Meantime London Porter

Meantime Brewing Co.
London, England
London Porter

Meantime is a fairly young brewery, starting in the last eight years. It has only just started to come to the US, and I am fortunate enough to have procured a couple of bottles. It is because of this new distribution, I would think, that the company mentions on their label about George Washington’s love of English beer (until 1769, at least).

The beer is, as a proper porter should be, extremely lively (as you can see by the photo) and pours an opaque, slightly garnet, deep dark chocolate. The head is enormous – two finger widths easy – and is a beautiful medium tan color. It loiters thanks to turbulent carbonation that can just barely be seen through the marvelous murk.

The aroma is bittersweet chocolate, chewy carob, and just a faint hint of cinnamon. There is a hint of hops in a tempered, wet tobacco leaf smell that makes you really imagine that this beer has legs.

The flavor is far less full than you might think, though the mouthfeel is better than average. On the whole, the sip is exceptionally smooth: not too roasted, not too sweet. Carob comes through, as does a slightly sweet dark chocolate feel. The faintest touch of plum is egged on by the lightness of the thing, like fruit flesh. The effervescence that seemed to be roiling in the bottom of the glass has calmed down considerably, washing the cool velvet across the palate and making you totally oblivious to the 6.5% that this big bottle brings.

This is an absolutely gorgeous porter. With so many Imperial varieties of porters around, it’s a real treat to try something like this, complex and strong, yet lean and unassuming. Take your time with this one – you could even stick it on your shelf for a few months – and enjoy it like you would any other porter or even stout. The site recommends pairing it with oysters, sounds good to me. Lovely.

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