There's a reason it's famous

Jim Lundstrom

Yes, I am partial to British beers. Some of the best are brewed by the Samuel Smith Brewery of Tadcaster, Yorkshire. They’ve been brewing since 1758, making it the oldest brewery in Yorkshire.

I was recently gifted a mixed six-pack from the brewery, and on a recent gloomy Sunday afternoon, I cracked open a Taddy Porter – officially called The Famous Taddy Porter on the label.

The very first sip I thought I tasted underneath everything butterscotch or even molasses. I hard to look at the website to learn that the ingredients list for Taddy Porter includes cane sugar. That must have been what I was tasting.

Other than the came sugar, the rest of the ingredients are traditional – hard water from the brewery well, sunk in 1758; malted barley; yeast. the hard, chalky (calcium carbonate) water is perfect for extracting color from the dark malt.

The origins of porter remains something of a mystery. It seems related to stout, the difference being that porter is made with malted barley and stout with unmalted roasted barley, hence the darker tones of stout.

It first appeared in English brewing records while King George I was on the throne in 1721.

But porter in general, and this porter in particular, is a nice dark ale that leaves a flavorful tang on the tongue. 

It’s black malt – aka patent malt – that gives this burley beer its color and pleasantly dark flavors. But pattent malt didn;t appear on the scene until a full century after porter’s first mention. something called brown malt was used in the earliest iterations of porter.

More than one brewer out there through research has come to the conclusion that porter was originally a sour bour – really a mix of an active beer and an aged “stale” beer. And so Dan Carey released New Glarus Old English Porter to very mixed reviews (I thought it was delicious when I was given a bottle back in 2017).

You won’t find any sourness in Taddy Porter. The tang I mentioned early might even be carbonation fizz exciting the palate while drinking this excellent mahogany beer.