Total Score: 6.4/10
Anchor Porter, the latest on my ever-slowly-growing Christmas list of Anchor beers is (as will be the next beer I review) an anomaly – a blip stylistically – from a brewer better known for another beer type (in this case their patented “Steam Beer”). With the trepidation of a beer explorer going into the jungles of Porter from a brewer that is knowingly focused on another style, and armed with terribly conjured metaphors, I ventured forth… will I ever see my loved ones again? Perhaps I shall write them a letter.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Dark, hazed cola body with a massive 1 inch tan head that slowly settles down to a centimetre, in the process confusing my American readers by mixing Imperial and metric measurements – bad beer! 8/10.
S: Unroasted coffee beans, chocolate and dark fruits give this Porter a touch of English Strong Ale, hint of molasses brings us back to the US of A. Further whiffs (and as is trademark to my reviews: taking too long in writing my thoughts and letting the beer warm considerably) releases a lot more molasses, to the point that you would think this beer was a Southern gentleman who enjoys repeating the word “molasses” with an added grunt ad nauseam. 8/10.
T: Flavour is molasses up front with dark fruits, some nuttiness (interesting) and earthy/herbal hop bitterness in the finish. Overall flavour is more like a Strong or Brown Ale than a Porter, and as such creates a distraction for a well-versed Stout drinker like myself. Where are the heavier/darker flavours of coffee/chocolate characters I wonder? Aftertaste is a bitter herbal note. Not a fan of this Porter. 6/10.
M: Watery, mid to light bodied with a wafer-thin carbonation… it is indeed lacking here over other Porters I’ve had. 5/10.
D: Don’t get me wrong, I do like a good English Strong Ale (I regularly keep Hook Norton’s Twelve Days in my fridge) but this Porter is so far off style it’s difficult to recommend it over other Porters like: Founders, Harviestoun, Samuel Smith’s or Fuller’s London Porter… I can easily keep naming decent Porters et al. – all of which have the classic Porter flavour profile that I know and love, trust me on this reader – I know a good Porter when I taste one, I have the same ability with Dalmatians (knowing them when tasting them). 6/10.
Food match: The overt (unroasted!) maltiness of this brew would suit game bird.