Original Flag Porter | Darwin Brewery Ltd.

very good
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Original Flag PorterOriginal Flag Porter

Brewed by:
Darwin Brewery Ltd.
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by woemad on 12-04-2003

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Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 273
Photo of pat61
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: aromas of mild chocolate, faint coffee, grain, and dark dried fruit. No burnt aromas.

L: deep dark brown with slowly rising bubbles under a thin, light tan cap. Some chunks floating around in the beer roused from the sediment in the bottom of the bottle. The chunks do not impact the taste.

T: Starts with a mild sweetness, light chocolate, mild coffee and rich malts. Finishes with some spice and a trace of grainy astringency. Chocolate flavors increase as the beer warms. Hop bitterness is medium low. There are no harsh roast or burnt flavors.

F: creamy, medium high body. medium to medium low carbonation.

O: a very drinkable beer with big flavor for the level of alcohol.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a moderately dark brown, with a filmy white head, and basically no lacing.

Smells like caramel, tart prune and raisin, dry cocoa, toasty malt, and breadiness.

The story behind this one is certainly cool. The taste doesn't live up to the cool story, though. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it- there's a nice fruitiness, almost tart, kinda yeasty- I guess it's the funky shipwrecked yeast in there. There's some light chocolate, and a wonderful toastiness, and some slight hop bitterness. It's pretty bready, like grainy brown bread.

This is medium bodied, pretty cream, slightly thin, with a normal level of carbonation.

This is definitely an interesting beer, maybe if it was even fresher it would be better.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An 11.2 ounce Euro bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Cherry black color. Minimal head. Minimal lacing. Very little apparent carbonation.

Smell - Sweet. Prunes. A bit smoky.

Taste - Very sweet. Prunes. A bit smoky. A mild hop "zing" on the back end.

Mouth - A combination of buttery and tangy. Also, the carbonation (that I couldn't see) is fine/present.

Overall - A very nice ale. I believe, however, that this beer tastes more like a German Dopplebock than An English Porter.

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Photo of Raime
2.3/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Original Flag Porter.

Alrighty England, after a few years let us see what you are made of.

Look - Pours a dark though penetrable deep half black half ruby with a finger of off white head that quickly turns to a cloud formation around the top of the glass. Carbonation appears to be heavy from what I can see. 3.

Smell - Roasted barley and slight coffee notes with a bit of an onion like deal going on in terms of the hops. 3.

Taste - Get the exact same notes as in the nose but the roast has gone to a toast. The maltiness is there. What a minute...English brews are always mild by comparison. And due to that, I could probably live with this one. Ha. Not never an excuse for the onions. 2.

Feel - "Cept for here. Body is just too damn heavy for the ABV and what is offered in terms of the palate. Carbonation seems on the high side as well. 2.

Overall - Pretty much sucked. If you like onions, drink up. If not, avoid. 2.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Darwin Brewery's Original Flag Porter a couple weeks ago for $3.25 at Boyne Country Provisions. I haven't seen or heard of this beer before and I thought I should take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice design to it and it's just a little eye catching. It poured a darker brown color that took on just a slight ruby hue when held to the light with a half a fingers worth of bubbly slightly darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking English Porter, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and the have just the right amount of roast to them impart a nice roasty, light coffee and some nice milk chocolate aromas. Up next comes sweet malts and a nice creamy aroma with no hops showing up. This beer had a pretty nice aroma that seemed to be true to style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with those roasted malts still being the first to show up and they dominate this beer with the same aspects that they did in the aroma with the milk chocolate seeming to show up the most and there's also a light smokey flavor showing up this time. Up next comes some of those sweet malts and creamy flavors that linger into the aftertaste with hardly any bitterness with some more roasted and slightly charred flavors. This is a good tasting English Porter, it's very robust for the style and it seem to much closer to an American Porter than any other English one I've had.

M- Smooth, a little creamy, not too crisp, on thick side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation The mouthfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and I thought it was a good example of the style and it seemed to be more robust than just about every single one I've had and I liked that.This beer had good drinkability, I could see myself drinking a couple of these around the bonfire. What I like the most about this beer was the heavy milk chocolate flavor, I thought it was very nice. What I like the least about this beer is the appearance, it could use a little more head. I would buy this beer again, it's a little pricey, but I think it's worth it. I would recommend trying it. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer and I have to say I was a little impressed with it/ It's made for a good first impression and it 's now my favorite example of the style. Good job guys, this is one tasty English Porter.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic, the beer is a mahogany-brown coloring with a filmy, sparse, surface coat of off-white head. Aromas of toffee, caramel, hints of chocolate, and a cream highlight. Flavors are chocolate, coffee, and nut sweetness all blended together, amazingly balanced. Very subtle cream highlights, and not much else. Simple, but spot on. The body is light, almost a bit watered down, but it still has that dry edge you look for in a porter. The aftertaste is more of the coffee and chocolate blend, leaning more to the sweet side now. Smooth, light finish, with a subtle sweet linger. Decent porter.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appropriately dark color. Head not very persistent.

Not much smell. Malty. Not bad.

Not much flavor. Some malt, some bitterness, smooth finish - not intense.

A bit light on the mouthfeel.

If you want a really inoffensive beer, but in a mostly good way, you could do worse than this: it doesn't suck at all.

There's usually a better choice than this, but it's not bad.

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Photo of mabermud
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed this beer based on a recommendation by one of the guys that worked at the bottle shop. The guy did say, he likes lighter beers, but I pressed him for a porter he thought was good. So he recommended this porter. This beer is definitely thin and light. It is not big, strong, and robust like a Ten Fidy. It is more along the lines of the Deschutes Black Butte. As the beer warms up, the flavors are beginning to reveal themselves. Well...tastes like the Black Butte. I should probably stay away from the big bold imperial stouts for a few days before I review a beer such as this.

For occassional beer drinkers, this is a fine beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear almost opaque dark cola brown in color with some light gentle carbonation along the edges of the glass and amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces to a very large patch of mottled very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of semi-sweet chocolate (like chocolate chips) and light aromas of roasted malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with moderate flavors of bittersweet chocolate and hints of coffee and nuts. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which lingers slightly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Easy to drink with a pleasant amount of complexity of flavors and low alcohol which makes it sessionable.

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Photo of Buttermaker
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is an outstanding, light-bodied porter. Not much to look at (head dissipates almost immediately and it ends up looking like a root beer) but looks are overrated. (If you're looking at it it means you're not drinking it!) This beer is the perfect coffee and toffee blend and offers a ton of flavor without trying too hard. I got three of these in my beer of the month club and after polishing off the first two that first week I've been saving the third until I could find time to review it here...I don't do that often. Pick up one of these up to remind yourself what a good English porter is supposed to taste like.

Recommended Music Pairing: The Kinks - Powerman

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown/black in color. Khaki tan head recedes to a film, descent sticky lacing. Ruby red hues around edges when held to light, looks clear.

Sweet chocolate, leather, touch smoke, English toffee, mineral profile, fresh bread, light fruit ester.

Palate is really mild, but refined. Sweetness is not as the aroma suggests, more restrained. Chocolate, touch of coffee, lots of toffee and mineral water character. Bready, nuttiness comes through and finishes with building mixed nuts and stone fruit.

Soft mouthfeel, borderline low carbonation but really works here. Finish is slightly dry, but balances well with the delicate sweetness on the palate.

Overall, a shining example of an English Porter, such a great beer and is really a true example of the style. Great representation and a beer that I will revisit many times over.

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Photo of MorningDove
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this porter a few times. I still think this is the best porter I've ever had. Nothing fancy in it and not much complexity. I'd say this is an incredibly simple tasting beer. It is just right, you can keep drinking them if you can afford the $3 a 12oz bottle TotalWine charges for them.

This is not the beer to sip. Its a true English Porter. Drink 1, 2, and 3, wait a bit, then repeat process.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Original Flag Porter has a medium, soapy, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, with lighter brown highlights, some streaming bubbles, and bubbles stuck to the glass, and a small amount of thin lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet brown bread, roasted malt, and light cream. Taste is of the same, with faint bitterness and bread crust. Mouthfeel is light and rather watery, and Original Flag Porter finishes mostly dry, soft, refreshing, and ultra drinkable. Overall, this is a really nice thing to check out. Get some!


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Photo of fx20736
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass, served cool.

Reddish brown with a thick khaki head that recedes briskly. tatters of lacing.

aroma of coffee, toasted grains and herbal hops.

mouthfeel is soft, like so many fine English ales.

taste; toasted malts with balanced bitterness and a nice but subtle chocolate raisin finish. As the beer warms the chocolate raisin flavor increases.

notes; lighter in color than any other porter I have had. No smoke flavor maybe there are no roasted malts here only toasted. Overall this is a pleasant tasting beer, lacking in complexity.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised how light of a dark brown it is. Very-clean - can see right through it, even it poor lighting. The head is a light coffee color, has some stick to it.

Quite a fresh-baked biscuity, molasses-soaked aroma. Really wonderful. Maybe a little caramel too. Almost has a roundabout chocolate milk bouquet.

Nothing particularly unique about the taste, which matches the smell quite closely. Perhaps some hop flavor in front, but only a slight hop bitterness. Mild-to-medium bitter-roasty malt flavor throughout - especially in the finish. Caramel rises up late on the back of the tongue.

Overall, it comes off light-medium-bodied and nicely dry. Sessionable, however, the 'brightness' (bitterness and esters) of the finish is a little numbing

I may have to go back and reassess my perceptions of this beer and the style. My 3 favorite examples (Fullers, Sam Smiths, Old Engine Oil) are all noticeably darker - in color and flavor. This beer reminds me most of an American-style, brewpub brown ale.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear, deep dark amber, head fades fast to a faint layer.

S - Roasted coffee, cocoa powder, semi sweet chocolate. Dry roasted grain. Equal parts sweet and bitter.

T - Dry roasted, grainy, dark bread. Mild black coffee, semi sweet chocolate nibs. Bitter and roasty with a nice finish.

M - Light bodied, drinks more like a nut brown. This beer is mild and drinkable. Lightly carbonated.

O - A beer I'd go for based on how drinkable it is. Good session beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque black with a 1/4 inch foamy tan head that quickly fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, caramel/toffee, dark fruit, and some port wine aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some dark fruit and port wine flavors. There is a mild tartness in the flavor as well. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very average beer all around and honestly a bit disappointing in my opinion.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is chestnut brown with crimson highlights. Atop the beer rests a half inch of soapy, beige head that leaves some nice lacing on the walls of the pint glass.

The aroma offers English malts, bread, biscuits, light roast, toffee, chocolate.

The flavor offers brown bread, chocolate, light roast. Lots of English malt character throughout. Just a hint of hop bitterness in the finish.

Light on the palate. Carbonation is moderately low. The body is a tad thin.

Overall, this is very drinkable. Good stuff. I would have this again.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, copper to brown, with a frothy beige head that quickly drops to a quarter of an inch, leaving no lacing. Lots of fine carbonation can be seen within the Harp nonic.

The aroma is light and grainy with some astringency. There is a dusty background of powdered chocolate.

The light flavors are difficult to distinguish. There is some carob and light sweetness. The finish is faint and modest.

A light body with lively carbonation, watery texture and no alcohol.

This is a tasty and easy flowing Porter. It is a great bar beer or for a long afternoon with friends, perhaps even during a ball game.

Much thanks to friends for introducing this on to me.

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Photo of bluHatter
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark cola black with a small light brown head. Nice viney lacing.

S: Dark raisins, dates, figs, dark malts. Really pleasant, nice.

T: Understated earthy malts, hardly bitter, doesn't linger. Really nice light malty porter here. Tiny hint of dark chocolate, but not at all overpowering. All is well balanced and subtle.

M: A medium-to-full bodied beer with a nice tingle. Hardly any burn at all, really light for such a dark profile.

O: A fantastic porter. I often find myself not really caring for dark stouts and porters because they're so overrun with bitter chocolate overtones, but this really strikes a nice balance and becomes actually very drinkable, even long into the night. Awesome!

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Photo of madeofsteel
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice thick brown syrupy color. Decent looking fluffy head, dissipates after about half a minute, leaving a ringlet. Not much lacing.

S - Rich roasty malt aroma, sort of bitter licorice, mellow molasses.

T - Sweet and roasty malts. Almost watery at times. Very mild bittersweet licorice sort of balances it out.

M - Very mellow, creamy carbonation.

O - This is a very tasty beer, but it's hard to justify at 4/$12.99 Being that this is the first and only time I've seen this beer, it's hard to tell if it's the store or brewery. Not too shabby though.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside St. Peter's Old-style Porter.

A: Dark brown with particles and two-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted several minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Roasted malt, some dark fruit.

T: Moderate sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. Smokey and roasted. The bitterness comes from the roasted malt. Just a bit of nuttiness and coffee in the finish. Pretty good.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Pretty smooth.

O: Solid English porter. The sticky lacing and flavor were really good. I preferred this porter over the St. Peter's.

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Photo of therica
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Quarry House, Silver Spring MD

A= nice mid-brown, slightly cloudy, nice off-white to tan head.

S= slightly nutty, with some roasted malts and hints of balanced hops florals.

T= much like the scent, very decent English Porter, slight smoky hints, smooth, balanced carbonation, overall a very balanced Porter.

M= nice residual reminders of roasted malts and English hops. Just short of being "sweet" - very balanced in all respects.

O= a noteable and worthy English Porter.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a dark brown beer, a bit thicker in look than I might expect, with some dark ruby hues in the light. A small cap of light brown head dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving some spotty lacing moderately on the glass.
The aroma is good and complex but takes some sniffing to uncover. It's a touch smoky under a strong malt backbone with a roasted character bringing out just a bit of cocoa and coffee with a smooth hint of lactic character. Barley elements pull through in the character of the grains underneath.
The taste is well-rounded, bringing out the roasted malts and the impression of barley, cocoa, coffee and smoke with a touch of something lactic and creamy as well as a hint of an herbal twang, I assume from hops. A bit of woodiness sits in here also, adding to an earthy side.
The body is medium, good for a porter though just a hair on the lighter side of it. Carbonation is low, which is good, and the feel goes pretty smooth.
This is a very nice porter and perhaps a standard-setter to build from.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A small bottle containing a very dark beer that I poured into a Chimay chalice. There is little to no head though what is thewre is dark tan. The smell is a very full, roasty sensation that is just short of burnt with chocolate and a bit of toffee.

Tastes are quite typical for an English porter (in my small experience) with a hint of sweetness and loads of roasted coffee and chocolate allure. Bitterness is surprisingly low and the balance is wonderful.

Mouthfeel is just past medium and carbonation is low. Finish is neutral and the overall impression is so smooth that drinkability is very high. Yippee for a damn fine porter.

I am not disappointed in this beer and the story of the sunken ships and ancient bottles of beer are a great conversation piece, not to mention the awesomeness of someone cultivating a strain of yeast from 185 years ago and then using a 160 year old recipe. I always love the history one can uncover if we look and this is an example of how good that learning can taste.


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Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
3.85 out of 5 based on 273 ratings.
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