Prologue: Tamarillos are one of those fruits that you only ever hear Kiwi’s talking about (well that a Feijoas) so I’m not really expecting any of my Aussie readers to understand the excitement that I found in discovering this Tamarillo Flavoured Porter beer from Epic brewing.
Truth be known I don’t really remember tamarillos (or tree tomatoes as my Mum liked to call them) from my early childhood in the land of the long white cloud. However when we moved to Melbourne one of the first things my mum planted were some Tamarillo trees down the side of the house (The next door neighbours had a Feijoa so we just stole the fruit off that, stupid skips didn’t even know what it was).
One of the tamarillo plants was right outside my bedroom window, so for the next 10 years or so this humble fruit dominated my view of life. So when I saw Epic’s Tamarillo flavoured beer, I was all over it.
Packaging: I have it on good authority (i.e. I saw it with my own eyes) that the label was designed by an artist who works exclusively in the medium of toast. How cool is that? Note it has both Epic and Dogfish Head logos, why? Read on to find out.
Appearance: The beer is black with some tiny bubbles streaming around the edge of the glass. It has a tan coloured head which is dense and a little rocky. The head sticks around and laces nicely down the glass.
Smell: It smells of smoke, which could be because they smoke the tamarillos or it could be because I was drinking this whilst sitting next to an open fire. There are also some faint hints of dark chocolate
Taste: This is definitely a Porter more than anything else. Perhaps I was expecting a big fruity tamarillo hit, but it just isn’t there. The flavours are subtle. It’s a little sweeter than a normal porter, and it’s full in the mouth, and there are hints of chocolate at the front of the sip and smokiness later. It’s all quite balanced which means that there is no real breakthrough flavour.
In conclusion: After being sold on the tamarillos I was expecting more fruit tones and more unusualness, but rather what you’ve got is a slightly sweeter than normal porter. Still a very nice beer, just not what I was expecting.
Ranking: I’ll have a Pint thanks
The Long Bow YouTube Clip: It’s not often that you get to see a video of a beer being brewed, But the Portamirillo is no normal beer. The brew was actually a collaborative brew between Epic and Dogfish Head in the US.
Now what you might not know is that Discovery channel did a reality show called Brew Masters which chronicles life a Dogfish Head. For beer lovers this show is a most see – unfortunately they only ever aired 5 episodes in the US and as I understand it it’s never been shown in Australia, so you’ll have to fire up the illegal downloading machine if you want to see it (although that’s illegal kids so don’t do it)
Anyway Here are some highlights from Episode 3 where Luke (from Epic) and Sam (From Dogfish Head) brew up the first ever batch of Portamirillo
Embedding not working but you can see the video here