Friday, February 8, 2013

Smoked Porter

Hanging Out With The Gov!


Stone Smoked Porter Bottle - Promo

Beer Reviewed: Smoked Porter
Style: Porter
Brewery: Stone Brewing


Discovery


So this posting was a little unexpected and unplanned, but some my fondest memories started out that way. I finally decided to stop off at the local watering hole before I change jobs. This pub is on my way home, and has been a favorite of mine and my wife’s since the first time I talked her into trying it four or five years ago.

I’d be happy to share the name, but I’m trying to keep this blog non-local. If you’re curious, send me an email, and I’d be happy to tell you.

I usually don’t need an excuse to stop by, as they have great food and an enticing beer selection, but this time I forced myself to stop by on the way home from work because I’ll be changing jobs soon, and it will no longer be convenient.

When I was leaving work, I noticed a bunch of additional security guards out front of the building, and I assumed it was because our Governor was going to give a speech on Black History Month. By the look out front, I was guessing the Gov was running late.

So, I stopped by for a delicious Stone Smoked Porter and wanted to relax for a few minutes and absorb the ambiance of the dark pub, with a refreshing fireplace warming my shoulder. By the way, a perfect setting for a slowly consumed porter.

Shortly after I tucked into my Porter, the bartender shared with us that the Governor had stopped by for lunch, and that he had done it almost monthly. I thought about this more and how pretty cool it would be if your job was to travel around the state (Commonwealth) and have the time and opportunity to select your preferred pubs. It could be convenient to any place in the state you needed to be.

I also thought back to the security guard waiting outside. I asked the bartender when the Gov left, and although she wasn’t very specific, it seemed to me that he had been late to the presentation due to his long lunch. It wouldn’t be slow service, so I’m going on the assumption that he was enjoying his time to the point of losing track of it. In a strange way, I related to that, and can’t fault the man for enjoying the moment at the expense of late-day activities.

This is certainly not a political blog, mostly because I am not interested in debating my strongly held beliefs in Wiccan-based Objectivism, but I must say that irrespective of his politics, he has great taste in local pubs.

Now, on to the beer!




The Beer


Beer characteristics

Quantitative parameters of beer character

  1. The brewery indicates an IBU rating of 56, and this is an example of why I prefer the The Hitchens Taste Scale. An IBU rating that high would indicate to me a very bitter beer, but it isn’t that at all. It has a ton of flavor, with a little bitterness. Using my scale, I would put this at a +1 because of the slight bitterness, but its really more of the bold flavor.
  2. Alcohol is 5.9% alc/vol, which seems predictable for such a flavorful porter.  
  3. I would rate the color in the SRM scale at about a 25 on Lovibond. It’s very dark like a typical porter.

Qualitative parameters of beer character

  1. The aroma has a very strong chocolate note. It’s more dark chocolate, but I’m not getting the smoky flavor.
  2. The flavor, similar to the aroma, has the same porter chocolate, but to be honest, I may be spoiled by the Altoids I threw back before entering the bar. I’m not really getting the smoke flavor at all.
  3. The aftertaste has a slight toasty bitterness that lingers for a little bit, then exits.
  4. The mouthfeel is very creamy, almost like a Guinness.
  5. Carbonation is light, as to be expected from a porter. It poured a good head, but it dissipated quickly.
  6. The temperature could have a wide range as it is opening up as it warms. I didn’t drink this very fast, and the complexity changed over the course of the glass.


Recommendation


I was nervous about trying a beer from Stone, even though I know this blog will get to them eventually. The reason is because I shy away from obscenely hoppy beers, and it’s my understanding that this would include a majority of Stone’s offerings. I’m happy to have experienced such a delicious and well balanced Porter that add to the excitement of trying other offerings from Stone. Definitely have one, and if it’s on tap, all the better.

- Enthusiast

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