Posts Tagged ‘porter’

St. Andrews Mocha Porter

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

A random English porter that I picked up in Lidl the other day after stumbling across it for the first time in one of their stores, this one will actually be my second from the brewery and is a beer that follows on from the bottle of their Oatmeal Pale that I sampled back in the summer of 2014 but wasn’t overly impressed with. I picked this one up on a whim, mainly as it was one of the few in the store that I hadn’t already tried and because I’m partial to a decent mocha porter so I was hopeful that this one would be a slight improvement on the last from the St. Andrews Brewing Co. that I tried; here’s what I thought of it in the end.

Appearance (3/5): Quite a dark looking, opaque bodied beer that was black and topped with a thin, foamy head that was beige and started about a centimetre tall before fading to a patchy lacing that was more just a patch in the centre and round the circumference with little else showing.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some earthy notes and a little coffee, the beer is dark and roasted initially but not overly pronounced. It’s a beer that slowly opens up with some grains and subtle chocolate coming through alongside hints of sugar and milky notes then some light bitterness seeing things out.
Taste (6/10): Similar to the nose in that the taste is kicked off with some coffee and an earthy bitterness that had a few grains showing as well. There was no sign of any sweetness this time around with the roasted malts coming through much stronger than before, masking the chocolate that I’d been expecting following on from the nose, and there was a lot of earthy flavours seeing things out.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite bitter, it’s softly carbonated and a little sharp at points with the bitterness dominating as well; I’d like to have seen a better balance with more of the sweetness carrying over from the nose. Definitely not the easiest beer to drink, it was quite a basic offering but pretty much what you would expect from the style I guess.

Overall (13/20): Quite a standard porter, this one was definitely a bitter offering that opened with some milky notes and sweetness on the nose but turned to a much more earthy, roasted tasting beer when it came to actually drinking the beer. There was some grains and it seemed relatively sharp despite the soft carbonation but I was looking for something a little more if I’m honest.

Brewed In: St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Brewery: St. Andrews Brewing Co.
First Brewed: 2013
Type: English Porter
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Lidl
Price: £1.49


Tokyo Black Porter (367 of 1001)

November 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.2

Another Japanese offering from the 1001 beers list, this one being fifth from the Yo-Ho brewery and one that follows from their Yona Yona Ale as the second of their beers from the list that I’ll have tried. This one is an American style porter that will be my first dark beer from the Nagano based brewery and it is one that I spotted in a number of stores throughout Japan but waited until nearer the end of my trip to finally pick up a can in a Bic Camera store when I was back in Tokyo. As the final of Yo-Ho’s beers to feature on the 1001 beers list, this is also the last of their beers that I’m likely to review here for some time since I’ve yet to see anything from them available in the UK sadly but at least I got to try it and check it off for myself.

Appearance (5/5): Very dark mahogany to black in colour with a larger than expected head starting about two centimetres tall ans sitting a beige colour in the glass. Retention wasn’t too bad from the beer either, there wasn’t much initial movement and it looked quite a thick head with some light residue on the sides of the glass as I worked my way down the beer.
Aroma (8/10): A pleasantly strong aroma started things here with a nice combination of roasted malts and chocolate that made the beer one of the stronger Japanese beers on the nose that I’ve reviewed here recently. There was some liquorice and touches of vanilla a little further on with a subtle malt bitterness and some lactose with the odd creamy note following on behind. Towards the end some faint caramel and a touch of spice came through to see things out; this one was enjoyable and exactly what I was after on the nose going in.
Taste (8/10):
Roasted malts and a solid sweetness that featured some vanilla and butterscotch kicked things off with the taste here, both coming through stronger and earlier than they did with the nose before some creamy flavours and touches of lactose followed them up. Around the middle some coffee flavours showed themselves alongside a faint hint of milk chocolate and an earthy malt sweetness as well as some caramel further on that made for quite an enjoyable but varied tasting beer.
Palate (4/5):
Somewhere around medium bodied, perhaps very slightly lighter than expected for the style but it was quite a sweet and creamy offering with a nice balance as well. It had light-medium carbonation levels and was very easy to drink with the vanilla, chocolate and caramel all adding to the sweetness with any of them overdoing it; it was also quite a clean beer with a subtle dryness right at the end.

Overall (16/20): Quite an enjoyable porter and definitely one of the better dark beers that I’ve tried from Japan, this one coming through with quite a sweet but balanced taste than had a great combination of caramel malts and milk chocolate flavours as well as some earthy malts and vanilla in there. The beer was exactly what I was expecting from the style and it went down smoothly too, it’s definitely one I’d have again if I could find it outside of Japan.

Brewed In: Nagano, Japan
Brewery: Yo-Ho Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2005
Type: American Porter
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Bic Camera (Akihabara, Tokyo)
Price: ¥288 (£1.91 approx.)

Edge Padrino Porter

June 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.7

Only my third beer from Barcelona based Edge Brewing now and another that I managed to pick up when visiting the city a few weeks ago. This one is a beer that follows on from the same brewery’s Hoptimista IPA and Squiffy Sailor offerings, both beers that I enjoyed and both that I picked up here in Glasgow so this one will be the first from the brewery that I’ve reviewed in Barcelona despite the fact I’ve visited the city twice in just over a year now; I really should have picked up a few more when I had the chance. The beer itself is an American style porter that was initially released in early 2014 and appears to be one of the brewery’s most readily available options if you go by the amount of reviews it has online; it’s also pretty popular too. Anyway, here is what I thought of the beer when I had it at the start of the month and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a few from from the brewery before I next visit Barcelona, whenever that may be.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a dark looking beer, this one pours a mahogany colour with an opaque body and quite a thick looking, centimetre and a half tall head that was a tan brown colour. There is some visible carbonation running through the body of the beer while the surface is covered well by the head which holds relatively well.
Aroma (7/10): Dark malts and some early sweetness kick things off here, there was some caramel with a touch of alcohol nearer the middle as well. There was a good combination of cocoa and roasted malts around the middle too with some burnt toast and the odd hop sneaking in before some coffee and subtle spices seen things out alongside a little grain.
Taste (7/10): Quite a malty beer with some solid roasted bitterness and touches of alcohol that carried on from the nose, there was a little sweetness from the caramel at this point too. The beer was a pleasant some with a nice variety of darker fruits coming through which added to the sweetness and helped balance out the darker, more roasted flavours from the middle of the beer as well as tasting good.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite thick at times, there was a little more alcohol showing in the early going than I would have liked but it was a pleasant beer that went down relatively easily. Some hops did manage to sneak through at times, particularly with the nose but that is something I’d have liked to see a little more of but there was some nice sweetness and touches of spice to shake things up a little which made for a good mouthfeel overall.

Overall (14/20): Quite a nice Spanish brewed porter and another cracking beer from Edge despite the fact it’s probably not the best style of beer to be drinking in the warm weather but is was still an enjoyable one. There was a nice malt bitterness to proceedings with a couple of hops sneaking through in the early going, mainly on the nose but some did show in the taste as well, albeit to a lesser extent. There was some solid roasted flavours with the odd alcohol grain appearing at times but it wasn’t an overly strong beer which meant it was a relatively easy one to drink and one of the better Spanish beers I’ve tried of late, although that’s not always saying too much I guess.

Brewed In: Barcelona, Spain
Brewery: Edge Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American Porter
Abv: 6.9%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Simply Basic Supermarket (Barcelona)
Price: €3.50 (£3.06)

Common Grounds

June 19, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

A late 2015 winter seasonal release from Magic Rock now and a beer that I managed to pick up from Brewdog’s Glasgow bottle shop a couple of months ago but am just getting round to reviewing now. The beer is actually one that I managed to try on-tap between picking it up and now, sampling it at a Glasgow bar in late March and quite enjoying it so I thought it about time I finally gave it a proper review. The beer will be my fifth from the brewery and my first since trying their High Wire Grapefruit offering back in February of last year and not enjoying it quite as much as I’d hoped. Common Grounds will also be the first dark beer from the brewery that’ll have reviewed here, the other four from them have been American pale ales or, in the case of their Cannonball, an IPA.

Appearance (3/5): Dark bodied, almost black in colour and with a thin, tan brown head that’s bubbly and fades to a patchy lacing that sits in the centre of the glass after about thirty or forty seconds. The body is opaque and the beer looks relatively still in the glass too; not a bad start but I’d have liked the head to stick around a little longer.
Aroma (7/10): Very strong coffee notes on the nose to kick things off, this one was slightly stronger than expected too with a nice amount of roasted malts and some earthy bitterness in there too. Some touches of chocolate made themselves known as things got nearer the middle but the coffee was definitely the dominate smell, some faint cocoa and vanilla did however add a hint of sweetness as things got closer to the finish. The beer was relatively well-balanced on the nose with a nice variety to it and some milky lactose and further earthy notes seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Again quite a dark beer and one that follows on well from the nose but the coffee is certainly dialled down every so slightly at this stage without giving too much up to the other flavours. There was some strong roasted malts and a little vanilla off the back of them, the coffee definitely still dominating but there is more room for the lactose and chocolate flavours to come through this time around as well. I managed to detect touches of spice and even a little caramel towards the end but everything worked well and went down easily.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite thick on the palate, the beer is moderately carbonated with a crisp feel that is also quite smooth. There is a nice balance to flavours and plenty of variety to them as well which makes the beer go down very easily. It’s quite a strong tasting beer and is for the most part dominated by the coffee flavours but they don’t overpower and it’s pleasant drinking throughout.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite an enjoyable beer from the outset, there was a huge amount of coffee coming through and plenty of chocolate and cocoa backed it up, there was even some lactose in there to balance it out slightly. The beer had touches of sweetness nearer the middle with the caramel and some sugars grabbing your attention alongside hints of spice and the faintest of vanilla too. I really like this one, the coffee dominated but didn’t overpower and it was quite easy to drink despite the fact it got off to a poor start appearance-wise with the head fading far too quickly for my liking; nice stuff though and one I’d have again.

Brewed In: Huddersfield, England
Brewery: Magic Rock Brewing
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American Porter
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £3.09

BRLO Porter

Rating: 3.25

A German brewed porter now and another craft style beer that I managed to pick up in Germany recently, this one being a beer that I grabbed in a local shop in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin on my visit to the city before sampling it back at my hotel later the same evening. Definitely a local beer, this one is brewed by the BRLO brewery based in the city and is one that I noticed is available at quite a few craft beer bars dotted about the city so my hoping was that it would be a good one. Falling somewhere between an English porter and a Russian imperial stout, the beer comes in at 7% abv. and is one that I was quite looking forward to trying when I picked it up; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it last month.

Appearance (4/5): Not quite as dark looking as expected, this one was a caramel brown to light mahogany colour that was topped with a half centimetre tall, bubbly head that was tan brown coloured and foamy. Head retention was quite good from this one and there wasn’t really much in the way of movement or reduction in size in the early going which was a bonus.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with some sweet malts and caramel, there was a couple of darker fruits making an appearance in the early going with plums and dates both featuring. Towards the middle there was a combination of sugars and raisins with a toffee malt nose nearer the of the beer which made it seem more like a Vienna lager or a doppelbock at times but it wasn’t a bad-smelling beer at least.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicks off with plenty of sugars that carried over from the nose but there was also some darker fruits in there too; most notably some plums, raisins and dates. Towards the centre I could detect some earthy hops and a solid caramel flavours but on the whole it was a fairly standard and basic tasting porter really.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and coming through with a lot of sweetness, the beer was crisp and fairly smooth but not a particularly enjoyable or interesting offering on the whole. The palate was a clean one and the beer didn’t seem as heavy as you’d expect from a 7% abv. porter which as a result made it seem slightly cheap and far too sweet sadly.

Overall (13/20): This one was quite a disappointing and fairly poor porter overall, it wasn’t quite as heavy or dark as I’d anticipated but it was far too sweet at times sadly, mainly down to the amount of sugar coming through but also thanks to the dark fruits that featured heavily as well. The main problem with the beer however was the fact that it wasn’t as advertised and came out tasting almost nothing like a porter at times, there was a lot of caramel and toffee with some subtle hops but it was also quite cheap and had a little too much alcohol showing as well; very disappointing really.

Brewed In: Berlin, Germany
Brewery: Brauerei Lemke
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Porter
ABV: 7.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €2.25 (£1.92 approx.)

Saku Porter (345 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

Only my second ever beer from Estonia now, this one follows on from the bottle of Viru from the country that I reviewed here way back in June 2013 having been impressed with the nice bottle design but ultimately being disappointed with the beer itself so I was hopeful this one would be better. The beer is a Baltic porter that appears in the 1001 beers list as one of only two Estonian offerings featured so I fully expected this one to be a decent offering when I picked it up on my last day in Warsaw when visiting the city last month. Brewed once a year as a winter seasonal, this one was originally brewed in the town of Saku before production was moved to the Aldaris brewery in Latvia in the winter of 2009/10, since both are now owned by Carlsberg but naturally I’ll still list this one as an Estonian beer. It was at this point that the beers alcohol content was reduced from the original 7.5% to its current 7.0%, although the bottle I picked up came in just under that at 6.9% abv. for the winter 2016/17 edition of the beer.

Appearance (4/5): An opaque offering that was a dark brown to mahogany colour and came with a few red tinges running through the body as well. There was a light beige head on top that started off quite bubbly, sitting about a centimetre tall before fading to leave a slightly patchy lacing after about thirty seconds or so with the odd bubble rising from the base of the beer too.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a malty offering with a lot of chocolate notes coming through in the early going alongside some vanilla sweetness and touches of caramel. It was a sweet beer but some earthy bitterness featured early too which helped to give the beer a nice balance on the nose, some coffee smells featuring too but they were definitely more subtle. It was quite a strong beer on the nose with some grain and hints of alcohol coming through nearer the end but overall it was a pleasant smelling beer.
Taste (7/10): Starting with a combination of sweet malts and chocolate in the early going, there was some dark malts and caramel sweetness too with the odd sticky flavours towards the middle. I could detect some liquorice and an almost cola like taste with plenty of sugars coming through soon after and then a couple of roasted malts down the stretch before some hints of alcohol seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium to full-bodied with quite a creamy, smooth feel to proceedings and plenty of sweetness too. The beer was syrupy and sticky at times with plenty of malt bitterness and the odd touch of alcohol towards the end giving it a slightly warming feel that seemed stronger than the 6.9% abv. of the beer.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a big, strong beer that opened with a lot of sweetness thanks to the chocolate and caramel flavours sitting on top of a sugary base and some warming alcohol nearer the end. There was a nice complexity to this one as well as a good balance, I felt it was slightly stronger than a 6.9% beer should be but it was still highly drinkable and one well worth trying; I’d go as far as to say that I’d have it again if it was more readily available in the UK.

Brewed In: Saku, Harjumaa, Estonia
Brewery: Saku Õlletehas
First Brewed: circa 1990
Type: Baltic Porter
ABV: 6.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Carrefour Express (Warsaw, Poland)
Price: 9 PLN (approx. £0.80)

Okocim Mistrzowski Porter

April 21, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

My first beer from the Okocim brewery now, a brewery which was one of the few Polish ones I was aware of before my first to Warsaw last month. This particular offering is a strong Baltic porter from the brewery that comes in at 8.9% abv. and is one that I managed to pick up when on a night out of the city back in March; it’s taken me longer than expected to get round to adding my review here though. Although not a beer that features in the 1001 list, another from the brewery does so I was also keen to try this offering when I spotted a bottle in the fridge behind the bar. Not to be confused with the brewery’s Okocim Porter, the offering that I’m reviewing here appears to be a more recent beer having only been introduced sometime around 2013, here’s what I thought of the bottle that I tried.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a really dark brown colour, this one is topped with a quarter centimetre head that is foamy and sticks to the sides a little; it’s a still and opaque bodied beer but it’s nothing special in the early going really.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly dark malts open the nose up with touches of grain coming through from the alcohol as well, there was a hint of caramel malt as well. The beer seemed earthy with some chocolate notes and a little cocoa towards the middle before some fainter fruits seen things out. Overall the beer was well-balanced on the nose with slightly less alcohol showing than expected but some did manage to sneak through all the same.
Taste (7/10): Definitely more malty than the nose indicated, there was a lot of earthy flavours in the early going but they were thankfully backed up by a little sweetness that came from the chocolate flavours and some sugars. The taste seemed semi-bitter with some caramel malts in there as well as some smoke nearer the end to make a nice beer without it being a standout offering.
Palate (4/5): Medium to full-bodied with a smooth feel for the most part and some early alcohol touches that kicked the nose off. There was some smoke showing at times too but for the most part the sweetness from the chocolate and the malts seemed strongest, and carbonation wise it was quite a soft beer that coupled with the smoothness made it an easy one to drink.

Overall (15/20): Quite a strong beer with plenty of sweetness that managed to cover most of the alcohol malts and grains that appeared in the early going, there was a slightly warming feel to the beer nonetheless though. The beer was just shy of being full-bodied offering and together with the smooth feel, it was quite an easy beer to drink despite coming in so strong and showing some alcohol grain at times. The smoky flavours near the end of the beer weren’t too bad either but I’m still not sure it’s one that I’d rush out to try again, mainly because of the strength of the beer though.

Brewed In: Brzesko, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Brewery: Browar Okocim
First Brewed: circa. 2013
Type: Baltic Porter
Abv: 8.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Verado Bar, Warsaw, Poland
Price: 10PLN (appox. £1.96)