London Velvet Porter Ale & Fine Cider $3.49 @ Bevmo

Once again, it’s been a little while since my last review so I decided to write one today on this bottle of imported beer: London Velvet Porter Ale & Fine Cider. Now, I’m not entirely sure where the “fine cider” part is supposed to kick in on my first few sips but whatever cider that was added to this beer certainly isn’t very apparent. But it might just be the case that this beer is past its “best by” date. Nevertheless, I bought it anyway knowing full well that it might be past “its prime” so to speak to get the fullest flavor out of this ale.

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The first thing that struck me when I popped off the cap was the heavy nutty smell. On my first sip, this beer definitely reminded me of drinking Newcastle but it’s a bit darker and it has a fuller mouth feel so far as texture is concerned. Unlike other beers I’ve tried so far, this is, interestingly enough, one beer that I would not characterize as “easy to drink” or “goes down smoothly.” Since it is a bit darker than a Newcastle and it does seem to have a stronger nutty flavor, it’s definitely a beer that I would say that you would probably want to have some water to cleanse your mouth with after a couple of sips. The “residue” that it leaves behind in your mouth is just, I don’t know, thick? Maybe thick might be the wrong word to use here but the taste, while not bad, does linger and every sip after the first just seems to add an additional layer on your palate. (Or, it might just be because it’s the summer here in California and everything just seems to stick to you when it’s hot).

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The good news is that the ABV is at a respectable 5%. I like beers that have a higher ABV because the alcohol content tends to add an extra bite to the flavor profile although in this particular case, since this beer is kind of dark and heavy on the nut flavor, the “bite” portion of the beer has been smothered. I can hardly feel like it in my mouth but I can definitely feel it when the beer hits my intestines and reminiscent “buzz” starts up.

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All in all, I think its flavor profile would be much more balanced if the best by date is still current but I just noticed that the best by date for this particular bottle was rated Dec 2015. Wowza’s! That’s nearly two years old and it’s still sitting on the shelf at the Glendale Bevmo! No wonder it’s on sale but hey, it’s not all bad. At the same time though, I can’t really get an accurate taste of its flavor profile since it is long past due.

Nevertheless, I think this beer is worth a shot, if only for novelty sake.
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