Happy 2014 ,Avid Reader, and with luck most of you have had a chance to dig out from all that “wonderful snow” that seemed to be covering everything last week; yes, it all looks pretty, when it’s melting. No matter, this is a new year and I have a new beer to tell you about, so here we go back to the dark brews. Right before Christmas a neighbor had asked if I had seen this beer; I hadn’t, so he gave me a bottle to test out, and it was perfect timing, since the snow would soon be drifting across my shovel and into my face in no time.
After one particular ride home in my ATFF, All Terrain Ford Focus, then shoveling some snow that was picked up by the plow, I realized that I couldn’t feel my face or my fingers. Well, I put the shovel next to the stairs and entered the house to find this beer waiting for me in the fridge. Dinner was almost ready, my pint glass was clean, so I thought I should get a jump on brew to help regain feeling in my extremities. In reality a blanket would have been a better idea but I can pretend the beer helped.
Just as I suspected, it poured out jet black ,but there was a red tint toward the bottom of pint. I could smell plenty of roasted malts with a little bit of vanilla, too, so I decided to go for a pull. At first there was a coffee flavor coming through, some vanilla, but I could taste the malts up front to give this brew plenty of body. The vanilla stuck with me after some subsequent drinks, and it wasn’t a flavor injected taste, I would suspect that real vanilla beans were used during the brewing process, which gave the beer a better taste the closer it got to room temperature.
I was worried this beer would be a dark brew that was injected with vanilla, and then I would have been pretty disappointed, but I was impressed that it tasted better than my expectations. Was it the best vanilla porter I’ve ever had? No, that is reserved for a brewpub out in Keene, but this brew did the trick and was a nice way to relax after watching some people get stuck in snowdrifts off the highway.
Should you be on the lookout for a dark beer that won’t weigh you down very much, but still is pleasant to drink, then I suggest you give one a shot. Some of the other dark beers I have coming up are imperials and if you aren’t at that level yet then this is a good place to start.