Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On the 11th Beer of Xmas, my #CTBeer CANnection

They say your tastes change every 7 years.  This is obviously referring to food.  Well, I'm under the impression that beer follows a similar pattern.  Although, I don't think it takes a whole 7 years for you to turn the corner on a particular beer or beer style.  For example, my friend Jim used to despise IPAs.  Yuck.  Now, I find him telling ME about the latest and greatest Double or even TRIPLE IPAs that have landed on the shelves.  I find that I'm going through a similar experience with sour beers.  A year or so ago, I was introduced to sours.  They tasted like someone took a handful of Cry Babies (do they even make those anymore!?), blended them up, and poured them in a glass.  But now?  I ALMOST find myself gravitating to the next sour that hits the market.  Believe me, I still have a long way to go, but it's interesting how what you once overlooked, are now what you seek out.

I LOVE IPAs.  My cousin Katie will be the first one to tell you that.  Dogfish 60, 90, 120... Lagunitas Hop Stoopid... Green Flash Palette Wrecker... bring on the hops.  But like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, your tastes change.  Don't get me wrong, I still love me some IPA... but I almost find myself moving towards new styles.  And after I had the Back East Porter about a month ago, I can honestly say that this beer has opened my eyes AND my tastebuds to this particular style.  So just this once, put aside the IPAs, the heavy stouts, the boozy strong ales... and cozy up with my Winter Season go-to.

Brewery: Back East Brewery (Bloomfield, CT)
Style: Porter
Abv: 6.0%
Website: http://backeastbrewing.com/

I'm not sure how wide the distribution runs on this tasty guy, but if you are in CT, you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding it.  A 6 pack of cans will run you about $8-9.  Very affordable.  Local.  And who doesn't love to support the little guy.

On the pour:  Dark brown shading, with a good amount of carbonation.  If you poured this next to a Coke I don't know if you'd be able to tell the difference.  Lots of bubbles.  Tan, pillowy head - even with my fancy Sam Adams glass, I barely had enough room to pour the entire can.

On the nose:  More Cola notes. Mild hints of bakers chocolate with a little bit of vanilla sweetness.

The Taste: A nice sweetness comes out at first.  Not overly Milk Stout sweet, though.  Very balanced.  I'm also getting a smooth roasty, malty mouthfeel.  There's even a bit of hop bitterness on the end.

Finish: It's not all that heavy which I like about this beer.  Stouts have their place, but the light, drinkability of this Porter is inviting.  I'm not saying it's "thin" - it's very, drinkable.  In the great debate of Stouts versus Porters, most people will say that Porters tend to be the lighter one of the two.

I know the spice of Katie's Winter Warmer was fighting with the chocolate chip cookies she was eating, but think those WOULD go well with this.  ACTUALLY... Scratch that.  I'd like to see how this beer plays with a spicy chili.  One of my FAVORITE local spots, Smokin With Chris, makes a crazy good chili.  I'd love to see how those flavors interact with each other.  Spicy, sweet, malty... an interesting combination indeed.

Also worth noting... this beer was a 2012 GIBF Gold Medal Winner!!


kayteestinch said...

Totally agree cousin! I used to run from the tongue scratching hops of an IPA but now I consider myself a novice hop-head, picking up Sam's Hopology pack and not only trying them, but liking them. Welcome to the lovely land of stouts :) I think you'll like it here.

Tony Leone said...

Stouts I enjoy... it's the Porters that I would constantly overlook. And I'm glad you're into the IPAs now! I have a few that we could try...