Padstow Brewing Company

I actually tasted this trio of beers back in February in Cornwall while visiting my buddy Bob (the builder, I am serious) near Wadebridge. Let me take you back to January 2013 and in a chilly converted surf shower in Newquay head brewer Caron Archer was experimenting with different hop and malt combinations. Her and husband Des though new to brewing were disciples of the much lauded Dave Lang (Forge Brewery) and as winter made way for spring Caron perfected a few recipes. Padstow Brewing Company was then ready for the next step and having outgrown their “lab” moved to a Padstow industrial estate where they started brewing commercially in May 2013. Caron is the only female head brewer in Cornwall and loves playing around with dynamic flavours, while Des focusses on the more scientific side of the brewing process. I must say they make an excellent team, and I loved everything about their three offerings: from their beautifully clean simple smart packaging, to bottle shape and of course the very finely crafted beers inside.

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Padstow Pale Ale 3.6%

Light amber in colour and as I raise the glass to my honker the aromas are so enticing that it takes all my willpower not to gulp it down in one. Wonderfully complex spicy lemon and fragrant green hops have me smacking my lips in anticipation. It’s super crisp, refreshing with a good bite, but balanced by a malty long zippy finish. As good a session ale as you’ll find. I could drink it by the bucket. Score – 8.5/10

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Padstow Pilot 4%   

This amber bitter is a deep chestnut with a very rich mocha head. Initially, the nose is breakfast: fresh roast coffee and toast with marmite but there’s more as it moves into wet moss, then finally a whack of fresh pineapple and peppermint. Wozers! The texture is velvety with bitter coffee, salty chocolate and true to it’s coastal Cornish roots, there’s even some smoked mackerel. It finishes clean but warming and is a very classy drop. Score – 8.25/10

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Padstow IPA 4.8%

Its deep amber hue gives of aromas toasted brioche, peach and floral jasmine honey. On the palate you are hit by layer after layer of grapefruit, dry pineapple, razor sharp hops ending with a mouth drying finish. Solid. For me a very complex beer that needs food: Thai green curry or seared chilli scallops would pair very nicely. Score – 7.75/10

Tasting these 3 bottles what stood out for me was the incredible diversity of aromas, flavours and textures; all the more impressive when you consider that the beers are between 3.8-4.8% ABV, which frankly shows tremendous skill on the part of Caron and Des. Padstow Brewing is a must try.

Get in touch with them here or via twitter to find out how you can get a hold of their excellent beers.

 

Little Brew Beer Review

I stumbled upon Little Brew at some beer event that I don’t recall the name of: Craft Beer Empire or Crafty Crafty Beer Beer or some such. What I do remember though is making friends with a bunch of railway signalmen (active and retired), who after the session ended invited me to a nearby pub where we all got so pissed that as I prepared to depart via my pedal bike, promptly fell flat on the pavement. Uninjured, I cycled home (do NOT drink and cycle it is very dangerous and against the law) and except for a violent emotional episode around Elephant and Castle both the Little Brews and I arrived home safe. Here’s what I thought of the beers…

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Pale Ale 5.2%

Quite dark for a pale (I thought) with a nose that wasn’t giving much away. Touch earthy woody mushroom perhaps. That ho hum continued onto a palate that was dry, nutty with some chestnut. Tannins were quite drying, like an over brewed cup of tea. Hmmm.  Score- 6.25/10

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Ruby Red Ale 5.6%

Deep auburn with a lovely interweaving aromas of raspberry, chocolate and super fresh mint. Full mouth flavour that was tangy, herbaceous with warming malts. The finish was long bitter cherry with a hint of worn leather. Solid. Score 7.25/10

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Extra Tusks IPA 6.6%

Hazy golden sugar brown. The nose bashed you right on the face with grilled pineapple, barley sugars, green tea and tobacco. The exotic adventure continued on the palate with creamy coconut and dried pineapple that was direct, clean and sharp. The banana finish topped off the tropical fruit salad in stellar fashion. A great beer! Score 8.25/10

Little Brew is a one barrel brewery in Camden Town, but are expanding to York premises so must be doing alright. Has been awhile since I tasted the beers so they are worth another look for sure.

 

 

Scottish Brews

Scotland has some excellent breweries and here’s what I thought of bottles from Tryst Brewing, Williams Bros Brewing and Colonsay Brewery.

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Tryst Carronade IPA 4.2% AVB

I know little about Tryst Brewing except they are based in Falkirk and need to streamline their website. Carronade IPA uses Washington State hops and gets its name from the canons (or “smashers” in the parlance of Nelson’s navy) that were cast in their thousands by Carron Iron in Falkirk back in the day. It’s hazy corn cob yellow in the glass with a nose of honey, preserved lemon and dried orange. It drinks rich, lovely and mouth coating. Notes of fresh orange, slightly floral with lively yeasts. Flavourfull and very drinkable means I certainly will be trying to get to know Tryst better. Score 7.5/10

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Williams Bros “Grozet” Summer Ale 5% ABV

I must admit to already being a fan of WB, but their Grozet is a bit of an unusual beast; brewed with wheat and cold stored with gooseberries. To the eye it’s iced tea with a thick foathy head and the aromas are just humming off it: green melon, pink grapefruit, fresh cut grass, wet warm wood sauna… oh god I’m salivating already. Quick to my lips! Oh it’s super fresh pink grapefruit, key lime pie with smooth peach texture and flavour. But there’s more on the finish: fragrant elderflower and peppery rocket. Loved this vibrant characterful Grozet, it’s utterly gluggable and sings “sunny summer festival” at the top of it’s Alloa-ite lungs. Score 8.75/10

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Colonsay 80/- Ale 4.2% ABV

The Colonsay Brewery based on an island of the same name in the Outer Hebrides (off the west coast of Scotland) claims to be the smallest island with it’s own brewery in the world. Their 80/- “Scottish” Ale gets its name from the days when stronger beers were taxed at 80 Shilling a barrel and is dark cola in colour with a root beer foam. There’s dark syrup, dark malts, woody mushroom, fig and wet wool on the nose. Tasting it, I can discern some chestnut, weak coffee, bitter herbs and hints of dry chocolate. It’s all a bit ho hum though. Shame. Score 6/10

Good Beer and food in Tel Aviv

I went out to Israel for work last year, where I happily stumbled upon a vibrant and growing micro brew scene. Though on my 1st night I only managed to try Goldstar, one of only a few mass produced beers in Israel. They had it on IMG_1966draft at Frank, a hot dog palace of some quality. IMG_1962The Goldstar was amber brown, had some dark malt flavours and was very cold. It obviously did the trick with my red hot, because I didn’t even get a picture of it before it was woofed down. IMG_1975

The next day it was as if some unknown force drew me along the beach to Jaffa Port Market, in the beautiful bustling seaside to the south of Tel Aviv. Once inside the market I was reminded of Granville Island in Vancouver, back in my native Canada. A buzzing modern space with restaurants, cafes and stalls selling all manner of consumables. I hadn’t gone more than 30 feet when there it was, my El Dorado. Occupying a prime corner space near an entrance stood Beer Market, one of only a handful of craft beer shops/bars in all of Israel. I felt giddy and exalted perusing the shelves of local brews.

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To begin I sampled the 2 keg beers on offer: Dancing Camel IPA & Hamaka Harishona (First Punch) a Smoked Ale by HaDubim. The Dancing Camel was everything a modern style IPA should be, well hopped, fresh fruity & fully flavoured. HaDubim HH was subtle on the smokiness, had a good balance, overall a decent effort. Beers in hand I installed myself at the little bar attached to the shop, and blissfully spent the next five or so hours drinking beer, eating and talking to anyone who came near me.
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After the draft beers I was getting peckish and was directed by the boys at Beer Market to the hummus stand about 8 feet to my right. The line wasn’t too long, but I waited for nearly 15 minutes because every transaction became a negotiation: more of this, less of that, give me a few of those, before finally the money was handed over. I was getting a lesson in culture while I cued! I got my traditional hummus and spicy Israeli salad. Now I just needed a something to drink… After some back and forth I settled on a Wheat Ale From Malka. Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 17.04.29Tucking into my grub & sipping the beer I fell into a sort of trance, the kind where the harmony of food and drink are completely in tune. The hummus was out of this world, as good as I have ever had; the sort of texture that bordered on the sensual. I was thankful for the bracing electrical chilli heat and citrus crunch of the cucumber tomato salad, as it kept my moaning with every bite to a minimum. Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 17.03.21

Personally I think wheat beers are a versatile match for lots of cuisines. Good examples like Malka have a fresh lemony acidity and herbaceousness to them, which cuts through richness and cleans the palate. At the same time they have a freshness which allows them to pair well with more delicate dishes as well.

IMG_1997I chatted some more with the guys and met Hadubim brewer Dagan while I sipped a draft pale ale from Shapiro, which was perfectly good.

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I was getting hungry again and only had to go about 3 meters to a stall selling sandwiches, where I procured this rare roast beef beauty. The bread was as soft as velvet and biting into it, I felt a surge of endorphins as my pleasure center lit up. The flavours of that oh so tender beef balanced perfectly against the crunch of lettuce and sting of mustard. Of course another beer was needed so I returned to Dancing Camel and their very good APA. It had a lovely weight and richness, with a persistent but not overwhelming hop character. A superb match for the sandwich.Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 17.05.08

What struck me most as I sat watching men and woman of different ages come and go at Beer Market, was the genuine excitement that illuminated on so many faces as they saw or heard that all these beers were brewed in Israel. The country doesn’t have a brewing history as such and I felt as if I was glimpsing something at it’s very beginning.

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My most vivid recollection was of three men in their late 50’s. Working lads with broad shoulders and calloused hands, one with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in his short sleeve shirt. They were hunting the shelves, asking questions and making their individual selections with the all the care and focus of school boys in a candy or comic shop. Their purchases made; they stood at the till admiring their choices, smiling to each other, giggling here and there, their eyes glinting with mixture of mischief, anticipation and pride.

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 17.03.01Time was getting on so I had to get back to my hotel and freshen up. But I wasn’t about to leave without a few souvenirs, so I bought a half dozen bottles and bid farewell to my very gracious hosts.

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My gastronomic adventures did not end there though. IMG_2018That evening I went with a colleague to the heaving Port Sa’id for dinner. It was obviously a place very popular with the young and trendy set of Tel Aviv and we had to wait for a table. Once sat the menu arrived, all in Hebrew, so after some help from the waitress we ordered an array of dishes.

This smoky fruit Barkan Shiraz hit the right notes without being too in your face and paired well with our meal. Though the first thing I tasted wasn’t even ours,IMG_2008 it belonged to the very friendly locals on the next table, who let me try this beautiful beetroot carpaccio with garlic yogurt while we waited for our food to arrive. IMG_2012

Now not having a menu to refer to I sadly I don’t have an exact recall each plate. But the flavours! I can still taste the unique spicing, texture and seasoning nearly a year on.

Things like Beans ‘Masabaha’ Salad, slow cooked beef, BBQ lamb and an astonishing roasted cabbage were all utterly delicious.

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The menu changes daily depending on what the eclectic chefs are able to source, but Port Sa’id is a must for any foodie visiting Tel Aviv. A real gem.

Sadly I wasn’t able to see much more of the city during my short visit, due to my work commitment. I felt though that I’d gotten a small taste of this exceptional city, and it’s fascinating inhabitants. I came away with a greater appreciation and respect that I had not anticipated. For that I am truly grateful.

Fullers Vintage Ale

I had been saving a bottle of Fullers Vintage Ale 2000 since I was given it during a visit to the historic Griffin Brewery in Chiswick at a beer bloggers conference nearly three years ago. It was the first time a beer had lasted more than a week in my house, let alone years. Of this particular vintage Fullers had produced 85,000 bottles and decided to brew with English Champion Optic Malt and Organic Target Hops.

I wanted a special occasion to open it, Christmas Day seemed appropriate and much ceremony was made while pouring out this bottle conditioned* time capsule. Its smooth rich deep amber hue nestled comfortably into the feminine curves of the two elegant 1/3 pint CAMRA glasses I had chosen for the special task.

To my nose I raised the branded tulip and was struck a touch dumb with the complex aromas that greeted me. My olfactory curator reeled trying to make sense of this woody earthy perfume, but it began slowly to emerge. First fresh bees wax, then sweet corn syrup left to sit in the sun, next came toasted sunflower seeds and finally dense rich malt loaf with fat raisins. All the while weaving in and out were wild herbs and dried grasses. Now it was time to taste, the first sip coated my mouth with dry peach, then Demerara sugar. I kept needing to taste and re taste to discern the dry herb finish. It caused my to mouth actually sweat, the drying woody tannins lingering on my tongue. To say this 8.5% ABV beer is rather special is an understatement, it is a beverage imbued with the nuance and diversity of flavour that I usually reserve for wine – a truly try before you die beer.

It paired beautifully with the Neal’s YardMelrose & Morgan cheeses (Perroche soft goats, Stawley washed rind goats & Gran Jura) biscuits and onion chutney. Despite never having “laid down” beer before I can proudly say that there is around a dozen bottles from different brewers sat in my pantry stood a reasonably cool dark box, maturing, growing wise. I thoroughly recommend you do the same.

You can order Fullers Vintage Ale 2013 direct online from £6 a bottle. They may have other vintages in stock so do get in touch with them to find out. Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 17.11.56

*Bottle Conditioning – The secondary fermentation that occurs when yeast and sugars are added to the beer right before bottling. This process leads to higher alcohol content and allows the beer to be aged, which can produce varying changes in taste and strength.

Definition courtesy of Beer Tutor

Brains Craft Beer

Craft or Micro Brew is all the rage these days with smaller scale breweries popping up all over the country brewing beers of real quality and originality. Not content to be left behind Welsh brewing juggernaut Brains launched Brains Craft Beer in May 2012 and has already produced over 50 different beers! Here’s what I thought of 3 of them;

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.07Barry Island IPA 6% US inspired IPA made in collaboration w/ Simon Martin

Pale copper on the eye producing no real head.

Nose is sour, barley sugar, lemon, leather & cantaloupe melon.

Palate is sharp, malted sugars & bread, moreish easy drinking, lemon zest & herb finish.

Not bad at all and would happily go with garlic prawns. 6.75/10

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.28Atlantic White 6%  Belgian & US mash up producing a White IPA 

Yellow gold with good frothy head.

Smelt herbaceous, golden syrup, sunflower and grapefruit pips.

Nutty, spicy herbs, rocket, lean and a bit soapy.

Decent. Went well with Haddock mustard & cheese fishcakes. 6.25/10

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.40The Shy Porter 4.5% A traditional brown porter w/ added coconut chips and raw cacao nibs

Rich thick foam head, hazy cola brown.

Sweet & raw chocolate nose.

Sweet coconut, sour, unbalanced, acidic, pina colada, not right.

Fairly disappointing and I actually chucked it down the sink. 3.5/10

So these bottled signs were decent(barring the very poor or perhaps faulty Shy Porter), but having tried a few more of their beers at GBBF(Great British Beer Festival) on cask, I must concede that I find Brains Craft Beer tastes like a big brewer trying very hard to produce “craft beer”. By that I mean it’s perfectly ok, but lacks real character and that artesian touch.

Postscript :

At the British Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2013 in December last year I tasted beers from Brains Contitental Beer Challenge, where they worked in collaboration with some highly regarded UK beer writers & professionals. The aim of which was to brew the best classic continental style, with most adding their own unique twist. I tried a number of them and found most of them to be of a universally high standard, but was especially impressed by the Challenge winner Rye Catcher by Glenn Payne, Brabo by Des De Moor and Three C’Son by Adrian Tierney-Jones.  Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.00.27Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.01.00Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.01.19

Street Feast @ Hawker House

Judging by the popularity of Hawker House in Hackney on it’s 2nd weekend of 6, I would go as far to say that Foodie-ism is perhaps the fastest growing religion in London. Set up in an old warehouse with stalls selling all manner of culinary communions, from Indian to Ice Cream to Americana. This winter offering from the Street Feast crew is really packing the “pulpits” with it’s ying of family friendly eating and drinking in the early evening, but goes yang later with DJ’s spinning into the wee hours.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.58.12 There was a big bar doing cocktails and brewskies plus a smaller boutique wine bar, but I was feeling beer, so big bar it was. Stepping up to the long counter I was surprised and slightly disappointed to find they only had Camden Town Brewery Pale & Lager on draft as well as some bottle offerings from CTB & Meantime Brewery. Hardly representative of the staggering array of great breweries we currently have in the capital, but don’t get me wrong I like Camden Town beers and Meantime are alright, but was hoping for more choice. A few beers in hand it was time to eat, Breddo’s Tacos were first up and thought they were pretty decent. Spicy juicy and fresh, cScreen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.59.00hicken and pork I as I recall… Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.58.35Next was Slider Bar, brethren unto Breddo’s. Now sliders are all the rage at the mo, and I am often less then thrilled, but this was not one of those times.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.57.29 The chilli heat, the meaty moistness and warm sweet bun was a revelation, best mini burger I have had in recent memory.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.57.52 The longest cue was at B.O.B.’s Lobster so I had to go there next, coming away after about 20 minutes armed with Lobster Mac and Cheese and their signature Lobster Roll.Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.57.15 Now I wasn’t wild about the MnC, not enough lobster and the mac was mushy, but their Lobster rollScreen Shot 2013-11-22 at 12.01.56, even at £11 was something quite enlightening. A square brioche bun jam packed with the most succulent sweet meat of that king of crustaceans, drizzled in a savoury, citrus vinaigrette…heavenly. Still peckish we went for another round of sliders, classic cheese this time, but 30 mins elapsed before we got them… just about worth the wait. Now if you don’t like to stand in line or urinate outdoors in winter(men only) then this may not be the place for you. But if this sounds like your idea of nourishment nirvana then bring a wad of cash(it’s not cheap as it goes) get there early as you can and bag some seating. Then go forth and eat my sons & daughters, eat…

Champion Beers of Britain 2000-13

I got very excited when the invite for this sudsy retrospective arrived in my inbox. An opportunity to taste the best beers as voted by CAMRA(Campaign for Real Ale) of the past 14 years all in one go, what a treat!

This unique event was held at The Bull in Highgate(North London), a venue that had long been on my malt liquor hit list. A very cosy pub with great staff and an impressive array of cask ales. All but one of the pumps(Pete’s Coffee Porter by Pete & London Brewing Company, which was pretty good) were dedicated to the aforementioned Champ E On A’s.Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 16.07.30 Some of the beers I’d had before and others were totally new to me so armed with my tasting sheet, pen and a glass I tucked in.

I took a rather simplistic approach to tasting the line up of royal real ales, as they were arranged on 2 floors, I tasted the ones downstairs first in order of ascending ABV and then did the same with the winners upstairs.

Here’s what I thought;

2000Moorhouse Black Cat Mild/3.4% – This was hands down my least favourite beer. Dull, thin, watery cola that was almost tasteless. A real disappointment. 3.5/10

2001Oakham Ales Jeffrey Hudson Bitter/3.8% – Despite it’s shortened name of JHB sounding like something you would go to jail for, this is a seriously good beer. Tons of depth, flavour, balance & character. A session ale of the highest order. 8/10 Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 16.05.47

2002Caledonian Deuchars IPA/3.8% – I know this beer well and have had some excellent pints of it(mostly in Edinburgh) and some rather bad ones(in London). But it showed well, clinging to the mouth, taught hoppiness & very fragrant nose. 6.5/10

2003Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted Blonde/4.2% – A favorite of mine in bottle and on keg, but B & T was off the pace a bit in cask. It’s freshness and intensity muted somewhat. Lacked bite but still a good brew. 7/10

2004Kelham Island Pale Rider Golden Ale/5.2% – I’ve had this in the past once or twice and have thought it a decent beer. The nose however is not welcoming, reminded me of skunk cabbage. It was a bit soapy and lacked some definition. Better than average though. 6.25/10

2005 & 2006 Crouch Vale Brewers Gold Blonde Ale/4.0% – The only double winner of the past 14 years and deservedly so. I buy this in bottle often from my local Morrison’s as it’s one of the only good beers they stock. Bright, crisp & refreshing, with a lemon pith grassy finish. A worthy back to back Champ, top stuff. 7.5/10

2007Hobson’s Mild/3.2% – Now I’m one of those Philistines who struggles to appreciate Mild, but that said Hobson’s is definitely one of the best I’ve tried. Lean, woody mushroom, tangy coffee and very drinkable. 7/10 Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 16.04.27

2008Triple FFF Brewery Alton’s Pride Bitter/3.8% – With a strong nose of farmyard and super dry hop character that left me wanting another sip, so was easy to see why this beer had its admirers, but it didn’t wow me. 6.5/10

2009Rudgate Ruby Mild/4.4% – Soapy, somewhat astringent and rather ho hum. A champion? Not nearly. 5/10

2010Castle Rock Harvest Pale Ale/3.8% – I remember this beer because it was my first year at GBBF(Great British Beer Festival) and they announced it over the tannoy. Buttery and bright with notes of sunflower seeds and lemon. Drinkable but nothing to sing about. 6/10

2011The Mighty Oak Brewery Oscar Wilde Mild/3.7% – Despite its rhyming name honouring a great writer & humourist, I was left wondering where this beer’s wit and charm were. I liked the creamy fleshy texture but found little else to praise. 5.5/10

2012Coniston Brewing Company No. 9 Barley Wine/8.5% – Very impressive this stuff.  Irn Bru in colour muted peach and sandy soil on the nose. Dry malty apricot, firm structure, good balance, long dry citrus finish. Company No. 9 is a complex wonderful brew, heartily deserving the crown in 2012 and was my beer of the night. 8.75/10 Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 16.05.00

2013Elland Brewery 1872 Porter/6.5% – Another great beer. Bitter chocolate, espresso, molasses notes, yet retaining freshness and sharp hop bite. Long persistent and well balanced. 8.25/10 Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 16.05.24

Now some of my critique may seem harsh, but when it comes to judging beer(or anything else for that matter) personal taste will always play the biggest part in whether you like, love or loath something. Some of my colleagues really liked some of the beers that I didn’t, that’s just way the malt crackles…

There were some nice snacks thrown on by our hosts Warminster Maltings and R&R Teamwork to soak up all the beers.Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 15.58.50 But I found myself returning to the glasses of Maris Otter Malted Barley. Nutty, malty, crunchy with a hint of sweetness, I would happily have bowls of it to snack on at my next dinner party.Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 15.58.19

Now I may not agree with CAMRA on everything(their hardliners superstitious view of keg beers for one) and certainly would not have voted to elevate some of these cask ales to Champion. However, considering how long ago some of the beers won, I was on the average pleased with the overall quality, if not wild about the beer itself. I did catch up with some old pals and met some lovely new folks as well, so all in all it was an excellent soiree.

 

3 Blind Porters

Tasting Porter Blind…folded

There is a distinct change in terms of my palate as the air grows cooler and evenings darken. Gone is my desire for fresh light citrusy beers of yellow and gold, give me the dense browns and blacks to keep the autumn and winter at bay.

The tale of Porter began here in London in the 18th century. It got its name due to it’s popularity with the people who enjoyed it most, the river and street porters. A dark fortifying beer that’s spread from London to Ireland to Italy to Idaho and beyond. Regional differences have allowed it to evolve and as a result is made in differing strengths and styles. But it retains it’s roots in being rich dense brew full of character.

I decided to keep it true to its origins and only chose bottles from 3 London breweries. To add to the mix I decided to review the beers blind and though I knew which beers I had, I didn’t know the order in which I was to taste them.

Here are my notes…

Beer 1

Nose- Black cherry, unsweetened chocolate, cold expresso, quality Turkish delight, middle eastern spices, clove, cardamom, not too savoury, beautifully sweet & intoxicating

Palate- Rich, coffee bean, expresso, viscous, coats mouth, dark fruit, black raspberry, clean lingering finish

Score– 9.5/10

Beer 2

Nose- Sour gueuze, fresh plum, Japanese plum liqueur, unusual but not unpleasant

Palate- Clean, leaner than Beer 1, dark chocolate, raspberries, not thick, fresh bright, aromatic

Score– 8/10

Beer 3

Nose- Muted, earthy mushroom, cocoa, moist fruit way off down a tunnel or smelling fruit cooking in another room, peach, strawberry pie

Palate- disappointing, thin, some fruit, boysenberry, unsweetened chocolate on finish, uninspiring

Score- 6/10

I took off my mask and after squinting a bit these were the beers that I had tasted.Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 10.17.58

But what was the order?

Beer 1 was The Kernel Export India Porter @ 6.1% abv. Not surprisingly I loved it, as I do most beers that they make.

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Then Beer 2 was By the Horns Brewing Lambeth Walk Dark Porter @ 5.1% abv. A well made beer with a very interesting aroma profile.

Finally and rather unluckily was Beer 3 Fullers London Porter @ 5.4% abv which is decent beer all round. But against the other two it was always going to struggle.

The idea that in taking one sense away you heighten others I found to be very true, as I found that I was able to recognise so many more aromas.

Click on the links above to find out more about the beers and see where one can buy em…

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