Well it's been around a year since I dragged a bunch of loyal mates to the arsehole of world to brew at one of the worlds finest breweries.
I can confirm that I am still married and the former Alice Porter is in great condition - but what about the beer eh? HO HO!!
Well... Super high marks on ratebeer and beeradvocate, it's also cropped up in various far flung places across the globe and has received some brilliant reviews and been drunk by many, many people in bottle, keg and cask. It's pretty amazing really as this beer was conceived in a truly advanced state of refreshment, but then it was my stag do.
We did have an idea of what we wanted to make, a strong baltic style porter around 6% it needed to be rich and balanced with a porter type tang plus if we could squeeze some smoke in there - all the better. Well hot damn - with the help of the legendary brewery team at Brewdog, it worked!
I've saved a good size batch of the original brew with the intention of seeing how it ages. I also bottled a little right from the keg and dosed it with Belgian yeast and a bit of rudimentary brown sugar syrup. More on that another time though, lets stick to the original.
So a year in the bottle and I've got some interesting developments and I'm pleased to say that the beer has improved - it's deeper, better balanced and more intense. There's tons of fruit on the nose and that touch of German smoked malt comes through lovely - something that I have noticed improves with time in the cask.
Please believe me when I say I'm trying to be objective here... But it's just a really great beer despite my obvious bias. It's also much better for a years ageing, the intensity is great and it's still very much a classic porter. I'm very happy with the combination of hops we used; there's some great traditional Fuggles fruity bitterness in there but the stars of the show are the Bramling Cross which gives you all those lovely deep blueberry and soft fruit flavours and of course the Sorachi Ace which we added to see if it would help achieve that porter-y acidic tang. It does add a touch of citric sharpness and also that creaminess which makes Sorachi ace such a difficult hop to like in lighter beers and IPAs but perhaps a really, really great hop for darker beers - take note brewers!!
There's also that touch of vanilla in there and the mystery ingredient just seems to bring the whole thing together (what is it eh?).
So anyway I'll pat everyone who was involved heartily on the back once again and watch as our creation goes global... Alice Porter will be available in a shop, supermarket, bar or pub near you pretty much NOW!
pic courtesy of digital newsroom