Right then, last chance saloon the Mussel Inn Dark Horse Black Beer - Which is brewed by The Mussel Inn, and they do this in the style of a Porter in the deepest Onekaka, New Zealand.
To be fair this is the last of the shopping basket for this round of beers, that was mostluy a Porter. Question is then best for last, or last for a reason?
It’s an all or nothing deal then, no pressure.
5% ABV in a 330ml bottle, this has a hard road ahead of it to be more than just a bottle of beer. at the 5% level they pretend that this is where Heineken, or Stella, et al sit , in the continental class.
So then, given the label that has a lack of commitment “Very dark and roasty – not too dry. A solid and dependable performer – pulls away strong at the finish.” I’m really really really contemplating a wee dram.
I’m not comfortable with the presentation of this beer, I’m not actually sure what the label is reaching for, the kitsch, the edgy, the boutique, or what, I chose this despite not being drawn in by it.
So it has an aroma that’s a porter, it’s dark like a porter, and has the roasted that fits. And I got a head on the pour. Of course the chocolate, and the malts, that’s the thing right?
And then we get to the taste, it’s like an eager puppy scrabbling around, but this is thinner than a catwalk model, there is bulk over substance going on, and an unpleasant aftertaste of the malts running away.
The Mussel Inn are producing a bunch of competent beers, but they are not leaders, or trend setters, or making their own path, they’re just making a beer.
The pdubyah-o-meter swings in a panic to a 5 arbitrary things from 10 equally arbitrary things. This is a beer that wouldn’t ever be voted “beer most likely to” anything… I’m going to cry.
I might have missed the whole Porter thing, I’m sure I have, they seem to be a half-way house between nev and er . This does not get better the longer it sits, In fact I began to find it a bit unpleasing towards the end, and again felt that 330ml was going to be a challenge or me.
I can do better than this, and so should they. If they’ve caught an eclectic audience based on local or label or image or reputation then big ups of the Mussel Inn, I would though be counselling them against entering a beer competition, he says as an expert. bwahahahah.