X Porter (“XP”) is a collaboration between Midtfyns Bryghus and Brouwerij De Molen of the Netherlands. The beer comes in a brown 500 ml bottle and is 8.0% alcohol with a best before date of April 15, 2015.
XP is a beautiful looking beer, an opaque black colour with a monster 3” chocolate milk coloured head produced with a slightly aggressive pour. The head lingered for about 5 minutes before settling down into a 1/8” cap of foam leaving some modest lacing in its wake. Its aroma is of black licorice, European style dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. The taste is best described as an overpowering combination of black licorice, bitter dark chocolate, bitter dark roast coffee and smoke. The first three linger on throughout the sampling and never clear…as a result I'm struggling to finish the bottle. XP's mouth feel is rich and creamy, reinforced by a soft carbonation and full body. The beer is quite heavy and more than one per sitting would be too much. Given the strong lingering aftertastes one bottle was one too many for Bucky's taste, despite the fact that XP does have several redeeming qualities. XP sells for $5.95 per 500 ml bottle
Having seen this beer on the shelves of his local liquor store many times, Bucky finally decided to give it a try. La Trappe Tripel (“LTT”) is a Trappist ale, but brewed in the Netherland's rather than Belgium. It came in a 750 ml bottle and was 8.0% alcohol by volume…not a clue how to read the date code on the back of K13J14. If anyone out there knows how to interpret this, please let me know.
After wrestling for a couple of minutes with the artificial cork, Bucky poured the almost-clear golden/amber coloured brew into his glass. Pouring produced about 2” of off-white head which lasted for about 3 minutes before giving up the ghost. The retreating head left some modest spotting and lacing in its wake. The beer's aroma was of yeast, banana and spice. The taste very much followed the aroma, proceeding from sweet light fruits including banana, to yeast, to a spicy finish with a very mild bitterness. Not quite in the same league as the ales from their Belgian brethren, but still quite nice. LTT was medium bodied with a well-suited level of carbonation and full mouthfeel. Selling for $7.50 per 750 ml bottle at the time of writing.