Original Flag Porter | Darwin Brewery Ltd.

very good
184 Reviews
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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 Cresant
2.12/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass. No date. Body was a dark/medium brown. Some light passes through this slightly darker than cola beer. Minimal head.

Smell was of molasses. Somewhat grainy. Light fruitiness--raisins.

Taste was mild. Prune-like. Flat cola. Watery. Overall taste was bland.

Mouthfeel was thin, yet there was some sparkling carbonation in the mouth. The history of this one is far more interesting than the actual beer.

 459 characters

Photo of schusterbauer
2.22/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

sad -- i really hope there's something wrong with this bottle, but after this, i don't plan on cracking my other one tonight to find out.

nice smooth light brown/maroon color -- much lighter than expected. dark cola. smell is faint, but smooth: mild coffee and chocolate chip cookies, aromatic fruit skins.

the taste/mouthfeel of this remind me of carbonated diet fruit waters. fizzy water with added flavor as an afterthought, and artificial bitterness. there are nice flavors here -- very tannic, like dark wine, along with freshly roasted coffee beans and unsweetened chocolate. unfortunately they sit at the finish, dominated by a harsh carbonated wateriness, and oxidization galore.

i hope to be able to revise my review after i drink my other bottle, but as it stands, this is undrinkable, and nowhere near worth the money.

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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 Minkybut
2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was black with a thin head that dissipated so fast I could not tell what color it was. The smell of the beer was sweet. The taste was old, flat and not good as in OLD. What a shame. Very out of date tasting yet my importer just got this one in, so I guess this is what the beer is like. I will not buy again.

 367 characters

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 acrawf6
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a almost black, some brown color with just a small ring of head.

Smells aged. dominant chocolate aroma with little bits of toffee. a slight hoppy smell too.

Taste seems a little off. just not much flavor. a little leathery and a tad musky. i'm wondering if this bottle has been infected. aftertaste is slightly tangy and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin. a little low on the carbonation.

Overall i am starting to think i might have a bad bottle. i've had one of these about a year ago, but i remember liking it. It doenst taste bad, so i am still reviewing it and will get another bottle of it sometime and re-review it if i think things have changed.

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Photo of nsmartell
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 11.2 bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours quickly and is pitch black, but with almost no head at all.

Smell: Pretty light, but the sweet smelling caramel comes through.

Taste: Not much going on here. The Chocolate taste lasts throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and watery.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth, but there isn't much going on here. As I won this on a football wage, I'm not out anything, but I would not pick this beer up on my own.

 530 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Grabbed this on a whim after seeing it in the cooler. Pours a lighter brown color with a nice slightly tan head. The nose reminds me of light roast coffee and almost chocolate or fudge and maybe some caramel. The taste is subdued and easy. Smooth with any real bite at all only a slight bite of bitter in the end. I was hoping for something more like New Glarus Olde English Porter so it is kind of a let down in that respect but this is a very easy drinking porter. Very different compared to todays porters. The mouthfeel is pretty light.

 548 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's dark and chocolaty brown in color. Head is tan and about a finger and a half deep. Retention was good though lacing was fairly average.

Smell: Somewhat light on the nose. Stick with it and it's a mix of chocolate and caramel-toffee malts. Definitely smells sweet. Very light coffee aroma. Perhaps a bit of roasted malts emerges. Not picking up any hops.

Taste: Chocolate and roasted malt flavors are the strongest flavors. There are a bit of toasted nut and coffee flavors in the mix. Pretty straight forward and more bland than I had hoped.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied profile. Carbonation is okay, but not great. It's decently smooth, but its bland taste limits drinkability. Overall, it's okay but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: 1 and a half fingers of bubbly, foaming head, little bit of retention, down to 1/4 inch. The brew is a deep shade of brown, almost black.

S: Caramel and malt tones come to forefront with an underlying spiciness. A weak chocolate smell came into the picture as well. Seemed somewhat complex.

T: Roasted malt and chocolate flavors are nice up front, but are washed away with an oddly wheaty and slightly watery ending, akin to a pilsner. A bit of the roasted notes linger, but not for long. The taste seemed a little off compared to others in the same style.

M: Kind of a weak body, low carbonation which was okay, but could have been better for this beer. Odd flavor texture that wasn't very pleasing, slightly thick and syrupy.

D: Easy to drink, but I'd probably opt for a better porter to make a session out of it.

 830 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Doesn’t really look much like a porter…frankly it looks like a dark Newcastle. Doesn’t appear to have much body to it, seems very thin. Carbonation is still, on a thin sandy colored head rests on top of the body.

S: Dusty caramel, mildly roasted grains and sun flower seeds.

T: Starts with waffle cone flavors with some chocolate streaks to it. Some minor roasted malts and basic hop profile, but mostle nutty cashew-ish notes. This is a really simple beer with really simple flavors. Finishes mildly cloying with some dirty flavors.

M: medium body, somewhat crisp but overall soft.

D: Easy drinker for sure…I’m sure very quaffable even with the dark complexity. Not that complex of a beer which does diminish the desirability factor for me.

 753 characters

Photo of kingsdirt
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

AP: Pours brown (no shit), with a lite head that disapates quickly.

S: Chocolate and roasted coffee malt on the nose

T; Roasty malts, chocolate relativly predominant. A little malty sweetness on the finish

m; very lite in comparison to my expectations. A bit of a let down in this catagory

d; session porter.

Served @ 45 degress (a bit cold) as the temp rose some of the more enjoyable characteristics came on stronger. The nose was the best part of the beer. Worth a try.

 479 characters

Photo of Richardberg
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark liquid with amber edges, small cream head, lots of fizz still apparent after it dissipates.

S: initial smell is very aromatic & interesting...but not your typical porter smells. Hops and yeast are the most apparent. Only if you are paying attention do you get the expected darker / maltier side.

T: the mix of yeasty flavors with subtle malts is inoffensive, just kind of bland. Not out of line for an English pub ale, just nothing special.

M: nice ale fizz, but not especially smooth in any other dimension

D: easily sessionable if this is your style of choice. I can see friends downing several pints with fish & chips. I just prefer something a little more strongly flavored. As is, I get the impression it's trying to mate the floral smell and fizzy feel of a pilsner to a darker beer, and it just doesn't work for me.

 876 characters

Photo of biglite351
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - slight red brown around the edges. Almost white foam reminds me of a cream soda.

S - next to no smell.

T - mild taste with no real bitterness or after taste. Light but pleasant.

M - a little thin but no tingles from alcohol.

D - you could easily drink this all night. The flavor is a little mild, but good enough to keep you reaching for another.

 354 characters

Photo of fretlessman71
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: Nothing like tasting 180 old yeast strains. I can only imagine the look on the face of the diver who discovered this stuff…!

APPEARANCE: Almost jet black – I have to really strain to see any light through it. What does come through is a nice soft brown. Unremarkable tan head, fading quickly. No lace.

AROMA: Black malt and coffee, picking up a little red wine and some alcohol. Hops also present but not overpowering.

FLAVOR: Light sourness accompanies the malt. Coffee grounds and bitter chocolate coming through. Light hop flavor. One of the drier porters I’ve tried. Very smooth.

MOUTHFEEL: Just fine; nothing remarkable.

DRINKABILITY: Very good. For a porter with so little to comment on regarding the flavor, it goes down very nicely. At 5% ABV one could have a few of these, but one also might get a little bored after the first one…

OVERALL COMMENTS: A solid beer, nothing to write home about. The history behind the beer is more interesting than the beer itself in my opinion.

 1,039 characters

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: The body is a dark brown with a ruby tint. There was minimal head to speak of which led to the minimal lacing present in the glass.

Smell: Mostly brown sugar, raisins, caramel, and molasses but with a little roasted malt. Subtle hints of chocolate, coffee, and anise.

Taste: The taste starts of with a nice caramel flavor with a small
chocolate hints. A minor hint of chocolate bitterness sneaks in at the end but it is minimal. The taste quickly subsides.

Mouthfeel: Caramel taste coats the tongue but it doesn't linger very much and there is no carbonation to speak of.

Drinkability: The beer is very drinkable and at 5% I'm sure I could drink a few of these. The taste just isn't anything spectacular and I was hoping for more.

 756 characters

Photo of counterpart9
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very smooth dark brown, light tan head that quickly dissipates to a spotty lacing. Slight sweet, malty warm smell. The robust taste I am accustomed to with porters was not present here. It is a bit lighter and lacks the full bodied flavor I expected. The beer is very easy to drink, low carbonation, low alcohol lever. The taste that you are left with is a warm nutty malt taste.

 385 characters

Photo of kegger22
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with an moderate head with that quickly reduced to a bare collar. The aroma was vinegar, like a wine that had turned, with a slight malty sweetness in the background. The taste was not sour at all, but the choco-coffee was pretty mild. Feel was light bodied and oily, with little carbonation. Drinkability was good. This was a nice, safe porter, unwilling to offend anyone, but reluctant to impress anyone either.

 433 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep red/chestnut with a 1 finger deep tan head. No lacing or head retention

S: Choclate & that's it

T: Choclate & iron up front. Finishes fruitty witm more iron

MF: A bit thin, but good carbonation

Drinks okay, but nothing special as porters go

 265 characters

Photo of afordney
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to amber in color, thin head was offwhite and dissapeared quickly leaving little lacing around the glass.

smells slightly stale and sour, dark coffee aromas pull through

tastes stale, hops and coffee combine and the finnish is slightly sour

Mouthfeel is stale, flat and bitter

Although not my favorite style the beer was well made and fit the profile of a good porter. This beer might have been a bit past its prime

 438 characters

Photo of Suds
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one is a dark, nearly black beer with a notably tan head. When held to the light, a deep amber color works its way through the liquid. The aroma is fairly intense: lots of chocolate and roasted malts. Not much in the way of very highly roasted, black patent style aroma though. Instead, the smell is mostly sweet and malty, with a decidedly chocolate base. The taste is similar, with a lot of sweetness, caramel, and fruit. Plums come out right away. Again, chocolate is prominent in the taste. The finish is sweet as well. I thought that a little more hops wouldn’t have hurt the balance on this one. The body is a little light, which made the beer more drinkable than I first thought it would have been. All in all, this one is interesting, but not the type of Porter that I’d seek out.

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Photo of Hhawk06
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It poured dark dark ruby black with a small tan head. Got a good whiff of a woody and smokey odor. My first reaction is this brew is not nearly as heavy as I expected. Its very smooth with typical porter flavor punctuated by an almost fruity aspect. The finish is very sweet and sugary. It's ok, although I would say it tastes like a borderline porter.

 352 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fairly dark for a porter, eggshell white head, laces beautifully like inkblot tests across the glass.

Smells lightly bland in my opinion.. Its roasty, with a little sweetness, or caramel.

Slight crispness, not too much though. Nice masts, a little toastiness, and bitter chocolates.

Not too, thin, not too heavy. A decent balance.

Good drink. Not exceptional for the style, but its pleasant and a few wont do no harm.

 423 characters

Photo of yoko
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The nose is intoxicating - inviting you back for more. Still can't place the aromas -- soft/sweet/mellow with a thick character, roasted cocoa/malt/grain; chocolate nor coffee predominate -- I keep revisiting for the tell all. In the meantime, it's a nose easy to smile about.

The Flag with its historic yeast and recipe pours a dark mahogony allowing light to pass yielding red tones. Absolutely no head here with a few watery bubbles of varing sizes collected and diminishing to none. The body is thin, light and without length, almost as if piggy-backed with a S. Pellegrino. It remained clear with a crisp note. The taste carries the smooth nose married with the mineral water essence. The finish is with a bit of instant coffee. Perhaps this would be a most refreshing brew on a summer's day...

This came highly recommended. I can appreciate why it was enjoyed by another, however, this is not my preferred porter style.

 932 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting beer.Poured midnight black with an immense creamy head that looked like it came straight from a nitro pour even though it was bottle bred. It was easily 3 fingers high! Nose is syrupy with a bit of roastiness.
Taste is very nutty with maybe a hint of diacetyl, a bit of maple syrup and dark fruit mingled with a dollop of smokiness. I'm really not getting enough of true porter flavor to rate this more highly.
The mouth feels just bit too thin for me. This is an ok porter but I really wont look for it when the porter thirst strikes me.

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