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Saturday, January 8, 2011

January Beer Review: Porters


[pawr-ter, pohr-]
a heavy, dark-brown ale made with malt browned by drying at a high temperature.

1720–30;  short for porter's ale, appar. orig. brewed for porters

Anchor Brewing Company has been brewing porter since the early 1970s. Anchor Porter is ebony, too dark to determine clarity. When properly poured, it has a thick and creamy tan head that forms long-lasting lacing on the glass. It has a faint aroma of roasty malts. Anchor Porter has a superb bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavor. It's moderately heavy and well-carbonated. The label proclaims, "It is aesthetically pleasing and wholly superior in every respect." This is certainly a bold statement, and Anchor Porter does not disappoint. 5.6%ABV.
Rating: A+

Bell's Brewery, Inc. produces a palatable porter as well. It is the darkest of dark browns with a quickly dissipating tan head. Bell's porter is smooth and rich, smelling and tasting of roasty malts. It has only the slightest bitterness and quite a bit of carbonation. This porter is certainly very tasty but doesn't have anything special to offer, particularly for a Bell's brew. Bell's offers a variety of specialties that have pleased my palate, such as the Cherry Stout, which will be featured here in next month's beer review. 5.6%ABV.
Rating: B+

Rogue Ales' Mocha Porter has grown on me since first trying it last year. It's dark brown with a thick tan foam. As the name implies, it has a strong mocha aroma. Though the Mocha Porter has a nice balance of hops and malt, it's pretty bitter and could benefit from a bit more sweetness. This overwhelming bitterness fades as the beer warms, and it becomes quite pleasing. As far as Rogue's brews go, I much prefer their Chocolate Stout, which has a stronger chocolate flavor and will also be featured here in the February Beer Review: Stouts. 5.3%ABV. 
Rating: B

Thankfully, Sierra Nevada's Porter is not the epic fail that is their Celebration Fresh Hop Ale! It is the average porter. It's a deep brown, not quite ebony with a hint of tan foam. It has a strong coffee aroma and bitter flavors of over-roasted coffee and burnt toffee. Not unlike the Celebration Ale, the Porter has a very hoppy finish. It's medium-bodied and verges on over-carbonation. This porter isn't terrible by any means, but more pleasing porters are out there. 5.6%ABV.
Rating: C 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

"Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and The Machine is my theme song for the new year. The incomparable vocals of fiery redhead, Florence Welch, are epic and, in the case of this particular song, inspiring. The video is definitely on the strange side, but the lyrics happily brag of better things to come. The urge to dance is practically undeniable. Give in! :)

Happy New Year!