Chilliplum Porter

Waen: Chilliplum Porter (Wales: Porter: 6% ABV)

Visual: Dark black with a small browned bubbled head.

Nose: Chilli seed. Coffee. Light spirit. Stewed dates. Malt chocolate.

Body: Chocolate liquore. Warmth if held for a while. Subtle plums. Figs. Bitter chocolate. Raisins. Molasses. Black cherry. A touch of candy floss. Vanilla. Toffee.

Finish: Warmth and chilli seeds. Bitter chocolate. Slight plums comes out. Black berry. Toffee.

Conclusion: My fellow tasters called this “weird”. I feel that I should attempt to be vaguely more professional and descriptive than that. This is an oddly well balanced beer. It uses a very chocolaty porter as the base – nothing too heavy or complex, but tasty enough. The beer is very simple in the aroma, you can get other elements if you dig around, but by that point you risk psychosomatic influences. Simple aroma, but competent enough in what it has.

The plums does its work in the mid body mainly, it is delivered very carefully along with other dark fruit sweetness and some candy sugars. At this point the beer pretty much has no warmth unless you go looking for it, but the fruit side is giving it a range of delicious flavour. The first sip won’t really bring it out, at about the quarter pint point is when I started getting the range of complexities.

Finally the warmth shows itself in the finish. The finish is simple, like the aroma, but warming – never hot- just a pleasant warmth. If you want a burning beer that will challenge you this is not it, the heat is just an element, along with all the others.

The combination of the three elements, base, plum and heat, is odd, but they are balanced excellently against each other. On each sip the weight and sweet fruit dims the heat from the tail end of the last. The three basic elements become a richly complex beer and more than the sum of its parts, and very easily drinkable at that.

I’d say while not the best chilli beer I have had, it is the best balanced, and very delectable.

Background: Second beer of the Cardiff Beer Festival 2014. This one stood out on the list as a self explanatory beer. It has plums. It has chilli. It is a porter. This was drunk while chatting with a few of the fellow festival goers. The guy serving me was enthusiastic about the beers, and due to it not been too busy yet, I was able to have a good chat while considering the options, which was nice.

Millenium Stadium