David Sapsis's picture

Postcard Porter

April, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Judged as BJCP category 20A American Porter.

The beer is presented in a classic Cologne stange after a solid pour of half the beer: a big 2 inch mixed foam stand of medium beige, above a dark brown, almost opaque but distinctly ruby cast beer. Looks great, and the foam lasts for most of the time it takes to review. Bonus!

The aroma is pretty complex, with a front of light (almost milky) cocoa, followed by roasted nuts, dark chocolate, and dry, savory herbs, for an overall dry but lightly roasty nose. A faint  caramel sweet note with highlighting ferment fruit esters emerges as it warms.

The flavor is pretty big, malty, and roasty-sweet in the front, with modest bitterness that seems to slowly increase in presence as the malt character drops off in the mid palate. Late palate  is surprisingly dry, with cocoa and light coffee backstopped by some savory-type herbs and lingering caramel. It makes for a long balance to the mineral finish, that while not ashen, seems to bring back the hop bitterness in a nice way. Mouthfeel is medium full, with faint astringency. It's pretty elegant in its roast presentation – a dark beer firm in roast character but still somewhat delicate, with angles of  light english/herbal hops tones and just a tad of residual sweetness (beer measured at 3.5 degrees P). While not nearly as deeply roasty/chocolatey as some  robust porters, the beer does roast malt proud, while still holding on to its basic British ale roots.

A very nice and drinkable dark ale; One that I'd like to try with a good hamburger or a nice plate of charcuterie: something rich and a bit fatty that this beer would cut right through and bring those smooth roasty notes to light.