What I'm drinking tonight: Phillips Brewing's "Odyssey" Nitro Porter!
The first thing I noticed, on opening the can, was the characteristic hiss of gas being released from deep within the can, much like Guinness. It pours to an opaque black colour, with a creamy white head that cascades away into the beer, much like Guinness! It is quite sweet, even for a porter, but not overly heavy. The first (and last) flavours noted are those of chocolate and caramel, with a smooth, only very slightly bitter nutty finish. As dessert beers go, this one is lightweight, not at all overbearing and quite a bit more drinkable than I was prepared for!
Now, about that Guinness-y gas release. I did discover, affixed to the bottom of the can, a small plastic device that released nitrogen bubbles, similar to the legendary floating widget found in Guinness Draught cans. The nitrogenation of beer allows for smaller bubbles, producing the thick, creamy head characteristic of both Guinness Draught and Odyssey Nitro Porter.
But it is important to note that despite its superficial similarities, Odyssey Nitro Porter is a very different beer from Guinness Draught, and a worthy treat for those who love the concept. Its flavour is not as strong as Guinness, and while that might make Odyssey less suitable for cooking a Guinness stew, it does make it more drinkable. At 5.0%abv, it's a little stronger than Guinness' 4.2%, but then again it's a Canadian brew and we just don't do light here!
I knew ahead of the purchase that Odyssey would be following in Guinness' footsteps, and honestly, I expected it to live in Guinness' shadow. On that last point I was quite mistaken. Odyssey stands up very well in its own right and, IMO, might be Phillips' best product to date!
About $4.40 in a 473ml King Can.
My rating: 9.5/10, excellent!
-=( T )=-
Link: Here's a video of Odyssey being poured correctly, maximizing the head cascade! (Vimeo)
Here's a look inside the can. The widget is glued to the bottom so it doesn't float and rattle around like the Guinness widget does. You can see a little notch in the northwest corner of the widget - that's where the gas comes out!