Stoke Dark

Total Score: 6.6/10 Chocolate1 Coffee1 Smoke1 Nonicpint1

Yes, I’m on a Stout/Porter quest at the moment and the latest dark beer to find itself in my crosshairs is McCashin’s Brewery Stoke Dark. McCashin’s are (for me at least) famous for their Mac’s Hop Rocker and (to a lesser extent) their Sassy Red, both decent brews. Then in 1999 Lion (that macro giant) bought out Mac’s and they reformed as McCashin’s Brewery (aka Stoke). I wish I could say that the new Stoke brews I’ve tried (Bohemian Ale and Bomber Kiwi Pale Ale) are as good as the old Mac’s ones, but alas they are not. Is Stoke Dark going to be McCashin’s Dark Knight?*

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy dark ruby body with a khaki half centimetre head that settles down to a thin blanket on top. Looks like a good Porter. 7/10.

S: Quite funky… *checks BB date of 12/11/15… no problem there* Aroma is cocoa powder, hints of drip coffee, some roasted caramel malt and sour cherry. A bit all over the place but I’ll forgive it as being interesting. 7/10.

T: The cocoa powder note comes to the fore and sets the tone well as an easy drinking chocolate Porter, the sort you would have with cookies and a bed time story. The rest of the flavour profile falls dangerously close to blandsville but thankfully isn’t bland, just close to bland (let it warm up a little to bring out the flavour). Hints of drip coffee provide a bitter and roasted note to the finish. Touch of smoke in the aftertaste. Sour cherry noted above is non-existent along with that funk, phew! Bigger flavour intensity would have given this a bigger score. 7/10.

M: Light(ish) body, definitely a Porter sore point for me after reviewing that luxurious Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout the other day, with a light carbonation. Goes down a bit wishy-washy. 5/10.

D: Well it certainly is one easy-drinking Porter, playing to a strength perhaps, but after sipping the nectar of the gods that is Founder’s Breakfast Stout and even Sam Smith’s OS, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of easy-drinking/watery Porters anymore [was I ever?!]. Damn shame I bought a six pack of this… at least it won’t take me long to finish it off. 6/10.

Food match: Cookies and a bed time story… or roast beef sandwich (pub style).

*Unintentional beer reference as Murray’s make a Dark Knight Porter, go me.


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