Welcome to the Drink in the Sights The Purple Panther Porter No5 from Hatherwood Craft Beer Company Beer review. Just when I thought I'd finished all the LIDL beers I came across The Purple Panther Porter no5 lurking in the back of my cupboard, I must have left it there a few months ago and then piled other beers in front of it. Whoops. The Purple Panther is brewed by Hatherwood Craft Beer Company, which is just the budget arm of the much better known Wychwood Brewery that brews exclusively for LIDL. The beer is a nice cheap budget offering, from a nice cheap budget brewery, supplying a nice cheap supermarket. Sadly so far most the LIDL beers have been quite bland, but porters are very much my drink of choice, so I'm hoping this will be a step up.
The Purple Panther comes in a 500ml bottle, with appropriately enough purple writing on the label. Hatherwood describe the beer as 'dark, silky and deeply delicious' with 'coffee roast bitterness at it's core. Speciality sugar adds a distinctive toffee flavour to this sleek and smoky malted porter.' For the most part that sounds pretty tasty, especially the smoky bit, I love smoky beers. Purple Panther has a 5% alcohol content which is a decent percentage for a porter, especially for a budget one.
The beer pours spectacularly. If it wasn't for the slight purple twinge it'd be jet black, while the head, which fades faster than I'd usually like is snow white. You could almost mistake this beer for a Guinness from a short distance away. The aroma is slightly odd, in that it smells more like a stout than a porter. There's a good level of roasted, smoky malts in the smell along with coffee beans and possibly a little chocolate. Maybe it's just that I've been drinking a lot of lighter citrus beers lately, but this one smells really good.
The Purple Panther isn't as full bodied as I expected, it's actually slightly watery, which is disappointing. The taste however more than makes up for that. There's enough of a smoky taste to make it interesting, but not enough to overpower the coffee taste mixed with hints of toffee, which is an interesting mix. Hatherwood pull it off though. There's a good level of bitterness, but to me it still feels more like a stout than a porter, that's not a problem, it's just a little confusing. I'm going to give The Purple Panther Porter no 5 from Hatherwood Craft Beer Company 7.5 out of 10. This really is a very good cheap dark beer, it ticks all the boxes, but just doesn't stand out enough to rate more than 7.5 plus I still think it's a stout really.