Pours nearly jet black with only the merest hint of cola brown around the periphery, three finger pillowy tan head, and moderate to heavy chunky lacing. Nose is cocoa, coffee, candi sugar, faint vanilla, and a sharp top note, orange peel or burnt almond. Taste is milder than expected, mellow dark espresso, brown sugar, molasses, milk chocolate. Medium chewy body, low carbonation, and a lingering bitter finish that's both dry and sticky.
Well, I always say Porters aren't my favourite style, but this one mounts a pretty decent challenge to that position. Nice complexity on the nose and tongue, restrained but sufficient hop bittering, just enough sweetness to temper the dark roasted coffee/chocolate tones, and enough body to carry it off. The moderately high ABV is also integrated very nicely, and is barely noticeable as a mild warming. That being said, I'm not entirely sold on the sharpness in the nose, and wonder if this could use some cellar time to mellow - notwithstanding the bottle recommendation to drink within 90 days of bottling. (Seriously? A near-imperial porter that you're supposed to drink fresh? What's that about?)
8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com