Category Archives: Porter

Põhjala ‘Cosy Nights’ Vanilla Porter


“A winter porter brewed with vanilla. Contains barley, oats, lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour with a rapidly vanishing head. It leaves the thinnest of collars and zero lace on the glass.

Aroma: Super rich and indulgent. The feature vanilla isn’t as prominent as we’d like but it’s made up for in the form of a robust Porter base of molasses, licorice, delicate smoky notes and espresso coffee. Eventually the vanilla starts to open up and it presents more of a raw vanilla bean character. Pretty solid start.

Flavour: Excellent progression on offer. Upfront it’s all about that raw vanilla bean – almost has a hint of tropical fruit and cocoa – backed up by the robust Porter base of dark chocolate, licorice and espresso. It’s not until midway that an undertone of ash and burnt wood creeps in. As it continues the sweetness and the smokiness combine and the result is a very well balanced, roasty yet sweet finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous, medium-full body. Low-ish Co2. The 8% ABV is buried nicely.

Overall: Doesn’t have the elegance or refinement of a De Molen or Mikkeller but it’s still a decent drop.

Blackman’s ‘Arthur’ Smoked Porter



Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a flicker of light cutting through at the foot of the glass. It holds a nice and creamy two finger head which laces well. Looks the goods.

Aroma: We were astonished to find out that this go-to Porter (for one of us) still hadn’t been reviewed. We were too busy throwing them down to notice! It’s a favourite for a reason…the perfectly tempered smoky notes weave through the beer better than any other smoked beer we’ve ever had. We get strong but balanced smoke/peat, silky vanilla sweetness, floral hops, milk chocolate, coffee and spice.

Flavour: It delivers such a perfectly balanced ratio of smoke to sweetness. Then a subtle addition of umami gives it the depth that we love so much. It evolves so effortlessly too. Kinda sweet and roasty upfront then the smokiness takes the baton and runs. The chocolate and coffee flavours develop late and helps set up the all-encompassing finish which lingers magnificently.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky and perfectly weighted. Just the right amount of Co2 and booze (6%).

Overall: Well, there you go, now we’ve reviewed it we’re going back to pounding them like they’re going out of fashion! 😆

Phase Three ‘Niu’ Toasted Coconut Porter


“Re-inspired by a recent trip to Hawaii, came about. The recipe has come full-circle. Over a decade of experience combining coconut and beer and brewing dark beers, we brewed Niu to be sort of a peek behind the curtain at Phase Three. Big, adjuncted, dark beers are extremely labor intensive, involve a lot of planning and unfortunately, don’t offer a lot of drinkability. Niu is 6.3%. It’s not meant to be a big pastry stout/porter, however it’s not small. The base porter is light, but uses full-flavored UK malted grains, including Maris Otter, crystal malts and chocolate malts. It’s rich, but refreshing. It satisfies a dark, adjuncted beer craving but in a way where a pint of it is appropriate.”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Hits the glass with a pitch black complexion and rouses a thumb of finely beaded tan foam. Reasonable head retention and a beautiful cascading lace decorates the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: This smells bloody magnificent. The way they’ve integrated the coconut throughout is genius. The fact that it’s toasted as well makes a significant difference as the singed elements of both coconut and malt come together harmoniously. The coconut also offers a creamy aspect which works back into the subtle coffee, chocolate and cocoa…adding some balance at the same time.

Flavour: Yummo. Loving the progression of it. Just a short cameo of classic Porter roast and bitterness initially then the creamy and delicate toasty coconut courses over the top. It hits a crescendo of equal parts coconut and equal parts coffee and chocolate then it all delivers an ultra smooth, creamy and mildly sweet finish with a touch of dryness to counter.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick but not heavy. Creamy if you will. Medium body, perfectly carbed. The 6.3% ABV is bang on.

Overall: Our first crack at this brewery out of Illinois, USA. Very adept and measured in the delivery of this beer. These guys certainly know what they’re doing…may have to return and try a few more of their wares.

Principle Porter



Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Super dark brown pour capped off with a short khaki head which gradually peels off. It eventually forms a halo with wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: It’s now abundantly clear that these guys know what they’re doing. Over the past few years we’ve come to respect this scaled back from of brewing as it shows experience and skill. Expect very traditional notes of lightly roasted malts, coffee, nutty chocolate, burnt toast and peat. In our opinion an excellent Porter should just be a lighter version of a Stout and that’s exactly what this is.

Flavour: Dead set spot on. It’s a little slow out of the blocks but it doesn’t matter in the end as it keeps intensifying as it progresses. Gentle chocolate and roasty notes on entry which shift into nutty malts, coffee and subtle ash. At its crescendo it hits a mild smoky quality, bitter espresso and charred wood then it eases into a well rounded roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, decadent then drying out in the swallow. Fairly light on, medium body and Co2. Only 5.2% ABV so it screams session ability.

Overall: If you’re like us and you love to have a good dark beer fridge-filler then look no further. In fact we’re off to buy a bunch of them now!

White Bay ‘Right On’ Coffee & Vanilla Porter


“HOLEY MOLEY OOLEY DOOLEY! This friggin beer slaps! Brewed on a complex base consisting of of ale malt, heaps of crystal and specialty malts, wheat and oats. We let this baby take it’s time, fermented cool and conditioned for ages. Post conditioning we conditioned this beauty on Indonesian vanilla beans and an absolutely magnificent Brazilian coffee blend from our neighbours at Little Marionette. An absolutely joy to drink.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: As black as the ace of spades with a fizzy dark brown head which disappears almost instantly. Absolutely zero head is left which means zero lacing.

Aroma: Oh my my my this smells the goods. The coffee aspect is utterly divine…it gives off a fresh cold drip quality which is eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-the-head kinda stuff. Nice and neat little addition of sweet milk sugar/lactose to take the edge off the bitterness as well. Sensual notes of raw vanilla bean, dates/prunes and chocolate ganache adding more appeal to this already impressive aroma.

Flavour: Excellent transition to the palate. It delivers a strong punch of sweet espresso on entry followed by a balancing act of vanilla bean and creamy lactose. Delicious notes of lightly charred malt, dark chocolate and cocoa cross the mid palate and shift into a well balanced finish of espresso bitterness, ash, vanilla and creamy lactose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky and nicely weighted. Medium-full body and finely carbed. The 6.8% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: Magnificent stuff here from White Bay. Very finely detailed and stylish. Pretty sharp pricing on it too. Only good things!

Brouwerij Kasteel ‘Nitro Noir’ Nitro Porter


“Kasteel Nitro Noir has a clear taste of roasted malts, complemented by subtle caramel notes. The soft bitterness is balanced by a sweet fruitiness, making this porter easy to drink.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: For once a nitro beer from a can pours like a draught! Such a cool sight to watch the tightly held foam cascade down and transform into liquid. Nice dark brown complexion with a deep ruby gradient at the foot of the glass. It holds a sturdy two finger head which laces well.

Aroma: A nice and creamy roasted malt hits the olfactories initially. Supported by caramel fudge, a carob-esque accent, figs, dates/prunes, apple pie, vanilla and Belgian yeasty notes i.e orchard fruits, clove and banana split. There’s also a noticeable hop profile to it…kinda herbal and spicy with a black tea-like character. Liking it.

Flavour: Very unique. Then again it is a Belgian Porter so a sweet candy-ish front palate isn’t too far from the norm. There’s a mild roasty note which is softened by the creamy vanilla and the natural texture of the nitro. Milk chocolate, dark fruits, caramel fudge and a mild hop bitterness fills it out and finishes it all off nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth AF. Carbonation is soft and refined and the body is mild-medium. The 5.7% ABV is well buried.

Overall: An impressive nitro Porter. It’s refreshing to finally see a brewery get the nitro side of it right in a can. Oh yeah and the beer was also bloody good too! Bonus.

Zierholz Porter


“Similar to the Hopmeister this beer represents foray across the channel beer style wise and it recreates a beer similar to the robust Porters of London. Many who have come in declaring a loathing for dark beers have been converted to not fear the dark. Coffee connoisseurs especially seem to delight, and in that vein, this beer makes for a great accompaniment to desserts. Christoph’s brother Hannes uses it to make a sauce that goes great with cheese or chocolate cakes.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: It pours an attractive mahogany hue with a finger of loosely packed tan foam on top. It gradually comes apart and settled at the rim. Scarce lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Our first thoughts are lots of dark fruits and buttery biscuits but the more time its given to settle the more the mild coffee, chocolate/cocoa, toffee and nutty malts push to the front. Just a super mild roast and shy vanilla accents right down deep. We can say with certainty that it’s a peeled back traditional London-style Porter and we’re diggin it.

Flavour: Wow ok it’s got a lot more grunt here. Right off the bat a hearty roast, coffee and bitter chocolate is tasted. There’s a flutter of dark fruit and toffee sweetness laced through which then becomes more discernible around the mid palate. And as we say that the roasted malts kick back in again and roll into the somewhat dry, nutty and toasty finish which draws our rather well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty slick with a slight chewy-ness to it. Lively carbonation, medium body. The 5.6% ABV is very well concealed.

Overall: A really approachable and surprisingly sessional London Porter… especially considering its ABV. We reckon Zierholz is an immensely underrated brewery and this beer is a perfect example as to why.

Oskar Blues ‘Death By Coconut’ Rum BA Imperial Irish Porter


“Rum Barrel-Aged Death By Coconut is aged in barrels for nine months until it has the right amount of rum-soaked oak, molasses, vanilla, coconut, and chocolate goodness derived from the wood.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Muddy dark brown pour with a thumb of fizzy tan head which slowly reduced. It forms a collar with little lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: There’s little wonder why it’s called “death by coconut” it really lifts out of the glass with vigour. We’re getting coconut in almost every aspect as well; fresh and natural water, syrups, oil, shaved and toasted. Even the Le Tan sunscreen. Very very alluring. As is the Carribbean-style Rum barrels that enhances the coconut further and adds a splash of dark sugary sweetness, vanilla, dark fruits and spice. Yummo!

Flavour: As we had anticipated the coconut is reigned in a little and the hearty Porter notes join in. It’s amazing just how intense the coconut still is though. The Rum barrels are again providing the sugary sweetness, all spice and dark fruits while the base Porter brings up the bottom end with robust cocoa, milk chocolate, mocha, caramel/toffee and cola.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth and slick. Some warmth but that’s gotta be expected at 11.5% ABV. Moderately carbed, medium-full body.

Overall: A bloody ripper of a beer from an equally brilliant brewery. A lot of other breweries could have easily ruined the beer with this amount of coconut but these masters have found a way to completely overdo it but still keep it balanced and delicious AF! Incredible.

Slow Lane ‘Frozen Sea’ Baltic Porter


“Baltic Porter is a regional adaptation of English-style Porter by the countries around the Baltic Sea. Owing to the cold climate in the region, it is stronger than a typical Porter and is cold fermented with lager yeast rather than ale yeast. Frozen Sea is smooth and full bodied with a rich malty sweetness.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a thumb of cappuccino head that slowly deconstructs. Good retention but not much of it sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Really dark and decadent but the fact that Baltic Porter’s use a Lager yeast means it still offers a light and somewhat crisp profile. Hints of chocolate powder, coffee and licorice mingles with the herbal and floral hops, slight earthy-ness, cherry and woody notes. Subtle toasty and nutty accents also starting to creep through as it settles.

Flavour: It opens with a big display of malt – coffee roast, cocoa powder, burnt toast and earthy/woody hops to balance it all out. All the while that delicate cherry with nuanced medicinal qualities hangs in the background. Getting mild ash around the mid palate then it shifts into a dry and slightly bitter finish with drawn out coffee and roasted malt on the back.

Mouthfeel: Pretty palate-friendly for its size (8.5% ABV). Smooth and creamy texture yet still kinda crisp and moderately bodied. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: We’re locking in on these guys. This is now our 3rd entry for them and we reckon they’re getting better and better. We really dig that they focus on European styles…not enough Aussie breweries do in our opinion.

Hawkers 2021 Brandy BA Baltic Porter


“Well rested in barrels that previously aged brandy, this Baltic Porter is as refined as it is monstrous. Characters of fruit cake and plush chocolate lend a softer side to the bold, abyssal beast beneath.  Drink now or cellar for another day—the choice is entirely yours, however there’s nothing like having one now and cellaring a second one for later.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a finger of tan foam forming on top. Steady reduction with a wet lace being dragged down the glass.

Aroma: We must admit we don’t see many Aussie breweries opting for the Brandy barrel option. It’s not a spirit that we’re totally fond of but for this expression it displays sweet and spicy notes of ginger bread, chai tea and mulled cider. Once again we’re seeing the same issues that plagued the unflavoured BBA series which is the base Baltic Porter notes are super subtle and aren’t reallyfusing with with the flavour of the Brandy barrels particularly well.

Flavour: Wow, full marks for overall smoothness but in a sense it’s also its downfall. There’s zero roasted characters – which we’d come to expect from the style – minimal chocolate, coffee and nutty qualities as well. Fleeting hints of chai spice, gingerbread, dark fruits, toffee and port before she settles on a kinda sweet and spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light on to be honest. Not a whole lot of grip but a slightly lifted Co2 helps. Medium body. The 11.7% ABV is very well buried though.

Overall: This is just plain old average from Hawkers. The aroma only just passes muster but from there it went downhill. It’s lacking balance, intensity and cohesion. By the end it was a boozy, watery mess. Very ordinary.

Amager Bryghus ‘Baby Wombat From Hell’ Old School Porter


“An old-school English Porter brewed with 5 different malts and full of chocolate tones. No wombats were harmed in the making of this beer.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Uber dark brown, bordering on black with a faint ray of light cutting through at the base of the glass. It forms a thumb of light brown foam which slowly peels off but manages a sexy cascading lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Boom! This is what a real Porter should smell like. A huge roasted base providing the crucial formwork for the rich dark chocolate, espresso, light smoky notes, ash, cocoa, vanilla, licorice and earthy hops to work off. This beast literally gives meaning to the phrase “all Stouts are types of Porter but not all Porters are Stouts”. Dead set it’s the best Porter we’ve smelt all year.

Flavour: We already knew from the quality of the aroma that it would follow through. Immediately we get that slightly aggressive roasted bitterness which literally reaches all the way into the finish. Everything from espresso coffee, dark chocolate, ash and smoke to treacle, toffee, vanilla and dark fruits in abundance. Then it all converges in an extremely big and complex finish which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Perfect. Literally perfect. It holds a nice weight with a temperate Co2. Medium body. The 6% ABV is incredibly well hidden.

Overall: We’re absolutely loving this. From the hilarious description on the can to the awesome artwork but most importantly the contents. This is the epitome of an old school Porter. Hot damn it’s good to see Amager back on our shores, we’ve been long time fan boys of this brewery!

Bracket Brewing ‘Baraka’ Coffee Porter


“We love coffee, arguably more than beer (controversial we know!). So when the opportunity arose to collaborate with Redfern roastery, @seventhwave_coffee , who is doing something a bit special, we jumped at it. For our first coffee collab, hopefully of many, we brewed a Porter with a smooth roast profile and added Seventhwave’s signature seasonal blend, Baraka, which uses Ethiopia as the base pushing a soft acidity, stone-fruit, blueberry & chocolate.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Pours as black as midnight with a big and finely beaded three finger head. Excellent retention and lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Absolutely loving the intense coffee lifting out of the glass. It’s got that raw bean quality to it and it’s bursting with nutty, chocolate and almost floral accents. There’s a beautiful roast emanating off it too which lends itself to a bit of dark chocolate, vanilla bean, sweet dark fruits and berries, toffee and a super subtle hint of pithy bitterness. Really liking where this is going.

Flavour: The coffee hits the taste buds with a substantial calibre. Yet it’s still so perfectly in sync with everything else – the delicate creamy vanilla, the milkshake-like cocoa, the subtle dark fruits and berries, even the the bitterness kicks in and does its part for the team. Nutty and lightly roasted malts then set up for a rather dry, roasty and bitter finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, a bit of dryness developing in the swallow. Medium bodied, low-ish Co2. The 6.5% ABV is well positioned.

Overall: Another notable offering from these new kids on the block. Hazy’s ✔️ dark beers ✔️ now we’re keen to see how their Lagers and Sours stack up. We’re quietly confident.

Stone & Wood ‘2021 Stone Beer’ Wood Fired Porter


“In homage to brewing history, 2021 Stone Beer was brewed using wood fired stones and focuses on high quality Australian craft malts and barrel aging techniques. Pouring dark brown, Stone Beer starts with a rich and chocolatey aroma followed by coffee, dark chocolate and biscuity flavours that envelop the palate before a firm bitter finish. Perfect for cold winter nights, our wood fired porter was made for moments by the fire with friends, beer in hand and tales unfolding.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with trickles of light creeping through around the edges. It produces a short tan head which gradually recedes. A gorgeous cascading lace trails it down.

Aroma: Not getting a great deal off the nose to be honest. The dominant scent would have to be the gamey smoked ham hock quality which is really delightful to take in. It throws out similar scents of salami and beef jerky but behind it is a subtle touch of smoked malt, lightly charred wood, burnt espresso, dark chocolate, roasted almond and molasses. The most delicate of sweet malts also opening up as it settles.

Flavour: Ok this is where it’s all at! It kicks off with an incredible roasty and charred malt character which incorporates dark chocolate, coffee and this certain woody/smoky note which infuses really well. Loving the delicate touch of milky chocolate around the mid which is quickly overtaken by smoked ham hock, burnt espresso and charred malts to finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth and palate-friendly actually. On the flipside it’s probably a tad too light on. The 6.4% ABV is very well hidden though.

Overall: Once again this wood fired Porter does the right things but doesn’t really blow us away. We’d love to see this beer progress in certain ways. In saying that their barrel aged version is always a ripper…if one can get their hands on it! Anywho, solid but nothing memorable.

Mikkeller ‘Tweaker’ Coffee Porter


“A slightly strong Kaffeporter made with coffee from danish master roasters La Cabra Coffee.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black which is always a good sign for a Porter. It forms a frothy two finger head which is retained well. What is best described as ‘sexy’ lacing coats the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: It’s got that sweet coffee scent in spades…like raw coffee bean but mixed with milk powder/sugar. As it settles the formwork comes in to play; licorice, dark chocolate, plums/cherry, salted caramel, musk and marshmallow. It’s funny coz it really pulls back on the coffee intensity once the other aromas are detected. But then again, technically, that’s just good balance.

Flavour: The coffee is certainly noticeable but it seems sweetened by a hit of brown sugar or caramelised malt. This is in no way a criticism, it’s actually delicious. The mid is where the coffee gets to do its thing, really showing the true earthy, nutty and smoky qualities before it finishes bitter and roasty with excellent length.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slick and a little oily. Some heat to it (8% ABV). Low-ish Co2. A little light on but we can forgive considering it’s a Porter.

Overall: Yeah it wasn’t the big coffee bomb we were after but it still ticks a few boxes. There was a slightly unappealing bitterness and the booze showed through a a bit too much. In the end it wasn’t a bad drop though.

Tiny Rebel ‘Stay Puft’ Mint Choc Marshmallow Porter


“Imperial Stay Puft and a load of after-dinner chocolates.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight. It produces a small brown head which quickly fades. It still manages a decent set of rings as it ebbs.Aroma: Holy moly…the mint chocolate side of things is lifting off. It literally smells like a glass of liquefied after dinner mints. Dark chocolate and mint, dark chocolate and mint, dark chocolate and mint, dark chocolate and mint and….oh dark chocolate and mint! Seriously though, it may only be a two trick pony but those two tricks are freaking amazing!

Flavour: Getting a bit more depth here which is excellent. Obviously the mint and dark chocolate rush to the front but it’s those subtle hints of vanilla, marshmallow, peppermint and biscuits that hand it the much needed body it possesses. It doesn’t really vary a whole lot…the only other useful correlation we can make is that it tastes like a liquid mint slice….with a bit of booze!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, aerated, medium body. Mild-moderate Co2. Tell ya what the 9% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: It’s been a long time between drinks for us and Tiny Rebel. This crafty variation of “Stay Puft” has us very interested too. Honestly the resemblance between this and a mint slice is freakish. Love it!

50/50 Brewing ‘Donner Party’ Porter


“Sustenance to get you through those long, cold winters, the Donner Party Porter is another of FiftyFifty’s flagship beers. Reminiscent of dark chocolate, espresso, and dark dried fruits with a long complex finish, this beer is good for one of those nights where you’ve dug yourself into a snow bank because the ski trip didn’t go quite as planned.”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Super dark cola pour with a thin tan head on top. It quickly retreats to the rim and struggles to produce much lacing.

Aroma: Roasty and slightly metallic with a good helping of cocoa, molasses, bakers chocolate, toffee, burnt toast and subtle dark fruit sweetness i.e blood plum, fig and dates. Also picking up a touch of toasted coconut, camp fire, espresso and earthy, herbal and mildly floral hops. Could be wrong but we’re also getting a flutter of estery yeast too. Solid!

Flavour: Right on the money. Stripped back, traditional Porter notes on display with its delicious roast, bittersweet chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Again, picking up the slightly herbal and floral hop profile. Gets real roasty and charred as it surges in to a bittersweet finish full of chocolate, cocoa and molasses.

Mouthfeel: Excellent weight…full-ish and nicely sustained Co2, bitterness, ABV, all of it.. dead set spot on.

Overall: A bloody ripper of a Porter from this highly distinguished brewery. Traditional in a sense but so nicely crafted at the same time. Two thumbs up from us.

Woolshed Brewery Scorched Almond Porter


“Woolshed Brewery and Almondco are celebrating Almondco’s 75th year, with this one off specialty brew just for thr occasion. Almondco roast crushed almonds, brewed with organic cacao nibs, chocolate malt and lactose, for a creamy, roast choc nut beer experience!”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Kind of a deep garnet with light mahogany hues…not dark enough for a Porter. A finger of lightly tanned foam falls away and forms a halo. Nice wavy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Beautiful fusion of toasted almonds flowing through the somewhat lighter than expected Porter characteristics. We’re detecting a gentle roast, milky coffee and chocolate, caramel, mixed nuts and honey/maple. Slightly underwhelming.. it could actually pass as an Amber Ale.

Flavour: A bit of a watered down mess. The front palate hardly offers anything of note until it hits the nutty and sweet caramels early in the mid. Only then does it open up, albeit, conservatively. Dry nutty roast, milk chocolate, earthy hops and cocoa does linger nicely on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Too thin and slippery for the style. We’d be happy to overlook but it’s hard to ignore here. Low-ish Co2. 5% ABV is too tame.

Overall: Very pedestrian stuff from a highly regarded brewery in our opinion. It’s just lacking everything you’d expect from an adjunct flavoured Porter. Yeah the nutty-ness is there but there’s no depth or structure behind it.

Bright Brewery ‘Off The Wagon Wheel’ Chocolate Porter


Off The Wagon Wheel pays homage to the beloved chocolatey/ marshmallowy after-school snack that most Aussie kids were raised on. The iconic flavours of the Wagon Wheel are recreated with chocolate malt, vanilla beans, coconut flakes and fresh raspberry puree.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Dark mahogany with a finger of fizzy tan head assembling on top. It quickly recedes but still manages a lovely cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Wow the resemblance to an actual Wagon Wheel is pretty spot on. Lots of milk chocolate, raspberry puree, creamy vanilla, coconut, cereal grains, profiteroles, biscuity malt and even a cheeky hint of creaming soda. Oh man we could literally take this aroma in all day. Superb.

Flavour: Juuuust lacks a bit of intensity. All of the delicious Wagon Wheel flavours are here though; raspberry puree, milk chocolate, creamy vanilla, coconut and biscuity malts. It is a bit of a one trick pony though and this can sometimes be the downside with these novelty beers…if there’s no back up flavours it can be a little one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and at times watery. There’s a vibrant Co2 which gives it a much needed lift though. Mild-medium body. 5.8% ABV neither here nor there.

Overall: It started really strong but gradually the faults started to show up. As we said it’s a bit one dimensional which is a shame. We still rate Bright as a really good Aussie brewery though.

Mountain Goat ‘Rare Breed’ BA Blended Porter


“The cold winter nights have arrived and so has our new Rare Breed Barrel Aged Blended Porter! Aged in rum barrels, this porter is rich and full-bodied, with deep malt aromas, and delicious chocolate and rum flavours.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with very faint deep ruby red breaking through at the foot of the glass. It forms a big three finger head which holds up. Excellent lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: To be honest we weren’t quite sure what to expect but expect a nose full of slightly sweet and spicy rum, dark fruits i.e raisin/dates/cherry, chocolate, subtle oak, cola, hints of vanilla and lightly burnt caramel and toffee. Nicely poised yet with good depth and complexity.

Flavour: Interesting. It’s a real tussle between the traditional Porter notes and the rum barrels. The upside to this is the superb balance they’ve struck. Beautifully fused flavours of chocolate, coffee, spiced rum, caramel, oak, vanilla and dark fruits with a nice toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: The only thing letting it down is the slightly lean texture. Although they’ve hidden the 9% ABV well. Plus the Co2 is spot on.

Overall: It’s strongest attribute is the dangerous drinkability…it’s so smooth and palatable for its size. The weakness is the thin-ish texture and lack of oomph. Jeez we’re hard to please! 😉

Dad & Dave’s ‘#0’ Oak & Whisky Porter


“Our Oak & Whisky Porter has been cellared 2 and a half years to deliver a smooth velvety porter rich in chocolate and caramel notes. Fermented on fresh french oak and a touch of whiskey to promote subtle flavours and aromas of vanilla.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with some faint light cutting through around the edges. Massive four finger head which takes an age to recede. Tonnes of lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We can smell the whiskey as it sits idle on the table. Behind it are magnificent wafts of molasses, licorice, oak, dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, vanilla and slightly tart dark fruits. A hint of cocoa and earthy char also creeping in as it warms. Solid.

Flavour: Again, the whiskey component hits the taste buds first, quickly followed by chocolate, oak, licorice, coffee and molasses. A flutter of vanilla sweetness and ever so slightly tart dark fruits lead in to a nice roasty finish with lingering coffee, roasted malts and oak on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Probably a tad too thin but we’ll cop it as it is a Porter. Super smooth, oily, hides the 8% ABV pretty damn well. Mild-medium Co2.

Overall: Believe it or not this is our first crack at Dad and Dave’s. We’ve been aware of them for years but never made the commitment. Glad we did with this one…it’s respectable.