Beer Squared #11: Darks

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Beer Squared, Beer: Porter, Beer: Stout
Tags: , , , , ,

BEERS!

As we move along with these tastings…I’m often times amused by how much my tastes in beer have changed…even from just a couple years ago.  The idea of drinking anything with the word ale attached to it…nope…would never think of it and if put in front of me…would never drink one. In those days, bitter was way to describe a beer I didn’t like. I look back and giggle. I was even run out of a beer forum because I wasn’t snobby enough. Oh well, things have changed and I love a good bitter beer and even very dark beers. I’m at the point now where I like every kind of beer… This go round, we’re checking out some very, very dark beers…a couple porters and a stout. (Yes, it’ s not entirely fair, but hey, we’re amateurs and we’re limited based on what’s in the fridge.)

Taddy Porter by Samuel Smith (5.0% ABV)

Taddy Porter

Nik: This one poured out really well. It has a very dark brown color and pours a great head. It has a malty, but bitter aftertaste. It’s definitely not a sweet beer at all. The aftertaste doesn’t last very long though. It’s very smooth and easy to drink, but it’s not quite as bitter as an English Ale. It’s aroma is just great and really adds to the overall experience. I’d drink this one again.

Bob: Pours in the glass with a nice, rich head that is tan in color. Liquid color is very dark brown, almost black. Mild aroma, mostly of malt with a little fruitiness (from the yeast, I suppose) and no hops. The taste is caramelly and a little roasty, with decent bitterness. Has a short, pleasant aftertaste. Very smooth and drinkable. I would probably buy some more if it wasn’t so goldarn expensive in the USA.

Shipyard Imperial Porter (7.1% ABV)

Imperial Porter

Nik: I’ve had about 5 or 6 different Shipyard beers and they’re really hit or miss. I’ve either loved or hated them. This one poured a very black color. It’s taste and aroma were hot and warned of a higher alcohol content.  Even though it was only 7%, it tasted of a much higher and rougher ABV. It’s got a very bitter taste with no malt undertones. I found this beer to be simply generally unpleasant and I dumped my glass. I won’t try this one again.

Bob: Decent head, but not long-lasting. Very harsh tasting when compared to the Sam Smith Taddy. A lot of carbonation, not much taste, not much aroma. Roasty to burnt tasting on the tongue, but not very full-bodied, with more alcohol than barley components standing out. Pretty disappointing, especially when you consider that the label says their brewmaster was recruited from a brewery in merry old England.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout (9% ABV)

Old Rasputin

Nik: This poured a very small head with a very black color. I loved the malty nose. Old Rasputin has a very strong bite to it’s very complex flavor. This is another one of those beers where you’ll be able to taste it long after you’ve finished it. Like many high abv beers, it does taste slightly hot, but nothing like the Shipyard Imperial Porter. It really is just a wonderful beer that I can’t recommend enough, but I do recommend drinking it during the winter months more than the spring and summer.

Bob: Not much head and very dark color in the glass. Wonderfully rich and complex flavor, with great smoothness despite its high ABV of 9%. Extremely long-lasting aftertaste, even after eating pretzels! One of the all-time great brews that richly deserves its legendary reputation. Have already bought more.

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