Originally posted on January 9th, 2017
Wintertime is upon us and so is the time for dark beers, such as Porters, Stouts, Dunkles, and other various dark type beers. They warm you with thick rich high alcoholic flavored sips. Stone Brewing in Escondido California brews Xocoverza, 8.1% ABV, which is a milk stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Xocoverza started out in 2014 as a homebrewed beer that won Stones annual homebrew competition. Xocoverza was only to be produced one but due to popular demand they keep on producing it. Xocoverza is Stone idea of a Mexican hot chocolate. Xocoverza pours a quite black color with a thick two finger beige head that sticks around for a while and does leave some decent lacing. The aroma is ashy with a peppered spice and cinnamon note along with a very faint sweet vanilla note. Taste is ashy and slightly roasted at first then a bit of spicy and slight cinnamon comes on your taste buds with some very faint sweet notes. I know this is milk stout but I am not getting much of the common sweetness you get from milk stout. There is a nice roasted spicy note toward the back. Mouth feel is full with a nice spicy pepper coffee finish with much the same on the after taste but with a hint of sweetness and cinnamon. The fact that the spicy coffee masks the sweetness from the vanilla and coca rates Xocoverza an A-. The coffee characteristics are good on this beer, and that makes Xocoverza not have lower grade. This is a complex beer and isn’t for everyone, so I am kind of recommend this beer, but only with caution. I enjoyed it and I like dark spicy coffee beers. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Originally posted on July 4th, 2014.
During the summer time the store shelves are filled with light, fruity, hoppy, wheat and less malty beers. But one day I was in the grocery store and found a beer that you wouldn’t expect to find. This Southern Tier, Blackwater Series, Plum Noir, 8.0% ABV. This is an imperial porter brewed with Italian plums. Southern Tier also uses 2-row malt, caramel malt, barley flakes, chocolate malt, puréed plums, Chinook & Willamette hops. Plum Noir pours a very dark color, nearly black. But as I held it to the light I found a little brown hue to it. There is a one finger tan head that stays a while and make somewhat nice lacing. I found no light coming through the glass with no carbonation bubbles. The aroma is a coffee-like bitterness with a very faint chocolate aroma. The entire aroma on this porter is mostly the coffee like bitterness. The taste on Plum Noir is a mild coffee bitterness followed by a little mild chocolate sweetness. You don’t get a lot of the plums on the taste, but you do get a very little but faint plum earthiness in the back of your mouth. Plum Noir has a toasted grain with hints of caramel in there as well. The mouthfeel is medium with a little mild roasted finish that leads into an aftertaste of bitterness with chocolate. Southern Tier’s Plum Noir could be better, so it is receiving a B-. The sweetness could be a little more, but just a pinch. The plums aren’t really there but what I did taste was good. I like this porter. It sounds really interesting, but doesn’t taste as such, but still a good effort. I wouldn’t have this again but not right away. It is a good beer and something a little different for this time of year and all the summer beers. So go and try this one and see what you think of it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Originally posted on August 5th, 2013
Nothing is more of an English beer than a porter. The style originated in England. This particular porter is Samuel Smith Taddy Porter, 5.0% ABV (Taddy meaning Tadcaster). I love the fact that this porter is such a lower ABV. Most American porters are much higher in ABV. Taddy Porter pours a very dark color, black, with huge three finger rocky creamy beige head that stays and stays till the pint is nearly gone. The head does leave behind nice sticky lacing. When held to the light the edges of this porter are a murky brown. I found very small amounts of light coming through under the head, and could see any carbonation bubbles. Taddy Porters aroma is of big roasted notes with a little chocolate there as well. The aroma reminds me of fresh coffee beans a little. The taste on Taddy Porter is roasted and rich with a nice tangy sweetness that is a little like chocolate and semi coffee like. This beer also has dryness to it. The mouth feel is full yet rich, with a dry and yet roasted like finish that leads into a wonderful semi sweet roasted aftertaste. I can’t say enough about how great Samuel Smith beers are, this one is so great. Taddy Porter is getting A+ from me. Just a well crafted English Porter, and it 5.0% ABV, that really had to the greatness of this porter. Samuel Smith is my favorite brewery right now, and I just think that this Taddy Porter is excellent. I have had almost all their beers except for three, and I everyone I’ve had is excellent. I highly recommend that you seek out Taddy Porter and all Samuel Smith beers. You can’t go wrong! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
I have grown a liking to beers brewed with coconut or coconut beers. But I’ve not had a lot of coconut beers, nor have I had a lot of Oskars Blues Brewery beers. But I got this beer from Brewpublik (www.brewpublik.com), Oskar Blues Brewery Death By Coconut Irish Porter, 6.5% ABV. Oskar Blues Brewery is in Longmont Colorado, and here in Brevard North Carolina. This Can is labeled Colorado Death By Coconut Irish Porter uses Cholaca.com dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. Death By Coconut Irish Porter pours a black color with tan/beige edges with two to three finger beige head with nice retention, but does fade into a spotty head and some okay looking lacing. The aroma is sweet with vanilla, chocolate, coconut and slight sweet malts. Taste is sweet up front with a nice hit of coconut and vanilla, and then you get nice flavors of chocolate with the coconut that comes as the vanilla fades. This is like mounds bar. But this beer is sweet through out but nothing overly sweet; it has the right amount of sweetness. The mouth feel is full and rich, and has a sweet finish with a nice amount of chocolate and the coconut flavor. Death By Coconut Irish Porter has a nice sweet chocolate-coated coconut after taste that last long enough for you to really enjoy. This beer really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to be this good. But Oskar Blues Brewery Death By Coconut Irish Porter is an A+. It has just the right balance of flavors to it without being overly sweet. The chocolate and coconut really work well together, creating a wonderful beer. But I think that I would only drink about three of Death By Coconut Irish Porters, after that it might start to become a bit much. But that is nothing to hold it back. It’s a good one! Cheers Please enjoy responsibly!
I received Left Hand Brewing Co. Pixan Pepper Porter, 7.2% ABV from a friend for Thanksgiving which is brewed in Longmont Colorado. Pixan pours a black oil color with brown/beige edges and a two finger beige head that slowly to fade, giving off slight dark stone fruit with some roast pepper malt notes with a hint of a spiced coffee, that leads to a spiced dark stone fruit flavor with malted pepper notes which seem faint on barely there with a faint peppered finish and a spiced aftertaste that is mild at best with a medium mouthfeel. Left Hand Brewing Co. Pixan Pepper Porter is not a great pepper Porter, its a D. The pepper flavor is mild and sometimes barely present in this beer, which makes me think Left Hand Brewing is using a mild pepper of not enough peppers in this Porter. I generally like a pepper beer but this was more like off spiced dark coffee, which I am not going to recommend, no. I just think Left Hand needs to strengthen the pepper flavor on this to make it better. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Originally posted on October 18th, 2013.
Aloha! One ingredient used in beer that is enjoyed with or with being brewed into a beer is coffee beans. Coffee beans are used in IPA’s, Stouts, and Porters. The roasted taste of the beans goes well with the roasted malts used in most dark beers. But using them in IPA’s is a new thing and not used so much. This beer Kona Brewing Co.’s Aloha Series Pipeline Porter 5.4% ABV comes all the way from Kona, Hawaii. Pipeline Porter uses one hundred percent Hawaiian Kona Coffee. Pipeline Porter pours a deep and rich black color with a three finger rocky beige head that stays very well and leaves nice whiffs of lace behind. I found no light coming through the glass and very little amounts of carbonation bubbles due to the dark color. The aroma on this porter is like freshly roasted dark coffee beans and hints of dark malts. The taste on Pipeline Porter is rich a roasted with hints of semi-sweetness that is a big chocolate flavor. I found the tiniest hint of bitterness but one it come it then went away. There is a hint of roasted malts there as well. This Kona Porter, taste like a nice cup of coffee with a hint of sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to almost heavy and is smooth to drink. Pipeline finishes bit roast with hints of sweetness and has a semi-roasted coffee aftertaste. I enjoyed this Pipeline Porter. It does not overpower you with coffee or roasted flavors and isn’t the slightest bitter from the coffee. So Kona Brewing Co.’s Aloha Series Pipeline Porter get an A here. I would defiantly have this Porter again. I recommend that you try this too if you have not yet. Cheers and mahalo! Please enjoy responsibly!
I am a huge fan of cookies and I especially like Moravian Cookies so I saw this Foothills Brewing People’s Moravian Porter, 5.8% ABV with 34 IBUs which is more of a cinnamon version of their good People’s Porter. Winston-Salam, North Carolina’s where Foothills Brewing is located was originally settled by Moravians and is still home to the country’s second-largest Moravian population and this beer is to celebrate the area’s local heritage crafted from spices that have made Moravian cuisine a staple of holiday celebrations there. Moravian Porter pours a dark/black inky color with a big fluffy yet thick four finger beige head with aromas of big cinnamon with little whiffs of a sweetness to the nose that leads down to flavor of big cinnamon, with semi-sweet spicy notes with some smoothness and a little bitterness hitting the back of the tongue, with a spicy finish and a little bitterness, a cinnamon cookie aftertaste with a somewhat full mouthfeel. I like Foothills Brewing People’s Porter, but Moravian Porter isn’t so good. I give Foothills People’s Moravian Porter a D. I am not a big fan of cinnamon especially when it is the only ingredient. That’s all I tasted not much else and yet I wanted more than just cinnamon. I would try this beer. I don’t like it even though I wanted and Foothills Brewing is a good brewery they just missed on this Porter with me. Cheers! please enjoy responsibly.
I’ve not had much from Catawba Brewing Co, but I’ve heard good things about them. This Catawba Brewing Co. Deep State Baltic Porter, 7.2% ABV which came via Brewpublik is one of a very few I’ve had. Deep State Baltic Porter pours a deep mahogany brown with light edges and a two finger beige head that falls quickly into itself and then into a little beige halo that wafts sweet roasted malts with a lightness of molasses notes to you with flavors of sweet rich roasted malts with a lightness and slight molasses raisin, toffee and a faint fig note that finishes smoothly with a slight bitter molasses like note and with an aftertaste of a roasted and a semi-sweet bitter note, and a light almost medium mouthfeel. I wasn’t expecting Deep State Baltic Porter to be as light as it was which is good, it’s an easier to drink Baltic Porter, it along the lines of a black lager. But some of the initial flavors feel a bit flat but as a whole, this beer is not bad, I say a B here. I would’ve like to have more roast and sweetness but not too much. But that is my only complaint towards Catawba Brewing Co. Deep State Baltic Porter and I would recommend this and would have this again. Cheers Please enjoy responsibly!
This post was originally posted on November 10, 2014.
As we get deep into the fall and closer to winter the store shelves are getting more and darker beer upon them. I do enjoy dark beers, which has a wide range of styles, dunkers, dunkelweizens, doppelbock, schwarzbier, porter, and stout. Here is a porter from Winston-Salem North Carolina, Foothills Brewing People’s Porter, 5.8% ABV. People’s Porter is an English-style porter. People’s Porter pours a dark rube to a black color with a three and a half finger brown thick head that slowly fades into wonderful foamy, creamy lacing. The aroma upon People’s Porter is chocolaty with light hints of some caramel. The taste is similar to its aroma with chocolate and caramel, also there are toffee notes with a slight herbal bitterness that follows that, but nothing overwhelming, People’s Porter has an IBU of 42. This People’s Porter finishes nicely with a pleasant hint of espresso and faint chocolate but more of the espresso is present. The aftertaste is a nice lingering chocolaty espresso flavor that slowly fades into the next sip of this beer. I enjoyed Foothills Brewing People’s Porter and I would give this a B+. This is a solid English-style Porter, and it is not too heavy or bitter on your taste buds, nor is it too strong. I found People’s Porter to be on the easier side of drinkability throughout the entire pint. I really have grown to like what Foothills Brewing is putting out there. They are brewing great beers! I recommend trying Foothills Brewing People’s Porter, so go out and pick this People’s Porter up and try it. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
This post is from May 11, 2015.
I so do enjoy coffee beers. I love the roasted and malted flavors of them. I found Fullsteam Brewery Coffee is for Closers Iced Coffee Porter, 6.0% ABV and 36 IBUs (International Bittering Units). I have never seen an iced Coffee beer before so I had to try it. Coffee is for Closers pour a black color with a big four beige head that slowly fades into little amounts of lacing in the glass. I found no light nor did I see any carbonation bubbles. The aroma is much like a sweet sugary iced coffee. You get nice roasted notes with a few fresh coffee beans. The aroma is quite pleasing on the nose. Coffee is for Closers is semi-sweet at first and does have nice malt and roasted flavor but none too intense or strong. There is a slight burnt note to it on the end. The mouth full is medium to semi-full with a richness to it. Coffee is for Closers finishes nicely with a bit of semi-sweet roasted flavors and leaves you with a true iced coffee aftertaste that isn’t too sweet. I’d give Fullsteam Breweries Coffee is for Closers an A. It was what the label said it was. It was an iced coffee porter and it tasted like one. It never overpowers you with one flavor. It is well balanced and should be tried. So go out and try Fullsteam Brewery Coffee is for Closers Iced Coffee Porter! I recommend you do! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!