Beer from the crypt. All Hallows Porter 2009

It's Halloween. I was looking for some suitable beer in the cellar to mark the occasion. Halloween 2009, I brewed what I dubbed All Hallows Porter, which was ready to drink at about Christmas. Very nice it was too, by Jove. I remembered it today – a little wistfully, as this was the last brew I did. As I poked around in the damp boxes, I wondered if any was left. There was! So that, and a bottle of BrewDog/Stone Bashar I thought would do the trick and be a treat into the bargain.

With your own brews, it's a bit hit-and-miss how they keep over a month, let alone a year, but this has kept perfectly. A reassuring pfft and swirl of vapour as the cap comes off. Pours a dark ebony, just this side of Les Paul black, with a substantial cappuccino head. Aroma is chocolate mousse and it certainly tastes chocolatey with a delicate roasted maltiness that tails off into that silky chocolate mousse again in the finish. I'm very proud of this – I don't think I've brewed a better beer. Just the encouragement I need to get the gear out again. Perhaps I should make this an annual brew, but this year's would be a Guy Fawkes Porter.

If I brewed it again, I wonder how I would tweak the recipe. Things in my beer world have changed so much since I brewed the All Hallows Porter. Perhaps some dry hopping and a touch more roasted bitterness would move it towards the Bashar, with its earthy, hoppy backbite.

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