On a whim yesterday, I bought a small bottle of Meantime Coffee Porter. Today I had the thought of having a couple of pints, but then wisely thought I'd better do my ironing and packing instead as I'm off to Germany tomorrow. My intended trip to Stonch's pub has gone by the board again. See it isn't all beer and skittles in this game. Or it wouldn't have been if I hadn't remembered the bottle of beer.
It's a lovely looking bottle which makes you immediately think "this is going to be classy". Wonder if that's intentional? Well it isn't classy, though it isn't bad. It isn't good either. It is 6% abv and best before November 2011.
Brown in colour, fairly dark brown, with a sourish malty nose. Surprisingly for what I assume to be a filtered beer, there are biggish gobbets of yeast in it. Taste is rather tart and sour. OK it is very tart and sour. The label alleges silky smoothness, but it is neither. Chocolate notes are meant to be there, but aren't either. Nor any vanilla. Oh and the coffee, maybe as it warms up a bit, but really with the tart sourness, you'd be hard pushed to be sure. It is very dry though. This beer can be identified by opposites. What it says on the label, you can safely assume isn't there! The finish is dry, sour, acidic and lingering.
If you shovel more brown malt in and leave out the coffee beans, what you probably have is an old fashioned porter of yore. That too should make you glad you didn't live then!
PS - My bottle has the word "porter" after "coffee" otherwise it is the same as illustrated.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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