Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Day After The Night Before... Greenwich Hospital Porter

Today I made the compulsory post-Christmas march into town armed only with my wallet and a sturdy leather bag. There was only one purpose to my mission – to raid the supermarkets of their discounted festive foodstuffs. A solitary day after Boxing Day and Marks & Spencer’s is transformed into an Aladdin’s Cave of smoked salmon, turkey crowns, duck pate, Stilton and knock-off Buck’s Fizz. With a suitably empty freezer you could live off Christmas food for another month for the price of a single week’s food shop; apart from the obvious drawbacks of turning your liver into Fois Gras, being riddled with gout and pushing your belly beyond the final stud on your belt and into extra-orbital space. This aside it is incredibly satisfying to know that the rich and delicious food you are stuffing in and around your mouth is a third of the price it was three days ago.

Whilst I was eyeing up half-price gammon joints and weighing up the cost against a juggernaut of a salmon terrine, my eyes fell upon an interesting specimen hidden amongst a confusion of Cava and pre-mixed Champagne cocktails. This specimen was a bottle of Greenwich Hospital Porter aged in Islay whisky barrels for four months. A London Porter from the guys at the Meantime Brewing Company is always a treat, but to have some whisky cask influence is always special. A few months ago I tried a glass of their epic Grog. This special release was a combination of eleven malts and one hop variety, aged in Islay whisky casks and bottled at a steamy strength. Aside from the fun of ordering a pint of Grog over the bar, the beer was sensational. So I was excited to try the Hospital Porter.

Greenwich Hospital Porter
6% - Aged in Islay whisky barrels – Brewed at the Meantime Brewery
Nose: Fairly oaky with rich malt notes and Brazil nuts, underneath is a faint suggestion of peat.
Palate: Light body with oak and charcoal notes with.
Finish: Apricot, dry malt and roast chestnuts.
Overall: Not the most spectacular porter I’ve tried but enjoyable nonetheless. There is a curious ashy quality and a fine nuttiness but I would have enjoyed more body and length.

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