Langham Aegir (500ml bottle, 7.5% ABV)
When is a porter not a porter? When it’s a Baltic porter, BY THE BEARD OF ODIN!
Back in the mists of history, the countries round the Baltic Sea became rather fond of the strong, dark beers being produced in Britain, so they had a go at making their own. For the last century and more, these beers have been fermented cold, using a lager yeast rather than an ale yeast. So, black and thick they might be, but technically they’re lagers.
But when is a Baltic porter not a Baltic porter? When it’s a historic Baltic porter, because before the use of lager yeast, brewers used to make Baltic porter with ale yeast, just like a normal … erm, porter. This is the approach Langham have taken.
And the name? Aegir is one of the jötunn – a supernatural being in Norse mythology. His job is to represent the sea and keep the gods well supplied with beer, AS IS THEIR RIGHT, MORTAL!
Aegir is a thoroughly black beer, with a tan head. The malt is the star of the show, giving a pronounced sweetness to balance that generous alcohol. The hops are very much in the background as the flavours are dominated by liquorice, toffee and the smokiness promised on the bottle. There’s a certain amount of body (as there would be at 7.5%) but it’s surprisingly crisp compared to, say, an imperial stout. The finish is sweet, and the smoke builds up as you take more sips.
It’s a thoroughly satisfying drink – not as heavy as it appears, and bursting with flavour. MAY ALL WHO DISAGREE BE SMOTE BY THOR’S HAMMER!
Written by Richard Salsbury