Thursday, October 1, 2009

PorterPalooza #5 - Greene King Olde Suffolk

At the beginning of September I interviewed Dan Carey for an article I was writing about the New Glarus Old English Porter. Mr. Carey mentioned two beers that served as models for the Old English Porter - Rodenbach (which I've yet to see back in Wisconsin), and Greene King's Olde Suffolk. Greene King is a British brewery that's changed hands a few times but is brewed in Bury St Edmunds, England - an hour-and-a-half drive North-East of London. Greene King also brews Old Speckled Hen. The Olde Suffolk is aged for two years on oak and then blended with a young, dark, full-bodied beer.

It's not technically a Porter, but nonetheless, these are my tasting notes.

Olde Suffolk
BeerAdvocate (A-). RateBeer(94).

Appearance: thin, wispy head; flat coca-cola body
Aroma: for such a dark beer, a surprisingly light, bright aroma, smells a bit like cola with its bright sweetness, a malt and roast and some burnt toastiness lies beneath
Flavor: coffee-like with a strong smoky sourness; sasparilla (root-beer); a strong woodiness in the finish
Body: a lithe body with a bit of softness on the front of the palatte, but a firmness throughout; maltiness and sourness lingers
Drinkability: While sessionability is low, drinkability is very high - this would be great beer to have in your back pocket to pull out in almost any occassion
Summary: I can definitely see how this was an inspiration for the Old English Porter; it has subtlety and drinkability and warms up expceptionally well; it has some strange sour notes in it that some might be put off by, but I think it's pretty nice character.

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