Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
23. Little Brew - Porter 5.4%

'Brewing Since 2012' it says of the Little Brew logo, which gives you more than a little clue as to when Stuart Small started his one man, one barrel operation. Three years in the planning, Lord Alephant first put in an appearance in 2011 when the brewery was established as the keys to the brewhouse in the London Borough of Camden  were handed over during the Christmas period of that year. With near neighbours Brewdog Camden showcasing their Scottish-brewed 'Beer for Punks' and Camden Town Brewery (see number 20 in this series) 'Brewmaster Stu' has set up a Bespoke Beer part of his business whereby you can work with him to design a beer to suit your special occasion or event, with at least 6 weeks notice and at least 400 bottles to make it viable.
All the beers are available in 330ml bottles, and the range consists of Gold (a golden ale), Pale (an English Pale Ale), Pale Extra Tusk (a stronger Pale Ale), Ruby (an ESB) and Porter brewed with Pioneer and Whitbread Golding Variety (WGV) hops, and it's this that I will be drinking tonight. It pours a dark brown with a glowing lighter brown, almost amber, edge and a dense creamy-beige head. There's a big hit of steely-edged rich coffee on the nose, but with some freshly picked blackberry leaf and blackcurrant cordial right at the bottom of the aroma like an olfaction of purple juiciness. Slightly tart and bitter at the back of the tongue, it has the taste of blackcurrant wine gums served with a black coffee laced with a little port and an 'amuse-bouche' of Black Forest gateau. The finish is soft and sweet, like sucking on a maraschino cherry, and some oily dark chocolate.
This is an astonishingly good Porter with some flavours that I haven't come across in a beer for quite some time. Seriously, it really is very good indeed. When I opened this bottle I really was expecting nothing more that the usual coffee/choclate combination that you would expect to find in such a beer, but the tart fruitiness gives it an unexpected and delightful extra dimension. It is simply superb.

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