Samuel Smith "Tadcaster" Taddy Porter

My past experience with Samuel Smith was not particularly good. The fact is, I have yet to have what I would consider an above average beer from the UK. This one was recommended by a reliable guy I know, so I figure I will give it a chance. Should I read into the fact that I had to have my distributor special order it? Well, I'm not going to. Jeremy will order whatever he can, because he's awesome.

It's a black beer, but the red hue around the edges turns almost purple in the sunlight coming through the window. The nice head simmers down to a 1/8th inch cap of bubbles with good enough lacing for a porter. The aroma is rich in smoke, oak, and chocolate. It has the hallmarks of a good porter, but I'm not going to get fooled by an English beer again. Bring on the taste.

First sip is a bit more reminiscent of the English beers I've had in the past - it's all bluster without the substance to back it up. It's not just a watery beverage - it's more like a beverage that has had soda water added to it. The beer that is there is smokey wood, and that's almost all I can taste over the soda water. Possibly, this just needs a swig.

Tip-in is light smoke, some earth, and carbonation burn. The middle brings a very interesting kind of tart nuttiness. The tartness turns to bitter for the finish with the addition of chocolate, smoke, oak, and I really feel like the carbonation gives the impression of the little fiddly bits of a coconut husk kind of tickling the whole mouth.

Bottom Line: Much better than I expected, and much better imbibed quickly.

3.0/5

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