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Huvila X Porter

Rating: 4.1

My final review of the beers that I managed to try on my recent trip to Copenhagen now and one that will be my first ever beer from Finland. This Baltic porter from the Helsinki based Malmgårdin brewery brings my count of countries up to a respectable 65 and is a beer that I managed to try on-tap at the Taphouse bar in Copenhagen on my last day in the city, just before catching a flight home. A rarity in that it’s a top-fermenting Baltic porter, this one featured at the 2010 San Diego International Beer Festival and is one that I was persuaded to order in the Taphouse after discovering it was one of their ‘happy hour’ offerings but thankfully it wasn’t a decision that I came to regret. Unfortunately this particular Finnish beer wasn’t one of the three from the country that feature on the 1001 beers list so I’ll have to wait a little longer to get off the mark but at this checks another country off my list for now; there’s still a long way to go though.

Huvila X Porter

Appearance (5/5): Jet black in colour and topped with a thick looking, half centimetre tall head that is medium tan in colour and leaves quite a thick looking lacing on the sides of the glass. Retention was quite good as well with this one, there wasn’t much in the way of reduction in size over the opening few minutes and the beer was quite still looking.
Aroma (7/10): Strong roasted malts and a lot of barley kick things off here, there was some decent coffee notes and a hint of grain in the early going as well. Towards the middle some faint alcohol and a touch of liquorice started to appear alongside some moderate chocolate notes. It was quite a sweet beer, particularly towards the end with some nice caramel and vanilla notes helping to balance things out.
Taste (8/10): Roasted malts and some nice caramel sweetness kicks things off in the early going, there as a nice helping of vanilla off the back of that as well and the beer also featured some touches of grain. There was a nice amount of chocolate through the middle with some earthy malts and a light coffee taste coming through before hints of liquorice started to show themselves nearer the end with the odd dark fruit as well.
Palate (4/5): Quite a thick, full-bodied beer that was very smooth and creamy from the start with a nice balance thanks to the sweetness coming through and working well with the darker, roasted malts and earthy flavours. There was some nice touches of alcohol down the stretch and the beer had a warming feel to it but remained an easy one to drink.

Overall (16/20): Quite a thick and creamy beer that was loaded with roasted malts and a nice earthy flavours that featured a pleasant chocolate taste; this added some sweetness to proceedings and opened things up nicely for the vanilla and caramel sweetness that followed. The beer, on the whole, was a very nice one and a good introduction as my first Finnish beer with a good balance and plenty going on to keep you interested.

Brewed In: Malminkartano, Helsinki, Finland
Brewery: Malmgårdin Panimo
First Brewed: 2008
Type: Baltic Porter
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Draught (400ml)
Purchased: Taphouse, Copenhagen, Denmark
Price: 40 Danish Krone (approx. £4.40)

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