I'm off to Amsterdam in the morning, for a couple of days of mid-week beering, centred around the opening of the BeerTemple American theme bar.
An American beer to send me off: an acknowledged classic which I'd never had before and wasn't sure what to expect. I certainly wasn't prepared for how thick Anchor Porter is. It gloops out of the bottle and folds up in the glass, leaving a dark tan head and giving off aromas which promise imminent caramel and chocolate.
And on tasting it's that amazing texture that strikes home first. You really need to take a solid pull on it to get a mouthful. Wrapping around the chewy molasses flavours there's a fabulous liquorice spice, rounded off with a dry, ever-so-slightly metallic edge. It's not exactly what I'd call a complex beer, but what flavours are there are really quite beautiful and it's definitely the most interesting porter I've had in a long time.
This is an immensely satisfying beer to drink and one which would make the ideal companion on a winter's night. I'll be having more in the coming months.