Village Monk Chai Winter Porter

Reviewed by on December 28, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Village Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: December 28, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

The Village Monk is this Calgary brewery’s winter seasonal release, and is meant to be a dark, robust porter, with the addition of the usual savoury spices one might find in, well, a mug of chai.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark brownish amber hue, with three fingers of super-puffy, silkenly foamy, and tightly bubbled ecru head, which leaves some nice snow rime and webbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells very much like gingerbread – caramel malt, cloves, weak ginger, cinnamon, a bit of spent yeast – with additional dark chocolate and black tea notes. The taste is much fuller – dense, and slightly roasted caramel malt, hints of butterscotch, the eponymous chai tea – clove, cinnamon that is more candy-like, rather than metallic, almost faded ginger, and black tannins (a decent-sounding band name, no?) – milk chocolate, dry, earthy yeast, and a subtle leafy hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite low and unobtrusive, but seemingly supportive enough, the body a sturdy medium weight, and genuinely smooth, and even a tad creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel, not-so-sour milk, cocoa, and even cinnamon facing enough spice and nondescript hop bitterness to keep things from going off the reservation.

Well, truth is indeed told in this one’s advertising – it is surely a winter porter, the expected seasonal spices derived from judicious application of the chai spices (and I’m not aware of any monks being harmed in the course of producing this brew). Tasty, pretty drinkable, and a decent go-with for the other gustatory offerings in the particular time of year that this represents.

Brady White

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