Brewery: Hop Shed Brewery
When I was growing up I never really had any spicy food due to my mum not being able to eat it. It was only when I hit my late teens that I started discovering the joy of spices and chilis, and how much extra depth they could give to food. Spicy food and beer can pair together amazingly, whether it being a light lager to quench the thirst or a hoppy IPA to add an extra dimension to the heat. They can also go together, usually in the more robust beers such as porters and stout. I have tried a number of chili beers in my time but I found most to be to be slightly underwhelming. So when I bought in the Hop Shed Piri Piri porter I was unsure if this would be another to disappoint the taste buds. Thankfully though they have done a really nice job with this beer.
As most porters tend to be, it was pitch black in hue with a coffee coloured head. When swirled in the glass it clearly had a medium to good body. The first aroma to rise from the glass was that of a chili heat and vanilla. Notes of bitter chocolate wrapped up the enticing smell. Once swirled around in the mouth the bitter chocolate and roasted malts came through in the initial hit. Licorice and tobacco also came through well after a second on the tongue. The piri piri chili came through in the aftertaste and you could feel it in the chest, especially after taking a big sip. The aftertaste was also quite drying on the palate. Ever time I took a sip the chili heat seemed to increase, but it was really lovely to have that burn combined with all the dark malt flavours of the beer.
I think this is one of my favourite chili beers I’ve ever tried. Lovely vanilla and chili combined together delightfully to give a joyful drinking experience. I could easily try this again when I need some warming up on a cold day, or maybe even with a nice piece of steak. I’m glad I found it for the tasting!