Fort Garry St. Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter

Reviewed by on December 4, 2013 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Fort Garry Brewing Company

  • Origin: Winnipeg, MA, CA

  • Rated On: December 26, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: American Porter

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Hot on the heels of the big fat guy’s arrival here in the great white north, as well as everywhere else on the planet, apparently, comes the latest in this brewery’s Brewmaster Series. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice, and then aged on oak chips. How homebrew-friendly! And SPICEtastically OAKstravagant! (That’s a label thing.)

This 650ml bottle pours a very, very dark chestnut brown colour, with ruby cola highlights throughout, and two fingers of tightly foamy, fairly creamy tan head, which leaves a solid wall of triple-coat painted lace around the glass as it evenly subsides. Not too shabby a looker, this one.  It smells of weak grainy malt, some astringent wood fiber, a stronger dry nuttiness, some muddled, underwhelming savoury spices, and faint leafy hops. The taste wakes this offering right out of its slumber by proffering a hefty nutty caramel malt, subtle dry chocolate, slightly zazzy, and metallic cinna-meg-spice, a wooden, er, woodiness, one rather bereft of sweetness, the purported vanilla coming through more in the alcohol side of things, and some consistently tame earthy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is quite understated, but performs its base job just fine, the body a somewhat skewed medium weight, and actually pretty smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, the wooden astringency dying down for the most part, whilst letting a baker’s vanilla essence rise amongst the still edgy guest spices.

A pretty good porter, but kind of messed up by the spice and wood treatment – that’s the gist of it. Neither of these extras are deployed properly, as already described. The rough edges do soften a bit as it warms, but not enough to re-colour my admittedly amateur opinion of the same in this otherwise well-wrought commercial product.

Brady White

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