Category Archives: Porter

Badlands Brewery 2017 ‘The Gloaming’ Baltic Porter

Rating:

24993541_784105191773628_8438053430271282624_n“Each year we re-imagine The Gloaming with a new key ingredient. In 2017 roasted hazelnuts from iconic local growers, Fourjay Farms, have been introduced to the brewing process. As a luxurious addition, freshly harvested black truffles, unearthed just minutes from the brewery, join the infusion. “The Gloaming” is that period of the day between sunset & pitch black – this beer takes you to the edge of darkness but doesn’t push you over.”

Cool swing top bottle here. We popped and served in a beer tulip. Nice and deep cola colour with a thumb of light tan head perched on top. Retention is OK with a healthy lace clinging to the walls of the glass.
We’re taking in some rich and roasty aromas here. Tonnes of nutty malt, cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, fig, vanilla, mushrooms, earth and coffee. She definitely displays some of those quintessential Baltic porter aromas too – think metal, subtle smoke and hints of molasses and prunes. Very well layered aroma here.
The flavour profile isn’t as rich and hard hitting as we’d hoped. In saying that though there is a big earthy character upfront which leads in to mild cherry, dark chocolate and molasses midway. The lightly roasted nuts are introduced as it rolls in to a relatively soft, dry and roasty finish which shows some good length on the back end.
The texture is smooth as silk but maybe a little too lean, especially now as it warms. Very well concealed ABV (7.3%). Little to no bitterness. Medium body and co2.
We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were expecting a bit more from this. It has been dressed up to perfection but for 26 bucks a bottle it hasn’t overly impressed us. Good but not great.

Ocho Beer ‘Lusty Winter’ Porter

Rating:

24177168_778622405655240_2045173796676207320_n“A thundering great Baltic Porter with dark malty character and a winey, bittersweet finish..This is a Baltic Porter of Shakespeare proportions.”

Served in an English pint. It hits the glass with a slightly penetrable black hue. It generates a short tan head that slowly peels back to a film. Some fine lacing as we go.
There’s certainly a few interesting scents here. It all works off a solid base of roasty and bittersweet dark malts but the most noticeable aroma would have to be this sweet candy-esque scent….maybe marshmallow? There’s definitely a raw coffee bean accent to it as well but it’s not your typical robust Arabica or Italian espresso, it has a sweetness to it which reminds us of the Indonesian Kopi Lowak variety which is known more for its post-digestive process! Unique.
Similar traits in flavour too. It’s working off that roasty/toasty malt structure in to a sweet musk and or marshmallow note. Again that sweet but raw coffee bean comes through along with an assertive hop bitterness in support. Nice carry in to the dry, bitter and roasted finish. Showing some decent legs as well.
The texture is dry, bitter and a little sharp. Booze weighs in at 7.3% and doesn’t really try to hide it either. Medium body and co2.
Look the candy and semi sweet coffee notes are a good touch but it just falls short on wowing us. It ain’t a bad porter by any means but is it memorable?…probably not. Keen to try more from their range though.

Wayward Brewing Co ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Hopped Porter

Rating:

24059224_777632115754269_1768441335391367296_n“Is it a porter or a black IPA? Using malt as dark as the soul of the beast gives The Cowboy its deep mahogany hue, juxtaposed over an aroma of hops that tradition might say belongs not in a Porter but in a beer of a sunnier disposition. The Cowboy laughs in the face of convention, preferring the company of those whose minds have been enlightened by the everlasting wisdom of Ninkasi.”

Served in an English pint. It hits the glass with a cola hue and a loosely packed two finger head on top. Retention is good though, but in saying that the lacing is sparse, wet and streaky as it follows.
The brewers certainly aren’t lying when they say this is a “hopped porter”. The nose displays distinct black IPA characters with its bold and roasty malt structure underneath a piney and citrus-laden hop profile. It fills out with a lovely blend of milk chocolate, cocoa, toffee and subtle charcoal. Nicely layered aroma indeed.
The flavour is similar to the aroma in terms of that well struck balance between roasty malts and citrusy/piney hops. Although it seems to lack that density the aroma possesses. Some fleeting hints of chocolate and a bit of cocoa powder here and there as well. The finish is well balanced with a subtle roast riding the dry and bitter hops to the back palate.
Due to the indecision between a black IPA and a porter the mouth feel appears to cop most of the blame. It becomes a little thin and slippery as it warms. Still, the delicate bitterness and co2 holds it up.
It’s a pretty decent drop. There’s a couple of things that detract but essentially it’s an enjoyable porter that has been simply spruced up with an extra helping of U.S hops. Not bad.

Buxton Brewery Guatemalan Coffee Extra Porter

Rating:

23167642_768031066714374_7755092353853996744_n“This edition of Buxton’s Extra Porter features Guatemalan coffee beans roasted at Has Bean Roastery in addition to the usual charge of cacao nibs and vanilla.”

Served in an English pint. Just about impenetrable black in appearance with a thumb of brown foam perched on top. Head retention is good, leaving a smattering of lace as it subsides.
It’s simply awesome how two things are just meant for each other – peas and a pod, man and woman, bacon and eggs, coffee and dark beer! This hedonistic fusion is nothing new bit it ever fails in providing pure satisfaction. We get raw coffee bean, vanilla, cacao, chocolate, coconut, brown sugar and hint of nutty malt and it’s enough to take us to pleasure town! Simple but magnificent aroma.
Wow. The coffee is no longer playing around once it hits the taste buds. It’s raw, bitter and bold as hints of short black, burnt chocolate, roasted malt and a dry woody tone comes forth. The intensity is upheld really well, just allowing a hint of vanilla and roasted coconut to counteract the bitterness. Nice and roasty finish – dry, bitter and assertive with a lingering espresso note in the tail.
She’s creamy in texture but also quite bitter and a little prickly. Just a touch of warmth from the 7.4% ABV. Medium body and co2.
That’s a damn fine drop. We highly recommend to anyone who loves dark beer and coffee. It’s rich, bitter and roasty but well balanced by the subtle vanilla and coconut. Brawny, boozy and not for the faint hearted that’s for sure. Delicious!

Omnipollo/Buxton Original Rocky Road Ice Cream Porter

Rating:

22780220_762307777286703_6731028465124056034_n“Part of Omnipollo/Buxton Original Ice Cream Series that took off in 2014. This is a pecan caramel Porter brewed with caramel sauce, vanilla and lactose. Delicious.”

Served in a snifter. Pitch black appearance. The pour stirs up a short brown head that gradually dispersed. It settles to a ring which still manages to deposit a healthy lace as we imbibe.
Really getting those marshmallow and chocolate notes punching through. Picking up a strong scent of peanuts with undertones of coconut and subtle cherry as well. Plenty of vanilla and caramel sweetness, assorted nuts and molasses to tie it all together. Hitting that rocky road note nicely.
Flavour wise….we’re not so sure. All of those true marshmallow, cherry and chocolate aromas seem to take on a more artificial and slightly cloying flavour profile. The booze (10%) is injected with ferocity which unfortunately further supports the artificial character. We also get a slightly salty note too….which is a little weird. Nice finish though, good amount of roast, bitterness and sweetness.
Quite a dense and rich feel in the mouth, low co2, medium-full body and well warming. Certainly isn’t as accommodating as the Noa or pecan pie.
Yeah we’re not completely sold. The rocky road qualities come through well on the nose but not so much in flavour. It’s a bit boozy as well but it’s an imperial so that can be excused. Considering the quality of the rest of the ice cream range this one doesn’t really compare. Probably more on the same level as the ice cream pale ale. Good but not great.

Cupitt’s Whey Porter

Rating:

22554812_762305630620251_4936549119854632730_n“A full bodied Porter brewed using lactose rich Whey from Cupitt’s Fromagerie. The palate is smooth and creamy, with nice roasted flavours and a sweet, milk chocolate finish.”

Served in a beer tulip. Pours quite a dark cola hue with a fizzy two finger head that collapsed to a ring almost immediately. Lacing is scarce and spotty as we imbibe.
Very sweet and creamy initially, definitely getting the lactose, vanilla and whey characters leading out. There is a good balance being struck here though, picking up a firm roast, dark chocolate and coffee with a kind of syrupy caramel and or toffee undertone. Really liking this subtle but aromatic fusion of sweet milk sugars and dark roasted malts. Lovely aroma.
There’s a nice transition on to the palate. All of those sweet and creamy milk sugars, vanilla and whey characters are offset by the dark, lightly roasted malts which offer a delicious blend of coffee, chocolate, caramel and cocoa….almost has this chocolate milkshake quality to it. The booze is low (4.2%) which further supports that impression.
The texture is light and slightly fizzy with medium-high carbonation. Mild-moderate body, slightly short in length.
This brewery has only been in operation for a short time, more widely known as a winery, a fromagerie and a great place for food even before the word brewery is mentioned. They must be super busy because if they can also pump out a delicious range of beers then they literally have all bases covered! Kudos Cupitts.

Omnipollo/Buxton Original Texas Pecan Pie Porter

Rating:

22195508_755398857977595_520070486629531753_n“Part of the Buxton/Omnipollo ice cream beer series, Texas Pecan is a pecan caramel porter brewed with vanilla and lactose.”

Served in a snifter. It hits the glass with a pitch black body and forms a short brown cap on top. The head fades to a ring with reasonable lace work as we indulge.
The aroma is absolutely divine! Like liquefied chocolate and pecan pie in a glass. It’s got sweet and nutty overtones for days with that feature pecan centre stage. There’s endless back up from bittersweet dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee to marshmallow, milk sugars and caramel. The booze is there but it’s ultimately well disguised. Brilliant.
And it all rolls right in to the flavour profile too! Mouth-watering waves of pecan pie, vanilla, caramel, nutty malts, lactose and cocoa flow majestically from the front and through the mid palate. It hits a super sweet syrupy note as the warming booze is injected. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee and mild roast then finishes it all off in style.
The mouth feel is dense but surprisingly silky considering the 10% ABV. Medium-full in body. Really warming and well rounded, lovely stuff.
This is our 2nd crack at Omnipollo and Buxtons ice cream series and it has just set the bar very high! The pale ale, although decent, was a tad underwhelming and has nothing on this delicious and slightly hedonistic porter. Seriously impressive drop here folks.

Newstead Brewing Co ’21 Feet 7 Inches’ Porter

Rating:

21270845_743875405796607_3851977415781873708_n“Murky, silty and black as your hat. Chocolate and coffee flood the palate. Toasted malts are the heroes, with noble hop aroma and spice filling in around the edges. Oozing with creme this smooth Porter is perfect for quaffs on the river. Or in it.”

Served in a snifter. Pouring a relatively impenetrable black colour with a short tan head over the top. Seeing some spotty and slightly wet lacing as it ebbs.
The aroma offers some pretty decent depth. We’re picking up lighter scents of milk chocolate, cocoa powder, cherry, toasty malt and mild coffee but it gets its real depth with subtle notes of peat, licorice and molasses. Quite the surprise package actually, with low ABV (5.2%) and no feature additions it presents as a pretty solid traditional porter.
The flavour profile follows the nose with light toasty malts and milk chocolate that moves in to a delicate coffee note backed up by a soft hop bitterness in the middle. The finish is nice and roasty with a touch of dryness in the tail.
The mouth feel is well balanced between the smooth silky malts and the dry bitter hops. Just the right amount of carbonation to give it that lift. Medium body. Quite the sessional porter we have in front of us.
Very much in the conventional style. Very well balanced and sessional which isn’t easy to achieve with dark beers. Good thing we picked up a six pack then! Firm offering from Newstead here.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co Salted Caramel BBA Porter

Rating:

20768201_735329456651202_8487172828871458150_n“This slightly sweet porter is brewed with select additions of crystal malts and sea salt to create flavors of peanut brittle and caramel without being cloying. The medium body and mouthfeel lay the perfect foundation to support the rich vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors imparted by extended aging in Wild Turkey® barrels.”

Served in a snifter. Hitting the glass with a deep brown hue and topped off with a wispy overlay that reduced to a halo. Laces well, posting a set of rings down the walls of the glass.
Not quite the big, sweet and bourbony aroma we were predicting, not even seeing a great deal of conventional porter characteristics either. As it settles in the glass the delicate caramel begins to creep through with the dominant woody oak and slightly tart and or salty umami accents most discernible. It’s safe to say that the aroma is a massive let down.
We can’t work out where they’re going with this flavour profile. We can certainly taste the oak and the hints of bitter chocolate but the whole ‘salted caramel’ feature is grossly exaggerated. Same goes for the bourbon flavour – very subtle with hardly any impact. What we keep tasting is mild chocolate and a slight salinity that moves in to a light roasty finish with a trace of bourbon sweetness in the tail. Pretty decent length we’ll give them that.
Nice and full-ish in the mouth with a kind of salty/mineraly texture. Well concealed 6% ABV with medium co2.
Extremely disappointed here. This porter looked a million bucks on the shelf but has only produced a tenth of that. We hate to say it but it’s weak, misleading and unconvincing. What a shame!

Murray’s ‘Frankie’ Best Extra Porter

Rating:

20638168_732747673576047_594292114244897072_n“Murray’s ‘Frankie’ Best Extra Porter was created in our Bobs Farm ‘laboratory’ through chemistry and alchemy! This beast-size bottle contains the richly dark brown spectre of roasted chocolate and full bodied maltiness from British Maris Otter base malt. An extra helping of East Kent Goldings hops perfectly sutures the balance of this monstrously good winter warmer.”

Served in an English pint. Deep brown in colour with a short beige cap that reduces to a halo. A decent lace is managed despite the lack of head.
It smells like a traditional English Porter and the ingredients definitely back up that assumption. There’s plenty of roast about it but the nutty and kinda earthy notes really bring the central character. Mild coffee and chocolate notes are detectable along with undertones of spicy aniseed and vanilla bean. Traditional with a twist..maybe.
The flavour packs quite a punch. The alcohol (7% ABV) is the first subtraction from our initial thoughts of a traditional porter. Although in saying that there’s plenty of earthy hop and malt flavour, nutty and bready overtones and a suggestion of toast and mild coffee that develops nicely. A healthy display of bitterness rounds it out and adds length on the back palate.
The texture was somewhat light and effortless with medium body. Slightly raised bitterness with active co2.
We’d admit we’re a little conflicted here. We feel that at its core it wants to be a traditional porter but the boosted ABV and what seems like slightly heavy-handed hopping appears to clash a little. Can’t take points away from it because it still is a well tasty porter but it’s neither here nor there for us.

Mountain goat ‘Silence of the rees’ coconut porter

Rating:

imageThis is an In Breed beer, whereby we let a single brewer create something uniquely their own. This is Alana Rees turn. Five malts plus flaked barley give it a smooth, complex mouthfeel. Then the coconut, vanilla and cacao round things out. Perfect winter drinking.

Poured into a snifter, we see a mat black body with a 10-15mm tan coloured, tightly packed head that retains gloriously. Decent carbonation seen bubbling up to the undersurface of the head that makes it look lik it’s growing around the rim of the glass. Initial aromas of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, nuttiness, caramels, and some mild vanilla pod and booze. First sip is heavier than the aroma. Big roasted/charred malts, sweet caramels, vanilla spice, more nuttiness from the coconut with mild to moderate only bitterness. Body is moderate with luscious, almost creamy mouthfeel which has nice length on the palate. Carbonation doesn’t overpower and there is a little tingle on the tongue with each sip. 6.3% Alc vol here and that seems apt for a porter. We don’t get too much booze burn. There is a touch of heat though. We are enjoying the balance of flavours mid way through this brew. The sweetness of the malts blends nicely with the bitterness from the hops and cacao. The spice of the vanilla tingles the tonsils and the nuttiness of the coconut adds a fullness in the mouth. It’s almost buttery. Virtually no lacing on the glass here as we near the finish line. This is a tasty porter. It’s ticks all box’s. Toasty, nutty, spicy, with a nice balance of sweet and bitterness. Good effort.

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Balt Action’ Baltic Porter – Oak Editon

Rating:

image“A high alcohol sweet version of a robust porter whose style originated in the Baltic states. Fermented as a dark lager with a rich malt profile and a soft roast. This batch was fermented on French oak for added complexity.”

Served in a beer tulip. Impenetrable black appearance that’s topped off by a two finger head. It gradually reduced and settles to a fine overlay with random patches of lace clinging to the glass.
She’s certainly displaying a bit of funk on the nose. It’s quite interesting because on one hand we have this slightly tart slightly funky apple pie aroma and on the other we have an oak-influenced cherry ripe chocolate scent. Subtle hints of dark malt and chocolate are here but you’ve really got to get deep in that glass to uncover them.
The texture is light for a porter with that Bacchus trademark Co2. The 9.8% ABV is ridiculously well hidden with the body weighing in around the medium-full mark.
The flavour is quite complex. Definitely getting that subtle vanilla accent from the French oak. On top of that is this sweet and somewhat sugary note, kind of like prunes and or dates. That sweet texture leads on to an earthy and somewhat figgy finish with boozy and raisin notes carrying through to the back palate.
Tough one to review, a lot of nuanced flavour that can easily be interpreted differently. Not a great deal of actual Baltic porter-like aroma and flavour but we definitely have to give points for complexity and drink ability. Ultimately we aren’t that crash hot on it. Plenty of other better beers in his stellar range.

Deschutes Brewing ‘Black Butte XXVIII’ Birthday Reserve

Rating:

imageCocoa, vanilla, pleated malt, sweet orange peel..50% barrel aged in Bourbon and Scotch. The result is our 28th anniversary imperial porter.

Poured into a pint glass we see mat black with a 10mm tan head which retains well. There is minimal carbonation seen. Quite oily on the pour. No lacing seen here either due to the oily nature. Aroma is heaven. Rich barrel aged scotch/bourbon dominates with an interjection of chocolate sweetness, jaffa, smattering of vanilla essence, smoke from the peated malt, and minimal to moderate alcohol which is a lovely sign. First sip is everything we hoped for. So smooth on the palate. More whiskey bourbon, sweet chocolate that’s velvety, mild to mod orange at best, smoky peat malt. There is retrained bitterness here but we expected that given its a porter. Fullish body here and great length. There is a comforting booze warmth and we are impressed by the smoothness given its a toxic 11.6% Alc vol. There is a gentle booze tingle on the tongue. Did we say how balanced the flavours are? The oilyness of the body just glides down the gullet and the peat malt blends effortlessly with the barrel aging of scotch and bourbon. No lacing at all to be seen other than little blobs here and there. As this brew warms there is just a divine balance of smoke/peat, sweetness from chocolate, spice from vanilla which adds to the chocolate, and tart bitterness that hits with a good swig around the mouth. This porter is unbelievably good. We could drink it all night but we would be horrendously smashed. The alcohol is so contained..we love impressive brewing. All the flavours are there. Overall this is top shelf. We can’t fault it. Buy immediately.

 

 

Amager/Cigar City ‘Game Of Arms’ Imperial Licorice Porter

Rating:

18193966_683800108470804_8665873536026358749_n“This beer was originally brewed and released by Cigar City under the name “Top Roll”, apparently the name of a secret arm wrestling technique all employees at Cigar City must now learn to keep their job. All in the faint hope that maybe, just maybe one day one of them will beat an Amager boy. At Amager we shrug, and smile politely and wish them nothing but the best of luck.”

Served in a beer tulip. Jet black appearance with a short but very well retained cappuccino head. A fine overlay is established which leaves a spotty lace as it ebbs.
Smells like a stout, just a smidge lighter on the rich malts and overall density. All of those decadent roasty notes erupt out of the glass – coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, charred wood and beef jerky. The licorice component does come through albeit not as much as anticipated. Maybe just the slightest hint of peat and tobacco in here too. Oh man, sensational.
The mouth feel is interesting. Thick, dense and creamy but it’s kind of gassy…almost like it was poured with nitro. Excellent suppression of the 8.2% ABV. Just an inkling of hop bitterness forming late as well. Magnificent.
Dark fruits, coffee, cocoa and a slight suggestion of blueberries on the fore. The American influence starts to show through with a kind of leafy/grassy hop note through the mid. Again, just the mildest hint of licorice as it delivers a fairly dry and roasty finish with good length.
We’ve always been big fans of Amager but we wish we could see more of Cigar City down under. We knew when we saw these two world class breweries together for a collaboration the result would be incredible. And it was, so well structured and just down right delicious.

Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. Anniversary Ale 11

Rating:

17362441_663797757137706_3672993970232496696_n“This year’s Anniversary Ale #11, is a bit of a departure from the ones brewed in the past. Most of Murray’s previous Anniversary Ales have been firmly in the domain of English Barley Wines and Strong Ales. But this year we have produced a strong Anglo-Belgio Porter style beer that has been aged in Tasmanian whisky barrels.”

Served in a snifter glass. It pours an impenetrable black appearance with a thin wispy overlay. It quickly collapsed to a ring with scarce lace left on the glass.
For Murray’s 11th birthday the brewers have taken a different path and brewed an English inspired porter with additions of chocolate and Belgian candi sugars that has been barrel aged in Tasmanian whisky barrels. We know right, sounds way too good to leave on the shelf. That Belgian candi sweetness really pops as the rich, toasty notes are tucked right in behind. Really loving how the spicy and musky Belgian sweetness keeps evolving along with the plummy and subtle oaky characters. The sheer complexity on the nose is remarkable.
In the mouth it’s well weighted with good uplift from the Co2. The 10% ABV is evident but it’s dispersed well around the mouth, really costing the whole palate. A little oily in texture with a mild suggestion of tart acidity around the edges.
The Belgian flavours really lead from the front. We get the hallmark spice, fruity esters and musk followed by the rich toasty malts, oak, raisins and chocolate through the middle. It finishes with a drawn out candi sweetness that provides traces of oak, warming booze, licorice and a musty dryness that really sinks in to the rear palate.
This beer is super complex and we can only imagine what flavours will be uncovered when our 2nd bottle has a few more years on it. Until then…

Kereru Brewing ‘For Even Greater Justice’ Imperial Coconut Porter

Rating:

17191198_656127997904682_1882639898195718245_n“For Even Greater Justice, Imperial Porter (8.5%ABV) is the big brother of our popular 4.5% For Great Justice, Toasted Coconut Porter. Intense & chewy with bold notes of wood-fired toasted coconut, bitter chocolate, & mellow maltines.”

Served in a snifter glass. Black appearance with some very faint deep mahogany edges. It constructs a thumb of fizzy brown foam that reduced to a collar. It posts a nice set of rings as we indulge.
The nose is erupting with beautiful and rich aromas that include roasted coconut flakes, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate, subtle coffee and just the slightest hint of oak. It’s interesting though because it doesn’t say it’s barrel aged. Either way it smells like a liquefied bounty bar in our glass. There’s also an uncanny resemblance to Bacchus’s Lamingtonne (imperial lamington beer).
In the mouth it’s surprisingly smooth and accommodating. The 8.5% ABV is hidden and drinks well under its weight. Mild Co2, medium body.
The flavour profile boasts a delicious and somewhat creamy coconut with vanilla, chocolate and a hint of roasted malt at the forefront. As it warms the very subtle alcohol becomes more discernible, accentuating the mildly bitter chocolate notes in the process. Toasty coconut flakes, chocolate, cocoa and traces of coffee return for the well drawn out finish.
Tell you what it’s invigorating to come back to an excellent beer after that disaster of an imperial pilsner. As we mentioned previously it’s very similar to Bacchus’s lamingtonne so if you’ve had that and loved it (as we did) then you’re surely going to love this. Solid offering.

 

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Wake up Buttercup’ Specialty Porter

Rating:

16508104_641146812736134_675538717258221625_n“We have taken a traditional English Porter and added peanuts, chocolate and the finest cold steeped coffee beans. Think of Reese’s buttercup with a little coffee kick. We think the combination is divine.”

Served in an English pint. We’re met with the standard Bacchus pour: Fast reducing head that vanished instantly revealing the jet black liquid beneath. No lace to speak of.
The aroma is sweet, very nutty, slightly toasty and a bit earthy. It just wouldn’t be Bacchus if it didn’t have some sort of association with either a moreish dessert or a sweet chocolate bar would it?! In this particular case they’ve honed in on an all time American favourite – the Reese’s Peanut Butter Bar. They’ve done it well but for us it seems like an all too familiar mix between the Snickers ale, the peanut brittle Gose and the Ferrari rocher.
The texture is fizzy, highly carbonated and a bit too bubbly for a Porter. Very gassy. Moderate in body.
The flavour seems to lack some of the intensity that the aroma has. Traces of chocolate and nutty sweetness comes on but it’s hindered by the overzealous Co2. Hints of roasted peanuts, cherries, a suggestion of vanilla and toasty malt punctuate with a slightly dry note on the rear.
Hhhhmmmm. Not their best. We say that in full knowledge of what these guys are capable of. The aroma hits its mark but it goes a little astray in texture and flavour. Personally we don’t like our dark beer highly carbonated, for us a Porter is best when low in Co2 and high in body and viscosity. Of course, this is our opinion only. They’ve done better.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. ‘Mocha Marlin’ Porter

Rating:

16143200_634691170048365_3052111019516474958_n“Coffee and chocolate come together in this brew. Our Black Marlin Porter is the perfect beer for a mocha mashup. The addition of coffee and cocoa plays perfectly off the roasty, chocolaty flavors of this English porter, while a hint of vanilla smooths it all out. It’s full-bodied, but not too sweet; try it for breakfast…or dessert.”

Served in a beer tulip. This big fish pours an impenetrable black complexion that takes a full two fingers in head. It steadily retracts and deposits a thick and soapy lace as it ebbs.
The nose is heady but well balanced with good uplift from the mocha component. The cocoa and coffee is nice and direct with the roasted, nutty and subtle creamy accents pushing up in support. Undertones of marshmallow, meringue and rocky road add a subtle but gorgeous layer of moreish sweetness to the aroma.
The mouth feel is passive and surprisingly accommodating for what presents as such a brawny beer. A nice, silky texture meets a mild-moderate body with a somewhat energised Co2. Not bad.
The mocha flavours come on nicely upfront. They’re we’ll backed up too – nutty, roasted and slightly earthy malts are bolstered as it flows through the mid. Flashes of that creamy vanilla lead in to a silky and effortless finish which offers decent length in the tail.
It’s extremely difficult to expect anything sub par from Ballast Point, these guys continually roll out excellent beers and this is just another example. It just further confirms their position as one of America’s best craft brewers.

Oskar Blues Brewery ‘Hotbox’ Coffee Porter

Rating:

15232254_608531702664312_900817411381649220_n“This porter (6.4% ABV, 30 IBUs) is based on malt flavors of roasted nuts, crème brulee, cocoa, and caramel, extracted from English and German roasted and caramel malts. Hotbox Roasters then crashes the party and infuses potent, cold-extracted coffee from Burundi and Ethiopian beans and deals out flavors and aromas of dark plums, chocolate, and hints of blueberry.”

Served in a snifter glass. This offering provides a jet black complexion with a tightly held finger of brown foam taking shape on top. The head maintains quite well as it settles to a film with some patchy lace being shed as we imbibe.
The nose is absolutely superb. A brilliant balance between heavy roasted notes along with bitter espresso is countered by wafts of lactose, vanilla and milk chocolate. Hints of cocoa, mocha, licorice, toffee and a very subtle smoky character are all in support. A fine aroma – tough not to like what’s on offer here.
In the mouth it’s perfectly weighted with medium body, moderate Co2 and a smooth, velvety texture. The 6.5% ABV doesn’t show up one bit. Very pleasant for a dark beer.
There’s a nice follow on from the nose here. The front palate is treated to a well balanced marriage of bitter espresso along with sweet vanilla and a somewhat sugary/crystallised lactose. The silky smooth chocolate and nutty malts continue through the mid and round out on to a mild coffee finish with hints of chocolate and a creamy milk sweetness in the tail. Length isn’t too bad.
Oskar Blues do it again! The hook for this beer has to be its session ability along with its seriously addictive aroma and flavour. If there was one criticism it’d be that it was a little predictable in the end, it doesn’t push much further past the roasted malts, coffee and vanilla. Take nothing away from it though it was a bloody delicious Porter.

Evil Twin Brewing Co ‘Imperial Doughnut Break’ Imperial Porter

Rating:

15202489_606465116204304_5323987322559464476_n“Did the flavors of sugar and bitter sweet almonds and coffee in Imperial Biscotti Break also make you sentimental? Now we topped it off with insane amounts of doughnuts. This all time American favorite is making it’s way back into the spotlight and we at Evil Twin Brewing are not letting a tasty trend pass us by without taking it to the next level. Drink it with great gusto – Forza Doughnuts.”

Served in a beer tulip. The impenetrable black pour whips up a finger of dark brown foam that gradually retreats to a halo with some spotty but wet lacing left clinging to the glass. This behemoth ain’t about presentation…It’s about aroma and flavour and immediately the olfactory’s are all up in it with rich and super heavy notes of molasses, soy sauce, licorice, beef jerky and toffee. How these aromas translate into doughnuts we’re not sure, but who cares because once it settles in to the glass wafts of coffee and biscotti begin to open up with a nod to a different type of break….the coffee break! In the mouth it’s thick and syrupy with a chewy texture going on. The body is full and prolonged over the tongue as it meanders down the gullet. The initial flavour of this porter is complex and heavy but balanced with a thick, doughy sweetness (maybe the doughnuts coming in to play) that overlaps with molasses, coffee, nutty malts, dark chocolate and a very subtle salted caramel note. All of the flavours eventually convene on an indulgent, rich, syrupy and boozy finish that endures what seems like a life time on the back end.
Well if this is the kind of doughnut break Evil Twin are espousing then sign us up now! The sheer viscosity and depth of flavour showcased here is remarkable. At 11.5% it’s a slow quaffer and should be treated as so. Leave it out of the fridge for about 30 mins so it can come up to room temperature and reward those taste buds even more! Brilliant porter.