Thursday, 4 October 2012

Meantime Brewing Company Chocolate Porter

Good evening all. Tonight's beer is Chocolate Porter, a Porter from Meantime Brewing Company (London, UK). As the name rightly suggests, this is a porter with a nice dose of chocolate added to compliment the darker flavours from the roasted malt. This is certainly not a new thing in brewing, but when it's done correctly it always creates a great drinking experience. Anyway, enough with the background stuff, let's see how Meantime's offering fares after the pic....

Chocolate Porter (6.5% ABV) pours a dark brown colour with a bubbly off-white head that quickly settles to a patchy covering over the surface of the beer. The aroma is pretty amazing, with dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel and some light bittering hop character in the background. Although none of these are particularly powerful they still deliver enough to impress, and the combination of aromas is very reminiscent of other well known chocolate stouts (Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Young's Double Chocolate Stout). As with most chocolate stouts the array of aromas is mainly restricted to the sweeter aspects of the chocolate, accompanied by minor elements of the beer base. There are also some yeast extract hints and even a bit of smoked malt- quite a specific collection of aromas, but you can't complain too much when it all smells this good! The taste delivers much of the same, with roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, dates, yeast extract and a noticeable hop profile in the finish. The chocolate is only apparent through retro-olfaction, whilst the roasted malt and its fruitier dimensions impact on the palette during the early stages of drinking, giving way to the sweetness and hops and their light grapefruit flavours. Towards the end of drinking some coffee also comes through, creating a mocha-esque flavour when combined with the chocolate, and there's also a developing tartness along the sides of the mouth that hits hardest during the last sip. The finish is dry and relatively devoid of flavour (save for some hop-derived grape notes), which is something I generally expect from stouts greater than 5.0% ABV and so this isn't much of a concern. The mouthfeel is on the thick side and the beer is moderately carbonated, which is perfect for the flavours on show. Overall, this is a great chocolate stout that can easily stand toe-to-toe with higher gravity beers in the same style, which is even better when considering the cost and availability of this offering compared to other popular examples. Definitely recommended, you can't go wrong with this bad boy!

Until next time....

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