Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Pint of Breakfast and Bacon too

Not much to say about this one. I brewed this right before Christmas as an attempt to make a beer that would have some of the characteristics of both Alaskan Smoked Porter and Fuller's London Porter - that is something slightly smokey and chocolaty. The recipe was pretty similar to any robust porter, consisting of Maris Otter, munich, chocolate, dark crystal, black, and pale chocolate malts. I had originally planned on using some rauch malt but decided against it at the last moment.

Breakfast Beer: Robust Porter

Appearance –  Right out of the keg the beer pours incredibly thick and about as black as you can get. First pour looks like it's on nitro, the whole pint turns brown and slowly settles to a tight 1/2 inch tan head. Color is completely black, though when held directly to the light you can see the tiniest bit of red around the edges. Head stability is pretty good, leaving nice lacing.
  
Aroma – At first you get lots of dark chocolaty malt followed by coffee, sweet caramel, and faint smoke. Little to no esters and alcohol either. There is a bit of hop aroma at the end, but not so much you would notice it right away. You get the impression that this is going to be a big, chewy beer.

Taste – The aroma was just a tease; first sip and it's an all out flavor assault on the tastebuds. Lots of black malt, chocolate, coffee, and biscuit followed by a sweet-smokey character that reminds me of maple glazed bacon cooked over an open fire. (Almost like a lumberjack breakfast with a very strong espresso). There is just a hint of hop flavor at the end and the bitterness is there, but not too much. Some mellow alcohol notes and a bit of astringent character, though I could be mistaking that for the black malt. No ashy or burnt flavors and very little esters. The beer finishes slightly sweet and malty. Almost RIS-like in intensity of flavors.

Mouthfeel – Low carbonation with a very full, chewy, and silky mouthfeel. Goes down easy, though it feels like your drinking a meal in a glass.

Drinkability & Notes –  I don't really know how I feel about this one. On one hand it is about as flavorful and complex as anything I have made, though isn't exactly my idea of pint perfection.The flavors are pretty intense and the beer has a heaviness about it that doesn't make you want a second glass right away. I'd like it to have more chocolate flavor and be drier. I wouldn't say I dislike it - I think the flavors are well balanced and without off flavors -  it's just not anything like my session beers. Some more time to mellow probably wouldn't hurt, though I'm pretty happy where it is now, for what it is.

O.G: 1.075, F.G: 1.015, 7.8% ABV, 45 IBU, Wyeast 1056 American Ale

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