On a recent trip to La Jolla, we stopped at the local Rock Bottom Brewing Company and I selected the sampler. This involves eight 4oz pours. The first 4 pours are the same tried and true beverages that are served at all of the Rock Bottom’s. The last four are the work of the local brew master. In addition, once our server, Will, saw me feverishly taking notes and asking my 7 and 9 year olds to sniff the glasses and offer their opinions of the various brews, I mentioned that I was a bloggers and Will then presented me with two additional tastes of cask aged brews. The cask aged offerings were slightly different takes on two of the “specialty” brews. So, I have provided a side-by-side review of the porter.
The Moonlight Porter would be Rock Bottom’s version of a black ale not quite a Guinness and or a chocolate stout. It has the following characteristics.
- Appearance: Black with a fair amount of foam and good lacing.
- Aroma: A really great blend of chocolate and coffee.
- Taste: A little thinner than a Guinness with a heavy coffee flavor and a burnt finish. .
- ABV: 6.2%
The porters looked identical with that deep black color and a lot of foam and lacing. They both had that sweet chocolate and roasted malt aroma. The taste of the Moonlight Porter was a heavy coffee flavor with a burnt finish. I was left wanting. For all of the great aroma, the Moonlight Porter came up short. Then, the Cask Porter just blew the Moonlight Porter away. The time in the cask had further refined the flavor and brought out the sweet chocolaty flavor that both had teased in their aroma. The Cask Porter might be the best chocolate porter/stout that I have ever tasted. I would put this well past Young’s Double Chocolate and the Rogue Chocolate.