Review: Vancouver Island Nanaimo Bar Porter

I've sampled a wide variety of Porters and Stouts over the years, and more recently flavoured ones but one that I'm surprised I've never had before was a Nanaimo Bar-themed beer. If you've never had a Nanaimo bar, you can find out all about it on Wikipedia.  I was never fond of Nanaimo bars growing up as I found it way too sweet but my dad absolutely loved it to the point that the only time of the year he's allowed to eat it is at Christmas time, which is generally the only time of year it's easily available in Manitoba anyways. It's fitting that the very first Nanaimo themed beer I've ever had just happens to be by Victoria's Vancouver Island Brewing, located only an hour and half from Nanaimo!

From the can: Once voted Canada's favourite confection, there are few things more island than the Nanaimo bar. Decadent and sweet, featuring flavours of graham cracker, chocolate, coconut, and vanilla. This dessert Porter is our homage to that world famous treat from Edith Adam's 1953 prize cookbook. 6.2% ABV

Appearance: Thick, dark, very dark brown with a bit of a cola hue to it. The head has a yellowish cookie dough appearance to it, moderate amount of thickness that leaves behind a very layered lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Lighter on aroma than I was expecting but decently desserty nonetheless. The first thing I get is a moderate milk chocolate sweetness to it, followed by a bit of a nuttiness that I can also describe as a bit of a toasted coconut aroma at the same time. I don't really get a graham cracker presence to it, rather more of a tea time butter cookie.. but it doesn't really help that I just ate a bunch of Leclerc's Célebration cookies moments earlier. Light amount of vanilla, hint of creaminess.

Taste: Creamy right from the first sip, notes of chocolate, some sort of nuttiness but definitely reminiscent of the peanuts used for Nestle's Drumstick. Light presence of toasted coconut and a bit of a butter cookie presence. Mild bitterness from the malt that gives it a bit of a burnt peat-like aftertaste to it. 

Overall Thoughts: Solid Porter with a creamy milk chocolate presence to it, notes of toasted coconut, a hint of vanilla and a good nuttiness to it. Coconut can be obnoxious in most beers but it's subtle and actually enjoyable. One thing I would've liked to see is much more of a custard-like presence to it as I felt like it was completely missing that aside from the hint of vanilla. Smooth, desserty and decent homage to the great Nanaimo bar.

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