Zmajska Pivovara Porter
Zmajska Pivovara: Porter (Croatia: Porter: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Moderate brown froth that dims to bubbled islands pretty quickly.

Nose: Light liquorice. Malt chocolate and chocolate cake. Milky coffee. Cream cheese.

Body: Roasted character and milky chocolate. Brown bread. Frothy, mostly thick texture but with a few thin spots.

Finish: Frothy chocolate and peanuts. Nice roasted character. Feels thicker than the actual body. Chocolate cake. Light cream cheese and chives.

Conclusion: Porter, not just a song by Scroobius Pip, but also a beer style, and one that often delivers solid beers. This is a solid beer -very much aimed at the middle of the porter style range, mainly chocolate backed by slight kind of cream cheese and chive notes and underlined by a solid roasted character.

It feels pretty restrained though – the body has a few moments of thick frothiness and a few thin spots, but is generally just slightly less present than would be expected for a porter.

That kind of restraint continues throughout the beer – each flavour is definitely present, but most don’t boom. It feels like someone is following up the idea of a session IPA with a session porter, but at over 6%. Which kind of hurts that idea. Oh well.

Not to be too harsh though, there is a place for less forthright porters, but because of this being less forthright there is also less to rave about – though equally less to criticise I guess.

So, solid, but not stand out – concentrates a bit much on the lower roasted and slightly soured notes without giving the high notes that could take advantage of that base. You won’t be disappointed but neither will you be excited.

Background: Ok, after accidentally selecting the highest rated beer from Serbia to drink, it turns out I also brought back the highest rated beer from Croatia. According to ratebeer anyway. Huh, cool. Anyway, so the final beer from the Belgrade trip, drunk after I got back to the UK. Because my friends are from Belgrade I was determined to like this beer more, just to piss them off. So, yeah, bias warning. Kidding. Mostly. Drunk while listing to B. Dolan’s Kill The Wolf again – that guy smashes live gigs so it brought back good memories.