Village Friend Dandy Baltic Porter

Reviewed by on February 17, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Village Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: February 17, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 10.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Baltic Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Village Friend is a planned series of collaborations for Calgary craft brewery Village – this is the first, with fellow Cowtown (and friendster) Dandy.  Produced at Village, with the proceeds apparently going to help fund an expansion at Dandy.

This 650ml bottle pours a solid black abyss, but for some pervasive basal cola edges, and one chubby-ass finger of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of melting snow rime lace around the glass as it swiftly sinks away.

It smells of grainy caramel malt, prominent dark orchard fruit (plum, cherry, and rather ripened red apples), black licorice, muddled bittersweet chocolate, some indistinct savoury spice – maybe some cinnamon, maybe some cardamom – weak noble hops, and a touch of perfumed and estery alcohol. The taste is fairly sweet and bready caramel/toffee malt, a candy-bar ready chocolate essence, more heady anise root, subtle cafe-au-lait, dampened sugary spice, some blended black ‘n bruised fruitiness, a still hard to pin down earthy and leafy hoppiness, and more sidling but not quite yet alighting booze astringency. The carbonation is fairly understated in its barely perceptible at times frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and actually pretty smooth, with a growing inherent creaminess as things warm (if at the same time things seem a bit heat-affected). It finishes sweet, but duly moderated by a certain leafy and herbal bitterness, and of course, that dangling threat of alcohol ingress.

Overall, a pleasantly amped-up version of a, well, already amped-up style – the fruitiness and cocoa dominating, along with that licorice side player, and only a suggestion of lactic intransigence present in those fleeting coffee notes. Anyways, a crazily easy brew to drink, even at that nicely rounded 10 points of ABV – yeah, with friends like these, I think we Albertan craft brew aficionados are in good hands moving forward.

Brady White

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