Brewdog: Alice Porter (Scotland: Porter: 6.2% ABV)

Visual: Black, solid creamy toffee head of bubbles. Sud leaving and slow to diminish.

Nose: Apricot and chocolate. Milky coffee. Bubblegum. Fresh and fruity against roasted and heavy. Pineapple. Fudge. Roasted nuts.

Body:  Roasted nuts. Cloying texture. Sour dough and cream. Bubblegum underneath. Milk chocolate. Bitter. Light milky coffee. Light grapefruit.

Finish: Roasted nuts. Heavy charring and heavy bitterness. Slight soured elements. Long Lasting.

Conclusion: Oddness upon oddness. The first oddity is the Baltic porter itself. Always slightly cloying and sour, it’s a style I encounter rarely and intrigues me when I do. Second: Sorachi Ace influence. Lets face it, who thought “here’s a heavy roasted porter, what we really need is bubble gum style hops!”. Third, a nose that contrasts chocolate and apricot, fruit and coffee? Not what you would expect to work.

The nose however is by far the best structured part of the beer, as is so often the case. The heavy cloying body by comparison weighs over some of the cobweb fragile intricacies the nose promises.

Still, despite that it’s a great beer that lives up to its tagline of contradiction and manages to hold it all together.  Mad beers are always a friend to me, and this has a definite distinctive charm.  The cloying of a Baltic porter can be an acquired taste, but the joy of eccentricity should be universal. Give it a try, at worst you will find an interesting experiment, at best you will find a damn solid drink of unusual proportions.

Background: I can’t find the source I had for this for this, but I’m fairly sure this beer was made with Sorachi Ace hops which I have recently found an appreciation for.  I’ve been drinking a bottle of this every now and then for the past month and only just got around to actually doing a tasting note.   As always a disclaimer, I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.