Thursday, 25 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
24. Adventure Brewery - West 1834 Porter 5.8%

I have to confess that I only came across Adventure Brewery because of their inclusion on the Craft Beer London app that I mentioned in an earlier review. Based in Chessington in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames they are the second furthest from where I live, and started brewing in Jamuary 2012. Heritage beers from breweries closed and forgotten are a driving force and a big influence however, with the names of the beers being taken from points of the compass, they are given a slight twist. For example, their East is based on an 1861 London IPA recipe but made with hops from New Zealand and West, the beer I'm having this evening, is adapted from an 1834 recipe from a Norfolk brewery but made using westward-looking 'sharp and satifying American hops'.
It pours an oil-slick brown like a 'black' coffee with a thin dusting of a beige head. There's a big waft of coffee coming up from the glass but it's tempered by the intriguing aroma of freshly baked chocolate brownies and an odd 'sweaty sock' thing going on in the far background which is a little strange. Silky smooth over the tongue at first, it comes back with a biting bitterness surging forwards from the back of the throat leaving a little tannic astringency that's not in the least umpleasant. There's some nice bitter black coffee that moves through liquorice to concentrated blackberry with some dark chocolate shavings. The flavours are pretty intense and direct, punchy and strong, it's a porter that means business and isn't prepared to compromise on taste. The finish is bitter and chocolatey at first but falls off a little too quickly into a powdery coffee flavoured dryness for my liking, and while it lingers a while I just get the feeling it's lacking another dimension. Perhaps I was expecting a little more from the 'sharp and satisfying American hops', and maybe I was expecting something along the lines of a Porter/Black IPA cross whereas they were actually contributing to the intensity of the flavour. I guess that I'll just have to try a few more of their range just to see how they use the New World hops in other beer styles.
This was another beer that I picked up from Ales By Mail and I'd like to thank them for coming to my rescue with this one and the previous two beers when I needed a little help with acquisition. Cheers guys.

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