Victory: Brewdog: U-Boat (Scotland: Smoked Porter: 8.4% ABV)
Visual: Black. Small browned head that diminishes to islands. Still main body.
Nose: Smoke. Cured ham. Dry roasted peanuts. Beef brisket.
Body: Slight medicinal. Smoke. Dried beef. Light vanilla and caramel. Salt rocks. Dusty touch. Malt chocolate and coffee. Slight sour cream. Soft lemon underneath?
Finish: Bitter chocolate and smoke. Smoked beef. Light salt. Pulled pork. Bitter coffee.
Conclusion: Ok, high concept review. This is Alice Porter, but smoked. Boom! Job done. You are welcome.
What? You haven’t drunk Alice Porter?
Guess I’d best do a proper review then.
Up front the smoked character is evident, lots of smoked meat, with even a slight salt rock character, reminiscent of Islay whisky style, but lighter. However under that is a solid porter, though the chocolate and coffee notes are actually quite at the back – informing the character without being the character. Instead there is that kind of sour cream character that Alice Porter had, backed by caramel sweetness which combines in a soft of salted caramel way with the main notes, a nice kind of swing to the beer.
So, we have here a smoked, salted caramel, porter chocolate and coffee, contrasted by sour cream kind of beer. Try saying that three times fast.
It is good. Surprisingly moreish for the high abv and the weight of flavour, that slightly cloying sour cream manages to make it very drinkable by taking off the edge of the harsher characteristics . The salt elements give it a nice tingle of harshness, but not too heavy – just enough to dry the mouth and make you want to indulge more.
An evolution, not a revolution of the style, but a very good one.
Background: You can ferment a porter with lager yeast? Apparently so. At least if you use smoked malt as well. This is the latest in a long line of Brewdog collaborations – as always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Drunk while listening to Rise Against’s Endgame. Yes Rise Against are definitely growing on me.