Porterhouse Brewing is one of those craft beer companies in Ireland that I feel rarely gets enough kudos for their beers. They’re like the bastard-red-headed-step-child of the Irish Craft Beer scene, & frankly it’s an insult to them, their history in Irish craft beer & the fact, when they do a special beer, christ do they make a special beer. And their latest one, I’ve a sneaking suspicion that within the next week, it may earn them a cease-and-desist letter from one of the largest food companies on the planet.
There are four flavours in beers that I love above all others;
I make zero apologies for it. Coconut beers however have been a long list of disappointments, & an even more dichotomy-inducing shorter list of loves;
- Maui Brewing Coconut Porter
- Oskar Blues Death by Coconut
- Dogfish Head Lupu-Luau
And the issue has always been the incredible timidity of coconut. When someone says coconut, I think of things like coconut slices, bounty bars, coconut water with chunks – I want big unabashed, brazenly tropical coconut flavours. I basically want to be smashed in the face with coconuts.
Irish breweries have fared pretty poorly on this point with me, so when Porterhouse roll along with a beer called ‘Bounty Hunter’, a few things go through my head;
- They’ve some big fucking brass ones dangling with a name like that
- There better be fucking coconut in the beer
- If it’s not a bounty bar of a beer, I’m gonna be pissed off
If you’ve followed my beery ramblings over the years, I’m never one to mince words. I call it like I see it, & am honest with a level of brutality that were it a mode in a video game, it would cause the game to be banned as it would make Battle Royale look like Disney.
First off, kudos to the Porterhouse team for the branding – it is smart, they know it’ll earn them a cease-and-desist letter from Mars foods, which in turn will be some incredible PR for them for the price of some solicitors response letters (cheap when you really think about it).
Cracking this bottle open, you’re faced with their pull cap. Pull-top bottles irk me, sorry guys & gals at PHBrews, they do ….. yes, they’re unique to you in the market, but if they were any good at protecting beers really, Sierra Nevada would fire their entire R&D team, who have made beer bottle cap research a massive spend over the years. That mini-rant aside, toasted coconut & dark chocolate screams out of the bottle. Now, this, is promising.
Pour is lively-ish, & the head doesn’t hang about too long. I’ve stopped really giving a flying fiddlers about head retention in beer. I’ve seen so many pretty heads on beers that hide a glassful of galactic disappointment to last me a lifetime, I am forgiving on this point.
The smell is definitely dark-chocolate bounty, so kudos. The taste is toasted coconut without a doubt, & dark chocolate notes that aren’t overly bitter or earthy. It’s actually ridiculously crushable as a dark beer with these kind of flavours going on. And, I love this. It’s like their easter special truffle stout; that beer goes down without touching the sides.
This may actually be the first Irish craft beer with levels of coconut I can fully get behind, & tick all the boxes I want for a coconut beer. Incredibly enjoyable, & it really nails what it implies on its branding; bounty chocolate bar. They might be Marmite for you, but in the words of Bricktop, it’s like curry to a pisshead. And it really is the coconut tree’s nuts.