Darwin Brewery Original Flag Porter
In 1825, a barge hauling “a consignment of bottled and cask Porter” went down in the rough seas of the English Channel. Over one hundred (and then some) years later, several of the wax-sealed bottles containing that porter were discovered and brought up from their chilly depths. The yeast in those bottles was found to be living and eventually recultured and used to brewed (as closely as possible to the technology at the time of the shipwreck) this 5% ABV English Porter. Or, so the story goes.
Original Flag Porter is a solid brew and one which I could see sitting down with for a nice long while on a cold Winter afternoon. I’m not sure how historically accurate the flavor profile is, and nor do I really care, but it’s a pretty darn tasty brew. It’s got enough of a welcoming earthy character and is on easily on par with any “modern” beer of this style that I’ve enjoyed through the years.
A creamy, mocha head rests atop the cola-colored brew. The foam falls slowly to a moderately thick ring around the beer’s surface.
An earthy malt character dominates as a light roast and hints of chocolate appear. There’s also a subtle, grassy hop presence in the background.
The light roast and chocolate notes on the nose are just barely there, but more of a nutty character is present along with caramel and a moderate level of malt sweetness. A lingering bit of hop bitterness balances out the malt presence smoothly in the semi-dry finish. The beer is fairly light for what I personally look for in a porter. There isn’t a hint of alcohol to be found.
I enjoyed this beer a good deal. I’d like to see a bit more fullness to it, but other than that its earthy and balanced flavors were spot-on. It’s a fairly easy drinking porter with good flavor and is a beer that I could see having a couple of in a sitting.