Wayward’s Midnight Barley Cowboy is a limited release hopped porter.
This porter pours almost pitch black with just the lightest touch of brown. Wayward describe the colour as mahogany which is as good a description as any I can think of. The foam head is the colour of Coca-Cola bubbles.
Complex Malt and Subtle Hops
On the nose it promises a balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness. There’s some peat in the aroma, a certain smoked smell that draws you in.
It hits the tongue with initial sweetness before rounding out to a bitter-sweet dark chocolate. There’s a full bodied roast like bitter Italian espresso and some cinder toffee flavours.
While the hops are mostly providing a balanced bitterness, there’s a tiny hint of some other flavour in there. The lightest highlight of something fresh or citrusy underneath the more dominant and assertive malt-driven flavours.
The bitterness mellows to an extent that you can taste the impact of the hops but the lingering taste is more akin to a malted milk biscuit. The smoky peat flavours swirl around the roof of your mouth and nose but remain restrained and balanced.
A Modern American Style Executed Perfectly
Sometimes hopped porters fail because the hop flavours don’t match the drinker’s expectation of how a porter should taste but Midnight Barley Cowboy is executed very well.
At 6% ABV it’s definitely in the modern American style of porters rather than the traditional English design. That said, it would be perfect to sip away at a pint of this on a cold winter’s day but it doesn’t look like we’ll get the chance as it’s a limited release.
While you could pair it with something like a toffee cheesecake to complement the malty biscuit and toffee flavours, I think it’s just as enjoyable on its own.
The Wayward guys have really stepped it up a notch since their Camperdown facility opened and this is just another example of the great stuff they’re producing.
Wayward say that once Midnight Barley Cowboy is gone, it’s not coming back. So get down to the brewery tasting bar quick and hope that it’s still on. It’s worth the effort.
From: Camperdown, NSW
Beer style: Hopped porter
IBU: 50 IBU
Pair with: Toffee cheesecake
Have you tried this hopped porter? Why not leave a comment and share your thoughts.