Review of Phillips Brewings Longboat Chocolate Porter

Review of Phillips Brewings Longboat Chocolate Porter

This is a great time to be a beer lover in Alberta. So many new beers are on store shelves compared to ten years ago. As a result of which, there are dozens of beers available from around north America. Not only that but there are beers from Canadian craft beer makers that weren’t available in Alberta five years ago. One brewery new to the shelves is BC’s Phillips brewing.

Matt Phillips started his brewery in 2001, with not much more than a dream in one hand and a mass of credit cards in the other. Matt spent the next few years building his brand in southwest British Columbia. Eventually, the brewery grew to the point where Matt was able to hire a staff to help with production. Sadly however, Phillips Brewing was evicted from the space it was leasing when an accident caused a batch of Phoenix Lager to flood the premises.

Thankfully, Phillips found a new location just up the street and production was back up and running. In 2008 Phillips was forced to find a new location, this time because they had outgrown their last facility. Today, the Phillips line-up contains more than a dozen regular brews available in six packs and big bottles. This consistent growth in production and popularity led to Phillips coming to Alberta just to give me more beer to geek out on.

Well, perhaps not just for me but, it’s easy to see why one could get over excited. At any rate, let’s see how this beer stacks up. Longboat pours into the glass a deep, darkly ruby colored ale, bordering on black in color. This porter pours into the glass crystal clear, throwing a cloudy, tan colored head with decent retention.

Longboat’s aroma is a testament to chocolate. What smells like chocolate mousse wafts from the glass reminding one of rich, chocolatey desserts. Center gives mostly notes of dark cherries supported by hints of hazelnuts. Finish is dry and a little earthy, subtly earthy bordering on subdued.

Up front, flavors very much follow the nose. It starts off very chocolaty, like a bittersweet European chocolate bar. Spritzy carbonation comes through on the center, rendering the mouthfeel a tad thinner than it probably is. There’s a little dryness in the center as well. Somehow these two factors bring out the flavors of dark cherries. Not quite to the point of being out of balance, but maybe a shade more pronounced than necessary. Finish enjoys momentary roundness and then fades on its way past the back of the tongue.

Longboat Chocolate Porter isn’t a bad offering in its own right. The unfortunate thing is, as a porter it’s somewhat lacking. It lacks the fullness and lusciousness of a porter’s mouthfeel. Longboat also lacks the roasted qualities of a decent porter. In the end Longboat feels more like an attempt at a porter than an actual example of the styule. Give this one a 6.75 out of 10.

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