Taking a Load Off

In general, my two favourite styles of beer are stouts/porters and Belgian sours. In general, beer comes in three (theoretically four) flavours: Lagers, which are top fermented with unroasted grains; Ales, which are bottom or middle fermented with unroasted grains; and Porters, which are bottom or middle fermented with roasted grains. Theoretically, we could have a top fermented beer with roasted grain, a sort of Continental porter, but I’ve never seen one. Any way, porters, so named because they were the preferred drink of, teamsters, drivers, and, well, porters, and tend to be quite dark. All of this is by way of introducing today review:

High Falls Brewing Co.: Dundee Porter

Tasting Conditions: I tried this ale after a day of getting my house back together after returning from my travels. It also happened to be a first short, easy day of school. I used a five ounce, straight sided tasting glass for the taste. The beer was at a cold room temperature and had been in the cellar about three months before tasting.

Eye: The beer was a dark, almost opaque, brown with a airy, almost soapy-looking head. The bottle was dark brown with a red, tasteful logo showing a porter with a stein of beer. This is slightly incongruous as Englishmen tend to drink from pint glasses, not German steins, but I’ll let it slide.

Nose: The nose is bready, as beer tends to be, but there is some subtlety here, and it smells more of ry or pumpernickel than wheat. There is also a bit of citrus and hops in the mix.

Mouth: Ah, the important part. This is interesting, and quite tasty. In many ways, it taste more like a sour ale than a porter. It has none of the expected bitterness. The first thing you notice is chocolate, backed up by a strong vanilla. On the finish there is a roundness provided by apple, orange, and perhaps cardamon.

Conclusion: This is an excelent beer. It came in a very inexpensive sampler case with five other Dundee offerings for under $10. If the rest of the Dundee brews are of similar quality, this is both cheap, and very good. See if you can find this brew near you.

It’s so good to be back,
The Scribe

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