light body for a porter with a dry finish.

Not put off by the beer, but I don't know that I would have another.

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Photo of Redrover
3.45/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle no freshness date.

This beer pours a nice dark brown/black with a darkish large head. Some lace. No light gets through this baby!

The smell is good. I picked up the roasted malt and some chocolate notes.

This a smooth drinkable beer. I would like a little more malt taste and a little more body. The sweetness is just about perfect. This may be a good "training wheel" beer to introduce people to darker styles. I like a little more substance in my winter beers.

I'm glad to see this brewery trying some new styles. With a little effort & tweaking, this could become a very good beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Okay, 'fess up time. I cheated on my review. The first time I sampled this, the bottle was poured into a regular tumbler-type glass and the head was missing, aroma was nil. For this taste, I poured it into a Duvel glass, and the old boy stood up proud and tall, a magnificent, sizzling, tannish beauty with roasty chocolatey aroma and hints of toffee and nuts, but nothing too outstanding. So let's hear it for glassware!
Color: totally black. A bit odd palate, abrupt finish. Smooth, despite that initial attack of bitter-sweetness. Light in body, little texture. Very little of what I expect to enjoy when I drink a porter, almost nothing of what I look for in a winter ale of any kind. Later on, those jarring off-notes disappear and it finishes much more smoothly, but overall a disappointment. I hope that others in their line make the grade.

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Winter Porter from City Brewing Company, LLC
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 29 ratings