Brew Review

Beer Review – Speakeasy Payback Porter

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The other day, G-LO stopped over for a quick beer (and then a whole lot of whiskey). I have noticed that he brings a beer to taste, writes up some notes and then passes them over to me. I am beginning to suspect that he is sneaking in a review before a good session of the brown liquor and then passing the notes off to me to post a review. Truth be told, I have slacked off on the writing as the drinking is far more interesting at this point and the dreaded work and family have taken what little “free” time I may have had. In any event, I found amid the empty bottles some notes on G-LO’s latest find from Speakeasy, the Payback Porter. Having just had our Porter-Palooza, I was intrigued by the style and after G-LO’s review of the Big Daddy IPA, I was intrigued by the brewer (Speakeasy Ales & Lagers).

Before we get to my review, here is what Speakeasy has to say about the Payback Porter:

American hops provide a smooth distraction for Payback Porter’s robust strength, which is concealed within the shadows of dark imported malts.

I found the beer to be…

  • Appearance: Deep, dark brown with ruby red highlights. Quickly dissipating foam and minimal lacing.
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: Sweet, dried cherries, bread and a faint hint of coffee.
    • G-LO: Bittersweet chocolate with medium roast coffee.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: A little thin and a bit boozy with a big burnt coffee aftertaste.
    • G-LO: Lightly carbonated with much more coffee upfront than I was expecting, which I am liking. A bit of cocoa comes through in the finish. A touch on the dry side.

ABV: 7.5%

The Verdict

We found that the Payback Porter was good enough that it could have been included in our Porter-Palooza. It is still not in a class with the Founders but is on a par with Anchor. G-LO thought it was in that same class but with more of a coffee and chocolate profile. I thought it was a little more on the boozy side and had a good bit of sweetness that was then cut by the coffee finish.

1 reply »

  1. But for the inordinately large and suspicious pile of England Dan & John Ford Cooley fan club lanyards blocking the way, I’d have responded earlier. Such is the suffering occasioned by #GourdWorldProblems.

    I’ve also had problems identifying a Speakeasy brew that’s much below excellent. In the several years that passed between my first experience with them and their arrival in Jersey, they’ve maintained top notch craft brew craftery. Payback Porter is no exception. Smooth, well-balanced, mildly dry, roasty, and sweet with a few shades of intrigue. I agree that it doesn’t have the full mouthfeel or richness of a Founders Porter but it’s right up there with the rest of the best of them.

    Not much call for me to say a whole lot about Canadians in this sentence.



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