Stranger Than Fiction | Collective Arts Brewing

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Stranger Than FictionStranger Than Fiction
235 Ratings
Stranger Than FictionStranger Than Fiction

Brewed by:
Collective Arts Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stranger Than Fiction is a full-bodied porter with plenty of roast flavour with hints of molasses. Ridiculous amounts of chocolate and pale ale malts make this porter a smooth and creamy brew.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 235 |  Reviews: 74
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of teromous
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottom of the can: "PKG 18DEC17 07:56"

Appearance: The beer has a black body and a surprisingly large light khaki head. The head has good retention and the beer overall just looks great in a glass. The head formation on this beer is especially noteworthy.

Aroma: Right of the bat the beer has this lovely coffee aroma. There is a nice chocolate scent that follows shortly. In the background there is just a touch of what smells like burnt wood. The aroma on this Porter is perfect.

Taste: Up front there is this toasted caramel and carbon flavor. There is this slightly tangy finish and it trails off with more of that clean carbon flavor. It tastes a lot more like a Dry Irish Stout than a porter, or even a much lighter version of a Baltic Porter. Categories aside, the beer is superbly made.

Mouthfeel: The beer is light, crisp, and finishes dry with a light burnt bitterness.

Overall: This is a pretty odd beer to categorize. It doesn't really taste like an English Porter (as listed on this website) but then again the can only claims "Porter." It seems to trend closer to either a lighter version of a Baltic Porter, or (much closer) to a Dry Irish Stout. In the end one could argue over whether this beer fits a specific style or whether it is good or not. It is definitely a great beer, and in the end that is all that really matters. It really nails that burnt charcoal character without getting too bitter or obnoxious. It is that lovely beer that you just sit there and truly enjoy drinking for extended periods of time. There are some fantastic brews being made in Canada and I'll be looking closer at this brewery in the future. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy the wide gamut of stouts and porters. I would drink it again.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Can
Canned: Oct-18-2017 (Consumed: Jan-18-2018)

Pours thick black with two fingers of khaki head, slowly hisses its way down to a little cap. Doily lacing, good retention. (4)

Aroma of leather, licorice, molasses, burnt toast. (3.5)

Crisp malt roast flavor without much else going on flavor-wise. Hard water, coffee grounds. (3.25)

Watery, thin, active carbonation. (3.25)

'Meh' beer on the whole.
It was not bad, bad. But it is just kind of boring. It looks nice and the label is cool, but there is not much going on in the flavor and aroma departments. The aroma is just kind of hollow but is at least there. The flavor is just really light and simple but not much depth or richness, a little astringent twang. (3.5)

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Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smooth, creamy, with a solid presence of roast malts. Grassy, vegetal undertones and finish from the Cascade and Nugget hops. There is a strong chocolate, mocha and molasses presence, the body has lower carbonation and is a tad watery. That's to be expected, and makes for a very sessionable beer. Of course as the aroma indicates there is a strong char, smokiness and espresso bitterness. Sweetness evokes milk chocolate and British malt candies, without being cloying, and ends up as a nice foil to the roasty bitterness. A well rounded porter.

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Photo of khoff5
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a tiny tan head.
Mostly chocolate aroma, some coffee, and some fruity sweetness.
Milk chocolate, a little bittersweet chocolate, a hint of vanilla.
Light to medium bodied.
Have to mention the label art Outstanding!

 235 characters

Photo of Easton70
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Collective Arts look like they could be my favourite Ontario brewery for now. Having moved from Vancouver I've been tasting a few Ontario beers and have been impressed by CA's can designs and a couple of their beers. This one didn't disappoint either. It has a great look with a light brown head and dark body. It smells awesome and the taste doesn't disappoint either. It has a full body, chocolate, black coffee and a real boozy finish that is strong for a 5.5% beer. I could drink a few of these and not get tired.

 517 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tall can, with what looks like some dating on the bottom, but its all smudged.

Pours near black, dark mocha can, loose and frothy, and leaving ample, loose and slipping fields of sheeting all the way up the glass.

Chocolate/mocha and coffee beans on the nose.

Soft, super smooth, Brit style all the way...delicate notes of coffee and chocolate again, along with vanilla, earth, toffee and roasted grains...delicious,nicely crafted and well worth a try

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is cocoa, roasted malt, and a touch of molasses. Medium-heavy bodied, low carbonation, sweet and roasty. Very good example of the style. Makes for an excellent winter sipper. Will look for other Collective Arts beers.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tap @ Small Bar, Bristol - Pours jet black with a medium tanned foamy head. Nice lacing. Medium carbonation. Aroma - Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, roasted malts, dark fruit notes. Aroma - Sweet, smooth roasted coffee, dark chocolate notes, roasted malty middle, medium dry bitter finish. Well balanced between sweet n bitter porter.

 334 characters

Photo of DannyBaldoni
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gallaghercm
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Rcarman
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just enjoyed on my front steps on a sunny march day. Poured from can into Samuel Smith glass with logo printed on bottom. The logo has a nucleating effect resulting in still a few mm of head even 3/4 of the pint done. Its so dark you can't even see the sun through it when held in front of the sun. Agreed a welcome addition to the Ontario beer scene, enjoyed all of their's i have tried so far.

 395 characters

Photo of MJ63
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JonnyBeers
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biboergosum
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can - wow, the chick in the 'art' portrayed on the label looks a hell of a lot like one made for me by an ex-girlfriend for my homemade icewine a number of years ago.

This beer pours a pretty solid black, with pervasive orange cola basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and slightly bubbly brown head, which leaves some decent mountain range snow line profile lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, roasted caramel malt, an ethereal coffee bean essence, cream, and plain earthy, grassy, and citrusy hop bitters. The taste is more medium-dark cocoa, gritty caramel malt, some toasted graininess, milk-heavy cuppa Joe, wee black licorice notes, and more laid-back earthy, leafy, and grassy hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly low-key in its more or less lazy frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, just a bit of airborne ash taking things to task here, before a gentle creaminess arises in concert with the ambient warming. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel shedding their roasted and hoppy sidekicks, for the most part.

Overall, a very pleasant and engaging Porter, the cocoa-heavy malt really showing its stuff. Easy to drink, and just bitter enough to keep me from reaching for my tongue-scraping kit that I keep handy during beer reviews. Well recommendable, especially at the retail cost of only 3 Loonies and some minor change.

 1,456 characters

Photo of mintjellie
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black beer. Tan head, thick and retentive with good lace. Light aroma of dark chocolate and toasted nuts. Cocoa powder and dark roast coffee on the palate. Good length and a bitter finish. Simple and direct in terms of flavour. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. It doesn't feel light, but it's not heavy either. Decent beer. Probably wont grab another.

 355 characters

Photo of brother_rebus
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clean drinking porter bang on the style.

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Photo of Roguer
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark porter, topped with a dark brown head.

Lovely aroma leaning more toward chocolate and cream than roast and char.

Flavor follows: deliciously robust porter. Smooth and rich; layers of chocolate, toffee, and roasted barley. Thick feel.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a can of this in Brantford whilst in Canada for my son's hockey tournament. It poured an opaque black with ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had roast and slight hint of pine. The taste had roast and earth. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

 315 characters

Photo of Bugs318
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Powers30
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chrishiker1409
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of grahuba
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Stranger Than Fiction from Collective Arts Brewing
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 235 ratings