Flower Pots Cheriton Porter (500ml bottle, 4.2% ABV)

In the early 2000s I remember stopping off at the Flower Pots Inn while walking in the countryside around Cheriton and being impressed by their beers. They seemed to be very much confined to the pub, a small-scale operation, but in recent years they’ve become much more widely available.

You can buy their beer in a bewildering array of sizes: a 500ml bottle; a 2 or 4 pint takeaway jug; a 5, 10 or 20 litre box (a bit like a wine box); or – if you’re feeling galactically thirsty – a 36 pint ‘pin’ or 72 pint ‘firkin’. For their Cheriton Porter, I think I’ll stick to just the one bottle.

In the glass it has a colour that’s best described as jet brown, with the merest hint of head – a nod, perhaps, to the Flower Pots’ history of producing cask ale. A coffee and treacle aroma rises from the surface, and yes, it tastes of those things too, but it’s not at all heavy. In fact it’s surprisingly crisp and light-bodied for a porter. A hint of fresh hops finishes of the flavour nicely, and the aftertaste is dry and – that word again – crisp.

Given the drinkability, more than one bottle seems entirely feasible.

Written by Richard Salsbury

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