29 August 2012

Old Engine Oil (Westmorland Service Station) [By @SpectreUK]

The thought of drinking real old engine oil made me wonder if Cinabar really was trying to kill me this time as she passed me this beer bottle to review. This black porter from the Harviestoun Brewery in Alva, Scotland, reminded the original brewer so much of the oil he used whilst working for Ford that he named the beer after it. Described on the label under the smart vintage car image as “viscous, bittersweet and smooth”, this porter certainly reminded me of old engine oil as I poured the thick black beer into my mug. There was a harsh bitterness mixed with a dark chocolate odour on opening the 330ml bottle. I’d have to agree with the description on the back of the bottle, as the flavours of this 6% volume porter were certainly “complex”. There was a tough malted barley bitterness merging almost brutishly with strong coffee to start with. The sheer bitterness was then replaced by bittersweet dark chocolate that smoothed the flavour out on the palate. This left such a luscious bitter chocolate aftertaste that this became a very moreish beer indeed. No wonder it won Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge 2009. The label recommended drinking this black porter whilst enjoyed strong cheese (unless the brewery’s mischievous mouse logo steals it from you first), black pudding or roast lamb. I savoured this beer on its own late one evening as an after dinner treat. I shall definitely have to hunt some more of this beer down, and keep it well away from my car, as it’s all for me!
By Spectre

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