For the First Beer of Christmas of the 2011 holiday season, we start with a style that I keep telling myself I don’t like. The porter. But somehow I keep liking every porter I try. I guess I’m going to have to stop saying that. (Side note … I also say this about brussels sprouts but on that count, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
The beer pours with a dark mahogany color and a thick, aromatic head
that clings to the glass leaving a light caramel lacing. Now … why is
lacing important? Beats me. But I keep hearing that it is. What the
lacing seemed to reinforce was the thick, full bodied feel of the beer.
It was rich and thick. Not like motor oil, but like a strong and
delicious coffee. And the remnants clung to the glass as a reminder. I
kept turning the glass as I drank to pick up those left over flavors.
The roasted malt and hops compliment each other in both the taste and
smell. The flavors of coffee and caramelized sugar underwrite the hops
and mild to moderate bitterness.
You won’t want to drink a six pack of these. And you won’t want one
after mowing the lawn. But this is a great replacement for a cabernet
sauvignon or other rich wine. In front of a fire or just relaxing on
the couch, this is a glassful of pleasure.
Brewer: Deschutes Brewery
Location: Bend, OR
Style: Porter (American)
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
Interesting Note: Deschutes offers classes at the Deschutes Brewery University.
They teach everything from the culture and science of beer to topics
like oak aged barrels and “extraordinary ingredients.” The first class
is coming up soon (Jan 3, 2012) so get a reservation soon if you’re in
the Bend, OR, area.