Nate: I am coming out of beer reviewing retirement to write about this beer. Yes, it is that good.
$3.69 for a 22 oz, this is a delicious beer. Although called a Chocolate Porter this fine English style porter uses chocolate malts and not actual chocolate. Alcohol content is 5.4% ABV and it all goes down very smoothly. The chocolate and coffee aromas are definitely present. The most remarkable finding to me is in the taste of this beer. It almost (and I mean almost) has a sour taste to it. As I expand my tasting of porters, particular English style, I have found this to be quite common. The other porter I liken this to the most would be St. Peter’s Old Style Porter. Both have this sour/hyper-fermented type taste. This is speculation and not fact but they may use a portion of “old” ale in each batch not unlike a Guinness. I can truly say this is a beer that in the last six months I have drank quite a bit of. It really has impressed me. I love porters and I love sours. And, who doesn’t love 22 ounces of beer for less than four bucks? In this day in age where microbrews have a bigger than ever foothold in the overall beer market and nearly every microbrewery has something limited and special to release it is so pleasant to find a beer to love that isn’t touted as such. It’s just your run of the mill beer in a brewery’s standard lineup that tastes phenomenal at a completely fair price. I can’t wait to see the day when microbreweries return to this mode of operation. Hopefully the porters and brown ales will once again resurface once all the hype of the hop wears off as well. Okay, okay, enough of the soapbox tangent. If ever you find yourself in the company of this beer I hope you find yourself smiling and content. I am sure you will.
Here’s the catch:
It is most likely only available in southern California and the availability in San Diego is spotty. Their website says they brew house beers for many fine taverns and restaurants in southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. In their words, “We just might be the greatest beer you never knew you drank.” Grade: A
Tom: Nate was kind enough to send me a bottle of this fine brew so on a cool evening I cracked it open to find out what all the rage is. I did note a discrepancy with regards to the ABV as the website says 6.7% and the bottle reads 5.4%. In any case, that is not the outstanding “game changer” of this beer. The smooth rich roasty flavor is. From the presentation to the final sip this beer is the real deal. Its dense creamy had reminded me of Taddy Porter as it lasted and laced the entire session. With ruby/garnet edges this beer is not as black as a stout, but looks hefty. Nate is right. The aroma does give off a minor sour musty smell that resembles Guinness. The aroma is dry, yeasty, and chocolaty. My overall experience with this beer was fantastic. The roasted grains leave a dry stout finish, but the mouthfeel is closer to a porter. It is filling, yet super drinkable. Minor coffee notes round out the aftertaste. Nate, if you have more of this beer laying around send it my way please. I completely agree with his rating. Grade: A