Founders Porter

Founders: Porter (USA: Porter: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Light coffee brown dash for a head.

Nose: Roasted and smoke. Nutty. Bitter coffee.

Body: Bitter chocolate and roasted nuts. Treacle toffee. Liquorice toffee. Sweet chocolate liquore touches. Cream cheese and chives lightly. Black cherry. Near the end gets vinous.

Finish: Cream cheese. Chalk. Coffee granules. Roasted nuts. Quite bitter. Chocolate. Slight medicinal feel and smoke. Coffee.

Conclusion: Porters can sometimes be viewed as the lesser cousins of stouts, an odd fact considering the oft loose boundaries between the two styles, but there you go.

This porter on the other hand bows down to no beer. Initially it seemed closed as the aroma didn’t bring much with mainly roasted and nut elements. This turns out to be because it was saving all its play for that first sip.

That first mouthful, pretty much pure bitter chocolate. Then it takes time and further drinking for the sweet elements to come out and then add slick liquore like touches. Longer still for the traditional porter smooth creamy coffee to come into play.

The finish similarly gives you a lot over time. Initially simple and dry it progresses through chocolate, smoke and lightly medicinal drying touches by the end.

That progression is the thing. The sweetness into the medicinal, or bitterness into sweet chocolate. Every path leads to a new contrast and contradiction. The comparatively restrained porter style compared to the stout allows you to go looking for the flavour rather than it forcing itself to you and the seeking makes it all the more worth it.

This shows how the porter can still stand up on its own two feet, how the lower strength and intensity can be to its advantage rather than a flaw. Excellent. One of the great porters and great beers.

Background: Last of the recent batch of Founder’s beer I picked up. The other to didn’t quite catch my imagination, but I had high hopes for this one. You see, my first experience with Founders was with their stouts and they were bloody lovely. So hopefully this would come through the same way. This was picked up from Brewdog’s guest beer section.