Original Flag Porter | Darwin Brewery Ltd.

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Original Flag PorterOriginal Flag Porter
Very Good
274 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 184
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Upon first pouring this clear, yet vry dark, auburn brew, I thought this beer was going to have no head at all. But after it had sat for about ten seconds half an inch of head sprug up. An interest effect I don't recall encountering before. The head itself had large bubble and left no lacing after it dissipated about two minutes later.

S - Smokey bourbon aroma with a touch of coffee caramels and elderberry extract. Pleasant for sure. This aroma reminds me a bit of some of the Baltic porters I have had.

T - Very mild flavor. It is a bit smokey with a touch of soy sauce, but in a good way, there is a very, very light charcoal sort of bitter in the aftertaste. Not a single negative character. It is put together well.

M - Flat, thin and hella refreshing.

D - Outstanding. This is just above water in terms of refreshment. I finished this before I finished my review, which is a rarity when I do them simultaneously. Honestly, if a local bar served this, I could drink a pint of this every day with my dinner. Since porters don't rank high on my list of favorite styles, that is quite a statement. It is really an everyday dort of beer. The price here isn't bad, so I imagine England is much better off. I wouldn't say it is the greatest thing

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Photo of Suds
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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 plaztikjezuz
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought a 12 oz bottle at world market in lansing, michigan. ($2.99)
pours a deep mohogany with a pinky thick light tan head, that disapates to a few bubbles.
the aroma is chocolate and alight mix of malt,
the flavor is dark malts, little roasted, chocolate, malt, its a little dry, it could also have a little more body, but over all a good porter, just a little expencive.

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Photo of dherling
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and certainly porter-like, but no head. Lots of chocolateon the nose, almost smells like a Yoo Hoo. The taste delivers deep roasted chocolate, with a mils dissapearing finish. Drinks clean, but with a slight smokey, over-roasted (burrnt) flavor to it.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
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

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
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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Photo of biegaman
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Grub for the sample!
Dark coloured body capped with snow white head. Bits of bubbly foam form over and assemble to the appereance of constalations. Body shines a ruby colour up to the light. A chocolaty sweet aroma. Maybe some vanilla in there too? Very agreeable aroma. A bit of chestnut in the flavour as well. I still claim to get some vanilla! The yeast works in there well, lending this some likeability. As a whole though, these flavours fall rather short of anything great. No dimension in terms of 'roastness'. Flavour seems to skip out on some sips. I enjoyed drinking this beer just fine, but as far as reviewing it... it just seemed inconsistent, mild and passive. Came across as being a little too commercial for 'authentic, traditional', real-deal English porter.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Initial aroma is pretty much dark roast malt but then that gives way to a ripe pit fruit smell kinda like prunes.

Apearance is dark brown with red highlights, pretty clear but with no head whatsoever.

Very fruity flavored, sweet cherries and maybe some plum flavors and pretty sweet. Darker roast malt comes through in the aftertaste, but very light for a porter. In fact, while I like the flavor, it has very little of what I think of as porter character. (I.e. bitterness from roast malt and dry from roast/hops.)

A little thin bodied. Carbonation level in the mouth is pretty good even though it appears lifeless in the glass.

It's a tough one to qualify because I do like it but I wouldn't think of it as a porter.

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Photo of DrunkPagan
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very Dark, very smooth, with hints of vanilla. This porter reminds me very much of the Ravell from Magic hat. While it’s got less of a vanilla flavor, it has more of a porter flavor, a nice dark, toasted aftertaste. It’s very sweet, not particularly hoppy. What I do taste of hops seems to be Willamettes, maybe cascade. (My taste buds aren’t that keen yet, but getting there. Just a few more brews.)

It’s also not terribly heavy like some porters can be. Despite it’s dark brown-to-black color (still slightly transparent) it goes down smooth and light with room for more. You could concievably sit there and go through the whole 4-pack on your own.

I got a single of it for free because it had been in the singles cooler for a long time. It was still good, though. I’d definitely buy it again, but not too often. The 4 pack I saw was $8.99.
Overall, if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend this one. It would be nice on a cold winter night.

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Photo of afordney
3.38/5  rDev -12%
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

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Photo of DogFood11
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown to black, nice manageable head leaves evidence with every pull. Mild carbonation.

Strong Chocolate smell fills the air even as I pour this bad boy. Some espresso mixed in, although it is a side dish to the chocolate taste. The chocolate would be best described as a dark chocolate. Some dryness in the finish.

Notes: Not something I'll go out of my way for, or for that matter pay the high price compared to brews made locally. Plenty of good porters stateside with good prices...Damn fine beer, just not going to be in my stable again soon.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

brown, 11.2 oz bottle. Label states "brewed without artifical additives"

A- damn near black, tan/coffee like color head thats good for size, tan lacing on the glass. good retention for the head.

S- yummy, strong strong roasted malt smell along with hints of coffee and maybe some unsweetened choclate.

T- better than it smells! roasted malt, almost smoked flavor. easy finish with little bitterness. Rich.

M- probably the thinnest porter i have ever had. ridicously smooth, drinks cola like but without the carbonation.

D- yes it was thin, but i have to say i enjoyed the hell out of this brew. I wouldnt session this, its too good for that. This i would consider a great kick back relax and enjoy beer.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with nice tan head. Good lacing and retention. Big coffee aroma.
Flavor was smooth and creamy with waves of chocolate and coffee. Finished cleaner than expected, and not taken over with the bitterness like a bunch of the American rivals. Made this one come off as creamier and more drinkable.

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Photo of Graebner
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, looks ruby when held up to the light. Develops a two-finger lacy tan head with red highlights that diminishes to a fine layer lace within a couple of minutes. The excited carbonation also calms down in a minute or two to a reasonable level.

Smells like coffee, butter and caramel with a little black cherry and some currants.

Tastes like coffee, some black tea, and hints of vinegarette salad dressing, black cherry, and citrus, probly bergamot. Smoky and full flavor. Finishes with a bitter taste and dry feeling on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is great. The first sip is of the perfect consistency, and the carbonation kicks at the perfect moment. Feels creamy like a latte as it flows over the back of the tongue, and tingles like Sprite as you swallow. Very very pleasant.

Overall a great porter. This could definitely be a session beer, it's so smooth and well-balanced.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
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 JudgeRoughneck
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This one was a muddy dark brown with just a ring of off-white bubbles. The nose straight-up smells like yoo-hoo. The taste is a swirl of nut, toffee, slight coffee and hints of choclate, with a backbone of muted, earthy, bittering hops. I suppose this is a more traditional/ authentic approach to porter but I'm not so into it. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. This a decent, drinkable, way overpriced beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time drinking this beer. I'm thoroughly impressed. Good aromas of chocolate, coffee, barley malts, and roasted malts. A hint of fermentation sourness adds to the complexity. Looks nearly black with a slight tan foamstand that stayed til the end. Tastes full and round with the chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, and a hint of cream. Never aggressive not dominant in any flavor. Melded together nicely. Quite rich and smooth on the toung. Easy drinking. Quite silky and bold. I highly recommend.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.5 oz bottle into a pint glass. By the way, whats the deal with 11.5 oz? I am assuming it is some kind of metric conversion?

Poured an almost opaque dark amber with a very small head that stays throughout. Nice lacing as well. Pleasant looking chocolate head piques my interests.

Terrific smell of malts. Great caramel and chocolate aroma with a tiny bit of coffe malt aroma as well. Sweet smelling. Great aroma.

Taste is equally impressive. Tastes of caramel and chocolate with smoke as well. Sweet taste is refreshing and not at all overpowering.

Smooth and clean mouthfeel makes for a great beer.

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Photo of ski271
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, dark brown with a slight red tint and a very small, off-white, creamy, mostly diminishing head.

Smell: VERY rich chocolate malts supported by light floral hops. Coffee, oak, dark bread, light cherry.

Taste: Toasted malt with oak, then switch to milk chocolate. The finish accented by a light floral bitterness which fades to a long-lasting malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, silky/creamy texture, low carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is all about the chocolate malt, yet it’s still well-balanced. A really nice surprise from a beer I had never seen or heard of before.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One nice porter, hands down. I can't recall why this is a beer in the news, but regardless, this was a crowd favorite at the discussion tent at the World Beer Festival. Many asked for seconds and I had to agree with them. Darker than others in this style, nice malty chocolate with a hint of hoppiness. I would love to try this one again soon but unsure where to find it.

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Photo of brentk56
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a brutally dark brown body with a flimsy little head and no lacing

Smell: Nice, but faint nose of coffee and mocha

Taste: Initial chocolate milk flavors which fade into a bitter coffee; finishes dry

Mouthfeel: A bit lighter than I would like; low carbonation

Drinkability: All in all, despite its flaws, a very drinkable porter

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brownish-black with ruby red edges. No lace left from the thin head.
Smell is rich, malt, molasses, smoke and peat. Oh, this promises to be good!
Taste is malt, smoke, vanilla, molasses and peat. Nicely balanced and complex.
Medium bodied, smooth, almost creamy after the carbonation drops away. A lingering smoky maltiness and molasses. Yummy! "Thank you, kind publican, may I have another?"

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Photo of TPSReports
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a bar in Chattanooga. Pours rich and dark -- nearly black with minimal head into a pint glass.

The aroma is of coffee and cocoa. A sligh bit of malt is there also.

The taste is rich -- plenty of toffee, coffee and cocoa. Mouthfeel is nice and slighly creamy with minimal carbonation.

This makes a nice dessert beer. I would find it tough toi drink several of this rich brews.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has always been a favorite English Porter; of course, you need to find it. My bottle has a weak, quick dissolving head, but holds a smell a bit rendolent of molasses. A very dark color and rich bodied beer, this beer (supposedly) is brewed with yeast brought up from a shipwreck. Urban legend or not, this is a great quaff that must be drank at room temperature.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/17/05- Purchased at a wine and spirits store in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no date. Poured into my Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance- Deep and dark, small white tight head and light lacing.

Smell- Pretty heavy on the semi-sweet chocolate and the roasted malts.

Taste- Mmmmm, the chocolate really comes through in this one, even when it's colder. Malts are in good harmony with the dark chocolate taste.

Mouthfeel- Light carbonation, nice semi-thick mouthfeel.

Drinkability- I'f I can find it again, I'll probably snag a few more. I think it was about $2.75 per, but worth it.

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Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 274 ratings