Friday, 9 March 2012

REVIEW #62: White Stout (The Durham Brewery)

Pours out pale amber with plenty of carb to create and buoy the pillowy white head. Unexpected New World hop nose; sugary and resiny. Up front the hop aroma dominates, imparting pineapple, mango & tropical fruit juice flavours. Dry and powerfully bitter finish with just a hint of sugar. The finish feels evaporatively brief due to a combination of stinging bitterness and intense alcohol. The malty backbone is there but overshadowed a great deal by the hops; thus contributing more to the body than the flavour. Full bodied, fairly well balanced and coursely textured.

This beer should be thought of as a stout in name only. Durham say that before the word stout was used to refer to a strong porter, around a 150 years or so ago, it was used to describe any strong beer. Durham's White Stout is in line with this, being stout bodied but bearing little resemblance to the black stouts we know and love today. IPA would be a more congruous description in my view; a modern one at that seeing as its brewed with Columbus hops - one of the three 'Cs' along with Centennial and Cascade. All three are woody, piney, citrusy, modern US hop varieties. Columbus has a massive 12-14% alpha-acid content and tastes like it was used generously in the boil, hence the severe bitterness. No doubt the beer would age very well and mellow a little. An option if you don't mind playing the waiting game.
  • IBU: high
  • ABV: 7.2%`

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