I noticed the other day that another Sheffield blogger had reviewed the Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Porter. This made me think it was the same as the Traditional Porter that I got in Tesco Extraneous last month (the retail behemoth used to sell the Engine Oil you see). Having decided I needed to fill a beer shaped hole I gave it a try tonight, and my review follows.
You could have a look at the Barl Fire blog and read the review and see if you think its the same beer? Personally I think it is, but then the subjective nature of tasting notes coupled with my rather limited beer sommelier experience means they might end up sounding different even if they are the same. Go to Barl Fire Harviestoun Review after you have read the below. Especially if you work for Tesco and fancy confessing....
Brewery : Harviestoun, Alva, Clackmannanshire
Name : Tesco Finest Traditional Porter
Strength : 6.0%
BCA/none BCA? : none BCA.
Purchased : Tesco. I am going to hell.
Colour : No nonsense black but with some hints of dark brown, topped by a creamy white dense head.
Carbonation/Pouring : very good, in that its not too fizzy and quickly settles down in the glass.
Aroma : Burnt malts and roasted malts, cigar box, a hint of Islay peat and something like molasses.
Taste : There is bitterness from the start from the dark malts and followed by a long smokey finish, in amidst which I swear I can taste that Islay malt (Bunnahabhain, not Kilchoman, for you single malt fans). A few glugs in I noticed that now the strong burnt malt, although prevalent, was being balanced by what might be the addition of a paler warmer malt.
There is also an ascorbic bitter fizz in the finish which provides a good contrast in time for the next mouthful. Further down the malt mellows a bit more and I think there is an orangey hint, not unlike fruitcake, which adds to the rich and sumptuous overall taste.
Head Retention - the head keeps pace with the beer almost all the way down the glass, only disappearing, albeit quite quickly, because I dawdled over something I spotted on TV!
WBrating : 8.6 - this feisty beer from Scotland's smallest county nudges past the Tatton Ale because of its mighty weight at the outset, and plus the smokey malt idea has put me in the mood for a very small drop of something from the sound of Islay.
More beer and pub details soon. Sláinte!