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23-11-2011, 09:30
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http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/008-copy.jpg?w=180&h=240 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/008-copy.jpg)As a Yorkshireman, if you were to think of the region’s best dark beers, say for seasonal purposes, I wonder how many of you would name these two tykes? After recently having both in my beer stash at the same time, I revisited both beers as the air turned a little colder, and tried to tot up the awards these two classics had amassed in their histories so far.
As it happened, I couldn’t find a definitive answer as to how many awards Acorn’s Gorlovka (6%abv) had won. It seems ever-present on ‘best of’ lists, lusted after on cask during Autumn and Winter, and its one of the best Stouts from Yorkshire, in my opinion. A strong stout named after Barnsley’s Ukrainian Twin Town, Gorlovka is full of Black Cherry and Raisin notes in the body, with an undercurrent of Almond making up the spine of the beer. There’s Liquorice in the nose, and it’s all over the finish, along with a streak of drying Coffee. The alcohol is well-hidden, and it’s a moreish, full-on beer. Manna from heaven at this time of year; the fruity flavours rolling around within Gorlovka make it slightly more than ‘just a Stout‘.
http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/0101.jpg?w=180&h=240 (http://goodfoodgoodbeer.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/0101.jpg)Elland 1872 Porter (6.5% abv) passes my ‘porter test’ straight away; I want to see a flash of ruby in that body when held to the light – call me old-fashioned, but there you go. Bottle-conditioned, 1872 has a lot of ‘life’; but I’m certainly not talking about being fizzy. I’m referring to life in flavour; everything sort of jumps around on your tongue. Push through that tight head – the shade of espresso Crema - and you’ll find oakiness,with a slightly sour tang that rides over the top of more red, porty (see what I did there), fruity notes. Just when you get your head around that, the whole things flips over for a soft, but juicy, lip-smacking finish. It’s not too dry, not too smoky, not too rich, and not too thin. Also, despite being a little lighter than Gorlovka, it’s got way more Dark Chocolate notes zipping around in the finish. It seems slightly more vinous in a bottle than in cask; either way, I find both hard to pass up when they pop up in Pubs across Yorkshire. Keep an eye out, if you’ve not had the pleasure of trying them.

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