Just like you, but different
Tonight then a Hallertau Porter Noir, A beer enjoyed by my friends and highly recommended by others.
The Porter Noir is a beer from way out of left field. A 6.6% Porter was aged for four months in Pinot Noir Wine Barrels acquired from local winery Kumeu River. The barrels were only gently hot water rinsed before use to retain the wine charter and also the native yeasts in the wood. The four month maturation in the barrel develops the palette with gentile woody tannins and fruits of the forest from the previous resident. Combined with the remnants of chocolate and soft acidity from the native yeasts creates amazing mouth feel with a long drying finish. The secondary fermentation in the bottle was carried out with the native yeasts from the barrel, namely brettanomyces. This is the same yeast used to bottle condition the famous Belgian Trappist beer Orval. The brettanomyces character dominates the aroma. Layers of complexity, red currents, earthy gumboots, a stroll through the barnyard?? All very interesting stuff. The beer has been conditioned in 750 ml Champaign bottles for 6 months prior to release and with correct cellaring will continue to improve for up to 3 years. The Porter Noir is a strictly limited release and is only available from Hallertau Brewbar & Restaurant.
Overly excitable, it’s frothing everywhere, pours with a monster head, it’s a bit out of control. Initially I though a sour aroma, but it settles into a nice chocolate…
On the taste there is a bunch of sour, chocolate, and pinot wine, shut up!, The Aroma settles into a fantastic fruit thing, into something that you can’t actually put your finger too. Oddly odd.
Am I enjoying this though? It’s a bit of a treasure hunt, a mixed bag of things, a nose of fruit, a taste of bittererd chocolate, and some sourness that really isn’t all that. For me then too much of a weird fruity bottom note, not a lot of the porter-ness that you might think you’re getting, the chocolate aroma seems to have disappeared and I’m left with something I don’t understand, a little bitter and a the dregs of a poor bottle of wine.
Eventually the pdubyah-o-meter really doesn’t like this at 6 from it’s arbitrary scale of things, and despite wanting to like this either I wasn’t on my game or this was the emperors new clothes.
I review this as I taste it, I’m happy to go back and have another crack, but with this I’d need persuasion. I’ve tried hard to like it as being “different” or “forward” but it’s really a bit average and oversold. I’m about at the point where the reputation that this arrives with is by stealth and bluster, and the delivery is a huge gap. A voice against he crowd, I’m happy with that, I didn’t like 1,2,3, or 4, and this does nothing to improve my humour.