jamie goode's wine blog: Stouts and Porters

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stouts and Porters

Doing some research on dark beers (porters and stout, the latter a form of the former) for my Sunday Express column. I like stout, although I'm probably more of a pale ale sort of guy.

Crazy Dog Stout
£1.99 Sainsbury 6% alcohol
From the Red Rat Craft Brewery, this deep brown beer has a roasted, malty aroma and complex, rich flavours of chocolate, coffee and earth. Lots of flavour here. 8/10

Meantime London Stout
£1.55 Tesco 4.5% alcohol
London used to be the home of stout, and this Greenwich-brewed beer aims to recapture the magic of old time London stout. It has lovely sweet, toffee and roast coffee aromas, but in the mouth its surprisingly fresh and dry, with a warm, chocolatey personality and creamy finish. 7.5/10

Midnight Sun
Williams Bros Brewing Co, Alloa, Scotland
£1.71 Tesco 5.6% alcohol
Described as a ‘rich, dark and spicy porter’, this is made from a mix of malted barley, oats, roast barley and chocolate malt, enhanced with some hops and root ginger. An opaque brown/black colour, it has a sweet, spicy smell and rich, concentrated, smooth chocolatey flavours, beautifully complemented with a hint of ginger. Rich and delicious. 9/10

Wooden Hand Brewery Black Pearl
£1.49 Morrisons 4.5% alcohol
This cornish stout is made from malted, flaked and roast barley, with some hops. It’s a concentrated brown colour with distinctive, powerful flavours of tangy herbs and sweet molasses. It’s quite savoury and has a bitter hoppy finish, and would work well with food. 7.5/10
Asda Whitechapel Porter
£1.50 Asda, 5.2% alcohol
Advertising itself as ‘tough but slightly sweet’, this is made by Shepherd Neame. It has fabulous sweet, figgy, raisiny aromas with hints of dark chocolate. In the mouth it is lively, complex and delicious with some sweet fudge notes countered by hoppy, espresso bitterness. 8/10

Dragon Stout, Jamaica
£0.90 Asda, 7.5% alcohol
All the way from Jamaica, this deep coloured stout is sweet, rich and quite delicious. It’s smooth and creamy with notes of coffee and raisins, and it’s really quite sweet. You wouldn’t want to drink a whole pint of this, but it’s very seductive in small quantities. 8/10

Guinness Foreign Extra
£1.50 Asda 7.5% alcohol
Amazing stuff. This is like regular Guinness on steroids. Concentrated black/brown in colour, it has powerful roast coffee and dark chocolate aromas, and intense, rich-textured flavours of bitter chocolate, treacle and iron. It’s sweet and savoury at the same time. 8.5/10
Guinness Original
£1.49 Morrisons, Tesco 4.2% alcohol
A complex, dark coloured stout with an almost metallic savoury edge to the treacly, chocolatey flavours that Guinness is famous for. Finishes fresh and savoury. 7/10



At 11:18 PM, Anonymous James Phillips said...

The Williams Brothers are great brewers! Have you had a chance to taste through the rest of their range, Jamie? All brilliant beers, my favorite being Grozet/Roisin (I can't decide between them) flavoured with gooseberry juice and the latter, with tayberry juice after they've made the base beer. Retains that refreshing hoppy beer with the fruit adding a delicious zing and complexity. Lovely!


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