Provocative Bottle, Compelling Contents
A Review of London Porter by Meantime Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/12/2011 by Chops
To be honest, I purchased Meantime's London Porter for the funky looking bottle. I can't help myself. I may not like the beer, but I'll happily pay for creativity. And luckily for me, this is a pretty interesting beer.

London Porter screams class before you even open the bottle. It has very posh and minimalist labeling, resembling a fine port wine bottle. It's no surprise that Meantime Brewery operates in London. The packaging alone elevates expectation, so let's see if it lives up to it's own hype.

This beer has a very nice pour, extremely thin and lays like a brandy. Not much head at all, which is pretty common with thin pours. This usually means that a beer has a high ABV, but this one is only 6.5%, about mid-level for a decent porter. So that's a bit confusing, I can only hope that doesn't mean the beer is watered down. The color is a deep brown with a very slight red hue, not enough to call it mahogany, just a deep warm brown.

The smell of this beer is delightful. I find it hard to put into words, but the best combination I can come up with is clean, alcohol-soaked coffee beans. You can definitely smell the alcohol in this beer, so I had to double check to make sure I didn't misread the 6.5% ABV. It smells much stronger than it actually is.

Quite unexpectedly, London Porter's mouthfeel catches your attention long before the taste does. This is probably one of the cleanest beers I have ever tasted. Remarkably clean. It's smooth as silk, very light and airy on the tongue, and has a quick dry finish. It's pretty amazing actually, you can take a sip of this beer, swallow, and immediately forget that you just had a sip of beer. That's a pretty neat trick. Consequently, this is definitely a sipping beer. You want to take your time with this one.

Oddly enough, the flavor is the least interesting part of this beer. It's pretty standard for a medium-bodied porter. Coffees, roasted malts, chocolates and the like. Unfortunately with flavor being the main point, this beer is one big bullet point away from being amazing.

Overall, Meantime's London Porter is a very interesting brew that I can happily recommend. It's a fantastic study in all traits but flavor, and even there it's pretty good. So if you're looking for a great porter, you'll have to pass this one up. But if you're looking for a great teacher, definitely nab this funky looking wanker.

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London Porter by Meantime Brewing Co.
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