Total Score: 7.1/10
So I’ve got to admit I’m a bit of a serial beer cherry-picker, i.e. I taste a few beers from a brewer and pick the one I liked most to review. In the case of Newstead – who opened while I was living interstate and are still going strong (even though they live around the corner from the much better Green Beacon) – their best brew I deemed was their 21 Feet 7 Inches Porter. I kinda felt a hankering for a Stout, and here we are Mr. 21 Feet 7 Inches Porter… what does the name even mean? I’ll have to read the label… aha, it’s a reference to the 1974 Brisbane floods – 21’ 7” was the high tide, huh, I just learnt something dammit.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: A fairly tasty obsidian black/deep brown body with a thin mocha coloured head – this is right up my alley for a stout… but wait a sec: The head isn’t leaving behind any lacing – which is the difference between an average and a brilliant stout/porter – needs more lace proteins then. 7/10.
S: At least the aroma is bang on with rich dark/milk chocolate, light coffee bean notes and a hint of brandy, mmmmm. The balance between sweet/bitter is excellent here – let’s see about the taste, because some stouts can be misleading here. 8/10.
T: Flavour is more on the bitter than sweet side and apart from the above noted aromas (dark/milk chocolate, coffee bean, brandy) there is a touch of roasted smokiness at play. Finish is a mix of coffee grind bitterness and soy sauce, not bad, not great. Aftertaste leaves a roasted coffee taste that lingers on for a long time. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a light but dense carbonation… wasn’t really expecting much here – Aussie brewers seem to be lost compared to Americans when it comes to body in a stout, tis a shame. 6/10.
D: This seemed much better on tap, but all beers taste better on tap – so that’s neither here nor there. Overall I wanted the balance to be less on the bitter side and more chocolatey – but that is a personal porter preference of mine. Am I disappointed? A little, however it’s not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination, just lacking a little, it’s the little things that would make this beer better. 7/10.
Food match: I had a coq au vin with this Porter last time I was there and it was a damn good match.