The Famous Taddy Porter

Company info:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Yorkshire, ENGLAND

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 550mL

Standard drinks: TBC

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: Beer supplied by the good folk at Dunnottar Wine and Spirits

Label info: ‘Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground); fermented in slate Yorkshire ‘squares’ to create a very dark, full-bodied beer with a rich, creamy head and an intense, dry, tangy character derived from black roasted malt.

History – Type of beer first brewed in the early 18th and 19th century; gained its name from being drunk by porters in the fish, meat and other produce markets.

Independent Assessment – “Beautifully balanced – a British Classic” (Michael Jackson).

Serving suggestions – Mussels on the half shell; oysters cajun style; clams; cockles and whelks; crab or prawn cocktail; lobster bisque; veal escalope; chocolate mousse or chocolate cake.

Best served at about 55°F (13°C)’.

What the label really means: Is there anything these guys haven’t mentioned? I feel like my job here is done after reading the most comprehensive beer label in the history of beer labels. Thankfully I always save reading the label till after my reviews.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I really like this label for its old worlde charme. It looks like a label that hasn’t changed since that well was sunk in 1758 and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is an indication of character, of history, and class. It’s hard to explain why this works, it just does. The colours, the font, the design – brilliant. I can really see fish porters from days gone by holding this high above their heads as they join in singing rousing sea shantys, their other arm round the shoulder of their closest ship mate.

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.

AROMA: It’s a mild blend of burnt caramel and toffee. Quite unique.

Taste: GLASS – I am immediately astonished by the surprising smoothness of this drop. The smooth nature adds to the overall enjoyment of this beer and I can concentrate on such aspects as the back of mouth bitterness, or simply the enjoyable refreshing nature. I do not find this beer dry in the least. The dominant taste is that of burnt toffee, but it’s oh so drinkable and packed full of flavour. If The Famous Taddy Porter wasn’t famous to me prior to this tasting, my taste buds are now screaming out as newly recruited members to the Taddy Army.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE –
The Famous Taddy Porter has no place being consumed from the bottle. It becomes watery and lacks flavour, aroma, and that delicious all-mouth taste. Not as good by far.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this along side ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel

Accompanying food: This brew suggests itself as a good pre-dinner drink as it really gets the taste buds open and ready for action. This week I took a sneaky look at another website for a food suggestion and they suggested cheese. I have to agree, and a sharp blue cheese would be delicious alongside this baby.

Best season to appreciate: A real sit by the fireplace and mull kind of beer. A real cockle warmer.

All-nighter beer? I would never have thought I’d say this, but yes. I could easily drink this all night.


TBC – stay tuned

  1. […] I continue this brew flavoured love-in with a mention of another beer blog that is in my list of drinking buddies over at the side. This time it is the list worthy Mason Hell-Cat (to understand that joke you need to understand that Frewy keeps a list of wacky named people that we come in contact with; Austin Chesterfield the third is my favourite)  Anyway the point is way back when Mason or is that Mr Hell-Cat reviewed a beer named the Famous Taddy Porter. […]


  2. Ben0 says:

    Hell Cat – McLean not Maclean and my good self sampled a couple of these bad boys in the early hours of Sunday morning, while we were up watching English football…ahem… I mean soccer.

    Apart from it not being ideal black beer drinking weather (I think it was still around 30 odd degrees at 2am) I must say we did appreciate this very very smooth porter. I for one will be revisiting the lappo bottle shop to try out Samuel Smith’s extended range.


    • McLean not MacLean says:

      Heartily endorse everything you guys have said about this cheeky little number. A top Porter in my humble opinion. James Squire probably just shades it mind you, because of that lovely smokey quality it seems to have. How do they do that Hellcat? Perhaps something for you to flex your investigative muscles to…?


  3. Saw this in the bottleshop I was in at lunchtime today, on the strength of this review I picked up a bottle. Hope it’s a good as you suggest.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      I’m confident you’ll be whistling dixie by noon, Leon.
      Good to have you aboard.


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Btw Leon, thanks for the link on your site, mate! Much appreciated.
        I particularly like how my ill-informed musings have been described as ‘a little too serious’!


  4. Bladdamasta says:

    These guys are guilty of gross Beer label hyperbole


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Haha – not a fan then, Bladdamasta?
      Surely you can see the charm in the ‘Oatmeal Stout’ label as a beer that would look right at home in the wild, wild, west?
      Or how about the Yorkshire Stingo with oodles of class dripping out of it from every angle?

      Anyway, welcome aboard! Look forward to your input.


  5. Sandy says:

    Looks like we have a winner from all the brews I sent..?
    All Sam Smith’s beers are this good – I promise (even the sweet fruit ones that normally turn my stomach). The pure brewed lager was how I started my Christmas day, and their Indian Ale is never far away from my fridge.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Sandy – glad to see you make a much anticipated return!

      I am very impressed with Sam Smith’s Porter and will most certainly be keeping my eyes out for more from them. I purposefully left this beer till the last (well, second last, but I’ll go into that later) because it caught my eye immediately upon receipt, simultaneously scaring and intriguing me. And, I am glad to end my European tasting sesh on such a high.

      Btw, I think the Innis & Gunn Rum Cask might just have pipped the Famous Taddy Porter at the post. Both were gladly sampled.

      The only remaining ale from your selection is the Brew Dog. I might hang on to this for a little while and sample when I have to do a second round of beers from the same company.

      Slainte right back at ya!


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