Testing a Lofty Claim
A Review of Plain Porter by the Porterhouse Brewing Co.
Posted on 7/2/2014 by Chops
                   
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Allow me to paint you a picture. You're in Dublin, Ireland. You find yourself at the Porterhouse, a brewpub located in the heart of the city's famed Temple Bar district. Above the bar, a sign reads ''Welcome to the Home of the World's Greatest Stout''. And there it is on the beer menu, the Plain Porter (technically a lighter stout), billed as, you guessed it, ''The Best Stout in the World''. In that most kismet of situations, what do you do? Well... order it of course! That's certainly what I did. Well, ''order'' is somewhat of a kindness. I believe I just pointed at the sign and grunted eagerly at the bartender.

In the glass, this beer had a murky dark brown coloration that was near black, but not quite. It came with a thick and creamy tan head, as most beers do in Ireland, compliments of a nitrogen tap. On the nose, I was greeted with a malty aroma of dark chocolate, coffee roast, and a hint of caramel. It's usually a bit challenging to get an aromatic read from a nitro beer, and this one was no different. However, all of the primary notes were present and accounted for, so there was no hesitation diving in for that first sip.

Oddly enough, the body is what initially caught my attention. It sat firmly in the medium range and bounced freely between smooth easy drinker and roasted gritty sipper. I never could get a proper read on it, which kept my brain wheels turning through the entire session. Flavor wise, I found a strong coffee-like roast, bitter baker's chocolate, molasses, a hint of licorice, and a mild hop sting. It was strangely aggressive for a 4.2% ABV nitrogen beer. There was an edge to this brew that was difficult to describe, yet firmly holds your attention. The beer finished surprisingly smooth and exited with a toasty bitter aftertaste.

Overall, the Porterhouse Plain Porter is a damn fine brew. Best stout in the world? Like other lofty claims, it is open to subjective interpretation. I can certainly say with clarity that this beer was one of, if not the best, stout slash porter I tasted while exploring Dublin, and that's saying a lot. This is a beer that I can easily recommend to all craft beer drinkers, and especially to fans of roasted gritty nectar.

Plain Porter is the shining star of the Porterhouse, but that's not the only reason to visit. As Dublin's very first brewpub, it offers a wide array of delicious locally crafted Irish beers. As an added bonus, the location is simply magical. No voyage to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Temple Bar district. The Porterhouse is more than a brewpub, it's a multi-story entertainment complex complete with rustic decor, endless bottle walls, and a stage for live music. It's a must-visit for any craft beer fan, and with so much to see and drink, it might be your first and only Temple Bar destination.

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Plain Porter by The Porterhouse Brewing Co.
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