Real Ale: Heron Porter – Two Roses Brewery

A rich deep scarlet beer with chocolate on the nose and a full round smooth flavour.

Heron PorterThis 4.2% Porter is one of my favourites from a local Yorkshire brewery, the Two Roses Brewery. So far, it’s definitely in my top 10 porters. At the moment I drink more of this, Ilkley Black (which I covered a while back) and one other I’m going to talk about soon from the Copper Dragon Brewery, than any other real ales. I’m definitely developing quite a think for porters and ruby ales over pale and stouts. I’m also slowly working out which hops I like and don’t as more and more breweries list which type they use on the bottle or website.

This ale has also been described as having hints of chocolate, bananas and cherries. I’ve no idea about the last two, but there is definitely a hint of chocolate, but this isn’t a sweet drink at all. Far from it, in fact there is definitely a slightly earthy taste and it’s so red it’s almost black when poured, so at first glance you might mistake it for a pint of the Irish Black Stuff. It’s only 4.2% so it’s very light and incredibly smooth to drink and a single pint or bottle doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or heavy. Very little fizz or froth, a lovely taste without a sour aftertaste.

There’s a lot of squabbling and splitting hairs about porters and stouts, which I won’t go into, but for me personally, I prefer it when porters are not heavy drinks. Stouts are usually much stronger and heavier. You can’t have more than two without feeling like you’ve had a big meal and need a sleep. The porters I tend to drink are nothing like that and you could have two without feeling bloated, drunk, or that you’ve just eaten a giant roast dinner! All of which is a long way of saying you could have a couple of these and easily have room for something else.

For 2013, Heron Porter is in my top 10 real ales. Highly recommended.