Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fuggled Review of the Year - Porter and Stout

I have said many times that I am a stout man. Mr first love in the world of beer was Guinness, and I have always had a soft spot for the black stuff, and stout is one of those beers which is relatively easy to make, but rather difficult to make really, really well. Porter on the other hand is something that I have come to appreciate more over the past year, whether that be the top fermented British styles or bottom fermented Baltic Porter.

From the many stouts and porters I have indulged in over 2009 the following have stood out:
The La Granja Stout from Nørrebro is made with coffee beans and boy does it tell, big, yet smooth, coffee flavours, rich chocolatey background and a subtle warming glow make this a simply gorgeous big hitter of a sweet stout. The first bottle I had of this beer cost me the equivalent of $20, crazy perhaps to pay an inflated price, but worth it for the lovely beer I got to enjoy, thankfully there was another place in Prague selling it at far more reasonable price, so indulge more I did.

Stout and Ireland go together like fish and chips, Wallace and Gromit or apple crumble and custard. Of the Irish stouts I have enjoyed, as well as "Irish style" stouts from the Czech Republic, UK or US, O'Hara's is head and shoulders above, simple as.

General Washington's Tavern Porter, from Yard's Brewing in Philadelphia, was a gift from a very good friend, and when gifts are this good you know that you have a good friend with excellent taste in beer. Big alcoholic glow and a flavour which packed a punch and a half, while still being eminently drinkable makes Tavern Porter one of the best beers I have discovered since I moved to the US.

Of the three, the one walking away with my utmost appreciation is
  1. O'Hara's Celtic Stout
Sometimes, despite all the innovation, experimentation and generally messing about in the beer world only a classic hits the spot, O'Hara's is that Classic.

5 comments:

  1. Glad the Tavern Porter made the list! Wait until you try the Old Rasputin!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good stuff, Al! Do you recall whether you preferred the bottled of draught version (draft for your American readers) of O'Hara's? Did they have it on tap in the B&C when you were there?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bar,

    I remember well the draught, which was the first O'Hara's I had, at the B&C, and then TBN recommending the bottle to me and then the delirium of joy that followed. Thankfully we can get it over here, and so I have a batch in the storage room should I feel the need.

    Jay,

    Still have a fair few of the beers you bought me from Philly, speaking of which, are you snowed in up there like we are here?

    ReplyDelete
  4. This year we got O'Hara's on cask too. A whole new level of wonderful.

    Though they've changed the "Celtic" label to "Irish" now, for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  5. O'Hara's on cask????? When's the next plane?

    ReplyDelete