Afterburner Chilli Porter has the impenetrable black chocolate colour of engine oil from a beat up Datsun overdue for service. Oils from the chilli peppers make it hard to build more than a shallow head, but it holds up well enough with lively carbonation that carries a rich coffee aroma, ending with a sinus tingling grab of chilli. I sip. Smooth dark chocolate yields to stinging, lingering heat, not overpowering but definitely making itself known.
Brewed late June and bottled mid July*, Afterburner was conditioned gently through winter's loosening grip. Two heaped handfuls of fresh hot chillis. One in the boil, the other, vodka infused, in the secondary fermenter. Bittering hops only, no need to complicate things.
Afterburner Chilli Porter is a beer for supping and savouring, not necking and quenching. Try drinking one at the pace you'd down an icy lager on a hot day after mowing a parched lawn, and you'll be looking for a big chaser of cold yoghurt, like a butter chicken beginner trying the curry house vindaloo. It finds the mark as a nightcap, late on a cool August evening, like a liquid log fire leaving lasting glowing embers in your belly. A beer for finishing with, not starting with, for your toasted tastebuds will take some time to recover from this unsubtle assault. Anything short of Barleywine with a Tequila depth charge will taste timid after an Afterburner. Handle with care.
* Read all about it in Badass Beer: Afterburner Chilli Porter, Beerskins blog, 15 July 2016
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