No, this isn’t an article about a substandard action movie starring Vin Diesel, it’s the 30th edition of No More Heroes! It’s also our second Christmas edition, although I’m going to spare you from an attempt to repeat the Paul McCartney infused heroics of last year.
In fact after the hell-ride that has been 2016, I’m going to spare you from any frivolity whatsoever and get on with reviewing this week's beer, Titanic’s Plum Porter. We’re fond of championing breweries we see as new and exciting here at Hop Burns & Black and that’s because these breweries are exciting. However we’re guilty of not paying our dues to more established breweries such as Titanic, which laid its roots in Burslem, Stoke-on- Trent, back in 1985.
Plum Porter has rightly won a string of CAMRA gold medals but this is not a beer that’s just for traditionalists. For me there’s plenty going on in this beer that should satisfy even the most hardened beer geeks. For starters it’s easy drinking, despite being a robust 4.9% porter, with East Kent Goldings hops adding a herbaceous bitter note to the finish that soon has you reaching for another sip.
The real highlight of this beer, though, is the rounded tartness provided by the plum flavouring. It’s not a sticky, cloying sweetness that bites so many other flavoured beers in the arse. This is a more akin to the bittersweet flavour that you get when you suck the last chunk of fruit from a plum stone. The way it lingers makes it ideal with mellower cheeses such as Wensleydale or mature Cheddar. Something about this beer just feels cosy, which makes it a perfect beer to snuggle up with on the sofa this Christmas. The addition of a well-stocked cheese plate is mandatory.
Music Pairing: Eels - Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
“Baby Jesus, Born to Rock!” At least so says Mark Oliver “E” Everett in what is my favourite Christmas banger of all time. It also helps that Eels are one of my favourite bands, of course. This Christmas it’s time to put all the weird shit that 2016 has thrown at us to one side, for a little while at least. So settle in with loved ones and a metric shit-ton of great booze and let's enjoy ourselves. We’re going to need a period of brief respite before 2017 inevitably gets even weirder. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody!
Find more from beer writer Matthew Curtis at his excellent beer blog, Total Ales, Good Beer Hunting and on Twitter @totalcurtis. You can find Titanic's sumptuous Plum Porter in store or at our online shop to get it delivered to your door.