Sal Mortillaro II's picture

Nitro Vanilla Porter

December, 2016
Judges Rating: 
19 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

This Nitro Vanilla Porter pours a very dark brown color with clear clarity.  The pour creates beige colored beautiful, creamy, and everlasting head.  The overall aroma of this beer is very muted with the most prominent note in the aroma is a candy like malt sweetness at the front.  Wisps of vanilla and chocolate blend with the sweetness and are grounded out by very slight roast note.  No hop aroma or fermentation characteristics are detectable.  The flavor is comprised of moderate-low malt sweetness with very slight malt derived chocolate flavor, which blends well with an equally proportioned vanilla addition as well as a touch of roast, similar to the aroma.  However, the overall malt flavor is very thin and “neutrally sweet.”  Very low hop bitterness is present in this beer with no hop flavor.  No fermentation or yeast character is evident.  Balance is towards the malt sweetness, however the finish dries out about 7 seconds after the swallow leaving a fairly neutral aftertaste.  The body is thin with typical gentle nitro style carbonation.  There is no detectable alcohol warmth.  This beer is creamy due to the body and use of nitro.  There is a slight astringency apparent after the sip due to the use of roast grains, which appears to be accentuated by the low ABV and apparent low final gravity of the beer.   Overall, this beer could benefit from a more depth in its malt flavor profile as well as more complex residual sugars to carry into the finish to balance out the neutral aftertaste and eventually manifested astringency.  Despite its thin malt flavor character this beer is disproportionally sweet and could also use a firmer bittering hop presence as well.  However, the overall light qualities and characteristics of this beer make it sessionable and thirst quenching.