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Deschutes Black Butte Porter

October 22nd, 2010 beckel

Today I have another solid ale from the fine folks at Deschutes Brewery, and another brew provided by Lake Wine & Spirits as part of their Citizen Six Pack. Deschutes started distributing to our fine state of Minnesota just over half a year ago and boy have I been pleased about that. Hailing from Bend, Oregon Deschutes makes some very enjoyable year round beers and some simply fantastic specialty brews such as their Imperial version of this brew, last years (which was distributed this year) being entitled Black Butte XXI [review]. Unfortunately this years Black Butte XXII will not be distributed but some lucky Oraganites were able to sample it at their brewpub. To keep it brief XXII was brewed with a chocolate that creates a film after sitting for a while and Deschutes did not want to ship a product that they believed did not meet their quality standards. While very respectable I was quite disappointed because this year they also added chillies and orange peel. After sampling Great Divides Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti [review] which is also brewed with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper I am now a sucker for any Imperial Stout brewed with peppers. While not as overwhelmingly fantastic as the Imperial version of the brew Deschutes Black Butte Porter is surely a tasty and drinkable brew. Lets get to it.

Pours a pitch black hue that is completely opaque. About two fingers of tight tan bubbles are produced and fade after a few minutes leaving a very small amount of lacing and some residual head. Aroma is of strong coffee, rich semi-sweet malts and a hint of caramely sweetness. Flavor starts with coffee, followed by a variety of grain esters and malty bitterness. Some hop esters are present and add a nice gentle citrus quality but are easily dominated by roasted malts and the coffee and bitter malt flavors they present. Body is a bit heavy but close to medium making it very reasonable for the style. Mouthfeel is smooth and gently creamy making this flavorful beer far too easy to drink. Luckily it comes in at a rather sessionable 5.2% ABV because any fan of dark beers and coffee could drink this brew all night. As it warms the more the creamy malt esters shine through creating a very palatable beer. If you enjoy dark beers and are into coffee esters you may have just found your new every day beer. While nothing mind blowing this brew from Deschutes is still a simply delicious porter that most people will enjoy. A solid beer regardless of season. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Deschutes Black Butte Porter

Moylan’s Chelsea Moylan’s Porter

April 9th, 2010 beckel

Damn sinuses. Discouraging me from opening the myriad of delicious brews building up in my fridge. Hard life. I know; but I figured it’s damn time to finally open something new. While finally getting around to picking up my bottle of Fritz and Ken from The Four Firkins and some other delicious brews Alvey so kindly gave me a bottle of this brew to give to my girlfriend of the same namesake. So of course I had to try some too. Moylan’s newest release is brewed in an attempt to revitalize and honor the classic “Dublin Style” Porter and inspired by their founders daughter. Pours a very dark brown hue that appears almost black and creates just over two fingers of loose light chocolate brown head that largely fades after a few minutes leaving some gentle lacing and about a millimeter of tight bubbles behind. Aroma is full of wonderfully rich dark malts, robust semi sweet chocolate esters and clean coffee notes. A variety of dark malt esters are present in the flavor and very similar to the aroma with coffee and clean lightly roasted malts playing a focal role and chocolate notes backing them up creating a very nice flavor profile. Very gentle malty bitterness and very little sweetness. Over all one nice flavorful but easy drinking porter and at 5.0% ABV a very sessionable one. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is clean but a tad bit thin. Making this ale even more drinkable which Chelsea particularly enjoyed. If you enjoy dark beers with clean coffee and chocolate notes that will not overpower the grain bill this is one you can drink all day, or at least a few 22’s. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Moylan's Chelsea Moylan's Porter

Tyranena Chief BlackHawk Porter

September 18th, 2008 beckel

This beer has been sitting in my fridge with no other Tyranena beers to keep it company so I decided it deserved to be consumed. Chief BlackHawk is an American Porter inspired by a Sauk Indian leader of the same name who’s bravery and independent thinking were highly respected by his people. The BlackHawk war allowed settlers to conquer and rapidly develop what is now Wisconsin and was the last armed conflict between Native Americans and Europeans east of the Mississippi River in the Old Northwest Territory. This beer pours a wonderfully dark black color that is absolutely impenetrable. The two Inches of head produced is a nice solid creamy brown color that is  quite frothy and lasts for a couple minutes.  The style of this beer is very apparent in its aroma, sweet toffee and coffee scents are predominate. The flavor of this beer is also expected, smooth coffee and roasted malt flavors are most notable but a few bitter flavors pop up here and there. This is a very smooth flavored beer with little flavor lingering throughout the palate. The mouthfeel is definitely medium but it is still very drinkable. The roasted flavors of this beer almost make me forget I’m drinking alcohol even with its 5.6% ABV. A basic and simple porter but no doubt another tasty beer from Tyranena Brewing. If you can’t typically handle dark beers but would like to this would be a great one to start on. Otherwise any fan of porters who is looking for something simple and less heavy to drink all night long will likely find this beer appropriate. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Tyranena Chief BlackHawk Porter

Rogue Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale

August 12th, 2008 beckel

I had seen this beer taunting me from the shelf wondering what the hell it was a number of times, so I finally decided to pick one up and read the bottle only to discover it is made by the wonderful Rogue Brewery out of Newport, Oregon. The Morimoto Black Obi Soba is one of three beers launched as a collaboration with Masaharu Morimoto an award winning chef who you may know from the show Iron Chef. These beers are made with Soba, also known as buckwheat which is actually not a wheat but part of the rhubarb family and a staple in Japanese cuisine because of its impressive nutritional properties. This particular beer is dedicated to Rogues Japanese distributor Phred Kaufmann and apparently is a remake of their original Phred’s Black Soba Ale. Now onto the good part. This beer pours with close to an inch of marvelously brown tinted head that is quite frothy and stays for quite a while. Color is black with deep red colors sneaking in while in the light. Aroma is interesting and hard to place, I mostly get malty sweetness, almost fruity like cherry. The flavor of this beer even more interesting, a dull fruit flavor hits the palate first that reminds me of cherry but is nowhere near as sweet which is finished by a malt like flavor that makes this beer very smooth, presumably from the soba. Overall this beer is somewhat flat in most of its flavors, though this is not that uncommon in a porter this is a different one, obviously the grains used in this beer contribute a lot. Not a bad beer, a bit sour in the initial flavor but a relatively smooth dark ale in the finish. RateBeer refers to this beer as a fruit ale, and Beeradvocate as a porter and I must say I agree with both. If you like a dark, not particularly malty beer with some sour but not artificial fruit flavor this will do you right. The ABV of this beer is not listed but the original Phred’s Black Soba Ale is rated at 5% and I would be inclined to believe this one is about the same. Anyone who is curious about how irregular ingredients effect a beer will likely appreciate this one. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Rogue Morimoto Black Obi Soba Ale