There is an appley cider sourness to the aroma, which bridges over to the palate; the tasting notes for the beer say vanilla and coffee and that is what I would expect from a beer billed as a strong dark porter — and then I think Brett? However, it’s still and viscous even though its end of life date is only next summer and the abv is 7.5%. Perhaps it’s meant to be still, but the stillness means initially that all the flavours hang separately; a wardrobe of badly picked colours and shaped, nothing that you would want to wear at the same time. It’s just I would like carbonation to be the wardrobe mistress.
Those were my first impressions.
As time takes hold, takes me by the hand, there is a character and a cough and toughness to this beer that really makes me want to explore it further — it couldn’t any further from Box Steam’s other beers. A toughened, leathery toffee/treacle character that has pepper in the background and roast ground coffee beans that have been left for some time to lessen the freshness of the coffeeness, which is fine as I wasn’t expecting a big coffee hit; then here they are, the mellow vanilla notes are a nice big hug from someone close to you. It’s not overly sweet and the Brett is a delightful surprise but then I wonder if it is deliberate? Definitely Brett and it works pretty effectively with the vanilla and cocoa notes. It’s an interesting and exciting beer that nudges me like an over-ignored Tasmanian Tiger eager to go for a walk. Thank you Box Steam for sending this beer to me — I did think I knew what to expect but I am glad my expectations were confounded. Oh it’s called Evening Star and I think it’s rather special.