Sunday 25 November 2012


Transatlanticism n. The state of being in a long-distance relationship with another person over the Atlantic Ocean, for example, with one participant living in the United States and the other living in the United Kingdom, along with the emotions that accompany such a state, such as the desire of physical intimacy, melancholy and hope. Coined from the song of the same name by Death Cab for Cutie (source: Urban Dictionary).

I've no idea if David Bishop (@broadfordbrewer) named this beer based on the above, or if perhaps the meaning was derived from the marrying together of the two styles (London Porter and US IPA) it draws from. What I do know is that the beer was brewed specifically for a competition run by Rooster's Brewery in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire for Leeds home brewersAs I've acknowledged in previous posts, David has been hugely supportive of my own first steps into home brewing, and for me is the very definition of the friendliness that underpins the UK scene. As he explains in his post about it, "the beer is a hop forward porter, meaning that in the first instance I aimed to brew a Black IPA, made it too roasty (possibly) and viola!". 

To those who've tried some of David's brews, it will come as no surprise that the beer wowed the judges and won the competition. The judges noted that "the beer screamed HOPS at you from the glass. Bursting with juicy fruit aromas amidst a touch of coffee, backed up by a big hit of roasty bitterness". David's prize was to have the beer brewed commercially in collaboration with Roosters, who made it clear on the brew day that they wanted the scaled up version to closely match the flavours and aromas of the original brew. Fast forward a few weeks, and the commercial version of this beer hit the shelves of Beer Ritz in Leeds, where a whole case was sold in about 2 hours! Now, having been lucky enough to sample a few of David's brews in the past and having enjoyed everything I'd tried from the Rooster's brewery, this was something I had to get my grubby mitts on.

I placed an order (If you're quick, you can still grab some from their mail-order site here) and waited for it to arrive. I didn't have to wait long. The service from Beer Ritz was excellent as always and the bottle arrived at my door some 19 hours after ordering - impressive!

The beer pours an opaque black colour, although if you hold it up to the light, the edges turn a transparent dark golden brown. It had a thin magnolia coloured head that subsided quickly. The initial slow pour produced no head, so I switched to a more vigorous pour towards the top of the glass.  Holding the glass up for a sniff, I first picked up the pine and citrus (especially orange) notes produced by the Centennial and Cascade dry hopping, but swirling and sniffing more I was able to pick up a roasty smoky quality beneath the hops, with a distant hint of caramel. As a huge fan of the Black IPA style, it smells delicious. 

In terms of initial mouth feel, there was very little carbonation to speak of. If you hold the beer on your tongue, you get a subtle fizz that soon subsides. There's plenty of body to underpin the flavours, which start out with hints of roasted coffee before subsiding into a lovely fruity hop bitterness. The orange I picked up in the aroma carried through to the middle of the beer. I can see why this is described as a hop-forward Porter. It certainly had plenty of dark roasty flavour to support the description, but this is first and foremost a hoppy beer and the finish has the perfect amount of hop bitterness for me.

All told, I think this is a very good beer (it certainly disappeared quickly, despite being a large 750ml bottle!) but I feel more carbonation would make it a great beer. It's possible that the lack of carbonation may have been specific to this bottle. The good news is I ordered two, so watch this space!


  1. Cheers Andy, you are right on both counts with the name...I picked it as I love the album, but also as it was an attempt at picking up on the US/UK styles in the beer...hopefully a successful long distance relationship! Also spot on with with the comment on brewing a Black IPA, although the Roosters version was tweaked slightly to give it more body and Porter character with some brown malt and oats. I've since brewed my third attempt at a BIPA and think I've cracked it...I'll get a bottle to you for your musings :)

    Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for your comment David and for confirming the origins of the curious name! I must have a crack at brewing a BIPA soon as I really do enjoy drinking them.