Black Oak Nutcracker Porter

Reviewed by on December 14, 2015 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Black Oak Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Etobicoke, ON, CA

  • Rated On: December 14, 2015

  • Best Before: bottled October 22, 2015

  • ABV: 5.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Black Oak is a craft brewery from suburban Toronto, and have been making beer since 1999.  Their Christmas seasonal is the Nutcracker Porter, whose name might resonate with all you parents out there who are currently suffering through (ok, ‘enjoying’) your kids’ holiday recitals, amirite?

This 650ml bottle pours a very dense black, with some faintly discernible edges when lifted to the dim basement light, and one measly finger of somewhat puffy, bubbly, and yet somehow creamy beige head, which leaves some splendid broad mountain piste lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate powder, well-roasted caramel malt, milky espresso, a touch of black cherry menthol ‘fruitiness’, and muddled seasonal spices. The taste is semi-sweet, still quite toasty caramel malt, more bitter and creamed coffee, cinnamon and rainbow peppercorn spice, mixed, but agreeably so dark orchard fruit, a slightly oily holiday bowl nuttiness, and a minor weedy, herbal hoppiness. The carbonation is moderate in its quotidian frothy measures, the body a solid medium weight, and mostly smooth, the spices milling around a bit, but to no real avail. It finishes off-dry, but trending toward the latter – spice, coffee bean, and yes, hop alike providing the means and ways.

Overall, a rather nicely engaging seasonal Porter, drinkable, and worthy of putting out on the table alongside all those chocolaty and nutty Christmas confections.  Not too boozy, either, which will keep you on the level when describing how much you liked little Johnny’s portrayal of Fritz earlier this evening.

Brady White

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