Original Flag Porter | Darwin Brewery Ltd.

very good
183 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: 183 | Ratings: 272
Photo of BDJake
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After downing so many different American- and even a few Baltic- porters, I wanted to see a beer more like the one that started it all for the style.

A- very dark brown with reddish edges and a quickly fading head

S- fig, caramel, roasted malts, and raisins

T- roasted, tart yet malt-heavy, with some faint raisin and fig

M- light/medium body, decent carbonation with cloying aftertaste

D- as with most English beers I've tried, it was a very sessionable easy drinker

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Photo of bob3701
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Pour deep dark mahogany with tan head that disap[ated quickly and minimal lacing. Malty aroma. Great taste with hints of chocolate. Very smooth and inviting beer. Really enjoyed the history behind this brew and enjoyed drinking it too.

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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.

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Photo of sholland119
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours dark opaque brown with just a little bit of tan head that is gone before you know it.

S-Unexpected but nice. Lots of creamy milk chocolate sweetness.

T-Thanksfully, less sweet than the nose. Some lightly sweet malt on the front and some light roast following. Nice, though a bit too understated.

M-Light bodied with medium carbonation.

D-A pleasant drinking porter.


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Photo of HopHead29
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured into nonic

pour is black as night with light tan head with little retention

smell is of at first strawberry and berries, then creamy chocolate milk

taste is great. rich thick creamy chocolate milk with some mild fruitiness and a soothing sweetness

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Photo of ATPete
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Pours a deep brown color with bright highlights when held to the light and a small light brown head. Milk chocolate sweetness, mild notes of coffee bitterness and an ashy texture. Light/medium in body, malt forward but not chewy enough for my taste in the style. A sharp but easy drinking porter.

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Photo of darkmaven
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nutty and smoky notes fill the nose, with a little coca-cola on the side. As it warms, maple syrup and oat aromas arise, so that you are somewhere between chesnuts roasting on an open fire and a big bowl of oatmeal with syrup.
Either way, you are comfortable, and that is the biggest impression I took from this beer. It has easy, good solid aromas and a smooth palate, with no rough edges. Easily a crowd pleaser.

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Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with some brown highlights around the edges, small yet dense khaki colored head that settled into a light ring. The aroma is almost non-existent, I pick up some light caramel and buttery notes. The taste has a very mellow roast flavor, with a hint of honey or caramel sweetness. A touch of lemon in the end. Nothing very exciting in the flavor department but no odd flavors either. The feel is thick and chewy with soft carbonation, has a silky feel. A neutral porter in terms of flavor, not much going on but it seems to be well made. Nice thick body, no odd flavors, mellow.

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Photo of Cyrano41
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a bottle, it poured dark brown with very light lacing. The smell was chocolate and coffee slightly burnt. I enjoyed the taste but it was a lot lighter than I expected. I had high expectations for this one based on the reviews I'd read and was let down. That said if I'd tried it with no expectations I wouldn't have anything bad to say. A good beer and one I'll have again, but I wouldn't go out in the rain for one.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery Ltd.
3.85 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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