After a very nice night out at Perennial Artisan Ales, where I had their Vermilion and Abraxas, we headed back to my friend Joe’s house. He dug into his beer stash and pulled this beer out. I checked my list and was amazed I had not yet tried this beer yet (despite my visit to the Oregon Brewers’ Festival, even having brunch at the Deschutes Public House before the festival).
Location: Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass, at my friend Joe’s house in St. Louis, MO.
Numbers: 5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs, 192 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: Pale, Carapils, Chocolate, Crystal, Wheat. Hops: Cascade, Bravo, Tettnang.
Appearance & Aroma: As you might expect, it was black in color and it had a pretty thick, foamy head that stuck around and left plenty of lacing on the glass. There was a roasty aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee.
Taste & Feel: The body was medium, and thanks to the foamy head, it had a slightly creamy, smooth mouthfeel. The flavors up front were semi-sweet with a roasty coffee-like malt flavor. In the middle, the roastiness was accompanied by hints of chocolate with the coffee flavors staying prominent. In the finish, there was very little hop bitterness, only a hint of bitterness from the roasted coffee flavors, and the coffee roastiness and dark chocolate flavors remained in the aftertaste for a bit.
Food Pairing: This beer had a nice amount of roasty, coffee, and dark chocolate like flavors, and even while drinking it, I was almost craving a piece of chocolate cake. I’d pair it with a chocolate dessert – either cake, brownies, or even ice cream – as the beer would add a complex, additional mix of coffee and roasty flavors to the pairing.
Overall Impression: With a slightly creamy, and smooth mouthfeel, it was pretty drinkable, and the roastiness of the beer, along with the coffee and dark chocolate flavors made it complex. These flavors were pretty balanced, as one did not overpower another. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer, a nice representation of the style, and one I’d probably recommend for someone who wanted to try a solid porter.