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Sierra Nevada Porter

Judges Rating: 
80
Aroma: 
19 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
33 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

As expected of the style, this beer displayed hints of coffee, cocoa and earthy hops in the aroma, which is complex and constantly evolving. Rick offered praise for its light milk chocolate and sweet malt finish, yielding herbal hints of sweet hay and rosemary over the malt. The chocolate, coffee and herbal notes flowed from the aroma into the flavor of this beer, with the judges noting espresso, sweet chocolate and even freshly baked bread flavors. The judges all agreed that the beer had sufficient hop bitterness to balance the coffee and chocolate notes but would have preferred a bit more assertive hop bitterness. The judges were unanimous in their praise for this beer’s clean flavor profile, but they found it to be something of a downside as well. This porter seemed to lack some of the fruity esters found in classic examples of the style. Tom noted that, although a very good example of the style, this is a porter for those who don’t like to be challenged, and Pete commented on its apparent lightness in flavor when compared to the style’s benchmarks. Overall, Rick was impressed by this beer’s interplay of malt, chocolate, and bitterness and slightly moussy mouthfeel, all of which put him more in mind of a brown ale than a robust porter. With this porter, Sierra Nevada once again shows us why they are one of the cornerstones of American craft brewing.

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