Tavern Porter by Thwaites
Tavern Porter is a bottle conditioned porter from Thwaites. Everything a porter should be - chocolate, smoky, coffee.
Being mid-December as I write this review, I'm looking for more hearty, warming brews. Luckily enough, Thwaites have come to my rescue with their Tavern Porter, 4.7% alcohol volume.
The first thing I noticed with Tavern Porter when I bought it that it said on the bottle label that it is Bottle Conditioned. It's not often you come across a Porter that is bottle conditioned and is available through a major supermarket chain.
Just a side note. I quite like what Thwaites are doing with their bottled beers when it comes to having them bottled conditioned. Their specialist brews, including Old Dan deserve to be bottled conditioned to allow the beer to mature and age. The end result is better beer, and of course, that is a good thing.
Body & Aroma
On the aroma there's a good amount of chocolate, with some fruity overtones. The porter is pitch black, with a gorgeous two finger head.
On the back of the bottle it explains that Tavern Porter is a full-flavoured, dark porter with subtle notes of smokiness and liquorice. Sounds damn good! I'm looking forward to this... I wonder how close my tasting notes match Thwaites...
Well... actually their tasting notes are pretty much spot on. The first flavour I had on the first sip of Tavern Porter was this smokiness, along with some roasted coffee flavours. The coffee wasn't that pronounced, but along with it there was some chocolate and hints of bitterness that reminded my of liquorice. So Thwaites' tasting notes were very close to my own.
Another element I like from a Porter is that it's warming and full bodied. Tavern Porter was both those. There's a lingering silky bitter finish that I wasn't expecting, but it was there, and it wasn't overpowering at all. This spiciness complimented the warmth superbly.
This is a lovely lovely porter from Thwaites. Good for them for getting this Bottle Conditioned Porter into the major supermarkets. Everything I would like from a traditional is here in spades. The only thing I can do is to tip my hat off to Thwaites. Good job!
Taste: Fruit, Chocolate, Spice