Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Old Growler (Nethergate)

It's certainly porter weather on the south coast. The balmy russet days of October are behind us now, and as The Broadside writes this the wind curls like a banshee around the trees outside Bunker Station Two.

Old Growler, randomly selected from many porters in the stocks, lurks in a no-nonsense bottle. A bulldog glares intently out, guarding the pitchy contents within. The beer proclaims itself a "supreme champion", although of what isn't so clear.

It pours black with a haze of ruby about the trim. Dark fruits, cherry and malts waft on the nose, and there is a slightly chalky background.

The carbonisation is prickly but not overdone. The beer is thin on the tongue, and laden with plenty of chocolate and old-school porter tastes. It conjures up pool-halls, in a pleasant way, although it's perhaps slightly too watery to claim to be a proper winter porter, almost (whisper it) lager like in constituency.

That said, the taste is flavoursome and easy. Toffee, earth and some adequate bitterness hallmarks the pint, but it's all blended in a fairly subtle manner and the focus is on approachable drinkability. The 5.5%abv carries the flavours adequately, and is pleasingly sturdy.

This is traditional stuff, and a credit to the Nethergate brewery. It goes down for me as a good pint, and certainly not one to avoid if on offer - don't be scared by the label.

6/10 - Pack your snooker cue and head out for an evening at the hall. This beer will keep you good company as you hustle. A subtle, tasty porter.

- The Broadside

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