On Labor Day I received a text message from my best friend Ronnie. He wanted to share with me that I am rubbing off on him and he decided to try Tiger Paw Porter at Blind Tiger. I was honored that he has finally given in to the Dark Side after years of trying to get him there. So this post is for you Ronnie.
Upon hearing the good news I raided my fridge looking to see what I had. Low and behold I found Planet Porter by Boulder Beer. This is one of my favorite porters (another favorite is Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter). I was gone. Not sure where I was, but I’m a little bitter since I really like Planet Porter too. I’ve been looking into the history of the porter as it has significance within the beer industry as a whole.
The porter helped bring about use of the thermometer and hydrometer in beers. Both are important for making a consistent quality beer. The thermometer is important to maintain a constant temperature; beer doesn’t like to fluctuate to wildly while fermenting. It’s also important just before the addition of yeast as yeast don’t like temperatures to be too warm. The hydrometer is used to measure the specific gravity, the ratio of the density of the liquid to the density of water. Basically in the brewing process there are two times you check the specific gravity. The first is called the Original Gravity. This happens before there is any fermentation. The second one is known as the Final Gravity. This is done after fermentation. There is a lot more to the story of the porter so stay tuned for a future post about the style (Basically I caught myself wanting to discuss porters more in depth than I should for this review). For now though, on to the review.
The head was tan while the body was a very dark reddish brown (almost black). The aroma was chocolatey w/ a hint of smoke. The taste has a coffee-like bitter with only subtle smokiness with a nice hint of chocolate. The mouthfeel is bubbly yet smooth sort of like mixing a stout w/ a lager. As it warms, it smooths out even more. Most people will run the opposite direction from this beer because of the color. Truth is, you shouldn’t run from it. Porters are much lighter than one would think (they are just darker versions of brown ales after all). Just give some of these a try and see what you think:
No. 39 Pete’s Porter – Lb. Brewing Co. (seasonal)
Thomas Paine Porter – Free State Brewing Co.
Bully! Porter – Boulevard Brewing Co.
Vanilla Porter – Breckenridge Brewing Co.
Samuel Adams Honey Porter – Boston Beer Co.
Cutthroat Porter – Odell Brewing Co.
He really likes porters. Can you tell?
Porter – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Porter – Anchor Brewing Co.
Smoke Jumper Smoked Imperial Porter – Left Hand Brewing Co.