While off to LA for Jersey Week. I sought out libations and found a Sierra Nevada sample pack at the local Target. You have to love buying beer (and wine) at the same place where you can buy Granola cereal and super hero t-shirts. In Southern NJ, liquor stores are plentiful so there isn’t so much a difficulty in buying beer. It just takes a separate trip. The folks in CA appear to have streamlined the process. A bit shocking considering how over-complicated they have made many other practices. But I digress; in the Sierra Nevada “Snowpack”, I found their Pale Ale, their Boomerang IPA, their Porter and the Coffee Stout. I am a big fan of stouts and porters (we even had a Porter-Palooza) so the sample pack was right in my wheelhouse.
What they say…
Porters were invented as a fortifying drink for the rough-and-tumble working class of London’s bustling markets. It was brewed for good folks with calluses on their hands, doing work that needed to be done. We salute those working-class heroes with our classic Porter, brewed in the hop-forward American style and featuring a depth of malt flavor and complexity with roasted notes of black coffee and cocoa.
I found the Porter to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Blackish brown with a slowly dissipating tan foam.
- Aroma: Mild roasted malt with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
- Taste: A little thin; roasted but not overly so. Very mild but with a good balance of flavors. More chocolaty sweetness than coffee bitterness which comes through in a slightly bitter finish.
- ABV: 6.2%
Overall, this had the makings of a wheelhouse beer. Great color and lacing…check. Nice chocolaty aroma…check. Taste…not so much. I was a little let down by this one. The build was so strong that I just expected more. The flavors were just a little too subtle for my taste. So, while this was a very good porter, it wasn’t a great porter.