Entire Butt English Porter
In our latest segment of the John and Dad Thursday night beer review, we get together for an Entire Butt English Porter from the Salopian Brewing Company in the UK. What’s the Entire Butt besides a great name and perhaps a description of what a guy likes most about his lady? Well it’s actually a style of beer. If you go back to the British brewing records from the 18th century (probably not available at your local library), you’ll find that the porter was a blend of a stale or soured old ale, a brown or pale new ale and a mild to weak ale which gave the world the first engineered beer commonly called the “Entire Butt” (Read more from the good folks over at Beer Advocate on the history of the English Porter).
There’s your “I learned something new today” nugget. Enjoy! For our review we used an English pint glass, of course. We got a starting beer temperature of 55 F, which is just about perfect for these English beers. This one rocks an ABV of 4.8% and the bottle volume is 500 ml or 16.9 oz for those who can’t or won’t read metrics.
Our initial pour gave us a large 3″ foamy light brown head that left a good amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly. Not a lot of carbonation to speak of and the color was an opaque ruby brown. It looks black when you look at it but when you get it up to the light you can see a bit more clearly the true colour.
The aromas come in with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and some light alcohol. Not too complex but those are some powerful malt aromas and you’re probably not going to get a lot of other subtle notes coming through. They put 14 different malts in this bad boy! The taste is strong on the coffee – almost a burnt taste like a Starbucks bean gone too long (well, I guess that’s a normal Starbucks bean). So that ramps up the taste to essentially an espresso along with some burnt, dark chocolate and a very light smoke. Again not overly complex, but all the flavors jive together really well for a pretty enjoyable taste that we put away surprisingly fast.
The initial flavor notes are a light to moderate sweet that evolves in the finish to a light sweet and light to moderate bitter. The finish is quite long and the mouthfeel is creamy and velvety smooth. The tongue hit is smack in the back of the tongue and there’s a fair amount of body lacing as you drink it. On our malt to hop scale it comes in really malty – there’s 14 malts after all – 3 clicks to the left of balanced on the malt side.
For our bottom line notes we get a yes to drinkable, yes to repeatable, yes to balance and a yes to buy again. We get a no to harmony, no to memorable and no to wow factor.
This is a really interesting beer. It’s very smooth and it’s not too dry and it’s not too sweet – it’s really our first session porter. While it’s not overly complex it’s very good – it’s a malty celebration in a bottle. We think it may actually be a good transition beer for a craft beer newbie wanting an introduction to porters – it’s the perfect size, has a pretty low ABV and really hums along. It’s not a stunner of a beer, it’s just a good drinking beer and we definitely recommend it.
Entire Butt English Porter Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)
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