It’s always funny when two beers look so similar but taste so different, like when identical twins have wildly different personalities.
I compared these beers side-by-side, and they showed the same dark brown pour, although the foam on May Contain Nuts was a bit tighter and a shade darker. (Even twins have subtle differences in appearance.) But then it came time to meet them properly, and they revealed their vastly distinct personalities.
The cherrywood-smoked malt in Portstar gave it a waft of smoked ham character, which was met by dry roastiness in the mouth. There’s no heaviness or thickness to weigh you down in this smoked porter; it lets the smoke do the talking, and leaves you with a lingering bitterness on the tongue like you’ve been sitting by the campfire for a few hours.
By contrast, the smell of May Contain Nuts is sweet like the candy bar when you go to the movies, with caramel popcorn and chocolate coated peanuts for everyone. But the drinking experience isn’t cloying, or even all that sweet (there’s no lactose here) – more like eating a square of dark chocolate while you’re still smelling the caramel popcorn and chocolate coated peanuts.
Published July 28, 2022 2022-07-28 00:00:00