Total Score: 8.65/10
Not the biggest fan of 4 Pines, or Baltic Porters for that matter, I find their beers overhyped and under delivering, not unlike Baltic Porters. Looks like one of the most overhyped/under delivering brewers has brewed one of the most overhyped/under delivering styles… this should be interesting. That said most of their Keller Door brews have been excellent – I wish they applied that heady Keller Door experimentation to their year-round releases but that appears to be an unrealistic wish for any Australian craft brewer (exhibit A: Little Creatures Small Batch) these days. Regardless I am looking forward to this brew. PS: Love the label design!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: A nice Porter cloudy dirt brown body with a thin tan head – as far as Porters go this is near perfect, except: LET ME FINISH!!! It could use a bit more head… [couldn’t we all?] *ahem* pretty beer though. 8/10.
S: Aroma is sweet, bready, woody, vanilly(?) goodness. It has that typical Baltic Porter heavy bread character mingling with dark fruit sweetness and the wood/vanilla notes from the oak are spot on just what this beer, and by my association with said beer: I, needs. Tasty. 9/10.
T: Funky and not for the light-hearted brewventurer – some sour rye bread character upfront, overripe almost rotting sour dark fruit esters come to the fore, then it hits with vanilla-woody overtones, brown sugar, ethyl acetate (nail polish remover) and finishes with a battle between herbal bitters and a sour flourish. This is the most interesting brew I’ve had since I became familiar with Flanders Red Ales. Again a rookie craft beer drinker might mistake this for a brewing blunder but these flavours are intended and make for some intriguing drinking. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a light but dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: Well I wasn’t expecting anything this challenging – easily the best Baltic Porter I’ve had thus far and I think the best Keller Door brew I’ve had… checking my scores… confirmed! If you, like me, are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary but you don’t want a face-evaporating-sour brew like Lindemans Kriek Cuvée René then give this ago… one negative: Like all the Keller Door releases the price is $10 for 500ml – I haven’t brought up beer prices in a while but even this is a bit rich for my blood, a point has been detracted for said reason. 8/10.
Food match: Some sort of meat with some sort of jus is in order for this brew – beef and red wine – done, also sharp cheese platter, done.