Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Clifford Porter is my first brush with one of Ontario's newest craft breweries, Clifford Brewing Co. Ostensibly based in Hamilton, Clifford seems to do its brewing by contract elsewhere. I had a pint of the 5.7% alcohol porter at Bar Hop on Valentine's Day 2015 after narrowly avoiding a squash defeat. I received a classic looking dark ale--blackish with ruby highlights, under a carpeting of frothy tan head.
This beer has a sultry, dusky aroma. The nose is composed of rich and roasty malts, cafe americano notes, and a fairly obvious suggestion of big hops. This beer proved more bitter than I thought it'd be, and extremely flavourful. There are ample shades of dark roast coffee, even darker chocolate, molasses, and, particularly evident at the finish, a stalwart hop blast. It's got a relatively low alcohol content, but tastes much stronger. And, with a silky mouthfeel, it's a treat to down.
Easily one of the best dark beers originating in Ontario that ever I've tried, this stuff has a lot to offer and little to complain about. I encourage you to seek out a mug or two of Clifford Porter if you're in the mood for virtuoso, big beer flavour, but don't want to delve into high gravity ales. You're welcome.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10.