Brewed by Swannay Brewery
Style: Imperial Porter
Orkney, Scotland
Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 147   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Cask; Seasonal - Winter. Also available bottled.
Appearance: Dark mahogany in colour with ruby highlights.
Nose: A lovely roasted grain aroma and some dark berry fruit.
Palate: After a slight tartness (always a good sign in a porter), coffee and chocolate dominate the palate, with a hint of smoke lending complexity. Nutty bitter chocolate pervades the persistent finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
cgarvieuk (18513) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 30, 2009
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2015 Bottle at home ... deep red back ... big coffee nose with some soft roast ... big toffee malt... little tobacco ... little meaty .. solid dark malts with no charcoal or burnt malts charcater ... low bitterness...light hop in background ... its the light sweet vanilla treacle toffee ness that realy works for me 4.2... tk2 08-01-10 bottle at home .... deep black ... thin lacing ... sweet soft roast malts little tofffee nose ... good dark fruit and toffee malt .... some chocolate .... light hop .in background... i will stick 4.2 on this . lovely... Tkx ... 040510 ... (bbf 1209) bottle at home ... having talked to the brewer today about a new beer that i totally failed at :-( ... i was put in the mood for this one .. deep brown red ... thin tan head ... sweet toffee chocolate malts ... very soft ... nice roast nose ... little over carbonated now ... nice roast toffee roast ... little meaty ... soft chocolate ..little bitterness ... little treacle ... almost a hint of spice ... cinnamon and clove ... aging wonderfully ... shame its a little overcarbonated for me.4.4cask at bowbar ... deep black .. thin tight tan head ... sweet plum and chocolate nose ... big roast ... sweet fruits .... plum ... little raisin ... little cherry ... big chocolate ... rich and complex... light bitter linger .... 4.5bottle at home 04/11/10 bbf Dec 2009 ... deep brown .. thin tan head ... big soft toffee roast ... little over fizzy ... bit thiner than i remember ... big chocolate roast ... light vanilla ... light meatyness ... little treacle ...quite a lot of fruityness ... nice ... 4.0 bottle at home 12/11/10 2009 vintage ... deep brown ... creamy tan head ... sweet light meaty toffee malt nose ... light oily rich body ... big chocolate roast ... little meaty ... quite a bit of treacle ... dark dark sweet fruits ... raisins and cherries...hints of coconut oil 4.3cask in bow .feb 11.. dark black ... sweet chocolate roast malt nose ... very sweet .. light oily body .. nice soft sweet chocolate roast malts ... rich full bodied bliss 4.4cask in bow feb 11 ...deep black ... thin tan head ... sofft sweet chocolate roast ... nose ... dark chocolate ... dark fruits ... lots of green raisin ...wonderfully rich...4.4Bottle at home 2010 vintage drunk 11-05-11 ...deep black ... thin bubbly tan head ... soft blackcurrant chocolate roast malt nose ... little too high carbonation for me ... lots of rich ripe juicy vine fruits ... hint of tobacco ... solid roast malts ... hint of ovaltine ... body is a little thiner than i remember ... light drying linger ... very nice . 4.2cask at bow bar 2009 cask drunk july2011... dark black ... thin tan head ...soft dark toffee roast ... big chocolate ... deep complex roast malt nose ... big sweet roast malts ... some oxidastion ... big roast ... dark malts ... chocolate roast ... soft malty finish ... in some ways this is at the top of its game complex rich and devine... but the oxidisation thats gone along with the complex maturation also distracts... def no thinness as in last btl 4.3Cask at SRAF 2012 ... opps no notes but this was possibly the best ive ever had it, its was so good i drunk too much 4.6Bottle at home drunk 092012 bbf Dec 09 ... deep brown ... thin tan head ... soft mellow toffee roast ... light coffee ... light oxidised malts nose ... cool ... ok this is fairly well oxidised ... rich roast malts ... light toffee hop ... the oxidisation bring out a little nuttyness ... mellow soft smooth ... oh this is still lovely ... its just got such depth ... richness ... 4.3cask at the bat ... dark black ... soft mellow chocolate roast malt nose ... sweet malts ... soft mellow silky smooth roast ... light chocolate ... just sublime 4.4cask at bat ... deep black ... thin tan lacing ... deep meaty chocolate roast .... heavy chewwy roast .. sweet malts ... dark fruits ... swet berries ... soft chocolate ... soft mellow smooth ... soft sweet roast ... amazing 4.5 bottle at home June 2014 vintage 2009... deep blacl ... thick tan head... big blackcurrant ... soft roast ...lifght oxidised cardboard nose... light fizz ... dark sweet roast ... big berriers ...light chocolate ... full rounded mouth ... tiny soya hints but tiny behind the massive roast fruits .. real nice consdidering age ... 4.2Cask at the Stockbridge tap 27jan15... Deep black... Small tan head... Soft sweet berries.. Dark roast malts.. Big chocolate nose... Soft mellow.. Rounded body.. Little thiner than i remember... Oaky chocolate... Light sweet vanilla hint... Mellow chocolate roast... Dark fruits... 4.3Cask at the hanging bat 27jan15... Deep black.. Thiner tan head... Soft dry chocolate berries.. Light dark chocolate nose... Soft roast.. Dark fruits.. Mellow. Berries... Sweet chocolate.. Dark roast... Soft sweet malts.. Lovley 4.5Cask at cloisters... Dark black... Thin tan lacing Dark chocolate roast... Soft chocolate malt roast nose... Soft sweet chocolate roast.. Mellow roast.. Soft meaty malts.. Chewy chocolate mellow roast chocolate roast.. Soft smooth.. Almost woody malts. 4.5Cask at cloisters... Dark brown black.. Thin tan lacing... Soft sweet chocolate roast malts... Dark big chocolate roast.. Big soft malts.. Juicy malts... Sweet toffee chocolate roast... Mellow meaty malts... Big sweet berries.. Juicy sweet malts.. Soft sweet chocolate malts 4.7

bottle at home bbf 2009 later that evening.... Dark black thin tan head... Soft mellow chocolate blackcurrant chocolate roast... Light ovaltine chocolate roast... Cardboard chocolate roast.. Dark wood malt... Big black roast 3.7

cask (hand bottle) its lost all its life in a few hours... Soft sweet chocolate roast mellow plum chocolate roast malts nose.. Soft sweet chocolate roast... Big fruits.. Dark sweet fruits... Juicy roast... But lost a lot of life 4.3 but 1 for palate <><>

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
flying_pig (1249) - SCOTLAND - APR 24, 2013
330ml bottle from Peckhams, Aberdeen (£3.35):
Strong with rich and alcohol laced aroma that is a combination of rich, dark malts and some dark chocolate with an almost red wine like smell following this. There is some raisin, cranberry and plums with a nice alcohol kick and perhaps some dates and figs too.
Dark ruby, almost pitch black with a pinky sized, bubbly, tan head that slowly reduces in size to a thick looking lacing. A nice appearance and a better head than I was expecting.
Boozy, warming alcohol taste to begin that is backed up with a lot of sweetness and darker fruits, notably it is the figs and plums that seem to come through the most here. There is also a very rich, dark, roasted malt taste and some sweet caramel malts and a hint of cherry.
Sweet & rich with a nice boozy feel to the beer and a smooth, full bodied mouthfeel. This one is probably these easiest going 9% beer you will find, the alcohol is noticeable but not overdone & the balance is good.

One of the best I have ever tried. Dangerously easy to drink, considering it is a 9% abv. it goes down an absolute treat. I could drink this one all night although the alcohol content tells me that might not be the best ideas.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
thmsboyd (166) - Ayr, SCOTLAND - MAR 19, 2015
Bottle Vintage 2010 (Aged). Lightly chilled. Very deep reddish brown body with a small tan head. High intensity aromas of rich roasted grains, almonds, bananas and some doughy yeast. Surprising tartness that wonderfully cuts through the sweet malty character. Light smoke. Full body - the only real indication of strength - with a thick, oily texture. Low-moderate carbonation and a persistent, long, liquorice finish. Outstanding porter which seemingly benefits from aging. Tremendously balanced and ideal abv. Perhaps lacks a little on the nose, but it’s hard to pick a fault with the taste and palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
AshtonMcCobb (4200) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 3, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2011 Re-rate, on this occasion, I just cannot see how this beer could be made any better. The nose and taste have power but with elegance, the finish falls away with a delicate creamy note which leaves the length, just falling away at a nice uniform pace. It ticks all the boxes and engages the brain. Putting this in a spirit cask would upset the harmony that this beer has! Original rating - 03/03/11 9/4/8/5/16 = 4.2 The aroma is enticing with creamy rather than hard/burnt chocolate notes. There is an underlying smokey-peat aroma, The body also appears creamy though there is not so much head-retention. The taste is gentle at first but persistent and elegant. There is a gentle hop edge on the finish which does not dominate but just does enough to gently sweep the smokey-chocolate flavours away. An excellent beer of elegance which deserves your full attention.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
stravale (2567) - Near Carrick-on-Shannon, IRELAND - JUL 9, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2012
Bottle at the Southern, Edinburgh 290812
This was in the new 330 mil bottle. What a wonderful beer, world class, so easy to drink for the 9%. I didn’t analyse but went with the flow, this is one of the best beers I’ve ever had 4.4

Bottle from Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin. VIntage 2010. Appearance - Dark ruby-brown, off white 1 finger head, amber edges in glass. Some lacing with alcohol legs. Nice dinky bottle. Aroma - Sweet malt, fruit - dates and raisins, warming sherry aroma, molasses. Taste - Fruit malt, raisins, sherry, slight smoke, gentle chocolate. Very well blended, gentle and refined. Alcohol noticeable but well hidden, contributing an essential role to the taste-blend. Palate - Very smooth, warm sweet fruity finish, then some transient bitterness, to a gentle sherry malty sweet finish. Overall - A beautifully crafted imperial porter - a world class beer. Wonderful aroma and taste. It is not as complex as some other beers in this style, but actually benefits from this in this case. Really very good, very impressed. 8/4/9/5/17 4.3

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
allmyvinyl (7165) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - SEP 5, 2013
Bottle from Appellation Wines. Pours dark brown with a good long-lasting tan head, tight bubbles. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, liquorice, cherries, touch of peat-smoke. Awesome. Taste delivers a roasty bitterness, light sweetness, and merest hint of boozy indulgence. Full bodied, creamy texture, long, long finish. Seriously good beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Grzesiek79 (3587) - Radom, POLAND - JAN 9, 2014
Vintage 2011. No sadzilem ze przy tym mocnym porterze nie zrobi sie obfita piana, byla co mnie zadowolilo. Kolor intensywnie ciemny, tzn czarny tylko z lekka i malenka poswiata rubinowa. Gestosc niezla. Zapach suszone sliwki i sherry. W smaku tresciwe i rozgrzewajace, lekkie cieplo w koncowce, ktora jest dloga i przyjemna. Porter srednio palony moze tylko finisz taki odczuwalny, ale ogolnie slodkawe i nieco winne. Ciekawe jak by smakowalo jeszcze bardziej starsze. Temperatura serwowania zalecana miedzy 12, a 14 stopni i tak zrobilem.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dantheman278 (1361) - SCOTLAND - FEB 6, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2012 Wow. This rating is different to the others. Will have to try again and re-rate. But for now...Cask at the bow bar. Pours a clear but dark brown with a smooth light tan head. Hard to find an aroma other than booze and sugar. Very, very sweet and fruity with a slight alcohol burn. Almost no coffee or chocolate notes, unusual for this style. Sherry-like. Mouthfeel is thin and oily. Sticky syrup finish. Disappointing. Sampled in bottle much later... and wow. Different beer. Better palate these days maybe. Chocolate, berries, roast malts, more of a stout nose rather than porter. Palate however is more porter-esque - smooth, tangy berries, chocolate, slight roast bitter finish. Great.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Beersiveknown (4378) - NORTHERN IRELAND - MAY 10, 2011
A complex aroma off of this one, seaweed, iodine, vanilla sugar, burnt malt and alcohol. Dark brown with a red berry initial flavour and high sweetness. Very chocolatey with some roasted malt flavours. Medium bodied and alcohol presence develops into a maltose grassy finish. Bottle states "nothing plinky about this one. Take care!" not sure what plinky means but its easy drinking nature for a 9% beer makes it a warning you ignore at your peril!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerCast_Rich (1905) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - OCT 8, 2011
[275ml bottle, Peckham’s Bruntsfield, Edinburgh] [2009 vintage] Vary dark, brownish black pour. ’09 vintage cellared until now. Thin tan head, reduces very quickly. Smooth, woody, vanilla notes on the nose – some slightly peaty smoke as well. Rich mouthfeel, quite smooth and creamy on the palate. Dark chocolate on the aftertaste with a touch of smoke, quite fruity too. Lovely smooth, warming finish. Alcohol is there, but not overpoweringly so [2010 vintage] Sampled alongside, the more recent release – same colour but huge, peaky tan head. Harsher, more alcoholic aroma – not as sweet. More bitter on the palate as the alcohol takes more of a frontal approach, the dark peaty notes also more in evidence. Tobacco on the aftertaste. Great beer – very different to the aged one. Score is amalgamation of the two [05102011]

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