Saturday, December 4, 2010

Category 12: Porter

Beer: Samuel Smith Taddy Porter
Category: Porter
Subcategory: Brown Porter

For those who don't know, there is one very distinct difference between porter and stout. Stout gets its color and flavor from an addition of roasted unmalted barley in the mash (with other dark malts often also contributing to this as well), while porter gets its color (and flavor) just from dark malts, such as chocolate malt, brown malt, or black patent malt. Brown porter is the most traditional example of the style.

Appearance: very dark brown, almost black, with a gorgeous khaki colored tan head with very nice lacing

Aroma: Beautiful. English toffee, dark chocolate/cocoa notes, and very good coffee with a little bit of sweetness.

Flavor: very much like the aroma, but better still...sweet caramel malt taste, and a little bit of bitterness coming both from the hops and the dark malts in the grist--gives the beer a nice hint of coffee/espresso flavor. combination of hops, yeast, and dark malts give the beer a nice little twang at the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, and wonderful, with a still present carbonation that compliments the flavor character very nicely

Overall/Drinkability: What a treat this was! Samuel Smith makes a lot of delicious beers, but I would have to put this one up front. This has to be one of my favorite porters that I have ever tasted. It's like a good cup of coffee, except with more complexity. Pretty much no flaws...wish I had more of it!

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