Wednesday 15 February 2012

Itchy Jimmy

The lovely Lisa picked up a bottle of Meantime's London Porter from M&S yesterday.

It's a cracking beer but looking at the label I felt an irresistible urge to start rubbing my chin. "Using 7 malts to create a historic recipe from 1750" it says. Now I know enough about beer history to know that doesn't sound right. Surely early Porters were made entirely from brown malt?

So I had a look at what Ron has to say on the matter and sure enough it's all there: the first porters were brewed from 100% brown malt but use of the hydrometer in 1770 showed that pale malt was much more efficient and lead to changes.

The black colour of the beer suggests to me that one of the malts is black malt, which was first produced in 1817, and the caramel flavour suggests crystal malt. Now I don't know when crystal malt dates from but I think it only became popular in the 20th century so it looks out of place to me in a 1750 recipe. Fortunately for me my taste buds aren't interested in beer history so they didn't make any fuss and just got on with enjoying the beer.


  1. Sounds dodgy though...should be recreate in any case

    Is it worth £10 for the Islay aged though?

  2. Certainly not for me, I can't stand phenolic Islay malts!

  3. I thought it was a very good beer but then my historical knowledge of beers and recipes is limited to a couple of home brewing book. Have you seen the Hospital Porter they did for M & S ? I can only find it online.

  4. Haven't seen that one, I'll have to send Lisa shopping again!

  5. The problem is that mre people will read the back label of a beer than ever read a blog or chapter on beer history, and then the myths continue...