JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 26, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I was really quite surprised to see that this beer is listed as a porter. Lovely reddish-brown body with a sweet, roasty nose, my first that was rauchbier. Guess not. Leaving aside its official designation, this is a fine English ale thatís heavy on roastiness.
ross (2090) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAY 22, 2006
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brownish red color with not much of a head at all. Smells malty, sweet, fruity, and roasted. Taste is very similar, but it is almost like they took a weak version of Harvest ale and weakened it some, and threw some roasted malts in to make it different. This was one that I had to choke down for the first few ounces, then it came to me. Beer becomes much more drinkable the more it is consumed, however it is initially way too sweet. This could be considered more of an after dinner drink than a porter. Not bad, just not the best porter I have had by any stretch of the imagination.
ruggedman (647) - Portland, Maine, USA - MAY 15, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark reddish brown with a tan head. Flavors are dry, roasted malt with a slight hop finish. The aroma is musty and malty. Surprising light on the tongue but very enjoyable.
zach8270 (3502) - Henrietta, New York, USA - MAY 5, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(draft @ The Old Toad - Rochester, NY) Nice dark brown pour with a thick and creamy tan head. Aroma is loaded with roasted and toasted chocolate malts, some alcohol, and some hops. Didnít know it was as high in alcohol as it really is. Definitely didnít taste it. Flavor begins with a roasted chocolate and malt flavor with a slight hint of dark fruits toward the middle and a nice and dry finish. Aftertaste is a little roasty and bitter. Quite a nice porter.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 2, 2006
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark brown with a foamy head and spotty lacing. Roasty and chocolate aromas with some bitter notes. Flavor of figs that is slightly vinous. Earthy and chocolate as well. Medium body finishing with notes of chocolate.
thedm (4952) - Fort Wayne, USA - APR 25, 2006
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
This bottled brew poured a very large sized frothy head of finely sized mostly diminishing light brown colored bubbles that left behind an opaque dark brown colored body. The aroma was mildly vinous sweet malty and hoppy. The mouth feel was smooth from start to finish with a mild vinous aftertaste. The flavor contained deep dark chocolate malt dark malt and hop notes.
ElPresidente1984 (173) - Maine, USA - APR 22, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
pours like oil. medium off white head that dissapates. aroma is yeasty with roasted malt, and some hints of raisins. taste is chocolate, caramel, some vanilla and mocha. really really nice, I think this is up there with anchor. nice and creamy, delicioso!
puzzl (3252) - New York, New York, USA - APR 20, 2006
3.2 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 21, 2006 Tap at The Old Toad, Rochester. Aroma was pretty thin and non-existant. A little bit of roasty and fruitiness if any. Flavor was surprisingly malt-fruity, with only a touch of complexity. Sweet orange and tobacco.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - APR 12, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Almost black in color with just a little brown showing around the edges of the glass. Wonderful chocolate aroma with a sweet malty background. First thing I notice in the flavor is dark chocolate which is followed by a lovely tobacco taste which Iím really stoked about. I recently quit smoking and this beer has the taste that I get from smelling a freshly opened pack of Springwater cigarrettes. The kind of taste that you feel in the back of your throat. Wow I needed that. Thereís a little bit of citrusy tang in the finish as well. Mouthfeel isnít as undercarbonated as other JW Lees stuff that Iíve tried. Still smooth in the mouthfeel. This one sorta blew me away.
DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - APR 11, 2006
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(16.9 oz bottle: Obtained May í05 in trade with goldtwins, thanks Larry!) Well, just like Harvest Ale, this is pretty damn sweet. But unfortunately, Manchester Star comes off as sugary and fruity sweet rather than malty sweet. Loads of dark fruits like raisins and prunes, some processed molasses, but the mild roast and bitterness is almost totally shoved in the dark closet by the sweetness, and if not for the smokiness in the finish, this would be a one-dimensional beer if ever there were one. But personally, if a beer had to be one dimensional, sweet is preferable to many other things, but I still crave some balance here. Likewise, the nose is all dark, sweet fruit, a bit earthy perhaps. Medium bodied and gently carbonated, but without anything to balance the beer, itís on the cloying side. Dark brown in color with some transparency at the edges. The quarter-inch layer of light-tan head dissipates fully in about 15 to 20 seconds. Lacing is non-existent, obviously. Needs more of something -- more roast, some hops, a touch of sourness -- to give it balance, but I still find this quite enjoyable. Could be so much better though...