Heretic chocolate hazelnut porter


imageThis brew was the first beer the head brewer of Heretic entered into a competition, and eventually it won the gold medal. It has been many years perfecting and now…finally…it can be imbibed from the glass.¬†Expect a rich, chocolaty, nutty dessert beer. Hmmm yes please.

As soon as we pop the cap off this bad boy, we get a lovely roasted malt, combined with milk chocolate, cacao, subdued hints of espresso, and an undertone of nuts. So far so good. Poured into a dessert glass, there is a vibrant bubbly tan coloured head that eventually fades away leaving nothing but a mixture of small and medium carbonated bubbles. The colour is mat black. First sip is bloody incredible. It is so smooth! There is a subdued chocolate, but a tasty sweet roasted malt profile with very mild bitterness. We are expecting a little more nut flavour…it is there but only in the background. There is a tingle of carbonation on the lips but that’s basically it as it glides effortlessly down the gullet. Certainly a light to medium body that reminds you of a porter or a dark ale, but with good lingering depth. Did we mention how bloody smooth this is!? Alc vol is 7% but you would never know. I imagine you could cook with this drop, like in a stew or a pie and it would be mind blowing. Half way through the 750ml bottle and the head is registering a slight buzz. There is virtually no lacing on the glass, as we served this at room temperature, and the slight oiliness of the beer is likely to be a factor here. The more you drink, you get a flavour in the mouth of nuttiness and we wonder if this is the ‘natural hazelnut flavour’ or actual hazelnuts in the flesh. Either way, it’s nice to taste the nutty aroma. Many supposed ‘nut’ infused beers out on the market are devoid of such added flavour. In summary, this is a very smooth, incredibly satisfying, sweet dessert beer that is well brewed and does what it says. We like a lot but would love it a tad more if the hazelnut was more pronounced. Brilliant job.