Original Flag Porter | Darwin Brewery Ltd.

very good
274 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 184
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 UDbeernut
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a pint glass

a: dark brown, small offwhite head with fair retetnion. light lacing

s: coffee, caramel, light toffee

t: bitter chocolate mixed with slight roastyness. light caramel notes, well balanced. kind of bland

m&d: crisp mouth, light to medium bodied. drinkable but better porters available

 318 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 OtherShoe2
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

Lightly scented, some french roast coffee elements, some light sweetness as well.

A bit lighter than expected. French roast coffee, dark toast, some bitter chocolate elements, and some odd sourness that accompanied it. A bit weak, but still ok.

Carbonation in this one buzzes your tongue. Lighter bodied than expected.

Overall, I had no problem drinking this one, but it is a mid-range porter at best. Worth a try, but not worth killing yourself to find or selling the kids to get in a trade.

 558 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2oz brown pop top with cool label and a little ditty about the history of the beer

Appearance: A fairly strong pour into a pint glass produces a dark brown beer with beautiful garnet highlights when backlit. The cap is about 1.5 fingers, and soon drops down to a thick film with pretty decent sticking power.

Smell: Wow! The aromas are robust and practically fly out of the glass. At the forefront are massive melted dark chocolate notes, supported by a mild dark earthiness and mild hints of burnt grain. If the flavor's anything like the aroma, I'm in for a treat.

Taste: Not as much chocolate as there is in the aroma, but there are light hints of old-fashioned chocolate cream soda here, as well as some mild bitter burnt grains, some dry dark bread, and a very mild coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This is the one downside of the beer. It's a LOT lighter than I expected it to be. I must say though, while it's a bit light for the style (IMO), the mouthfeel makes this a SUPREME quaffer of a dark beer.

Drinkability: Huge. This is an awesome session porter.

Conclusion: Damn good example of an English porter, and the historicity of it is cool as well. I wish I could find this a lot more readily. This goes down with Black Cat Mild and St. Peter's Old-Style Porter as some of my absoltue favorite quaffable dark brews. Give me this beer over an Irish Dry Stout any day!

 1,398 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 flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: almost black with a ruby tinge; a huge tan head present.

Smell: roasty grain, pretty nice.

Taste: very roasty and a little chocolatey with a slight astringency. Quite middle-of-the-road for an English porter, but not bad at all.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an OK level of carbonation.

Drinkability: it's not a bad beer, but really its flavor is just not my cup of tea, which impacts its drinkability.

 463 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out malty and sweet with flavors of dark fruit, black coffee and dark chocolate. There's a touch of smokiness and a mild but complementary hops presence that comes in and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent sessionable porter that is worth drinking for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

 810 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours very dark brown with a fluffy, light beige head that recedes to leave good lacing. Dark chocolaty malt smell with the typical porter yeast signature. Light molasses with some metallic notes. Tastes of toasty malt with more chocolate and molasses. Dry finish. Medium-full body. Decent porter.

 310 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Draught2012 for providing this in a trade.

A creamy 3 finger head rises above the chocolate brown colored beer.

Aroma is a touch musty. Molasses, a touch of mineral, sweet.

Wow, much less sweet than the aroma indicates. Chocolate milk like. Very smooth.

Creamy. Silky.

Very drinkable. I really liked this and it grew on me.

 340 characters

Photo of peabody
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pretty dark brown with very little suds. Not a lot of lacing here.
Smell is creamy malt and a pungent yeast. Some alcohol is present but the malt and sugar mask it well.
Taste is malty sugary with a slight sour note.
Raisin and coffee with a bite of fresh baked bread.
Mouthfeel is a bit muttled with an aftertaste of dirty raisins and some alcohol but it leaves the palate pretty quickly.
Only a 5%er so this could be a great session brew if it had a little more umph of coffee and a smidgin more of suds.

 518 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 katan
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a very dark black and opaque color. Does show a little bit a light around the edges which reveals an amberish hint. Head formation is the porter/stout mocha color. Only a film with little lacing.

S - A lighter smelling porter for sure - I really had to dig in there to find a small amount of roasted specialty malts and chocolate hints.

T - Starts off rather empty - at best just a bit of a bite from the ale yeast. Builds up some bitterness mid-stream, but by no means a hop flavor. Finishes with a very redeeming and solid chocolate sweetness. A nice roasted edge to it.

M - Moderate to strong body - very in like with an EP. Carbonation bite is relatively minimal, but present.

D - Easily drinkable beer all the way around. I find this on the high end of porter-land due to its lower abv and its overall smooth flavor profile. Fillingness is manageable as well.

A decent porter no doubt.

 934 characters

Photo of Rayek
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep walnut color borders on black. Small cream colored head sticks around for a few moments and then vanishes into the night. Left no lace.

S: Chocolate and dark fruits, with a touch of burnt oak. The best part of my experience.

T: The aromas carry over nicely into the flavor, but aren't nearly as nice. The chocolate sticks around, while the dark fruits fade into the background. Bitterness comes on with a burnt bite that has a bit too much coffee acidity to it.

M: Medium light body is somewhat dry and has the right amount of carbonation.

D: The promising nose didn't hold the rest of the experience together. A bit too much of a light stout for my tastes. The acidity detracted from the experience.

 712 characters

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

A - Pours a rich dark brown, almost black, with no foam but just a layer of fine bubbles

S - sweet malts and roasted coffee aromas

T - roasted malts and coffee flavor with a bit of a chocolate flavor

M/D - very smooth and creamy, a very nice porter that i would definitely go back for again.

 294 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with tan one finger head and some lacings. Aroma is molasses. Taste is brown sugar and bitter hops. Some cocoa malt. Mouthfeel is full with good carbonation. Some leather and molasses in the finish. Sessionable and quite good. Nice smooth bitter finish.

 264 characters

Photo of association330
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brown with reddish undertones. A thin, off-white head leaves a trace of cap and ring of foam. Some spots of lacing remain.

S - Sweet and malty, roasted coffee beans, molasses, dark fruit, chocolate. Even sports some subtle, barrel-aged undertones, like a batch of rum. As it warms, alcohol astringency becomes more apparent, which seems odd for a brew that is only 5% ABV.

T - More of that barrel-aged character comes though, except it's more predominate on the tongue than it was in the nose. Moderately sugary and bold woody flavors shine through, with some black licorice notes. Modestly bitter hop and coffee finish, with some unsweetened chocolate powder lingering.

M - Medium bodied, with carbonation on the light side; results in a very smooth character.

D - A porter with enough complexity to be interesting, but mild enough to be a nice session beer. Easy-drinking and very quaffable.

I picked up a single bottle from my local co-op, but I will go back and get a six-pack in the future. A very solid, drinkable, and enjoyable porter.

 1,067 characters

Photo of templar316
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a rich dark mahogany, with hints of red around the edges. The caramel colored head dissapears quickly. A malty, biscutty aroma gives way to alcohol bite though it is not reflected in the flavor. It starts with a strong malt character then moves to subtle hop bite, finishing with soft chocolate notes. Always seems a little flat on the tongue, but a nice easy drinker. My last bottle, and i'll be sorry to see it go.

 427 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge nose! Woody, boozy, malty. Only 5%, where is that boozy smell coming from, a barrel? A touch of imperial stout like molasses/licorice aroma. Has legs, and I smelled it way before I got my nose to the glass. Impressive.

Not much head. Some lacing though short lived. Dark brown, nearly black.

Woody, boozy, light molasses like taste. Some malty sweetness for balance, hint of roasted grains and faint bitterness. Very balanced and complex.

Low but spot on carbonation level, hint of tingling and warming, almost creamy, pleasant texture. Medium body feels fuller than I expected for 5%.

Very nice, compelling porter. Definitely not too strong, but tastes stronger than it is. Flavor is so mesmerizing that I could plow through a bunch of these. I am truly impressed and surprised. I've had some good English beers, but usually I am not so smitten by them as I am by this one.

 885 characters

Photo of albern
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice smooth, creamy porter that pours a pretty inky dark color with a decent tannish head that retains and laces just a bit. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel, some chocolate notes, and some coffee hints as well. The taste is quite sweet, caramel, chocolatey, there is a roasted texture to the beer, and there is also some charred flavors near the finish. Overall, the beer is quite sweet, has a slightly tart caramel and butterscotch flavor. This is a decent porter. There is enough hop presence to give the beer a bit of a bittering balance, but not so much as to take away from the sweetish caramel flavors in the backbone of the beer. A good beer, worth seeking out.

 679 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a blackish-brown body with a two-finger head that receeded quickly and left some lace patches. A mild sweet malt smell mixed with some coffee or dry malt. A really smooth and creamy porter, with roasted (and possibly coffee) malts mixing with dark, maybe unsweetened chocolate and possibly other sweet malts (caramel?). There is a very minor hop presence that perks the beer up so it isn't a syrupy mess, and it does go down with only a mild drying sensation and rather smooth. A rather mild porter but one I really enjoyed.

 531 characters

Photo of Offa
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very tasty, highly drinkable, and smooth porter, if a little light.

Essentially, but not quite, black, it has a large tan head, creamy and long-lasting, slowly shrinking to a permanent frothy head with some nice lace.

The aroma is roasty with a lot of chocolate (cocoa powder and hot chocolate, specifically), toast, some prunes, faint hints of port and stewed fruit.

The taste is light but flavourful with toast, chocolate, leaves, and light toasty-earthiness. It's very clean. It lacks the lightly sour stewed fruit or tart quality that many porters and the like have or a licorice-herbal-pepper quality others have. It is light but somewhat silky in feel.

 671 characters

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with nice light brown highlights. A finger of tan head that dissolves to a thin film. Very minor lacing. Nose is huge roasted malt, light bitter coffee, a touch of chocolate, a touch of caramel and breadiness as well. No real hop presence. Nice English porter flavor to it. Smooth on the tongue, light dried fruit flavors. Smooth, roasted malt, with very light coffee. Mild, as the style often is. Creamy body, very quiet carbonation. A very smooth and drinkable English porter.

Wine Specialist/11.7 oz bottle/$2.35

 536 characters

Photo of Japerrault
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer as poured into a standard pint glass had a small brown head, about 1cm, which dissipated fairly quickly. The color is nearly opaque, showing deep ruby when held to the light. No cloudiness present.

S: Malt with a sweet, dark chocolate aroma is dominate, No hops noticed.

T: Medium+ carbonation, lighltly sweet dark chocolate at the front and continuing through the finish, where a light bitterness and percieved tartness lend to a nice dry finish. Other than mild bitterness, no hops flavor was noted.

M: This is not a heavy beer. Could be a bit thicker to suit me, but not all bad.

D: Very drinkable. The chocolatey aftertaste makes me want another sip. The lighter body allows this one to be quaffed easily.

Overall I recommend this lighter bodied porter as a good example of an English Porter.

 816 characters

Photo of eweneek83
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Chocolate to deep red, holds a head for moderate amount of time.

Smell: Roasted nuttiness, mellow sweetness, like a roasty stout.

Taste: Flavorful roasted malt, without being overpowering. Slightly hoppy finish, but no nasty aftertaste. pretty good

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than some other porters, but full-bodied enough to hold interest in your mouth.

Drinkability: Really the defining quality of this beer. almost perfect. - so easy to finish a bottle and then miss the taste 10 minutes later.

 519 characters

Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
3.85 out of 5 based on 274 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.