Sunday, 10 January 2016
Donkey Venom is a wonderfully named beer from Toronto's superlative Bellwoods Brewery. It's billed as a "Brett Barrel Aged Porter" and comes in 500mL bottles that sport amazing labels. This stuff tips the scale at a bruising 9.5% alcohol. It's a heavy, midnight black beer that pours with a luscious tan head.
Donkey Venom has a sharp, almost tart aroma that blends winey, fruity, leathery, and boozy notes. The flavour is replete with tangy brettanomyces funk and a plethora of other tastes--dry red wine, dark malts, subtle hops, raisin, and alcohol. The result is a truly unusual and, in its way, enjoyable strong ale. It lacks the typical porter essence, but makes up for it with tart assertiveness.
This isn't the kind of beer that you'd drink at a party or while watching a movie. Rather, it's the sort that you'd brew to impress beer nerds and win medals at brewing competitions. There are a real wealth of fascinating flavours here, which make for an interesting and potent potion for occasional sipping. Much credit is due to the brewers at Bellwoods for creating an innovative and curious ale.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.