Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Hale's Troll Porter | Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Hale's Troll PorterHale's Troll Porter
BA SCORE
3.87/5
Very Good
75 Ratings
Hale's Troll PorterHale's Troll Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Washington, United States
halesbrewery.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by DrewBeechum on 06-13-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#13,095
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
75
pDev:
10.85%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a pretty dark chocolate with ruby highlights and a forthy mocha head; nice retention and lace patterns

Smell: For all the malt that is in this brew, it is very hard to discern it in the aroma, which is more herbaciously hoppy than anything else

Taste: I'm not surprised, therefore, that the hops in the aroma immediately jump into the flavor profile, with just a little hint of roast and chocolate underneath; by mid-palate, the brew turns a bit phenolic, with an odd plastic flavor; after the swallow, the roast finally arrives, and the finish has a coffee ground bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While this beer has its merits, I cannot say that I am too crazy about the flavor profile

Thanks, cannabanaceae, for the opportunity

 795 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opaque onyx with cranberry accents along the bottom edge of the glass. A vigorous pour netted no more than a two finger cap of mochachino colored foam that is beginning to coat the glass with an almost unbroken sheet of lace. This is one beast of an American porter if the appearance is any guide.

Unfortunately, the aroma is nowhere near beast-like. It's so short on power that a detailed description is all but impossible. I can't be any more specific than roasted, chocolate-like malt with a whiff of American hops. For the record, the malt bill is comprised of pale, carastan, caramel, chocolate, black and special roasted. So why can't I smell them? Warming opens things up a little, keeping the score from being an embarrassment.

Thankfully, the flavor profile has no such shortcoming. There's no question that Troll Porter is a beer brewed in the Pacific NW. It's almost a requirement in that area of the country to hop the living hell out your beer, no matter the style (maybe that's why I like it so much). This one tastes like a black and tan created from the mixing of a porter and an IPA.

Each mouthful brings to mind two rivers coming together to form one. The first river contains melted chocolate bars, black coffee and small amount of blackstrap molasses. The second river contains white grapefruit juice mixed with the zest of a few thousand lemons (these are big rivers). The result is a delicious third river that is as sweet as it is bitter. Hopheads are going to love this Troll.

The mouthfeel falls short of what I would consider optimal for what (I assume) is meant to be a big American porter. It's smooth enough, but lacks a little sticktoitiveness on the swallow. Hale's Ales estimates the ABV at 6.8%. Yeah, that's about right.

Troll Porter is named for one of Seattle's most famous sculptures, The Fremont Troll, who has been 'lurking under the Aurora Street bridge since 1990'. First of all, it isn't retired. Second of all, it's an easy recommendation for those who like malty beer, but who love hoppy beer.

 2,052 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle:

Pours dark brown/mahogany with a fluffy tan head that settles to a thin cover. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, mildly roasted coffee, dark earthy notes.

The taste is of baker's chocolate, mildly roasted coffee, dark earthy notes (a slight sour touch). Anise in the finish. Alcohol well-integrated.

Sliky/creamy smooth. Alcohol slightly on the aggressive side, but it works. Robust.

This is an enjoyable, robust American Porter. Malt-forward but balanced. Nice touch of an anise character in the finish.

Purchased for under $5 at Safeway in Bremerton, WA.

 593 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear black in color with a nice 1" tan colored head. Some nice lacing developed.

Smell: the nose easily detected roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste: the tastebuds followed the nose as the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate dominted, while some soft breadiness and hint of alcohol rounded it out. The definition of a liquid meal.

Mouthfeel: lightly dry and smooth throughout. Medium-heavy in body. Finish is long on the roasted and coffee tones.

Drinkability: great. Several of these can be quaffed in a session. This beer is not a one time brew, as this was available in June 2006. If you see it on tap try it.

 646 characters

Photo of NickThePyro
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap in an imperial pint glass at Elephant & Castle in Seattle.

Appearance: rich dark brown hue with a finger of creamy tan foam. There's a very attractive lace left on the glass, too.

Smell: light roastiness with a simple malt character. Not bad, but not at all complex.

Taste: rich roasty flavor with elements of chocolate and toffee, but mostly a dry, slightly ashy black malt character. It actually appeals to me quite a lot.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a rough carbonation. Not super creamy but interesting enough.

Overall: this beer has its imperfections in aroma and texture, but the flavor is good and drinkability is high. I'm a fan.

 661 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably shouldn't be retired as this beer has just recently started being distributed in Arizona.

Pours with a fat, one-finger thick, light brown colored head that sits on top of an opaque, almost black colored beer. The aroma smells oddly of a light oxidation; which is odd because this bottle is fairly new. Malt notes of roast coffee, deeply toasted grain, dark chocolate, blackened raisins and even some rum like notes are also noticeable in the aroma.

Thick and chewy, much more so than I was expecting. The beer does seem to taste lightly oxidized, but it is rich enough that this actually adds to the flavor & complexity of this brew. Sweet notes of darkly caramelized sugar and burnt fruit are offset by a bitterness born of burnt grain and hops. Chewy chocolate notes joint dusty cocoa flavors as well as some solid black coffee notes. At times this tastes like a combination of chocolate and coffee liquors, though it definitely leans towards the coffee side of the flavor spectrum. There is some alcohol presence here, which leads to a soft warming sensation as the beer slides down your throat; in fact this lingers on in the throat after the beer is gone. The roast malt character is quite pronounced here; at times it is a nice balancing note to the malt sweetness and chewy body, but at other times it can lean towards an acrid bitterness and acidity.

Quite a tasty brew, I certainly was not expecting something with quite such a pronounced flavor profile. This is definitely on the rich, chewy side of the Porter spectrum.

 1,548 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz picked up at the Coop today.. for about $4.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter.

Fairly aggressive pour left big bubble tan head that didn't stick around for that long and left zero lacing. Brew is very dark brown.. very very dark brown.. only reveals crystal deep ruby highlites when held close to a light... sticky lacing appears as I start actually drinking this one.

Aroma is light for sure.. only whiffs of chocolate and dark malts.. some grassy hop notes.

Flavor is much better than the nose on the porter front. Quite a bit of chocolate malt and sorta nutty/coffee component... touches of caramel.. Significant fruitiness.. I am having a hard time picking out the hop flavors... I know they are there.. Nice fluid body.. Citrus and pine hops emerge alot more as it warms.. Glad I have a second glass.

Hale's is a really good brewery ... the "Troll" on the label is something that must be experienced in person. Today I was looking at the label trying to figure out WTF it was. I did a little research and found out it was the Fremont Overpass Troll... I haven't seen/paid attention to it in years. I remember the first time though (fond memories), Brenda and I got lost in Seattle and parked .... and after a short walk stumbled upon the troll.. very cool public art.. sorta sad though that a VW Beetle paid with its life to make it. :)

 1,356 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger light tan head that fades slowly to a ring leaving a good lace. Deep mahogany color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted/burnt coffee nose. Flavor is roasted/burnt coffee, a little sweetness, smooth. Bakers chocolate aftertaste. $3.99 for a 22oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.
This is their Troll Porter.

 345 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried on-tap at the brewery in Seattle.

Pours a deep brown colour, with flashes of red to it. Body is opaque and solid, with a fluid aspect to it. Head is a pocked solid film of mocha-off-white. Some solid lace. Looks pretty decent.

Some roast on the nose, a little nutty grain characters and some mild malt sweetness. Overall, it's pretty dull, and very generic.

Light roast on the front palate, but very little body or sweetness to back it up—it leaves the mid-palate feeling rather weak and empty with some mild carbonic characters. Slightly grainy roasted characters on the back. It just underlies how generic it feels.

Mouthfeel lingers a little, but it's still exceptionally light.

This is very average, and not very exciting. It reminds me of a "dark ale" brewed by a mass-producing brewery, only paying lip-service to what makes the style good.

 859 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown, samall tannish head. Nose was good, not to heavy and not to telling but I got some cocoa and coffee beans, roasted malts. Tasted of chocolate, coffee beans and it was pretty smooth. Well balanced beer and smooth on mouthfeel. Really good in my opinion.

 273 characters

Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon its release from the 22 ounce brown bottle, it resides in the glass a deep brown with hints of ruby at the edges, the head is a couple or three fingers in size, creamy dark tan and after it's demise leaves a surrounding coat of lace upon the glass. Nose is steeped with roasted grain, somewhat sweet and a nice hint of the hops, delightful I’d say. Start has a good malt presence, sweet with a hint of bitterness and a pleasing to the palate wheat toast flavor. Finish is nicely hopped, moderately acidic with the sweetness and the touch of bitterness to the end, somewhat dry, and a fine porter in its own right.

 619 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught served in a footed tulip pint, Troll Porter is dark, ruddy brown with a tight off-white head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is muted, a little roast, more caramel, especially as it warms.

Taste is a little roasty, lots of coffee, a touch nutty, and mild acidity. A touch of minty fuggles as well, which is welcome.

Mouthfeel is pretty soft, smooth, slick. The nitro lightens the body.

Drinkability is fine, it's a decent porter, but not particularly notable. Average.

 484 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one came out of the tap a dark ruby in color. It was quite pretty and almost dark purple when held up to the sunlight. The head came up nicely as well and pooled on top of the liquid.

Smell – The roasted malts and big liqueur-style sweetness are about evenly balanced in this porter. The nose though is really light and hard to pick apart.

Taste – The roasty malts are light at the tongue but very pleasing. The sweets really pick things up. It’s a natural kind of sweetness almost like a malt syrup.

Mouthfeel – This is somewhere between light and medium-bodied and very creamy and smooth in the mouth. There’s a touch of bitterness at the finish that nicely rounds out the mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This was a bit light but otherwise went down nicely.

 790 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

The moderate level of carbonation pushes up enough lacing to stay presentable, nearly pitch black with some dark brown hues on the edges. Aromas of dark chocolate, burnt caramel and minty hops are in the forefront, faint smoky charred grain in the back. Creamy mouthfeel with a small but refreshing smoothness, medium-bodied. Roasted flavors come in bold but there is no sign of massive bitter or acrid flavors, just a mellow balance which is very welcoming. Small pocket of dark berry fruitiness, hint of yeast. A little complex in the middle with suggestions of burnt sugar, ghost-like vanilla, dark milk chocolate and a modest minty citric hop flavor. Speaking of hops, the bitterness does come through, but again, there's balance. Finishes on the sweet side with some roasted choco-goodness.

Its funny, on the bottle it reads, "So good, it's scary ..." Hale's is right about the good part, perhaps great, and the scary part is that our pints are now empty and there is no more Troll Porter in front of us.

 1,060 characters

Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is hell of a hoppy porter which really endears me to it. Big and bold with a full body that carries the finish. Nice brown head with a nice solid heady nose, this beer shows PNW muscle to old style.This beer is not retired and is now available in bottles.

 260 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm a big fan of the Fremont Troll. As I recall, my band took some promo shots with the Troll back in... what was it?... '91? That troll sure lasted longer than my band.

In any event, I imagine the mighty Troll might prefer a porter with a bit more attitude than this one. This is a brown porter, not brewed to the robust style more common to our region. So roasted qualities are in short supply and the taste tips more to the sweet. The beer is not flawed in any way, but neither does it command much enthusiasm. The Troll shows a casual chocolate sweetness with enough bittering to grab your attention and tastes like the 1980's-style recipe we've mostly outgrown. Not bad, but better beers await you.

 706 characters

Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque/black. Almost no head, and what was there to begin with dissipated within moments.

Nose is dissapointingly faint but cocoa/chocolatey.

Palate is a blast of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee. Simply amazing combination here. Worth it!

Finish is medium long and roasty.

 290 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at post St ale house.

A: dark, dark beer with mocha foam atop which is persistent. Rings of lace.
S: nutty with slightly too much toasted character making it a little too dry.
T: malts are coffee like with a tad more bitter than I would prefer in this brew. A slightly astringent and almost sour character here.
M: full bodied with light carb and a semi slick finish.
O:. Not particularly enjoyable.

 412 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch-black color with a toasted brown head. The head is thin and quickly diminishes to a skim. With a swirl all kinds of tiny lace dots stick to the glass, and there seems to be an oiliness to the liquid. Very Russian Imperial Stout in appearance.

The RIS likeness also moves into the aroma. Gobs of gooey chocolate, sugar-glazed fig and high-powered graham cracker permeate the nose, while the roasty/smoky traits of your average porter lag far behind.

There's a good bit of roasted grain in the flavor, bordering on burnt, although balance is achieved through deep dark chocolate tones, a creamy sweetness, succulent grape flavor, and a considerable but controlled hop bitterness. Everything is evened out well along the flavor chain, plenty of balance, but ultimately the chocolate takes the lead and that works very well for this beer.

The mouthfeel is probably the most obvious resemblance to a traditional porter, having some creamy slickness but with carbonation sizzle overtaking that. Just a hair thin for my liking. The slightly tart finish creates the mildest of puckers inside the mouth.

Very obviously an Americanized porter, and that's fine by me as the flavor profile is colorful and busy--though not at all messy. "So good, it's scary..." says the label, and I agree. My third Hale's and their third winner from where I'm drinking.

 1,362 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hale's Troll Porter from Hale's Ales Brewery & Pub
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 75 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.