Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Einstök Toasted Porter

A bottle of Toasted Porter
A few days ago I was having a regular catch up with an old uni friend at the Rake in Borough Market. We had warmed up with a draft of IPA, and were ready to select our second drink of the evening. Obvious first port of call: to consult the guy in the Oakley glasses. My friend is into dark beers, so Oakley points us to the Anchor Bock Beer tap. The first taste was a little sweeter than we expected, but it was interesting enough that we went for a half. To go alongside it we asked for something just as dark, less sweet, and perhaps a little smokey.

"Ah," said Oakley, his finger now in the air. "I have just the thing."

He pops a black labelled bottle on the bar. It's from the Einstök brewery in Iceland - perhaps more widely known for their Pale Ale, or the White Ale they make with coriander and orange peel. This looks like neither of those. Oakley cracks it open and black soda tumbles out into the glass.

"This pretty much matches the description" he said. And it did.

There is no mention of smoke in the tasting notes but sure enough, smokey toasted malt comes through at first snuff. The liquid itself is quite fragile for a porter - the coffee references which so plague beer reviews would have to err on the side of americano in this case, although I find myself groping for a fizzier simile. It was like a barbecued diet coke. Right down to the burps. But without the sweetness or mouthfeel that a barbecue or a coke might give you. Luckily, the aftertaste carried enough of the toast that I didn't stand with my nose in the glass all night. A selection for the summer if you just can't get yourself away from the shadier ales.

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