Are You Tasting the Pith? - 22nd May 05
I've got a little beer cellar under the stairs. It's great - its cool stone floor keep the beer at perfect cellar temperature, and so whenever I fell in the mood for a little treat, I can poke about in there with a torch, and pick some oddity from the 40 or so bottles in there.
One recent victim of the blind beer grab was Hercule Stout (8.4% abv), which was purchased a few months ago at the legendary Pitfield Beer Shop. Not knowing what to expect, other than it being a stout, I was still surprised by its intensity. I find that Belgian stouts can sometimes be a little sweet or flabby on the palate, but the depth and intensity of this stout was a pleasant surprise. Jet black in the glass, it looked like a glass of pitch, and oddly, the aroma had a certain brackish tarriness to it, along with the expected deep roasted grain notes. With more than a hint of trepidation, a mouthful reveals a surprising depth, dryness and intensity, and a long, dry roasty finish. Surprisingly good for a Belgian stout.
This is the second bottle of After Dark Porter (5%) I've tried - the first one was a bit of a let down, although I suspect that the bottling may have been off-kilter. This is bit more lively than that wayward bottle, although still quite reluctant to give up much aroma - hints of milk chocolate and dark roast cereal. Through the teeth and past the gums, the beer is nice enough, although perhaps lacking in malty fruitiness - it comes across like a light, chocolatey stout, rather than a porter. The finish, too, is a little too dry, although not lacking in the coffeeish notes that give this porter its name
BACK TO TOP