Sunday, 5 December 2010

Old-Style Porter (St Peter's)

St Peter's of Bungay have been well reviewed so far at the Bunker, their Ruby Red and Best Bitter both scoring fine 7s . Suffolk is blessed with many fine brewers but this classy traditional operation, which bottles in it's trademark oval green glass, is a margin of quality above most.

Porters have a high bar to hit at the Bunker, as we've had some absolute corkers of late. The Flying Dog and Wickwar porters both hit fine 8s, and the Harviestoun and Fullers efforts were just sublime at 9/10.

At the bottle-cap hiss a pleasing air of chocolate framed with slight coffee wafts up, proper porter smells. Against the light it's actually quite opaque, blood ruby light straining through the dark brown murk.

The head is slight, and never rises on the pour, quickly vanishing to a memory. The first sup is fairly thin, and compared to an 8.7% monster such as Flying Dog Gonzo, almost watery. However, I stress in comparison because second or third tastes reveal a subtle and quite delicious drink.

No slouch on the alcohol at 5.1%ABV, the first note is thoroughly porter chocolate laced with raisin. It's less roasty than other porters I've tried, but seems not to suffer for it. The body is medium, cosy, with toffee/chocolate and is a fine precursor to a lightly smoky extended finish, punctuated by gentle bittering.

Old-Style Porter starts drinkable and only gets more so as the glass goes down. Delicious session beer, will we discover a bad porter?

8/10 - Excellent light porter. An accomplished example of traditional dark ale.

- The Broadside

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