Inveralmond Brewery - Inspiration Series #3 Rascal London Porter
- Alcohol by Volume: 5.6%
- Serving Temperature: 50-55° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale Ale, Munich, Crystal, Roasted Barley, Chocolate, Black, Wheat
- Hops: Pilgrim, Phoenix, Progress
Deep brown with reddish highlights, good clarity, and a very robust, lasting head, this is one inviting porter. We could (and almost did) just enjoy the aromas forever: caramel, brown sugar, chocolate frosting, deep-down dark fruits akin to plum and fig, mocha coffee, a splash of dark rum – all overlaid with a touch of floral, lightly spicy hops. With a malt bill composed of seven different varieties, the many subtle complexities in this beer’s flavor really shouldn’t surprise us; yet, like many great British ales, they still manage to. Look for that mocha coffee character to take a prominent place, augmented by cocoa powder and toasted bread crust, with that dark fruitiness welling up to decorate the mid-palate of this impressive porter. Hops add just enough bite for a really well-balanced counterpoint to the sweetness of the malty core. Round, smooth, and easy-drinking, this porter should pair up well with marinated and grilled London Broil, charcoal-grilled pork chops, or a simple dessert of chocolate cake with coffee ice cream. Slàinte!
The Inveralmond Brewery was founded in 1997 by Fergus Clark and his wife, Ailish. Fergus, who achieved a degree in brewing and microbiology from Edinburgh’s world-famous brewing school at Heriot-Watt University, spent a decade working in the brewing industry at various breweries in England before founding Inverlamond. The picturesque town of Perth, on the River Tay, was chosen as the brewery’s home in the heart of Scotland, amidst green lowlands and hills with the Grampian Mountains to the north and other pristine rivers around. In 1999, Glasgow native, Ken Duncan, joined the company as head brewer, bringing years of homebrewing and commercial brewing experience in Australia to Inveralmond.
By 2001, the brewery had most certainly arrived on the craft brewing map in Scotland; Ossian, a hoppy golden-hued ale and one of their flagship brews, was awarded Champion Beer of Scotland by Britain’s well-known Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). By 2009, their growth had begun to push the limits of their original facility, so construction began on a new brewhouse which Inveralmond moved into in 2011. In April of 2014, the team at Inveralmond launched into new territory with their Inspiration Series – a new series of beers brewed in international styles, such as Czech Pils, Belgian Abbey Ale, and London Porter (this month’s featured selection).
Recently this year, Innis & Gunn, one of Scotland’s largest independent brewers, acquired Inveralmond, with whom they’ve had a long-standing friendship (including featuring Inveralmond beers at Innis & Gunn’s Beer Kitchen restaurants). After searching for a location for a new brewery, the team at Innis & Gunn realized that it made more sense to partner with their friends’ brewery and expand it, rather than start from scratch at a new loacation. Capital was raised through a crowd-funding program that saw beer fans invest over £3 million, the proceeds of which are helping to expand Inveralmond’s brewery, including a new oak barrel maturation building. “To me this feels like a real win-win,” said Fergus. “Our Inveralmond beers will gain access to a sales and distribution infrastructure that will massively accelerate the growth of our beers both at home and internationally.”
Perhaps not coincidentally then, Inveralmond’s beers are just now beginning to make their way across the pond to our shores. Our Beer Club members are among the first lucky few to get their hands on their tasty creations. To learn more about the brewery, visit them at www.inveralmond-brewery.co.uk. Or, check out this quick YouTube video in which Ken Duncan discusses this month’s featured Rascal porter: youtu.be/pT-uxE7xk-c.
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