This is our contribution to the 109th Session hosted by Mark Lindner.
What isn’t porter?
It isn’t stout because… Well, because someone has chosen one descriptor over another for reasons that make sense to them. Perhaps because it’s less, er, stout than the stout they also brew. Or perhaps because they want you to think of emerald green Irish fields when you drink their stout but smoke-blackened London brick when you drink the porter. Perhaps they just like the word because it sounds important, portly, portentous, like a nice glass of port.
It isn’t mild. Even it wasn’t aged in a vat for a year it ought to taste at least a bit like it has been. And mild certainly shouldn’t be watered down porter.
It is not IPA in a world where everything is IPA. Black IPA sometimes looks and acts like porter, but then it stops being an IPA.
What is porter?
It is a log fire in a glass. It is like drinking a Dickens novel. It’s a way to share a pint with your great-great-great-grandfather. It is just big enough to feel like a treat but not so big that you can’t have two on a school-night.
Porter is an enigma.
And it is wonderful.
This, by the way, is another subject on which we’ve written extensively in the past: