Viven Belgian (Smoked) Porter 7% abv
The terms ‘porters’ and ‘stouts’ seem to be interchangeable today. Porter now suggesting a trendier version of this dark drink. A few years ago, porter was a term used to refer to an old style of beer which had been replaced by stouts. As new craft brewers sought out old recipes many reintroduced this style of beer. Porters are characterised by being nearly black in colour with a roasted malt aroma and a chocolate, coffee and caramel flavour. They range in strength from an easy drinking 4% abv but can also be found as very strong Imperial Porters which range from 7% -13% abv.
Belgium has a long brewing tradition and has many distinct styles of beer. However as the craft brewing revolution took off, even Belgian brewers began to look outside of their own country for styles to emulate. Belgium now brews a number of stouts and porters and even American-style IPAs.
Viven Porter pours a very dark brown colour with a coffee and liquorice aroma. This is a very smooth rich beer with chocolate and coffee flavours coming through. Although it is listed on the Viven website as a smoked porter, the dominant flavour is roast barley rather than smoke. It is certainly not smoked in the style of a German Rauchbier. This is a beer to enjoy at the end of a meal although it could go well with a rich casserole. Viven Brewery was founded in 2003 in the town of Sijsele, near Bruges, Belgium. They brew a range of beers including Bruin, Blonde, Imperial IPA and Master IPA.
Belgium was the birthplace of the singer-songwriter Jacques Brel whose songs have been widely covered, particularly by Scott Walker. It was also the home of jazz musicians, Toots Thielemans, harmonica player and Django Reinhardt, guitarist. However the most famous Belgian musician of recent times was Plastic Bertrand (born Roger Jouret in 1954) who had a worldwide hit in 1978 with “Ca plane pour moi” which means everything is going well for me, literally gliding along. This song got to No 8 in the UK singles charts and was No 1 in France and Switzerland. Ironically Roger did not actually sing on the record which was recorded by the song’s producer Louis Deprijck. Roger was a classically trained musician who continued to record singles and albums up until recently. Pour yourself a glass of dark flavoursome Viven Porter and thrill to the energy and enthusiasm of Belgium’s punk icon as he mimes to Ca plane pour moi.