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Archive for the ‘Porter’ Category

In mid December Beer Guy Jim pulled up to the garage and unloaded multiple boxes full of a wide selection of the finest brews he could acquire: Merry Christmas! My job was to revel in the bounty until Christmas Eve when the gathering of the clan began. Well, I practiced self control for a few days but my undoing was the fact the tops of the boxes were not closed. I browsed, nodding at some familiar fine labels. One evening as I started up the ramp to the kitchen my eye caught the Harpoon “H” on a bottle with a dark label I was not familiar with. Self control fled; I reached for the bottle neck and had it in the kitchen with the opener in my hand before I realized.

baltic_porter_4pkLeviathan Baltic Porter poured into the glass, a dark full porter. I took that first full sip. Wow! that was outstanding! This drink was such a dramatic surprise, rich, full taste, strong flavors, high abv (9.5%) but smooth and subtle, a real Baltic Porter. I finished this in short order, set the glass down on the counter and went to the garage to grab the rest of the four pack. None of these great brews made it ’til Christmas Eve!

But that is the prelude. A few days ago when I zipped up to Hannaford’s to grab that six pack of the “Black” as I mentioned in a previous post, I spied a lone four pack of the Leviathan sitting disheveled down on a low shelf amidst a jumble of ne’er do well beers. Automatically my hand latched onto it. This time a Leviathan Imperial IPA at 10% abv. This drink belongs right beside the Dogfish Head IPA’s, the 60 Minute and the 90 Minute both.

imperial_ipa_4pk

I think we beer guys here have a consensus that Harpoon IPA (the regular label version) is maybe the standard setter for IPA. This Leviathan model has the backbone of the regular Harpoon – the intensity of the hops as a constant throughout… start to finish – with deeper multiple tastes buried in this robust body. It is a strong ale that finishes very well. The last couple of ounces left in the glass as the conversation swirls and the cheese and crackers disappear is as tasty and true to the brew as the first powerful taste at the top of the glass.

Hats off to Harpoon on the series and their growing reputation around here for high quality brew. Harpoon IPA is in all the stores, now let’s start to see more of the Leviathan available. The one draw back to this big brew series is the price. Hannaford’s charges $10.50 (+/- a few cents) for a four pack. That makes it a specialty, not an everyday drink for sure.

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HaveAnother

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mayflowerporter

When I put Mayflower Brewing Company’s Porter on the counter at my local liquor store the  dude manning the register said, “We just got this in and we cannot keep it in stock.” .  “Wow…” I thought, “My taste buds are in for a treat!”.  I drove home through a heavy gray drizzle of rain, much like what I imagined the weather to have been on December 20th, 1620 when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth, MA.

Pouring the beer into a glass there is a faint smell of coffee, not a bad sign when it comes to porter but the “notes of chocolate” described on the company website seemed to have missed the boat.   After aroma the first thing I noticed was the lack of head… ZILCH, NADA, NONE!  I like to see head on beer and when I don’t I begin to get nervous.  The color however was dark, crisp, and inviting.

Bringing the glass to my lips I notice that the coffee smell I detected earlier was gone.  I took a nice long sip, pulled the glass from my lips, and immediately took another, even bigger, gulp. “Flavor!?” I thought, “Where is the flavor?!”.  Porters should have a robust and thick ale taste.  Mayflower Brewing Company’s Porter is noticeably lacking in this dimension.  This beer’s taste literally stops at your lips and quickly dies.  This experience continued throughout the entire glass and as I finished off the last sip I couldn’t help but think that if beers like this were the only thing available to the men on the Mayflower for kicks, it is no wonder why some of those men turned to alternate forms of entertainment.

KeepAway

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