It's been a while since we visited Park Lane, and I was pleased to see they've expanded their "rotating taps" list, now with 5 beers, plus a cask selection. As much as I was looking forward to the nitro Porter, I was tempted by some of the other selections. Well, maybe I'll have a second beer...
The Breckinridge Vanilla Porter poured a deep chocolate color with a think mocha head, with the attractive nitro carbonation slowing rising to the top. This was a very handsome looking beer. I could hardly restrain myself while Colleen grabbed a photo. The aroma is very faint, with vanilla and milk chocolate notes. The flavor is mainly sweet milk-rich coffee and vanilla. The mouthfeel was extremely smooth and creamy. The beer goes down easily and quickly. At just 4.7% ABV that's not a problem though.
I've had this popular beer before, both from a bottle and a standard tap. I've found it a touch too sweet for my tastes typically. It's not a beer I could drink more than one of in a sitting. It seemed to me however the flavor this time was less cloying that I recall. Perhaps that's the effect of the nitro, but in any case it was quite tasty and indeed. If there weren't other beers to try, I would have had another!
In the food area, I had my mind set on Fish & Chips for dinner, planning to combine it with the nitro-poured Porter for hint of Ireland. (I've sworn off Guinness in the U.S. after enjoying it in Ireleand.) However, Park Lane was featuring a Wild Game Bangers and Mash entrée that was especially tempting. The bangers were made with elk and venison. So I switched food plans and went that dish. I'm glad I did. The meat was very tasty, as was the accompanying "mash" and other vegetables.
To go along the Bangers & Mash I ordered a pint of Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale. This reddish-copper colored ale had a rich caramel malt flavor enhanced with subtle spices. The spiced ale was a very nice compliment to the herbs and spices in the sausage. Colleen and Checkered Flag both ordered glasses of the cask selection, New Holland The Poet. Poured into a large snifter, the from-the-cask serving came out at just the right temperature. (Sadly, I've accepted the fact that most beers served in America are set out too cold and require patience before enjoying.) I stole a
couple few many sips from Colleen's glass. This Oatmeal Stout was rich in roasted coffee and copious oatmeal, along with a hint of citrus hops in the background. I may have to order this one for myself next time.
We had a very enjoyable evening at Park Lane. We're frequent, but not regular visitors to the pub, but it seemed to me they've stepped up their beer game a notch, and my entrée was one of the better meals I've enjoyed there. Oh yea, those infamous "kilts"? They seem to be gone. I realize the "mini" kilts on the girls were a gimmick, but neither those nor the usually-too-long kilts on the guys were very authentic. The black pants on most of the employees we saw this week gave a much more professional look. I can't say I will miss the "kilts." I do realize from reading the comments on the Facebook that I'm probably in the minority with that opinion. I look forward to visiting again and seeing what happens next.