Reviewed by RD
Info: “A Beer of Love” is what the tabletop flyer says. The story behind this beer is that Matt Gorecki, the Bar Manager at Leeds’ première beer bar North Bar, brewed it. If you run one of the country’s best beer bars and are somewhat of a beer geek, what do you do for your Stag Do? Answer: Brew a beer at Brewdog.
Read more about Matt’s adventure to the far corner of Scotland and Brewing with Brewdog Click Here
I was lucking enough to roll in to North Bar after an outing to the Farmer’s Market to find amongst the many taps the pump clip for Alice Porter.
Appearance: Pulled masterfully from a hand pump it appeared the deepest ruby edging towards black topped with a tight creamy head from a sparkler.
Aroma: On the nose I got chocolate, dark berries, raisins, incinerated brown bread and a sweet booziness like a glass of Baileys Irish Cream.
Taste: Matt told me that he took Flying Dog’s Gonzo Porter as the starting point, his favourite porter. Loads of blackberry flavour courtesy of a kart full of Brambling Cross hops. A very enjoyable zing of fresh lemon juice from Japanese Sorachi hops, this is the first time I’ve knowingly drank a beer containing Sorachi and now I want to try more. It was a great addition to a porter that I didn’t expect. As I hoped the malts are bold and plentiful. From what I can ascertain the malt bill was extensive and you can pick out loads of subtle notes amounts the big bold flavours. Rich roasted malts headline the show with a big flavour of luxurious dark chocolate teamed up with a soft creaminess of milk chocolate. A fantastic balance of espresso coffee and smoke come along in a crisp and bitter aftertaste due to the addition of a good couple of handfuls of rauchmalt. The body was medium to full and velvety smooth like a boozy milkshake of blackberries and chocolate.
Overall Experience: To my surprise from behind the bar appeared Mr. Gorecki himself, clearly in a good mood and excited to share his co-creation with others. I had been looking forwards to this since I heard about it and this was one of those moments when your enjoyment is improved by circumstance and location. Not taking anything away from this excellent porter it just made it even better. It was a nice surprise to find the beer on tap but to gain insight from one of the people who brewed it and drink a glass with him only heightened the experience. This porter is textbook Brewdog when they are at there best. A style that is rooted in historical accuracy but at the same time adding a twist and pushing it a bit further. Great balance, bold flavours and a great story too.
You will be lucky enough to find this on draught at North Bar in Leeds and Marble Arch in Manchester. It will also be on sale in London and at Brewdog’s Bar in Aberdeen under the name “Santa Doesn’t exist”.