...Colorado, Maine, New York, Massachusetts...
This porter season thing is a little overwhelming - sure it's a whole season but there's supposed to be snow by Friday and I gotta get on to the imperial stouts, old ales and barleywines...and winter beers...and Christmas ales. You know I want to give each beer the thought it deserves but I have to get moving on the stash, too. I should live with Stonch's rule:
If I reviewed every new beer I tried, this blog would be little more than a collection of tasting notes. However, when something really grabs me, I tell you about it.But that only works when you can live the full Stonch lifestyle:
The landlord would only serve it in half pint measures. That sounds sensible, but didn't really help - I downed seven glasses with indecent haste. I reasoned that they were only 90p each, and it isn't often a beer like this is available from a freshly-tapped cask. Needless to say, it was a mistake...It's been a good weekend, but I am left feeling that single life can wear a man down. I think I might contact every girlfriend I've had since university and propose to them all. Hopefully one will accept and I can break this cycle...Ah, youth. He'll settle down. He'll find the day will come after a hard day wrestling paper at the desk will end with thoughts of just that one porter with the perfect tang followed by a snooze on the sofa. Porter has that attitude as far as I'm concerned. It's a bit like the tawny port or or East India sherry of the beer world - a bit of an old guy's drink, a comfort food.
- Black Bear Porter: from Maine's Sunday River Brewing Co., the inland division of the more coastal the Stone Coast line. This one pours mahogany with a rocky light mocha head and an inordinate amount of floaty-chunkiness. Plenty of dry cocoa and dark chocolate in the malt with a good softness to the water. Mid-bodied with some chalky richness from the yeast floaties. Sort of a cherry-almond aspect under the cocoa. No real tang to speak of but a good weedy touch on the hops that is almost tobacco. 10% BAer disappointment but they cite thinness that has nothing to do with what I have in front of me.
- Gorges Smoked Porter: the 2006 bottling from the Ithaca Beer Company. More cola than mohogany in colour with a quickly disappearing head that resolves to a thin beige rim, as shown in the middle. Very smoky to the nose - oily smoked herring comes to mind...but only because I really like oily smoked herring. I have also owned an accordion - deal with it. Excellent as the rauch from Bamburg smoked malt is there in the mouth but so is plenty of rich fruity malt, making for a smoky richy BBQed meaty effect. I like the concept. A notch lighter in body than the Black Bear but still plenty of heft still. A high rating from the advocatonians.
- Black Shack Porter: another from Wachusett Brewing of western Massachusetts, whose brews I have liked. The lightest of the bunch - but still not thin - with an interesting flour, black pepper and cola thing going on under somewhat inconclusive dark maltiness. Quite particular when placed next to these neighbouring brews. I don't think I have had a black malt running to black peppery brew before. The food matching potential runs rampant. 94% BAer approval though the low raters are instructive.
- Gonzo Imperial Porter: Finally, a big big porter from Flying Dog of Denver Colorado. A lovely cream sherry wave hit upon popping the top. Deepest inky mahogany with a fine dark mocha head. At 9.5%, concentrate of porter compared to the other three. Like sucking pumpernickel soaked in a little chocolate syrup and a little espresso. Minty hops, a smoky touch and a cream finish. Thick. By far most BAers approve as they should.