Total Score: 6.85/10
Holgate, those likeable chaps from Mount Macedon 69 clicks out of Melbourne (the Victorian variety), are a decent craft brewer from my previous forays into their Road Trip and Hopinator, that seem to be chasing a craft style that is a touch American (i.e. well-hopped brews) with a hint of Aussie (i.e. let’s not overdo it as Australians can’t handle big hops). I appreciate what they bring to the table whilst at the same time wishing they didn’t pander to the MCM – Mass Craft Market: My term for people getting into craft brews because of (its now) immense popularity but who also can’t handle a beer with hops, so they seek a faux-hopped beer to look cool and wax lyrical over how “impressive” and “fruity” the hops are in said beer… Wow, am I now a beer snob? Nah!
Poured from tap into a 425ml Schooner.
A: Clear cola body with a half centimetre tan head. Not bad, not terrific, not qu’est-ce que c’est – average, sorta better than. 6/10.
S: Notes of milk/dark chocolate with a hint of roasted coffee, vanilla extract and an odd (for a Porter) floral hop note lingering in the background. Not as chocolaty as it should be with a name like “Chocolate Porter”, I’ve smelt more chocolate in a hardback copy of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 6/10.
T: Here we go: Some bold chocolate upfront, with hints of the above (coffee, vanilla) and a slight bitter floral hop finish. Tasty and moreish. Although that floral hop finish is still quite distracting for the style… I’ll forgive it just this once. 7/10.
M: Nice and medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation. Again tap beers do benefit greatly over bottles in the mouthfeel. 8/10.
D: It is overall a solid and tasty Porter. Interesting hop finish given the style but I say it works well in presenting the taste buds with something different. The ABV at 6% is intriguing as it doesn’t feel any more than a 4 or 5% brew so they’ve hidden that well. Temptress is classic Holgate territory, they generally put together a solid brew without any muss, they aren’t quite as good as Feral or Little Creatures, or my new fav HopDog though so I really don’t go out of my way to buy their brews. 7/10.
Food match: Something gooey, chocolaty and beefy – how about a stew with chocolate, beef and a hint of chilli (because you need to add chilli to chocolate these days, it’s a rule).