It’s the middle of July and I couldn’t be more confused by the gloomy weather. Cold weather makes me crave darker beers and this time I got an English porter on tap, known as Old Engine Oil by Harviestoun Brewery, that seemed to hit the right spots for my under-the-weather attitude.

True to its name, Old Engine Oil pours a dark, murky brownish-black with a short, caramel head that dissipates quickly leaving small traces on the sides of the glass. Grassy hops pop out in the nose, along with caramel and coffee malt notes. While many porters tend to be heavy, this beer has a light to medium body feel that doesn’t lack character in the viscosity. Along with the medium carbonation, it’s easy to down this one pretty fast if you’re not paying attention. Harviestoun nails it in subtlety, with a mild spice from the hops and a gentle sweetness backed by toasty burnt espresso. Overall, this beer makes a great partner for soft, mild cheeses like brie and camembert and would also go great with steak, a meat pie or blood sausages. For dessert, anything chocolate-and the darker the better! -goes.

This is a solid beer, and a must try for people who stay away from porters for their generally heavy body-feel and occasional overly sweet malt characteristics. If you like biting into your dark beers, however, this may not meet up to your expectations, but you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.



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