After a rather slow spring, things have finally picked up around here. I am right in the middle of a few big projects for work and between that and prior commitments, my time for brewing has been slowly fading away. On top of it all, I may soon be venturing into the pro-brewing world. It's been hectic to say the least. However, there is always time for beer... drinking. Recently, some friends and I spent an evening around a campfire drinking beer. I brought a few growlers of my porter to share and after a few hours of beer-y relaxation under the stars, we made a proper session out of it. Session beer... made for drinking. Who knew?
Appearance – From the tap it pours a deep black with beautiful, clear-ruby highlights and a moderate tan colored head. Retention is fair with some lacing.
Aroma – First impression is of dark chocolate and coffee with some light and earthy hops on the end. As the beer warms, it develops a pleasant chocolate and toffee candy type of aroma. Reminds me of those chocolate covered caramel candies I used to buy as a kid...Rolos. Esters are lightly fruity and there is a slight hop presence. No diacetyl.
Taste – Lots of toffee and light coffee flavor with chocolate, biscuit, and dry cocoa in support. Some earthy, fuggles hop character and light English yeast esters. No diacetyl. The beer goes down very easy and has a good balance of flavors. No one flavor takes the lead. The beer finishes rather dry but has a nice caramel sweetness on the end that balances everything out. Probably have the yeast to thank for that. Bitterness levels are low and the overall balance of flavors is squarely on the malt.
Mouthfeel – Carbonation is adequate, probably on the lower side of things, but fine for the style. The mouthfeel is medium and creamy.
Drinkability & Notes – Another tasty porter. Nothing about the beer is 'in-your-face' but it does pack a good amount of flavor for such a little thing. There really isn't anything about the recipe I would change at the moment, except maybe skipping the flameout addition, as I did get more hop character than I originally intended. Nothing major though. I think the key to making this type of beer is getting a good balance of flavors. Too often the beer gets completely overwhelmed by a single malt (usually chocolate or roast) and you don't get the different layers of flavors. I think the next time I brew a porter, I'll do something similar to this but increase the gravity into the 'robust' range.
O.G: 1.043, F.G: 1.012, 4.0% ABV, 24 IBU, Wyeast 1318 London III