Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Meantime Coffee Porter


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.

9 comments:

Bailey said...

The word porter seems to have popped up on the label recently. As it happens, I had one of these yesterday, and it was barely the same beer as when I last had one six months or so ago. It used to be pitch black, goopy and almost creamy. Now it seems to be transparent, albeit very dark brown; fairly thin bodied; and, as you say, a bit tart. I wasn't keen. They do muck around with the recipes at Meantime (which I like) so the beers rarely seem to stay the same for long. That worked well for their wheat beer, which improved dramatically a couple of years ago. But not in this case, evidently.

Martin said...

I wonder if they've got an infection problem? What was the carbonation level like? I've seen a lot of bottled beers which present the symptoms of being very dry, a bit sour (or more than expected) and lacking in body and the conclusion is that there's some wild yeastie chewing his (or her) way through the remaining fermentables in the beer after bottling. Generally get a bit of fobbing with these too.

Tandleman said...

Infected?Maybe. It was sour enough.

YCC - Dubbel said...

My experiences of it are far more like Bailey's earlier encounter. I really liked it. Something's amiss.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Interesting , I found the Coffee beer and Chocolate beer to be the only Meantime beers I really rated at all. The sourness I got in the Coffee Porter was I thought the acidity of the coffee. Mine definitly had no yeast in the bottle though so perhaps there was something wronge with your sample.

Rednev said...

Not having heard of Meantime beers, I looked at the website out of curiosity. I have never seen such a pretentious brewery website before, full of breathless corporate gobbledegook, 'missions' and 'visions', and trying to sound like a moral cause rather than the business venture it is. That website, along with Tandleman's lukewarm tasting notes, will ensure I don't seek out these beers in a hurry. I've no wish to waste my money on sour beer.

Stonch said...

It's a shame the quality of Meantime's marketing isn't always matched by the quality of the beers. That shouldn't lead us to criticise the excellent presentation, though - I wish there were more breweries with the same approach.

Tom Fryer said...

I agree - innovative marketing and packaging shouldn't be the exclusive preserve of crap industrial brewers.

maeib said...

When I had this beer three or four years ago, it was just pure coffee. More so even than beers like Founders Breakfast Stout.

I don't like coffee - I didn't like the Meantime beer.