Prologue: Is a London porter still a London Porter if it’s not from London? Would it not be more correct to call Emerson’s London Porter Emerson’s Dunedin Potter. Probably but I’m not sure it has the same ring to it.
So why is this brew from the capital city of Otago in the bottom(ish) of the South Island of New Zealand called London Porter?
Well Porter is a styler of beer that originated in London and was very popular with the Porters. It is a dark beer.
It’s development is thought to have started the industrialisation of beer market. In Christopher Mark O’Brien’s awesome book ‘Fermenting Revolution’ explains that it was the process required to make the dark beer (basically roasting technology) took the brewing of beer out of the home (and out of the hands of women) and into factories.
Of course once beer was industrial pursuit it become a race in increase profits, which invariably held to the cutting corners on ingredients and the gradual dumbing down of beer to the light lager style so prevalent today.
So ironically it was the darkening of beers that eventually held to the pale imitation of beer that we see today. Which of course has left the porter space open for the craft brewers to reclaim it – oh the irony.
Packaging: Speaking of the olden days this label is straight out of 1927 (the year not the band). It a little on the bland side – little to get excited about, but then again it’s what’s inside the bottle that counts.
Smell: The smell is encouraging, malty but with a slight acidic note in it.
Appearance: Black, with some slight reddish tinges when I hold it up to the light, and a creamy looking tan head.
Taste: It is full in the mouth with next to no carbonation. Lovely chocolately malt tones are evident in the sip, but then, perhaps a little surprisingly it ends quite crisp.
In conclusion: A really nice beer (having said that I haven’t meet to many porters that I haven’t liked. they are so helpful carrying all that shit for you) very soothing, like a nice wet kiss on a cold London night.
Ranking: I’ll have a pint thanks
Long bow YouTube Clip: It’s got to be Rory McLeod’s London Kisses (Not his best song, but hey it’s appropriate)