Sunday, 29 November 2015

Porterhouse Celebration Stout

Origin: Ireland | Date: 2010 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: April 2010

This won't be the last time Porterhouse Celebration Stout appears on this blog: I have a few of them. It often shows up on multibuy offers, which lends it to drinking a few immediately and putting a spare bottle or two away. There's also a barrel-aged version and I think I still have a bottle of the original 2006 10th anniversary version around somewhere. But this is an early iteration of the recipe that made it into the core range, bearing the green livery of the Porterhouse's first ringpull caps. The best before is 12th April 2011 so I'm reasonably confident it's from the first run.

I get a distinct waft of savoury umami in with the coffee on the aroma: a dash of soy sauce in your espresso. It tastes very strange and I think oxidation is the culprit. But before that there's a warm and mellow coffee sweetness, much more than I recall in the fresh version, and then that autolytic soy sauce thing which is definitely more character than character flaw, leaning as it does towards cherry liqueur chocolates. It's the finish where it gets weird: a hard, acidic edge which could just be big hops shorn of their lighter nuances, but with a dusty parchment dryness that leads me to theorise that oxygen was at work. My suspicion that those caps just aren't as suitable for long-term storage as crown corks adds to the hypothesis.

A strange drinking experience and by no means a wholly unpleasant one, but I think you may be seeing more Porterhouse beers on here sooner rather than later.

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