As a lover of porters and all things maple I’ve had my eye on Nickel Brook’s Maple Porter for some time now.
I’m generally hesitant when brewers add sugar to beer, as I often find such concoctions overly sweet. However, I seem to have an unlimited tolerance for maple syrup.
Over the years this brew has had some mixed reviews. It was also a little pricey at $9.00 for a 750 ml bottle, so I never bought it.
This year the Burlington-based brewery opted to release it in a more convenient and reasonably-priced format, so I gladly picked up a couple tall cans for $3.00 apiece.
First off, I must say I love the label on this beer. It looks just like a can of maple syrup and instantly made be crave a stack of pancakes.
The beer pours out a solid black with a beige foam head, which receded to nothingness quickly.
The scent of maple syrup hits the nose intensely, as the sweet sugary notes rise up from the glass and dominate the aroma, with some coffee and roasted malt lingering in the background.
On the first sip it’s clear the maple is less intense on the taste buds — and that’s a good thing. No doubt this is a sweet beer, delivering shades of tiramisu as the sugary syrup blends with the beer’s roasted malt foundation. But as I work through the pint I find myself wishing for more maple.
After drinking and thinking some more on the maple levels I think the brewer may have got the balance right. A full glass of this beer went down pretty easy. And while the maple syrup was present in every sip along the way, I can’t say it was cloying. I could have easily popped open another can after finishing the first one.
But the maple flavour can get tired and most of the time I would probably prefer a regular, unsweetened porter. I’d love to see a maple porter with more of a roasted malt presence, or perhaps with some chocolate or coffee thrown into the mix.
If you like maple and porters, or are looking for a beer to pair with breakfast, Nickel Brook’s Maple Porter is well worth a try.
Brewer: Nickel Brook Brewing
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Beer: Maple Porter
Style: Robust Porter
Alcohol: 6% abv
Seasonal. Currently available at the brewery and LCBO stores around the province.
Have you tried this beer or other maple beers? What do you think?