Nickel Brook Maple Porter - Better Bitters Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +20.1%
750 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO (2014 edition), served slightly chilled. I've had more than a few maple beers over the years, but there are very few that I have bothered purchasing more than once.
Pours an opaque brown-black cola colour, topped with nearly two fingers of fluffy, frothy tan-coloured head. Decent retention; it takes a fairly long time to wilt completely away, leaving a spongy pattern of lace behind on the glass. Looks great, with the malts being the more prominent aspect of the aroma. Roasted malts, toffee and maple syrup are all detectable, with a light touch of coffee and dark chocolate.
It didn't take me long to fall in love with this one - this is a yummy, balanced porter that drinks a lot lighter than the abv might suggest. Dark malts are the focus, with notes of baker's chocolate, caramel and molasses accenting the roastiness. A touch of raisin also comes through, with the maple syrup sweetness seemingly content to remain in the background. Nice bittersweet finish, with chocolate alongside some licorice and vaguely smoky notes. Medium-bodied, with a luxuriously smooth feel on the palate.
Final Grade: 4.0, an A-. Nickel Brook's Maple Porter is a solid dark brew, with the maple syrup providing a pleasant sweetness that should make this an accessible, enjoyable option for many consumers. I'm not real big on the format - this would be fine as a sixer or in cans - but as far as Ontario-made sweet porters go, this is a very enjoyable option that I'd consider returning to again.
05-23-2014 03:53:57 | More by thehyperduck
3.6/5 rDev +8.1%
Appearance: It's a porter, so it has a body as black as night. Well there is a slight dark brown tinge to it, but it's thick enough that you can't see the carbonation. Speaking of carbonation, the beer produced a half finger that did not retain very well but did produce some minor lacing.
Smell: It smells like a...maple porter...go figure. Seriously though, this beer as a bit more porter then maple as the dark coffee, charred wood and raisin smell pull the milder sweet maple scent into the background. Warming tends to bring out all aspects of the beer.
Taste: The light maple taste seems to just barely take control over the rich coffee like malt who slowly but surely take over as the bitter charred wood elements and a rich earthiness take over. However the maple puts up a valiant fight as it seems to reign in the harshness of the other aspects of the beer.
Mouthfeel: Remember how I said the maple reigned in the harshness, it's really present in the aftertaste as mild maple and milder notes of the rest of the beer are kept nicely in check even as you approach the bottom of the beer. The carbonation is a bit lacklustre though. It leaves a pleasant dryness to it, which honestly surprises me a bit/
Drinkability: It's on the heavier side of medium, but it's a solid sipping beer and settles down well. The harshness is subdued making it a refreshing experience not commonly found it porters, but the dry note stops you from guzzling like mad. Solid here.
Final Thoughts: All in all a positive experience, but I wouldn't say it's blown me away. However, it does seem to hint that the brewer knows how maple syrup in beer works, to which I can only hope to see if perhaps they will take a shot at a maple bock. I'd say give this beer a whirl, but don't expect your socks to be knocked off.
04-15-2014 03:54:31 | More by TheHammer
3.56/5 rDev +6.9%
A solid sweet porter. A little disappointing in the mouthfeel - weak and watery - but holds up the bargain in terms of nice balance of maple notes and more traditional roasted coffee and soft malt. The nose really carries the chocolatey malts in it but disappear in the flavour, which is a little washed out. Very drinkable for this reason - no flavours really stand out.
03-28-2014 00:50:53 | More by dreamchaser
3.51/5 rDev +5.4%
Like others reviewing around this time, I am reviewing this as the Day 1 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar.
This beer poured as a nice black beer with brown tones. The head was huge and a) would not go away and b) just kept coming no matter how slowly I poured it. This really took away from the review of the beer because I could not get very good smell tests and I had to wait awhile or end up drinking foam (I couldn't wait so I got a mouthful of foam).
When I could smell the beer, it had a nice sweet tang to it. It wasn't really a maple syrup taste, but I am assuming that the maple brought the sweetness with it. It had molasses and a hint of chocolate to it which is what I expected from the Porter.
The taste was very nice - the dark malts were overshadowed by the sweetness and there was a taste of raisin that was not in the smell. Disappointingly, there was not a strong maple syrup taste to it which I was hoping for. The mouthfeel was nice other than when the foam got in the way.
12-04-2013 05:18:12 | More by JeanDuteau
3.59/5 rDev +7.8%
341ml bottle, day 1 of the 2013 Craft Beer Advent Calendar. Under the cap: 'Penny for your thoughts, nickel for your thirst'? Kind of weak, that.
This beer pours a solid, brown-tinted black, with muddied basal cola 'highlights', and a teeming tower of over-effusive, frothy, and fizzy beige head, which leaves some Mediterranean grotto lace around the glass as it slowly abates.
It smells of musty dark chocolate, molasses, astringent black licorice, semi-sweet vague maple syrup, a bit of woodsmoke, and a hint of warming alcohol. The taste is much more rounded, and um, good - roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, cold coffee, oaken vanilla, dark fleshy fruit - figs and department store raisins - a rather understated sour wooden maple essence, especially given the order of the words in this beer's name, an unfocused leafy bitterness, and further subtle booze notes.
The carbonation is bit out of control, what with the literal eruption of rising head when any sort of aggressive pour is attempted, yet the effect on the tongue is limp and ineffectual, the body an adequate medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a hint of tattered creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, still chocolaty and fruity, and tempered by a mildly sour mustiness.
Not a bad porter, really, the soft sourness actually pleasant enough. However, we all be jonesin' for some sweet, sweet maple, and well, this just doesn't deliver on that promise. Maybe it all wafted away back to Mrs. Butterworth's joint whilst this bottle was stricken in that big box o' beer these past number of months.
12-02-2013 06:08:56 | More by biboergosum
British Columbia (Canada)
3.73/5 rDev +12%
One of the ones who is drinking this tonight thanks to the Beer Advent calender. This was the inaugural beer from the box.
A: Jet black with huge, unrelenting head. Frothy light brown head. Normally I can gauge the darkness of the beer by looking at the edges but the head never goes away so that option's out. Reduces to a thick skin after a little while and never goes away. Lacing doesn't stick though.
S: This might be the highlight of the beer for me. Chocolate, some coffee (like a cafe latte), raisins, a bitterness I can't quite place, and somewhere back there a maple-vanilla sweetness. To my relief, I already know this isn't a maple-bomb at this point.
T: Chocolatey coat to start and a maple, brown sugar build towards the finish. I don't know, not a lot to report really. It's pleasant enough but not a lot to talk about. I think I've been spoiled by the richness of big-ABV beers but this just seems a little deflated.
M: It's thin but what reduces my vote here is the carbonation is just too high for the style in my opinion. In a saison sure, but in a porter I want pretty gentle carbonation and I feel like this is crackling on my tongue which is kind of not working for me.
O: Totally drinkable though the mouthfeel isn't super appealing to me, but not much to reflect upon. Glad I got to try it though!
12-02-2013 05:44:20 | More by JasonLovesBeer
Nickel Brook Maple Porter from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.