The final throwdown

blackberry porter

The dark horse of the fruit beer series — in terms of colour, if nothing else.

The Specs: Cannery Brewing (Penticton, B.C.) Blackberry Porter
6 per cent ABV; 650mL;  regular series

The problem with reviewing a really good beer is sometimes all you want to do is yell about the one facet you love.

So what’s the thing I love so much about this blackberry porter?

“It’s purple.”

Well, no, not literally purple, as you can see in the photo. But there’s no other word for me that better describes the taste.

That should be a bad thing. Purple traditionally means cough syrup and grape Tylenol and Grower’s Orchard Berry (which I rag on unduly, considering I want to make Phoebe do a taste test of the stuff one of these days…)

But here purple gets to make up for past sins. This is a beer with a deep, rich purple finish that’s all berry.

Like a raspberry beer, the blackberry is quite tart, but I’d say the berry flavour here is more robust than what I’ve experienced with most craft berry beers — in keeping with blackberries themselves, which I’ve always thought of as more of a punch-you-in-the-mouth fruit than their red contemporaries.

The berry note here is jammy and round, the way fruit flavour might present in a really good red wine. Purple.

It’s a beer that benefits from a slow, considered sipping over conversation, in part because the jam notes will stay distinct even if your palette’s like mine and not that great after the first five tastes.

Unlike most of the beers in the fruit beer throwdown, this one doesn’t need a hot summer day and a patio for maximum enjoyment, either. I can see this being very nice at the end of a long day in late October or November, when you’re looking for a gentle reminder of summers past.

[For those of you wondering, that’s right, the fruit beer reviews are at an end. For the next while I’m going to pick things based on my usual metrics of ‘something shallow about packaging’ and ‘ooh, what’s that?’]