Beer of the Week – Lowlander Poorter

Brewed: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Strength: 6% ABV

Heavily inspired by the often forgotten history of Dutch brewing, using herbs, spices and fruits brought home by Dutch sailors, Lowlander Beer use botanicals during the brewing process of all of their beers. Named after the literal meaning of The Netherlands (‘Low Lands’), the brewery source all of their botanicals, herbs and spices from Jacob Hooy, the oldest spice store in Amsterdam and intend to ‘create great tasting beers which are full of both character and flavour.’

Poorter is the third addition to Lowlander’s core range, inspired by the belief that even though the British claim to have birthed this style of dark ale, the beer’s origins lie within the history of Dutch docklands. The first instance of ‘Porter beer’ in print was found in a series of letters to London in the 1720’s, yet a beer known as ‘Poorter’ was being drunk as early as the 14th Century in the Netherlands, allegedly. According to Lowlander’s website, “this was named after the poorters who spent their days toiling away in the docklands, hauling tradesmen’s loot from ships to city centres. The jet black tipple provided them with the calories and courage they needed to get through the day.”

A nod to the sacks of botanicals that the 14th Century poorters would carry, Lowlander’s Poorter is brewed with liquorice and vanilla which brings a fair deal of sweetness to the beer. When poured, the black liquid is topped with a foaming tan head with great retention. On the nose, prominent notes of vanilla and liquorice are expectedly present, joined by further notes of coffee, dark chocolate and some resinous pine. On the palate, the potent flavour of sweet vanilla is balanced by bitter dark chocolate and roasted malts with some very subtle smokiness. The finish, on the other hand, is long and bitter, followed by a lingering presence of licquorice. In addition to being a fine, albeit simple, porter – Lowlander’s Poorter is a quintessential winter beer, but pairs exceptionally well with smoked meats fresh from the barbecue: a must-try combination.

Further information on Lowlander Beer can be found at lowlander-beer.com.

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