Craft beer advent calendar 4: Oakleaf Piston Porter

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what porter is. I presume it’s a type of relatively strong ale (I don’t know why I assume that) but I couldn’t be sure. A google would tell me for sure but for now I just want to try the day’s craft beer: another one from the Oakleaf Brewery, who brought us the (not very highly rated) Heart of Gold.


This porter describes itself (via the label; the beer doesn’t speak) as a dry, rich Porter (yes, they capitalise the P) with initial chocolate and toffee flavours, that finishes with a liquorice and dry roast taste, leaving a lingering brightness. This immediately makes me a bit suspicious, as I feel like they’re trying to make you think of these things so you’ll say “oh yes, I can definitely taste dry roast.”

On raising it to my nose I can’t get any of those flavours (I don’t actually know what dry roast means), although there is something vaguely chocolatey about the aroma. It reminds me of the sweet – I think they were eclairs? – which were kind of chocolatey, but kind of caramel-like. There are definite burnt toffee notes on tasting. A few more sips in and I enjoy it more. It’s got a bitter sweetness to it, and a decent amount of body without feeling like you’re drinking treacle. Definite positive – I give this a 7/10.

Kat’s thoughts:

It’s darker. I can’t tell if it has less of a strong beery taste or if I am just becoming more immune to the taste of beer. It’s actually quite pleasant. It’s less bitter – to me the bitterness is a more unpleasant thing.