I recently reviewed ‘Gladness’ a 4.2% ‘craft lager’ brewed by the Portobello Brewery in north-west London, in association with the Ska band Madness.
You’ll find the review here.
As you will see, I wasn’t over impressed, giving it just 1½ Brewclub Stars. But I’m a forgiving soul, so when I saw a couple of bottles of ‘Night Boat’ on a supermarket shelf I thought I’d give the ‘nutty boys’ a second chance.
Night Boat professes to be a London Porter, and takes its name from Madness’ 1979 single ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ – the video can be found here:
It pours a very dark garnet colour; not midnight dark as some porters and stouts I’ve sampled of late, but then I have sampled some very dark stouts of late. The head is light, mocha coloured but quick to fade.
There’s not too much nose to speak of, soapy and a hint of coffee. This doesn’t bode well.
The flavour, however, is pretty good. It’s not, as Madness might have you believe “packed to the rafters with cappuccino, chocolate, hazelnut and dark fruit aromas” but it’s quite tasty. There is indeed, coffee and chocolate and some dark fruit.
The mouthfeel is okay, too, not too full bodied, but enjoyable.
All in all, this is a great improvement on the ‘Gladness’ lager. It won’t set the world on fire, but I was quite happy to open that second bottle.
And, in my book, that merits three Brewclub stars.