Feral smoked porter


image“Don’t let the name scare you off. Our Smoked Porter has a very gentle bitterness and combines the classic chocolate malt and coffee characteristics true to the Porter style. A subtle smoked hickory flavor comes from the use of German malts smoked over Birchwood chips.”

We first tried this at the 2013 Tasmanian Beer Festival. While our memory of the day itself isn’t great we do remember this beer being one of the stand outs for us. We were pumped to see it bottled not long after. Served in a beer tulip, the impenetrable black pour generates a finger of tanned foam which rapidly diminishes to a halo. And as expected, it laced quite poorly. What we really like about this aroma though, is that the brewers haven’t gone all out on the smoke component. Firm wafts of smoked malts, peat, bacon, burned wood and roasted espresso do dominate but hints of cocoa, tobacco and earthy tree bark are allowed to come through. Good complexity but even better balance shown on the nose. In the mouth it’s disappointingly watery with a slightly timid body. Thin texture. We were hoping for the liquid to hold up a little bit but it slides right off the palate way too easily. The flavour profile is a tad hesitant upfront as it hints towards roasted malt and subtle smoked meat which aren’t anywhere near as pronounced as they could be. Some delicate suggestions of chocolate through the mid lead on to the lightly roasted finish. Yes, some smoky elements do linger on the rear palate but it’s frustratingly subtle. Wow, the difference between the aroma and flavour here is enormous. While the aroma was packed full of promise, the flavour is literally M.I.A. Quite a discouraging finish to what seemed to be shaping up as a really good beer.