When you make a beer that you can put ‘The Famous’ into the name, you must either be the real deal or incredibly delusional. For example, when I insert ‘The Famous’ in between my first and last names, people seem to get upset. WTF?
Samuel Smith Brewery doesn’t have this problem as we found with their excellent Oatmeal Stout. They can get away with naming a beer The Famous Taddy Porter because its considered a really, really good beer, and as a result I’m excited to be reviewing it for you tonight for English Beer Month 2010!
Taddy Porter is a 5% ABV beer that’s been made in England since 1979 at Yorkshire’s oldest brewery which was established in 1758. (Hey, its embossed in glass on the bottle!) Since then, Taddy Porter has been recognized by many as one of the finest beers in the world and Michael Jackson (The Beer Hunter) once said it was one of the world’s best 5 beers!
So, this English beer comes with a decent amount of street cred. What’s all this then?
Taddy Porter pours almost as black a color I’ve ever seen in a beer. This stuff is dark! No light gets through either, so for the most part its a mystery what’s inside the glass. (I’m hoping beery goodness lurks within!) There’s a nicely formed beige head as you can see in the accompanying picture, and it leaves a nice bit of lacing on the glass.
The aroma is very interesting! While not overpowering in any way, I’m almost reminded of beers with that ‘dark fruit’ quality to them. You know, raisin, plum kind of sugary smells. I’m also slightly reminded of a bourbony type of thing. I know other people get coffee, chocolate and even tobacco out of the nose, but I’m going with dark fruit, malt and slight bourbon. I find myself smelling this beer more than is likely considered normal!
Sometimes a beer is so hyped up and then lets you down when you try it. Well, Taddy Porter can back up ‘The Famous’ label easily and I can sum it up in three words. Won Der Ful. (I think that’s German)
I’m getting that dark fruit sweetness throughout the sip, and it’s REALLY nice. There is a sweetness to the beer that is very satisfying but not overdone. There’s a nice roasted maltyness to it, perhaps some of that chocolate comes through, and again I’m going to say almost a hint of burbon flavor in there as well.
Taddy Porter is smoooooooth. Damn smooth and is a really easy drinker with a medium kind of body and nice slick mouthfeel.
Would I drink the Samuel Smith Taddy Porter again? Yes I would, and I would drink it again even if it weren’t famous! This is an excellent beer that pushes all of my ‘great beer’ buttons. In my mind, it does everything right in an unpretentious way and is definitely one of my 5 top beers and so gets a very rare 5 star rating from me!
Rating: I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to try it. Another classic hiding in plain site.
What do you think about the Samuel Smith’s Famous Taddy Porter? If you’ve had it, do you think it lives up to its name and reputation, or is it overhyped? What about their other stuff? Bob the Brit really enjoyed the Old Brewery Bitter – maybe Sam Smiths is one of those brewers that ‘gets it’.