Monday, 18 January 2016
In preparation for a beer and cheese party that I was hosting, I set out looking for something fairly specific: a stout or porter, made in Ontario, with a reasonably low IBU count and alcohol percentage, and that I had never tried before. Innocente Brewing Company's Charcoal Porter allowed me to check off all of those boxes. Sold in 500mL bottles, this brew comes from Waterloo, Ontario. According to the label, it's won medals at both the Ontario and Canadian Brewing Awards. The suds in question are made in collaboration with Beertown Public House, which sounds like a place I'd like to visit. At 5.1% and 21 IBUs, this beer is mild enough to be accessible to a wide variety of beer drinkers, which is exactly what I needed for my party.
More of a deep brown that black, Charcoal Porter has handsome amber highlights. It poured with a loose, sudsy layer of tan head. To my nose, there are elements of coffee, cocoa, leather, and raisin. Compared to the aroma, the flavour is considerably more bitter, with espresso and dark chocolate leading the way. All this and a sexy, smooth mouthfeel make for a lovely ale.
When I set out looking for a beer to pair with a cheese for my party, this beer was exactly what I was looking for, although I didn't know it yet. Going for a never-before-tried beer was a gamble, but in this case I was richly rewarded. Truthfully, I'd have liked a bit more booze, but this is a paltry complaint in the face of a grand little brew.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.