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Nickel Brook Maple Porter - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Maple PorterNickel Brook Maple Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 66
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 18.45%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
A fragrant, dark ruby porter, brewed with a blend of six malts, toasted barley and infused with pure, dark Canadian maple syrup. The result is a complex mixture of roasted malt and maple syrup flavours and aromas.

Nickel Brook Maple Porter is a unique Canadian interpretation of an ancient classic!

18 IBU

(Beer added by: pootz on 04-04-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

WeissBoy, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +19%

ThinkAgain, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at the Rib & Craft Beer Festival in Kitchener, ON. There were a decent number of Ontario breweries there, and the turnout was actually pretty big. Luckily I got there early and could actually get beer at will without having to wait in line.

Tap into a 4oz taster glass. Had a couple samples.

APPEARANCE: Pours a relatively large, medium thinner looking, mocha colored head with good retention. Head eventually fades and leaves some clingy lacing on the glass. Body is black with no carbonation evident. A film and ring remain until the end leaving decent lacing down the sides.

SMELL: Definite maple syrup on the nose. A touch of dark malts and caramel in there as well, but this is more about the burnt maple syrup aromas. It is slightly one dimensional, but it is decently done and not overpowering.

TASTE: Follows the nose, but is a touch watery. Maple syrup is there with some caramel and dark malts, but it is a touch empty though the middle. Aftertaste is much more impressive, with some bold and lingering sweet maple syrup, caramel, and a touch of hop bitterness as balance. Finish is quite good really, but needs a little more balls through the middle to make it really memorable.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Good feel here.

OVERALL: I had never heard of this brewery before the festival, but I think I ended up going back to them the most. For me, this was definitely the most interesting brew there, as there weren’t many stouts or porters at all really, but it wasn’t the most enjoyable per se. A beer well worth checking out, and a brewery I’ll probably pay a little more attention to now if I can.

Jeffo, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Draft

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with an average size creamy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - maple, brown sugar, toffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and feels creamy on the palette. There is actually quite a bit of taste going here, lots of sugar sweetness and lots of maple flavours. There are also notes of toffee and chocolate and some malts. The beer finishes with a very sweet maple and sugar aftertaste.

Drink - The beer was a little too sweet for my liking but it was still decent. However, I wouldn't seek it out again.

spinrsx, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of liamt07
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pint served at Highway 61.

Pours a dark brown with some ruby red highlights around the edges. Cream/cappucino couloured head, with the mildest of head retained and no lace. Smells of sweet maple, light roastiness and smoke with a hint of vanilla. Some mild chocolate here too. Taste is sweet as well, with some light chocolate but not complex by any means. Mouthfeel was a bit watery and thinner than I'd expect/prefer. Drinkability wasn't too bad, but had to wait a little while to finish this one, it was served freezing cold.

liamt07, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with thin tan hean. Smell has some maple in it, but it could be through power of suggestion. More of the roasted malt coming through. Taste is similar with some sweetness, but I don't know if I would have identified the maple without being told. Still tastes fine for a porter though. Medium bodied.

kwjd, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of bartle
3.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich, dark chestnut brown, slight copper hues, a very light tan head that settles to rings fairly quickly. It leaves nice lacing rings around the glass.

Aroma of caramel, toffee, maple sweetness, nutty, and fresh baked bread. Also, some very light raisins aromas. A touch of butterscotch on the nose. Nothing offensive, in fact it's rather pleasant.

The taste is sweet caramel and chocolate malt, some smoke, and a lingering buttered toffee sweetness. There is a decent noble hop bitterness across the tongue, hay-like balancing out the upfront sweetness. Not a lot of maple flavour though rich in sweetness. The after bite of yeast is a bit astringent. Finishes semi-dry, leaning towards sugary.

It has a medium to high carbonation, moderate body, it does have a slight acidity to it and the initial sweetness is slightly astringent, though could have just been my taste buds expecting something a little more subtle.
This would go well with a nice caramel bread pudding.

bartle, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got a very fresh 6 pack, just bottled two weeks ago.

A - Very dark; almost opaque; looks a lot like cola.

S - Toasty; distinct but not overpowering maple aroma.

T - Very faint maple taste. Would have liked a little more maple flavour. Otherwise sort of bland with not enough roasted malt flavour that is typical of a porter. I felt like this either needed a robust maple flavour or at least a typical porter profile of roasted malts and it had neither. Disappointing.

M - A bit watery, not typical for a porter.

D - A drinkable beer, but not an enjoyable one. I wouldn't buy this again.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear dark color porter with a medium foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of maple and roasted malt are easily detectable. Taste is a strange mix between some lightly sweet maple notes with dry roasted malt. Body is a bit light for style with good carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Not bad overall but I am probably not the biggest fan of including maple in beer.

Phyl21ca, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at C'est What?.

Pours a slightly opaque dark reddish brown, almost black, thick tan head forms, settles down to a thin ring and leaves some lace chunks on the glass. Smell is alright, roasty and chocolate, toast, dark fruit, caramel, quite sweet, not a whole lot of maple character going on though. Taste is similar, no real maple at all, sweet, brown sugar and caramel, some roast, bit sweet and sour through the middle, a bit biscuit, nice roast, but not much else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Half decent but wheres the maple? And not much of a porter at that.

Viggo, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the brewery. Black with some white bubbly head. Maple aroma followed by mollasses, although the molasses dominates the taste. Above average mouthfeel, somewhat sour, and more carbonated than their usual lineup. Sweetness with no-frills mollasses.
Had on cask at The Rhino and it was a decent porter. Nicely drinkable.

Sammy, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Derek
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Victory Cafe. It'd be great with their weekend brunch!

A: Dark, cola-colour with a light tan head; some retention & lace.

S: Big, BIG maple aroma, with underlying hints of nuts, chocolate & bread.

T: Big maple flavour with a light, pancake-like, breadyness. Hints of nuts & chocolate. Slight sweetness with a balanced bitterness.

M: Slight sweetness but it's well-attenuated with a dry finish.

D: Initially it's really enticing, but a glass was certainly enough.

Derek, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of bobsy
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at Volo.

Very dark mahogany body with a creamy tan head, that lasted very well, and put down some nice spots of lace. A touch too light for a porter, but pretty nonetheless. Sadly, a promising start is derailed by a bland aroma...there's a faint sweetness and a bit of smoke, but not a lot is coming through. What does is nice, but it really needs to be amped up a lot for this to rise beyond the mediocre.

The maple in the flavour hits up front, but thankfully the roasted malts are the main player - I think maple is nice to add, but not to dominate. The malts are medium roast and have a lightly sour coffee grounds flavour to them, and there's some smoke in there too. The appearance of the smoke is interesting; its an element I've come to associate with the addition of maple, an ingredient that often seems to morph into a completely different flavour altogether. Medium body and carbonation neither wows nor dissapoints. If anything, I think something creamier may have worked better here.

Overall, a solidly unspectacular porter that was enjoyable to drink, but not enough to return to.

bobsy, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of trevorwideman
4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to pootz for sending me this special, straight-from-the-tank, unfiltered sample.

Pours a lovely colour. dark but still a bit transclucent. The colours of autumn in southern Ontario, deep red with a bit of copper and orange when held up to the light. Medium-high carbonation keeps a nice bit of tan lacing even though it didn't produce a massive head. Smell is very unique. The maple aroma is very deep and heavy and earthy, much like maple syrup should smell, but surrounding it is a great roasted malt aroma with a woodiness that brings to mind fire and boiling maple sap and fresh baked goods. Vanilla tones are there as well, with an anise like aroma sneaking in the back.

Taste starts out with a bit of roasted caramel malt, almost charred tasting. The woody tones really come through and compliment the very light maple flavour. I was afraid that this would come off too sweet, but there's a bit of lactic sourness to keep it in check, and the roasted bitterness helps a lot as well. There's a quality that I would almost call herbal about it, but it's closer to the way the air tastes in the middle of a deciduous forest. Very earthy and leafy. Metallic note in the finish. Carbonation is medium and the body is medium-thin. I could drink this in spades, but on just the right evening, when a chill pervades the air. Octoberish I'd say. Maple Porter? You might as well just call this one "Canada", it embodies everything I love about the Canadian autumn, and it does it so unpretentiously. A real treat that I hope to have again someday.

trevorwideman, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of Noxious26
4.15/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Special edition 341ml bottle via Pootz poured in a pint glass.

Almost looks more like a brown ale. Chestnut brown with a 1/4 inch beige head on the pour. Head settles to a thin cap.

Aroma is more like a porter though. Roasted and toasted malts, syrup sweetness (presumably the maple), subdued earthy-woody tones.

Roasted malts jump out right off the start. Then fade slightly into a tight prickly carbonation rush. After the rush, a woody, earthy, nutty quality comes through and pushes ahead at the finish. Some smokey-peaty qualities in the background. Mildly bitter roast malt finish with a little char.

Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Carbonation feels like tiny sharp little thorns on the tongue.

A very unique experience. Unlike any beer I've had before. Quite complex and layered. Attributes come to the foreground in varying degrees as it warms. Shares some qualities with a porter, and some qualities with an american brown ale. Styles be damned! Who says something as interesting and tantalizing as this has to fit a guideline?

Noxious26, May 10, 2007
Photo of pootz
4.13/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the bright tank at the brewey prior to kegging...and from unfiltered bottles 3 weeks later

Tapped a hazed deep burished copper-cola color with ruby highlights and a wonderful frothy mocha cap...lasted well and laced well.

Aromas are subdued but complex...light toast, maple, hay, smoke, and some woody-earthyness.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel.

Starts with a flash of maltiness then the other flavors take you right away into a collage of nutty-smoked maple tastes while the hops rigidly maintain a tight cedar bittering....finished clean with the smokey maple and hops creating a unique marriage on the palate tending to a biting drying....slight metallic and bready after taste.

Remarkable...and it’s definately NOT sweet as you’d expect...this is a unique hybrid with a porter-like character and profile but with the "charred" astringency swapped out for cedar bittering and a lovely smokey-nutty- maple decernment that just works well in this malty ale with the dry finish.

Oh and did I mention its very drinkable?

Bravo to the brewer on this one...an experimental brew that works well

pootz, Apr 04, 2007
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Nickel Brook Maple Porter from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.