World Top Marmalade Porter

worldtop_porterBrewer: World Top Brewery, Yorkshire, UK
Style: Porter
ABV: 5%
IBU: Unspecified

Description: Part of World Top’s regular lineup, this beer is fashioned in the traditional 18th-century English porter style, marrying dark roasted malts and oats to a slightly sweet kick and bitter notes of orange and roasted coffee.

Tasting Notes: This is the second time I’ve had a World Top product, and it comes to me courtesy of the Advent Beer Calendar (yep, still sampling my way through it). In any case, I did enjoy this one better than their IPA. A slightly bitter, but rich and dark malt base are nicely accompanied by notes of coffee, orange peel, roasted nuts, and some sugary molasses that make this porter live up to its name!

Appearance: Deep brown/black, clear, low foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Dark malt, orange zest, baked sweetbread, molasses
Taste: Bitter malt, tannin, bitter orange peel, notes of molasses, coffee, roasted oats
Aftertaste: Lingering dark malt flavor, coffee, orange rind
Overall: 8/10

Penpont Chateau Chivac Old Ale

penpont_oldaleBrewer: Penpont Brewery, Cornwall, UK
Style: Oak-Aged Strong Ale
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: Unspecified (low)

Description: Brewed in the tradition of “Old Ale”, where English ales were aged in wooden casks, this beer is the result of a collaboration with Chateau Chivac – a Bordeaux winery with Cornish connections. It begins with a strong ale that is aged in oak wine barrels and fermented with wild yeast to achieve a complex flavor.

Tasting Notes: This is another offering from the Craft Beer Advent Calendar, and it was interesting for sure. While not what your average Pacific Northwesterner is used to (i.e. low carbonation, little foam, very subtle hops) there is plenty here to appeal to the beer enthusiast within. A good malt base, sweet notes, mild hops, strong oaky notes, and some distinct traces of red wine tartness and body (which may also owe to the accumulation of wild yeast strains) make it an all-around worthwhile experience.

Appearance: Deep ruby, clear, mild foam retention and low carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, caramelized sugar, brettanomyces yeast, floral hops
Taste: Strong malt, syrupy sweetness, oaky notes, hint of sourness, tart red wine flavor,
Aftertaste: Lingering oaky bitterness, malt sweetness, sour and red wine finish
Overall: 8.7/10

Wold Top Scarborough Fair IPA

Scarborough_Body_LabelBrewer: Wold Top Brewery, Driffield, Northern England
Style: India Pale Ale/Real Ale
Alcohol/Volume: 6%

Description: Named in honor of the fair that originated in Scarborough, Yorkshire during the High Middle Ages, this beer commemorates India Pale Ales, which for centuries have been brewed in the various “Wolds” of England and exported to the world. In the tradition of “real ale”, it has little carbonation and produces little foam. And in a modern twist, it is fashioned with Maize and Barley that is extremely low in gluten (less than 20 ppm), which makes it certifiably gluten-free.

Tasting Notes: This beer is admittedly a bit odd in terms of taste. But the seasoned beer drinker, especially someone familiar with real ales and cask conditioned beer, will not be a total stranger to it. In addition to having low carbonation and little head, it has a rather subdued hop flavor, at least when compared to your average North American IPA. In many ways, it reminded me of a cross between Grozet and an ESB, the hops coming off as dry and the malt flavor tasting rather pronounced and slightly sweet.

Appearance: Light golden, slightly cloudy, mild foam retention and low carbonation
Nose: Strong hops, slightly sweet nose, fruity, syrupy malts, minerals
Taste: Dry hop flavor, tang, minerals, slight sweetness, cola-like
Aftertaste: Mild, lingering hop bitterness, otherwise clean and watery
Overall: 7/10