Friday, 26 April 2013

Black Forest Porter (Vibrant Forest)

Here's an interesting number, one of the darker beers from the enterprising micro brewery Vibrant Forest, situated on the edge of Totton, in Hampshire.

We've already assigned a 9/10 to the outstanding Vibrant Pale Ale, so big things were expected. It cracks open with a little roasty woosh and pours cleanly with an energetic head.

The usual porter hallmarks are all present and correct -  coffee and chocolate malt notes sing up from the glass. The first taste is very front-of-the-mouth sensual, lush coffee and chocolate threads interweave across the sup. The carbonisation is spot on, tickling the tongue with a light piquancy but never too boisterous to interrupt the flavour.

It's just sub 5% at 4.9%ABV, so is not competing with the big nutter porters like Flying Dog or perhaps even Fuller's London Porter, but the alcohol is more than enough to carry it's intent and ship decent complexity to the drinker. This beer won Hampshire Beer of the Year at a CAMRA event, breaking the traditional Bowman & Oakleaf monopoly, and it's easy to see why.

Fully recommended, and easily earns an 'excellent' 8/10.

8/10 Cracking and involving ale, interesting and murky, it sews a blossoming tapestry of classic porter tastes. 

- The Broadside