Beer reviews are back in action!
I don’t know about you people but I really missed doing these reviews. And luckily for all of us, it’s fall/winter beer season, which is when a lot of my favorite seasonals start being made. But for the first time, I’m going to start this review directly after drinking- yay for blogging while buzzed! I did feel sort of weird drinking by myself for this review (Kraiggles the Bagels has moved out from across the hall) but now, this is a perfect opportunity to have guest reviewers join me! If any of you people feel like having a brewski conmigo, just talk to me and we’ll arrange a beer date. Anywho, after a delicious night of bagels and shmear (Happy Yom Kippur fellow Orange Jews!) and fantasy football victories, a beer seemed perfect…and it was. For this review, we’ll be looking at an English Porter, a style I’ve barely ever touched upon.
Similarly to stouts, porters are ales that are characterized by their darker appearances. English porters in particular first were brewed in the 1700′s and were known to be a blend of old ales, new ales, and weak ales. By combining the different types of beer, flavors will be balanced, complex, and satisfying. As noted by BA, because porters were comprised of three different beers, they were often referred to as “Entire Butt” or “Three Threads”. Generally speaking, porters are malty beers that are accompanied with a dash of bitter hops. Although this style doesn’t feature higher ABV levels, it attracts beer lovers with its bold tastes. The beer that I decided to try comes from a brewery that has been around since the time when porters first came into existence. So grab yourself a crumpet and a tuffet: we’re drinking one from across the lake. So after a summer-long hiatus, we’ll be starting back up with Samuel Smith’s “The Famous Taddy Porter”.
A classy label
The label for this beer is old fashioned looking (as it probably should) but does do a pretty decent job of grabbing your attention. The gold foil on the top, which to me can look snobby-ish, actually works really well and just adds to the decadence that is associated with this a beer that has been around for quite a long time. When poured out, The Famous Taddy Porter is very dark, purple/brown color. But with very little head retention and no obvious carbonation, I get bored looking at it very, very quickly. Already, I’m getting nervous that this is not a good beer in terms of starting up my reviews.
The nose of the beer was decent – smokey with prunes and hints of sweet toffee. But then for the first time ever, I got too close to the surface and accidentally snorted the beer up my nose. Let me tell you, this beer at the cold temperature that it started at did NOT feel lovely in my nasal region. Not only did I have to sit here blowing my nose for 10 minutes but then I had to experience the beginning of the Cowgirls beatdown of the Panthers…not at all a good start for these reviews. Nevertheless, the aromas were simple and distinguishable, which is good in my book.
And just when I though this was a meh beer, I tasted it. This beer had a creamy, expanding mouthfeel that exploded in my mouth (man do I miss making these indirect innuendos). Once I got past the mouth feel I was able to calm down and distinguish tastes: bitter hops, a light non-overpowering coffee flavor, and malts. This beer was very warming (perfect for this cold weather fluctuations we’re having up here in the iladelph) and was extremely drinkable. I was immediately sad that I only had one of these lying around and felt like I could have downed another two while watching the game.
Overall, this beer’s taste severely overcompensated for it’s boring appearance and slightly above average smell. I’d highly recommend that everyone tries this since it’s a great “beginner” porter; it’s not overpowering and is delicious/not one dimensional. Although I’d like to say that this beer is simple, I know it’s far from reality. Truthfully, this a complex beer that is very balanced, which gives the impression of it being a straight line when it’s really several huge flavor dips that balance each other out perfectly (I have no idea if that makes sense…sleep + buzz = tired. And the saddest part is that this is only 5% ABV – I’m such a lightweight) Anywho, here is my BA ranking:
B+ / 3.9
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4.5
The initial pour was good, just wish the head had stayed around...
As you can see I added all the photos directly to the post, which I’ll be doing from now on. I have no idea what my next beer review will be so either join me in the drinking process or just wait to find out!