Porter has been much on our minds lately with the arrival of Guinness’s new effort and our rediscovery of Samuel Smith’s sublime example.
When we asked if (i.e. tentatively declared that) the latter might be the best bottled porter in the UK, various people suggested other candidates, namely Fuller’s London Porter, Kernel Export and Redemption Fellowship.
That was all the nudging we needed to declare The Great Porter Taste Off, and promptly acquired for consideration over the next month or so bottles of:
Beavertown Smog Rocket Smoked; Kernel Export India; Five Points Railway; Okell’s Aile; Fuller’s London; Redemption Fellowship; Meantime/M&S London; Brewdog Brixton; Guinness Dublin; Brew By Numbers 03/01; Sambrook’s Powerhouse.
We’re going to use this as an opportunity to ponder the nature of porter and also to try out a new approach to assessing and reviewing beers.
- Regardless of anything else, did it make us say ‘WOW’? (Sam Smith’s TP did.)
- If not, why not; or, if so, why so?
Once we’ve got our short list of WOWs, we’ll revisit them alongside Sam Smith’s and decide on a winner (i.e. our personal favourite — this is about as far from objective as it gets) and order a full case to see us through the winter.
Of course we haven’t got hold of every porter on sale in Britain — our budget only stretches so far — and the Guinness isn’t British. (Or is it? No. Well, sort of. But not really.) And who’s to say what, uh, counts as a porter anyway, man? (Anything with porter on the label, at this stage.) But, still, this should be interesting.
On Friday, we’ll be giving our first thoughts on Fuller’s, Meantime/Marks & Spencer, and Redemption.
If there’s a porter you absolutely think we must include — a stone cold classic that we’ve somehow overlooked — let us know below and we’ll see if we can find some pennies down the back of the sofa and get hold of a couple of bottles.