Aroma: Moderate to moderately low bready, biscuity, and toasty malt aroma with mild roastiness, and may have a chocolate quality. May also show some non-roasted malt character in support (caramelly, nutty, toffee-like and/or sweet). May have up to a moderate level of floral or earthy hops. Fruity esters moderate to none. Diacetyl low to none.
Appearance: Light brown to dark brown in color, often with ruby highlights when held up to light. Good clarity, although may approach being opaque. Moderate off-white to light tan head with good to fair retention.
Flavor: Moderate bready, biscuity, and toasty malt flavor includes a mild to moderate roastiness (frequently with a chocolate character) and often a significant caramel, nutty, and/or toffee character. May have other secondary flavors such as coffee, licorice, biscuits or toast in support. Should not have a significant burnt or harsh roasted flavor, although small amounts may contribute a bitter chocolate complexity. Earthy or floral hop flavor moderate to none. Medium-low to medium hop bitterness will vary the balance from slightly malty to slightly bitter. Usually fairly well-attenuated, although can be somewhat sweet. Diacetyl moderately-low to none. Moderate to low fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderately-low to moderately-high carbonation. Light to moderate creamy texture.
Impression: A moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and bitterness. May have a range of roasted flavors, generally without burnt qualities, and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile.
Comments: This style description describes the modern version of English porter, not every possible variation over time in every region where it existed. Historical re-creations should be entered in the Historical style category, with an appropriate description describing the profile of the beer. Modern craft examples in the UK are bigger and hoppier.
Ingredients: Grists vary, but something producing a dark color is always involved. Chocolate or other dark-roasted malts, caramel malt, brewing sugars, and the like are common. London-type porters often use brown malt as a characteristic flavor.
Commercial Examples: Burton Bridge Burton Porter, Fuller's London Porter, Nethergate Old Growler Porter, RCH Old Slug Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter