Darwin Brewery
Brewed at Elgoods

Style: Porter
Sunderland, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 618   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.48/5   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
Available in bottle
Contract brewed by Elgood for BrewLab/Darwin.
Full bodied porter, hopped with Kent’s hops.

Flag Porter is brewed from a traditional 19th century British recipe using yeast salvaged from a vessel which sank in the English Channel in 1825. In 1988, several bottles of the brew were raised from their resting place 60 feet deep in the Channel. They were in their original containers, with their wood stoppers and wax seals intact. When opened, however, they "tasted like old, wet boots" according to Dr. Keith Thomas, renowned brewer and microbiologist. When he examined the beer under a microscope, he found a small percentage of the yeast to be still living! After months of growing this yeast, he brewed a porter using an 1850 recipe. Adhering to the practises of porter brewers of the era, Dr. Thomas uses barley and hops grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

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SlovakSniper (5562) - Candiac, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 30, 2014
Brun avec un anneau de mousse. Malts rôtis, torréfaction, fumée et chocolat sec sont les pafums qui me viennent à l’esprit. Céréales noires diluées ou imprécises en ce qui touchent les saveurs. Corps plutôt léger et texture mince sans être aqueuse. Bulles endormies. Finale sèche sur des notes de grains brûlés. Simple mais pas simplet.

Art (3220) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 13, 2014
Bottle from Vintage Estates. Pours a cloudy dark brown. Aroma of big coffee and cocoa powder. Taste is bitter sweet. Really freakin good Porter. Medium body light carb. I liked this more than the averages.

harrisoni (20045) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - NOV 11, 2014
33cl bottle from a colleague. 5.0%. Dark dark brown colour lasting beige head. Malty fruity aroma. It’s kinda ok, some chocolate but mostly malty. Some fried butter. It’s not great, but not terrible. Starts ok but not sure about this melted buttery finish. odd.

kaser (6480) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 29, 2014
From Notes: Poured from 12oz bottle at Logan hardware arcade. Black with almost no head. Smell is plum and oily. Not pleasant. Taste is better - has the English style porter twang to it. Malts, fruits, musty, prune and somewhat light. Not bad

CH-303 (2483) - Fribourg, SWITZERLAND - OCT 28, 2014
Appearance: Dark brown, clear. Tiny amount of head.
Aroma: Dark malt, roasted. Coffee.
Taste: Dark malt, slightly roasted. Coffee. Smooth. Pretty good.
Bought: Total Wine & More (Sterling), 350 ml, $3.99
Info: 27/10-2014, 231/300

andrewje41 (4869) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - OCT 17, 2014
12 oz bottle pour. Pours a dark brown color with no head really. Kind of a sweet chocolate aroma. A watery milk chocolate flavor with a nice, bolder finish. Lighter body than other porters. Definitely a unique porter in my opinion. Decent flavors all throughout with a touch of smoke. I’d drink this again for sure.

ChadPolenz (1848) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - OCT 16, 2014
I should disclaim this review by pointing out that I’m not exactly sure how old this bottle is since the freshness code is not written in easy-to-read plain text. Though if this bottle is as old as I think it is, it’s still pretty impressive that this beer was able to hold up this well for over two years. Original Flag Porter is pretty much the epitome of a British porter, despite the fact the yeast used to ferment it was found in a sunken ship from 1825 and the recipe dates back to 1850.

I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a mug. I appears to have been bottled on 8/23/12 and cost $4 ($0.36 per ounce).

Appearance: Seemingly black color, but actually a deep shade of ruby chestnut with highlights to match. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which mostly dissipates but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Sweet dark malts, classic English pub style aroma, mild overall.

Taste: What separates porter from stout is the difference in roastiness and sweetness. Original Flag Porter opts for sweetness, as the dark malts create for a slightly fruity taste with notes of chocolate and dairy. In fact, it has the same character often found in milk stouts from their use of lactose sugar (it’s possible that was used in this brew, but I’m not sure). In fact, the taste reminds me a bit of cola soda, with a hint of coconut, too (but without the sickly sweetness). Just a touch of bitterness on the back end, which I can’t tell is hops or roasted malts (probably both, but mild enough to work as a background ingredient). I’m inclined to believe this beer would be much more complex and flavorful when fresh, but as it stands it’s still pretty good.

Drinkability: Pub-style brews such as this are meant to be easy to quaff and in mass quantities. Original Flag Porter has a thin, lightly carbonated mouthfeel so as to make it gentle on the palate and maybe even refreshing for a moment or two. At 5% ABV it drinks like something even more overtly sessionable, and with the clean finish I could certainly see it working in that capacity.

Westchesterco (2293) - mclean, Virginia, USA - SEP 25, 2014
Poured from a bottle it is a dark beer color with a slight head. The aroma is coffee with mocha overtones the taste is a coffee milkshake with a hint of milk chocolate.

Iphonephan (7645) - Jackson Hole/McLean, Virginia, USA - SEP 25, 2014
From a 33 cl bottel shared at home. Pours a clear cola brown with an ecru head. Chocolate aroma.Flavors of chocolate milkshake. Medium bodied. Clean finish.

Moebbels (847) - FINLAND - SEP 9, 2014
A clear dark amber body with just the smallest hint of a tan head. Nose has roasty notes of chokolate, coffee and caramel. Taste is mildly sweet and roasty, with a smooth dry finish. Carbonation is low and smooth, the palatei s a bit thin. Quite nice malty aroma and well balanced on the tongue. A nice easy drinking porter with a nice complexity to it.

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