Londen (Belgian-Style English Porter) – Dageraad Brewing (Burnaby, BC, Canada)

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Londen (Belgian-style English Porter) – Dageraad Brewing Inc., 7.0% ABV, 650ml., (Burnaby, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


printed on the front-left label:

“Imagine an English porter. Now imagine a Belgian brewer reimagining an English porter. Now imagine a couple of Canadian brewers imagining how a Belgian brewer would reimagine an English porter.  Combining the light roast and rich malt of an English porter with the fruity, spicy mystery of a Belgian fermentation, Londen is your new favourite beer this winter.  Londen is refermented in the bottle, so pour with care to leave the yeast sediment in the bottle.”

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  • Style: Porter
  • Taste: Crisp toasted brown sugar barley malt light root beer spices
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.55 CAD (after 15% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: solid flavour

Visual: Pours slightly cloudy very dark brown with minimal head, island and ringed retention, lots of small bubble singular streams.

Nose: lightly carameled barley malt (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, slightly slick thicker-milky

Mid-palate: background subdued tangy alcohol, toasted brown sugar (lvl-6-sweetness), root beer, caramel barley malt, light metallic

Finish: slight tangy, light sweet roast exhale, subtle bitter hops.

Summary: Big sweet balanced roasty malt body with some root beer spices, good potency whilst still retaining a nice drinkability. Great with beer snacks.

 

McCools Hazelnut Porter – Hearthstone Brewing Co. (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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McCools Hazelnut Porter – Hearthstone Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV – 25 IBUs, 500 ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


printed on the back of the can:

“The Celts believed hazelnuts gave one wisdom. There is an ancient tale where nine hazelnut trees grew around a sacred pool, dropping into the water nuts that were eaten by salmon, who absorbed the wisdom.

A Druid teacher caught one of these special salmon and asked a student to cook the fish, but not to eat it. While he was cooking it, a blister formed and the pupil used his thumb to burst it, which he then sucked to cool, thereby absorbing the fish’s wisdom. This boy was called Fin McCool and he went on to become on of the most heroic leaders in Gaelic mythology.” (also found on wiki)

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  • Style: (flavoured? – hazelnut) Porter
  • Taste: Straightforward dry roast bitter malt generic nutty
  • Where I got it : High Point / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $4.00 CAD – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours dark brown with minimal head, half layer of micro retention, thicker viscosity, clusters of micro streams around the perimeter.

Nose: nutty malt deep roast. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp, slick-mildly thicker viscosity

Mid-palate: dry bitter deep roast barley, continued-crispness/tingly-fizzy, (lvl-3-sweetness), nutty-woody, caramel malty

Finish: lingering roast bittersweetness, subtle hop bitterness.

Summary: Decent big roast flavour with generic nutty bitterness. Straightforward, not that intriguing.

Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Co. (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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Odyssey Nitro Porter – Phillips Brewing Company, 5.0% ABV, 500 ml., (Victoria, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer)


printed on the side of the can:

“Welcome aboard the Odyssey, our nitrogen powered porter transport vessel. Known for riding cascading clouds of tiny bubbles through turbulence into a creamy foam landing, it delivers the rich and full flavoured voyage you’ve been waiting for.”

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  • Style: (nitrogenated) Porter
  • Taste: Creamy but immediately flat roasted barley coffee chocolate watery thin
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $3 CAD (after 10% off) – 500ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours dark brown with a lasting 5mm pillowy nitro foam head.

Nose: deep roasted coffee barley malt. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: (initial sips = creamy), afterward = flat-slick-watery

Mid-palate: sustained background acidity, deep roasted barley malt, (lvl-4-sweetness),

Finish: roasted coffee and sweet barley malt exhale, mild chocolate.

Summary: The initial few sips are good but the nitrogen quickly disappears and you’re left with a seemingly flat and watery drink. I enjoy the roasted malt profile but overall it’s just too watery too fully enjoy.

The Craft BeerAdvent 2014 Calendar Day #19 – Winterporter (Netherlands)

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #19

Winterporter – Browerij de Molen, 6.7% ABV – 330ml., (Bodegraven, Netherlands)

  • Style: (sour) Porter
  • Taste: Big sour tangy roasted barley malt mild coffee
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Their signature simple label. Pours dark brown with suspended sediment, a large ultra-foamy lasting head, thick sticky lacing, clusters of slow micro streams.

Nose: roasted malt, background sourness, hints of coffee. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: acidic sour-crisp

Mid-palate: ongoing building sourness, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) roast barley malt, cola, barnyard, sour cherry

Finish: tangy-puckery, chocolate-coffee exhale, subtle hops, sour acidic finish.

Summary: Lots of sourness in this one, too much for my liking. Not my style of porter. At last, a de Molen brew that I didn’t particularly like.

The Craft BeerAdvent 2014 Calendar Day #17 – Marmalade Porter (UK)

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The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #17

Marmalade Porter – Wold Top Brewery, 5% ABV – 330ml., (Driffield, England)

on the back label:

“A complex, triple hopped rich dark Porter, with a sweet malty base and overtones of bitter orange alongside hints of coffee and chocolate. This porter is also certified to have a gluten content that is below the CODEX standard of 20ppm. Great with classic Roast Dinners and Chocolate!”

  • Style: Porter
  • Taste: Roasted malt bitter orange tangy bitter hops mild chocolate coffee exhale
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours soy sauce black with minimal head, thin ringed retention, clusters of streams here and there.

Nose: roasted malts, nuttiness. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: slick micro-tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) bitter peel orange peel, orange sour-tangy, light roast malt

Finish: bitter chocolate, bitter resiny hops, dry roast coffee tangy exhale.

Summary: Good body and decent flavour for a 5% of a porter. Lots of tanginess and a surprise dose of bitter hops but it’s all kept in a drinkable balance.

Choqlette Porter – Bomber Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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Choqlette Porter – Bomber Brewing, 5.5% ABV, 650ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft brew*)

Another local brewery in the Strathcona/Commercial Drive area; it’s great to see the craft brew scene grow as time goes by. This is my first tasting of their brews.

printed on the front-right label:

“Great taste is more than the beer in this bottle. It’s classy and quirky and vibrant and subtle. It’s chaos and balance, innately in sync. It’s not something you learn, it’s a second instinct. It’s old worldly charm with a modern day spin. Rich roasted malts with chocolate a l’ancienne. London and Paris at home in one drink. It’s just a few of our favourite things.”

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  • Style: (chocolate) Flavoured Porter
  • Taste: Crisp tingly smooth sweet roasted barley malt soft chocolate backend
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey, N. Bby
  • How much: $6.25 (after 7.5% off) – 650ml., September 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with a smallish head, 1mm layer of foamy retention, lots of singular micro streams.

Nose: roasted dark malts, chocolate, coffee. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: light slick-oily-biting crisp-tingly, micro CO2

Mid-palate: soft mouthfeel, (lvl-5)-sweetness, mild sourness, (MAIN) sweet roasted barley malt, hints of cinnamon

Finish: chocolate depth, soft roasted bittersweet malty finish.

Summary: I like the smooth drinkability and overall balance of crisp, sweet, roasty and malty. I wish for more complexity and creaminess/milky as the finish is a tad cloying sweet.

Black Butte Porter – Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR, USA)

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Black Butte Porter – Deschutes Brewery, 5.2% ABV, 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., (Bend, Oregon, USA)

on the front-right label:

“An opening volley, this pioneering dark ale signaled Deschutes’ renegade intentions. Its creamy mouthfeel, complex layers, hop edge and chocolate finish personify passion-forward brewing.”

  • Style: Porter
  • Taste: Light roast caramel malt coffee chocolate smooth start-to-finish
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5 – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: Pours dark cola brown with barely any head, a thin layer of micro retention, lots of medium-speed streams.

Nose: roast caramel malts. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp, incoming roast

Mid-palate: (lvl-4)-sweetness, micro fizzy, (MAIN) light roast coffee, molasses, malt, chocolate

Finish: burpy, light roast malt exhale, malty finish.

Summary: The difference between a porter and a stout? This exemplifies it for me right here. Crisp and lighter bodied without the heaviness, cleaner malt flavours, and straighter light roast delivery with a soft finish. Other online sources may tell you otherwise, but this distinction rings true for me at least.

Kurofune Porter – Baird Brewing (Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan)

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  • My Rating: A-

Kurofune Porter – Baird Beer, 6% ABV – 360ml., (Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan)

on the front right-side of the label, translated from ratebeer.com:

“Kurofune (means “Black Ships”) was the word the Japanese used to describe the American gunboats that came to open Japan to western trade. Kurofone Porter is sleek and forceful, but leaves a winning bittersweet taste of chocolate and coffee on the tongue. “Do not resist the superior might; cunningly acquiesce, and embrace.” Kampai!”

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  • Style: Porter
  • Taste: Chocolate roasted coffee malts, silky-creamy smooth and crisp, surprising spiced finish.
  • Where I got it : West Coast Liquor
  • How much: $5 – 360ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Extremely cool Japanese-style artwork on the label. Pours ultra-dark brown with a nice-sized cream-foamy head, good retention, sticky lacing, several micro bubbly streams near the base of the glass.

Nose: sweet roast coffee-chocolate malts, very enticing (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: silky smooth-crisp, mild fizzy

Mid-palate: creamy-smooth mouthfeel, (MAIN) chocolate malts, roasted coffee, mild soy sauce

Finish: just a touch of coffee sourness, soft bitter malted hops + roasted bitterness, hint of black pepper spiced malty finish.

Summary: Ultra smooth, crisp and well-balanced, this one is now one of my favourite porters. This makes me reconsider my love for imperial stouts.

Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter – Tofino Brewing (Tofino, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Dawn Patrol Coffee Porter – Tofino Brewing, 6.5% ABV – 650ml, (Tofino, BC, Canada)

On the front side label:

“Porter – Dark brown colour – Rich, choclate malts – Conditioned with locally roasted coffee beans and bourbon flavoured vanilla beans – A winter worth waking up for”

  • Style: (Coffee) Flavoured Porter
  • Taste Profile: fizzy sweetness -> cola/malt/coffee/vanilla -> soy/sourness/roast/bittersweet finish.
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $7 (after 10% off), July 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Coffee, vanilla beans, and chocolate malts…mmm…sounds good already. Pours very cloudy opaque cola brown with almost no head, ringed cola-bubbly retention, lots of moderate speed activity.

Nose: Aromatic roasted coffee beans and a hint of cola.

Attack: fizzy mouthfeel, 7/10-unbalanced sweetness (too bright)

Mid-palate: persistent fizzy, cola/root beer, malts, coffee, vanilla

Finish: light soy sauce, mild sourness-but crisp, light bitter burnt roast, partially watery lingering bittersweet malty finish.

Summary: The beer goes like this: initially bright, attention-grabbing sweetness -> not complex enough mids (cola/malt/coffee); flavours end too quickly not bold enough -> thin finish that doesn’t have enough carry or depth. So in essence, the balance isn’t quite there but overall not terrible by any means.

Old Engine Oil – Harviestoun Brewery (Scotland)

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  • My Rating: B+

Old Engine Oil – Harviestoun Brewery, 6.0% ABV – 330ml, (Alva, Central, Scotland)

On the back label:

“This rich, lubricious, black beer reminded Harviestoun’s original brewer of the engine oil he was familiar with having worked for Ford. A modern take on the 19th century porter style, it is complex, powerful but elegant; distinctive notes of chocolate and coffee lead to a bittersweet aftertaste. Enjoy it with strong, hard cheese, slow-cooked lamb or black pudding. Best serve chilled. Old Engine Oil was awarded a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge 2009.”

  • Style: Porter
  • listed in “1001 beers you must taste before you die” book
  • Taste Profile: bittersweet rich depth -> chocolate/malt/coffee/charcoal -> bittersweet/sour/mellow finish
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $5 (after 10% off), January 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: I like their Ola-dubh barrel-aged series, especially their 30-year old. So with that in mind I kind of have some positive expectations of this one. Anyhow, this pours supa-black with just a shade of brown, minimal micro CO2 head, not much retention, no visible CO2 activity. Very strong rich aromatic roasted coffee on the nose.

Attack: bittersweet mild 5/10-sweetness, amazing richness & depth up front,

Mid-palate: mellow bittersweet chocolate malts, roasted coffee, charcoal

Finish: bittersweet, mildly sour, smooth & mellow

Medium complexity, med-high depth, good carry, good transitions, great drinkability. This and Russian Imperial Stouts are my kind of beer.