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
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
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.