In years to come, after hundreds of beers of the week have been written, turned into a best-selling book, spawned a TV mini series and even inspired a board game* we, like many of our readers, will want to fondly look back to the very first entry. This one. Better make it a good beer…
Otley Brewing Company is one of our favourite breweries, consistently producing a large range of high quality beers from their headquarters in Wales. And porter is one of our favourite beer styles. Yet we have somehow managed to avoid drinking Otley’s own take on a traditional porter, until now.
So with this eagerly anticipated beer lined up to start our new, regular feature, Nick’s hands are ever-so-slightly trembling with excitement as the shimmering dark mahogany liquid is gently poured into our glasses. (Wine glasses. We’ve gone a bit fancy for this one). Nothing about porter should be rushed: it matures slower than most beers (four months in the cask in this case, and it will merit being left for even longer in the bottle), it deserves to be quaffed at a steadier pace than lighter brews and should be poured with due care and sensitivity.
Dipping our noses towards the beer Rich gleefully announces “Ooh, I can smell beer” – always a good sign – while Nick takes a first sip and excitedly spluterrs “proper porter”.
Unlike many new fangled porters we’ve tasted, this isn’t an overly thick or heavy brew unnecessarily saturated with hops. Instead we’re presented with a luxurious, chocolatey fizz on the tongue which fades to reveal a layer of delicately bitter toasty malt flavours. It’s well worth slowing the pace down to saviour – especially given its relative high alcohol content of 6.6% – but it never becomes too intense, meaning it’s all to easy to reach for another serving. This tastes just the way we would hope a traditional porter tastes and is a very worthy first entrant for this new series of posts.
Brewery: Otley Brewing Company, Pontypridd, Wales
Beer name: 06 Porter
*It may be that this beer has gone to our heads…
This beer was supplied by The Other Brew