Chilean beer: Retro’s Pub Bendgain Porter

This blog has thus far maintained a fairly specific focus on Bolivian artisanal beers and my own self-interested homebrewing exploits. But, over this Christmas break I had the chance to spend two weeks visiting Chile, and even though all my more vinophile friends insisted I try as much wine as possible, I couldn’t help but take every opportunity to try what’s on offer in Chile because there is an incredible depth and expanding breadth of small-scale, tasty beer available. Talking to the owner of Beervana bottle shop in Santiago, he opined that Chile has the potential to be the next Scandinavia of craft brewing in terms of quality and execution, and I’m inclined to agree.

So, for the next couple weeks I’ll focus on posting the reviews of the beers I had the chance to try, and I’ll be the first to admit I only scratched the surface. I’d love to go back!

Retro’s Pub Bendgain (Baltic?) Porter served in a stein at the brewpub in Ancúd, Chiloé, Chile. Came in an unmarked bottle with yeast dregs at the bottom.

Appearance: Brown and black body, clear with reddish tinges around the edge. Cappucino colored head that stocks around at one finger width the whole time.
Aroma: Banana bread with chocolate chips.
Taste: Sweet and roasty with some caramel up front, leading into a light pleasing bitterness that ends with a dry roasted aftertaste. Maybe a hint or sensation of something savory buried deep in there.
Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and warm as it goes down.

Overall, tasty, mostly balanced, and at 9% abv it’s strong and I was feeling it well before I dug into the biggest hamburger I’ve seen in South America (or anywhere, really). A great start.

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