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14 November 2013

Beers of the moment: Whitewater vs Whitechapel

Or Dobbin vs Porter, Kilkeel vs Kent, Ireland vs England if you like... Described as a "ruby porter style beer," which does pretty much sum up Clotworthy Dobbin (5.0% abv, £1.79 a bottle I think in Asda Northern Ireland stores and widely available elsewhere over here) brewed by the Whitewater Brewery found a little inland from Kilkeel in the southern Co. Down countryside. Not quite as rich and dark as a full-on stout but definitely in that malty 'porter' ilk, smoother perhaps too. Surprisingly nice with curry actually. I also like that short and sweet ingredient list - malt, barley, hops, water, yeast - i.e no unnecessary rubbish in it for a change. Whitewater produces a good range of various beer styles overall from Belfast Lager to this one to maltier still.

Well-known, and probably much larger Kent brewer Shepherd Neame makes ASDA's 'Extra Special' Whitechapel Porter Ale (5.2% abv, £1.80), which is lush and chocolatey with attractive bitter-sweet finish. More quaffable than say Guinness, and more interesting perhaps with a different array of flavours. Just about works with (dark) chocolate, this is a tasty slow-sipping by-the-radiator ale that would go well with winter stews.

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