Tag Archive: Imperial Porter

Salt: The Queer Brewing Project: Flavourtown (England: Imperial Porter: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Thin brown dash of bubbles instead of a head.

Nose: Fresh dough. Slight crushed bourbon biscuits. Crushed crunchies chocolate bars.

Body: Smooth chocolate fondue. Light mead. Peppery. Caramel. Clean texture and mouthfeel. Honey.

Finish: Light earthy character. Watery chocolate. Honey sheen. Caramel in a Twix bar style. Milky coffee. Sheen of choc toffee. Cocoa.

Conclusion: What makes the difference between an Imperial Porter and a higher abv stout? That is the eternal question. Technically there are style guidelines, but in practise it seems to vary wildly. In this case I would say the difference is in mouthfeel and general weight of the beer.

While this is not a light beer by any means, it is only late on that it ever starts to show the full weight of the 8% ABV and even then it is very smooth for the style. That is in mouthfeel anyway, flavour wise this booms all the way. All the way to …flavourtown. Haha. Haha.


Anyway, this is smooth chocolate with honey and mead notes – in the finish those honeyed notes especially linger. Despite the strength and lasting flavour it doesn’t feel artificially intense or sweet, which feels a tad confusing. You have big long lasting flavours, but somehow restrained.

It has a little in the way of earthy and peppery notes, but at its core it comes in with that rich cocoa and honey, with only subtle influence from the common coffee porter notes. Despite the sweet notes it it quite dry, especially into the finish. It is odd, like a lot of the beer it feels slightly contradictory in its ways.

The beer does get thicker over time, feeling slightly honey thickened by the end – still not Imperial Stout like weight – more like a thicker mead, but so different from the start. Still not quite sure how that happened.

But, is it good? Kind of. Feels like it is honey balanced over a gentle sweet core at the start, but by the end it is honey on full blast which gets over powering. I enjoy it, but is an occasional drink, not a frequent one. Starts subtle, ends outrageously mead filled. Decent if unbalanced.

Background: The Queer Brewing Project! Cool idea, with some of the profits going to LGBTQ charities and Salt are a good brewery to match, so it was an easy choice to drive into Flavourtown! Whoop whoop! So what did they go for? An Imperial Porter made with honeycomb dust. You don’t get many Imperial Porters, possibly because of the confusion in what exactly one is, so it was an interesting one to grab from Independent Spirit. Went back to the 90s with Faithless: Reverence as backing music while drinking.


Basqueland: Saveur Bière: Coco Chango (Spain: Imperial Porter: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Medium sized grey-brown head.

Nose: Bourbon. Liquorice. Bunt toffee. Coconut. Cinder toffee. Toasted teacakes. Marshmallows. Coconut macaroons. Slightly spicy.

Body: Thick. Rye spice. Vanilla toffee. Chocolate fondue. Bitter chocolate cake. Slight caramel. Bourbon. Brown bread. Bitter coffee. Peppery.

Finish: Nutty. Peppery. Bitter cocoa. Crushed walnuts. Slight mint leaves. Spicy. Coconut.

Conclusion: Ok, I can see no mentioned of bourbon ageing on this thing’s bottle, so I presume it has not spent any time in the oak – which is odd ‘cos from the experience drinking it I could swear this has been barrel aged. Any which way it is a good sign for the beer. Whatever caused it, it smooths a thick beer and adds a light sweetness to heavy, rye touched, spicy porter.

So, good start. Let’s dig into the details.

This opens up with a kind of burnt toffee, bonfire night and bourbon aroma. Some coconut notes to tease me, as coconuts in dark beer is totally my jam, and hints of liquorice which were a bit of warning as over used liquorice in dark beers can be my ..erm, anti-jam? Still, a good start. Could do with more awesome coconut, but good start.

The body comes in very differently after that. It is thick, with a wonderfully heavy texture with plenty of rye spice against cream toffee and bitter chocolate cake. It starts out on the sweeter end of the spectrum and gets spicier and more bitter as the beer goes along, but still matched against that creamy sweetness.

The finish is the only bit that doesn’t quite grab me. It is quite savoury and spicy without the contrasting notes needed to make that work. Also not enough coconut, but that is true of the whole beer.

Overall it is lovely – great progression both in aroma to body, and in over time within each element. It is thick, heavy but smooth. Sweet up front, spicy at the end. I love it. There is a slightly weak finish, and it could do with more coconut, but despite that it is still highly recommended.

Background: A new brewery on me, and this one caught my eye as it is an Imperial Porter made with coconut and rye. It is the coconut that really caught me. Long time readers will know that coconut porters and stouts are totally my thing. I love them. One down side of the beer though was it is yet another one with wax to seal the bottle. In this case the wax was very brittle, so thankfully easy to get off the bottle, but it was hard to try and stop the crumbs from falling into the damn beer. I have really gone off wax sealed bottles through overexposure over the years. Maybe one beer a year from each brewery can justify wax, all the others can fuck right off. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. I hadn’t heard of their collaborators, saveur bière, a quick google tells me they are an online beer store. Neat. Anyway, another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Went with Miracle of Sound’s awesome Metal Up for background drinking music again.

Omnipollo: Buxton: Texas Pecan Ice Cream (Sweden: Imperial Porter: 10% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Froths up a head that vanishes nigh instantly.

Nose: Pecan. Cashew. Coffee cake. Cocoa dust. Light charcoal ash. Caramel. Creamy.

Body: Blackcurrant and liquorice. Slight sherbety feel. Chocolate liqueur. Slightly bready. Crushed pecan. Lactose feeling, yet slightly light mouthfeel. Light chalky feel. Caramel.

Finish: Chocolate bourbon biscuits. Crushed peanuts. Blackcurrant liquorice sweets. Milky. Leaves sheen on tongue. Dry fudge. Pecan pie.

Conclusion: I’m fairly sure Texas Pecan Ice Cream isn’t made with blackcurrant and liquorice. I mean, I could be wrong – ya know, not being from Texas and all that, but I’m still fairly sure.

You may be wondering why I am saying that, it is an odd way to open up the notes. Well, I say it as, while the nuts definitely dominate the aroma – on taking the first sip this came in big with those old blackcurrant and liquorice sweet character. Nice, but completely unexpected given the beer’s concept.

The nuttiness instead rises in the body as the beer warms – so don’t worry about that. There is a similar progression in the texture – while it does have a lactose, creamy mouthfeel, early on it feels deceptively light. I do wonder if this difference in texture is part of what makes an Imperial porter stand out from an imperial stout – they are such close linked styles. The weight does grow over time, but even late on it doesn’t have the fullness you would expect of a lactose infused, 10% abv beer. Even feels slightly sherbety against some chalk feel, and still slightly light. Unusual.

So – it is different to what I expected from the description – early on it is very enjoyable in the blackcurrant and liquorice it brings, and that always plays as a backing to the main beer. The nuttiness becomes quite present over time mixing with creamy caramel and fudge sweetness – it isn’t quite pecan ice cream to my mind, probably would need just a bit more body to sell that imagery – it isn’t bad at all, but it really feels like a bit more work, a bit more body and this could be a huge beer and much better.

Pretty good, a mix of the core concept with a radically different imperial porter base, but not 100% on point.

Background: I very much enjoyed the Ominpollo and Buxton collaboration Ice Cream themed beers when I first ran into them about a year ago. Seeing that Independent Spirit had one of the ones I had missed back in stock, I decided to grab it and give it a try. Made with vanilla and lactose sugar, along with wheat and oats in the malt bill – though not, it seems, any actual pecans. I could be wrong on that so don’t quote me on that one. Drunk while listening to The Algorithm – Brute Force. Missed seeing them live last year despite having tickets, which was a pity, but great electronic, mathcore style fun to listen to when drinking.

Buxton: Omnipollo: Original Rocky Road Ice Cream (England: Imperial Porter: 10% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Slight head on pour which quickly vanishes.

Nose: Praline chocolate. Peanut butter. Marshmallow. Grated bitter chocolate. Vanilla ice cream. Condensed cream

Body: Silken chocolate. Peanut butter. Fudge. Chocolate fondue. Praline. Light rum and raisin ice cream. Madeira. Lightly chalky. Marshmallow. Vinous red grapes undertones.

Finish: Vanilla ice cream. Peanut butter. Marshmallow. Chocolate ice cream. Salted peanuts. Cocoa dust.

Conclusion: Ok, the marshmallow style is utterly nailed here. Seriously, it lands large with a fluffy mouthfeel and sweet taste. The whole Rocky Road imagery is shown with creamy notes layered over a solid praline to cocoa dust base. It is a solid, sweet – yet with a bitter cocoa backbone Imperial Porter. A very good start.

So, image wise, for its Rocky Road ice cream inspiration it does it brilliantly in a lot of ways. When chilled down the mouthfeel and flavour give a lot of vanilla ice cream style, without the low temperature hurting the vast range the beer brings.

The biggest departure from the theme is in how it deals with the nuttiness. This is massively peanut styled nutty, Early on it feels like a pure peanut butter stout. Now, yes, nuts are used in rocky road, but in my experience they are never this dominant. The other elements do earn their place though, balancing it better as time goes on. Even with the heavy peanut butter early on, as a beer in itself this is excellent – in fact better than most intended peanut butter stouts that I have tried – and over time the marshmallow and ice cream complexities rise around that. Even at the end of the beer the peanut butter dominates a bit much to be called a perfectly accurate rocky road beer, but it is a good enough call, and that does nothing to stop it being an excellent beer.

It is definitely on the sweet end of the dark beer style, it would be sweet even for an Imperial Stout, let alone Imperial Porter – very creamy, very thick – but the mix of bitter cocoa and savoury nuts gives it enough grounding that it doesn’t end up in the sugar shock range.

What really sells this is that the gimmick isn’t all the beer has, good as that is. As it warms subtle spirit and vinous notes come out. They are often still in an ice cream style – say rum and raisin impressions, but they turn what could be a gimmick beer into a genuinely good imperial porter on all levels.

I have a lot of time for this – it really lives the gimmick, with a few concessions which makes it a better beer. Very good as a sweet Imperial Porter up front, with a lot of complexity at the back. I applaud this fantastic beer.

Background: Ok I love rocky road ice cream and all similar desserts. So when trying to decide which of the “ice cream series” to try this one jumped right out at me. Grabbed from Independent Spirit it is made with cocoa nibs and lactose sugar. Also the image on the front looks like a walking green turd. But you can’t have everything, can you?` Drunk while listening to Brassick – Broke and Restless. Just found out they actually have an album out, but I never knew as I just kept track via bandcamp which didn’t list it – I must check it out.


Brewdog: Self Assembly Pope (Scotland:Imperial Porter: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Black. Large creamy brown head.

Nose: Coconut macaroons. Rye bourbon. Very milky coffee. Velvety.

Body: Light roasted nuts. Coconut macaroons. Bitter cocoa. Hazelnuts. Milky chocolate. Slight dry rice. Vanilla.

Finish: Dry coconut and slight rice. Bitter cocoa dust. Slight earthy bitterness. Bitter coffee. Slight soy milk. Rye crackers. Slight bourbon. Vanilla.

Conclusion: Coconut. Lovely, lovely coconut. Good start. Also an amazing amount of what I would call bourbon influence, except this beer hasn’t been barrel aged. So, doubly impressive then. Up front this is definitely a good one – it has so much I like in a porter or stout; Lots of rye like notes, moderate roasted nut character, huge amount of coconut macaroons – backed by a bitter core, smoothed by a lot of vanilla. Well balanced, good range – very good first impressions. Opening aroma through to early body is velvet smooth and spot on.

The second half is, well, different. Much harsher in the flavours – not in off notes or alcohol – just emphasising a very different style. Lots more bitter coffee, bitter chocolate – the rye bourbon notes now mix with a lot of rye cracker flavours, and even a touch of earthy bitterness. Very different and a bit of a shock. Not bad, just not what I would have predicted at the start.

What is a nock against it thought is a slight grittiness of feel that comes in – with also a hint of accompanying flavour of dry rice. It comes in more than the finish than elsewhere, but is hinted at later in the body. It makes the harsher notes more emphasised, and puts a few off notes in there with them.

Still, for the most part a very good beer – was in the running for a favourite for a while as it has so many of my favourite things. It is still good, but those flaws means that it feels like it needs a polish to get those off notes smoothed out.

Overall – very enjoyable up front, an ok end with some flaws. So close to being very good. Hope they do work on this one.

Background:man, Brewdog are putting out a lot of beers at the mo. Anyway, grabbed this from Brewdog Bristol – a porter made with coconut, vanilla and cocoa. Which in retrospect explains roughly half the items in the tasting notes. Love the fun artwork Brewdog have been putting on their small batch cans, and this is no exception. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to more of Grimes: Visions – it is just an awesome album. Also had been playing some Pony Island – a weird meta as hell game, so was in a generally fun mood.

Stone 6th Anniversary Porter 2016 Encore

Stone: 6th Anniversary Porter: 2016 Encore (USA: Imperial Porter: 8% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black. Large moderate froth browned head.

Nose: Cinnamon and wood chip dust. Smooth chocolate shavings. Bitter cocoa powder. Smoke and hazelnuts. Choc orange. Smoked beef.

Body: Sherry trifle and bitter cocoa. Smoke and smoked bacon. Brown bread. Hop bitterness. Slight sour cream. Brandy cream. Malt chocolate. Madeira. Roasted character. Light choc orange.

Finish: Smoked bacon. Bitter cocoa dust. Light oak. Smoke. Slight hop bitterness and roasted character – bitterness rises over time. Rum soaked raisins. Blended whisky air.

Conclusion: It really is obvious that Stone Brewing love their hops, so much so that even their porter feels stuffed full of hop bitterness. Thankfully that isn’t all they bring to the game – for one the body is pretty smoothly done, and with that the hop bitterness doesn’t cling – so despite the high bitterness and high abv it doesn’t become painful as thick and sticky hoppy dark beers can do.

The main backbone of the beer is a bitter cocoa to malt chocolate fest – very solid, and again smooth enough to not be bracing instead pushing high quality chocolate flavour. It is subtly rounded by smoked bacon flavour, which, let’s face it – there is very little that doesn’t make better. It gives extra weight without needing a thicker beer, and does that without needing to be dominant. It just lurks in the beer, waiting for the chocolate to fade out, then it rises up to fill the void.

That ideas sums up a lot of this beer – nothing is in a rush; Notes rise up and fade as and when they wish. If you hold the beer long enough then new notes, or old notes resurging are always there waiting to reward you. This feels like the epitome of a slow enjoyment beer. It doesn’t want to rush and neither should you.

For example – as time goes on first sweet sherry trifle and brandy cream like notes come out to sweeten up the beer, then later on blended bourbon notes come out as well. Of the two the sherry is the better addition. It gives and nice fruit and creamy side note that real adds some warmth and depth to the beer.

That final note – the blended whisky is pretty much the only weak point of the beer. Not terrible but it is slightly rougher and not as well integrated as the rest of the notes. Just a bit too raw spirity and rough – though it does only come out when the beer is warm, and is only a minor flaw… Therefore I have no problems recommending this to high heaven. The base is solid, the smoke works without dominating, and the extra barrel ageing makes it special. Definitely grab if you can.

Background: Ok, explanation time, this is not the Stone Porter brewed for their 6th Anniversary – or it is, it is brewed to the same recipe as part of their encore series for their 20th anniversary. Re-brewing old lost classic. This is their smoked porter, brewed to higher abv, more hops and conditioned on French and American oak. They lost a good chunk of it back in 2002 during brewing so it was a very small release. This, in 2016, was a bit easier to get hold of -grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer selection. I am a big fan of Stone Brewing, especially their hoppy beers, which is at least 90% of their beers. They love hops. Drunk while listening to Garbage:Strange Little Birds, which if not as good as their first two albums, has definitely earned its place as a good, offbeat, powerful album.

Fallen First Class Rendezvous
Fallen: First Class Rendezvous (Scotland: Imperial Porter: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Moderate beige froth that leaves suds.

Nose: Habanero sauce. Tequila touched. Fresh bread. Slight sour cherries. Muted chocolate.

Body: Warming, becomes tingling heat when it hits the back of the throat. Chilli seeds. Milky chocolate. Mild dates. Cream. Mild sour cherries. Chilli powder. Brown bread. Habanero sauce mixed with brown sauce.

Finish: Chilli powder. Warming and tingling. Charring. Brown sauce.

Conclusion: Ok, I may be the wrong person for doing these notes – as mentioned in the background I prefer my chillies for flavour over heat. Now, this isn’t that hot – it is tingling not burning – but any attempt to hold this on the tongue for any length of time results in the chilli seeds warmth filling the mouth into a chilli powder style, which makes it very hard to differentiate notes. Each sip is a race against time to identify elements before they are lost.

Thankfully, like many things, the human body can adapt, so the chilli becomes numbed over time allowing the base, thick feeling, but not heavy in flavour, chocolate elements to come out. The chocolate really is mild here, in fact there is more of a habanero touched brown sauce element going on. It results in a thick, slightly oily tasting and feeling thing.

I still feel that there is more to this that I am not getting due to the chilli. The reason is that I am using the aroma as a guideline and there I get subtle, slightly tart and sour, cherry hints – If these had been present as anything but light hints in the body then it would have been the welcome break the beer needed. I also occasionally got hints of dates in the body, then again that could be because I knew they were used in making the beer – they don’t really have a huge impact.

Now I am halfway through the beer and the heat feels a tad more balanced – like this we seem to have ended up with an ok but not overly interesting porter than only stands out due to being punched up by chilli which adds heat and simple chilli character but not any real synergy with the Imperial Porter to create new complexities and bring out the best in the beer.

It is okish, but feels simple. The chilli doesn’t add enough to make it work for me. I’d say leave it be, if you are a chilli fan then maybe this will do more for you. I would say there are far better out there.

Background: This was a birthday gift from friends, many thanks! This one is an Imperial Porter made with habanero chilli, cacao nibs and dates. Despite mentioning habanero roughly a million times in the notes at the time I was only aware it had been made with chilli, it was only when looking at the back of the bottle I realised how accurate I had been! For once. I tend to prefer my chilli influence on the mild and flavoursome end of the scale – a far cry from university days when I ate insane heat curries. I prefer a gentler life these days. Drunk while listening to some of the excellent Svalbard!

Het Uiltje Flaming Ass Owl

Het Uiltje: Flaming Ass Owl (Netherlands: Imperial Porter: 9.7% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Half inch of milky chocolate froth.

Nose: Dried chilli. Milky chocolate. Roasted nuts. Spiced orange skin. Smoked bacon. Vanilla.

Body: Bitter chocolate. Initially little warmth, but it grows if held on tongue. Blood orange. Grassy touch. Smoked chipotle. Slight fruit sugars and bubble gum.

Finish: Green peppers and chilli seeds. Light charring and wood smoke. Dried beef.

Conclusion: Ok, it’s called “flaming ass owl”. I may give it a point just for that. I am easily amused. Of course, I am kind of hoping I wont regret this come the ‘morrow. With a name like that it does have a negative on the boding well score.

Anyway, even without the introduction of the chilli this seems to be a slightly odd one – with the milky chocolate character, that is not so abnormal for a porter, infused with notes of blood orange and bubblegum. Also, considering the strength, the body feels just marginally slight. While I think that hurts the feel a tad, possibly it is that which I can thank for the fact that it takes a moment for the chilli to come through and when it does it is warming rather than lava like.

The lower thickness also means that it is a beer that can build up over time, and along with the beers progression to reveal more grassy notes and fruit sugars the heat gains a chipotle smoke character and light meatiness which is welcome.

I am both relived and slightly disappointed that this seems not to live up to its, erm, vivid bottle imagery. They seem to have balanced this on the pleasant end of the heat scale. Despite the slightly thin texture this has come to impress me more than I had expected. I have to admit due to the name and the weaker start I was expecting a badly delivered gimmick beer. There may be a tale about the chilli beer that scarred me for life hidden in my past. It may have been vile.

This however is warm, meaty, chocolate packed and yet fruity. I think it is that fruit that helps it, it sooths the heat and adds a bright note to an otherwise dark beer. It is like that slice of fruit garnish on a meat dish. A good beer, best experienced at room temperature. Not flaming great, but not arse tearingly terrible. An interesting and fun beer with a bit of heat.

Background: It is called Flaming Ass Owl. I am childish. How could I not end up buying it? Anyway I picked up this Imperial Porter made with Trinidad Scorpion peppers from Independent Spirit. I am actually a bit of a wuss when it comes to chilli beers, so this may have been a mistake…

Brewdog Abstrakt 17

Brewdog: Abstrakt AB 17 (Scotland: Imperial Porter: 10.9% ABV)

Visual: Black. Large inch of dark creamy brown froth.

Nose: Milky coffee and raw coffee beans. Sour dough touch. Roasted nuts.

Body: Big bitter coffee. Big bitter chocolate. Cream. Chocolate rolls. Cashew nuts. Creamy thick texture.

Finish: Chocolate icing. Bitter coffee and coffee cake. Creamy. Walnuts.

Conclusion: Coffee cake. The beer. Coming to a cinema near you. There! There is now not that much more left for me to say actually. Well, despite that, I am quite the garrulous one, so I will keep talking anyway.

This is, roughly, 90% coffee flavours, easily – and gets an even higher percentage as it warms. Yes, more that 90%. Those chilled down times really benefit from that 10% of variety though, mainly because that 10% is made up of a huge wodge of cream and chocolate. Very smooth and rich, giving a much needed contrast as well – there’s a dash of mixed nuts which gives a sprinkling of extra flavours that progress through the beer. That 10% of other flavours means that the beer slips down like a fine coffee based desert and is very enjoyable for it.

As it warms up it starts approaching 100% coffee, and it gets a bit over bitter in the coffee expression for me – it loses that class that let it manage being such a single minded beer.

So, another one of those beers that are a screaming advocate for chilling beer down, and a very luxurious one at that. Very classy, like coffee silk. It is odd that this works so well chilled as I usually find darker beers are the ones that work better at room temperature.

So, is it worth the high price abstrakt beers command? Well, do you like coffee? Because if the answer is no, then run away, don’t walk, run, you will not like this beer. If you like coffee, then this is a genuinely great coffee beer – but be warned that is pretty much all there is – there is not really much else to it. It is a sign of the skill that has gone into making it that, despite that, it still manages to impress. There are better porters and stouts, but this has its specialised place as chilled down it is the luxury dessert of coffee.

Which is a fine beer to have now. At 11pm. Just before I sleep. Shit – I really hope this doesn’t have caffeine in it.

Background: As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This is their latest Abstrakt, a set of one off brewed beers. This one is a rye porter which has had coffee added at three different times during the making. Which is slightly insane. Drunk while listening to the FLCL soundtrack. because FLCL!

614 Annees

Celt Experience: Saint-Germain: 614 Annees (Wales: Imperial Porter: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Loose off white head.

Nose: Rye. Toffee. Bourbon. Orange zest. Malt chocolate. Peppercorn. Vanilla. Light nuts. Treacle.

Body: Chocolate liquore. Thick. Brown bread or bagel. Molasses. Treacle toffee. Fudge. Rye spice. Sweet orange liquore. Cinnamon. Cream centres.

Finish: Rye. Orange. Dry spice. Light lime sorbet and orange sorbet. Charring. Smoke.

Conclusion: A competitor for the place of awesome cask porter that can go head to head with Bristol United’s Collaboration Smoked Porter. Both are collaboration ales, both porters, though this is a tad stronger, and this uses rye instead of smoked malt.

This thing is smooth, sweet and huge. Even the aroma feels chewable, and the body more so. It mixes molasses, treacle and fudge, with even the spice coming in as sweet cinnamon. You do get hints of the drier rye spice, but far from too harshly, just harsh enough to add a bit of backbone to it.

What brings such joy for this is the unexpected level of chocolate fruit centres you get in the sweetness, light orange and lime in a subtle sorbet style some times, and in line with the thick creaminess of the over the top flavours at other times. The texture definitely helps – it is very creamy, very much a feel that allows the flavour grip. It is like a slightly harsh dessert with smoke and spice.

The treacle and toffee are thick as sin, but they do not overwhelm, there is so much going on. The flavours are complex, from the sweet surface notes, to hints of spice below. There is such great contrast, and such a great feel that you can return to it again and again.

Easily a competitor with Collaboration Smoked Porter. Not session beer, no, a heavy and decadent Celt Experience. They have done themselves proud here. This is lovely.

Background: Last of the three cask ales I reviewed at the Cardiff CAMRA beer festival. I drank more beers after, but I don’t tend to trust my tastebuds enough for a review after three. This big boy I saved for last, a strong porter made with rye and cascade hops. This was made in collaboration with the French craft brewers Saint-Germain, who I don’t think I have run into before. Incidentally this beer fest had a bloody Fosters stand. A busy Fosters stand. My friend, below, shows our shared opinion on this matter.


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