Monday, August 3, 2009

Brown's Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter (2009 original review)

I finally got to meet Gary and Melissa, better known as "Imasofat" on YouTube! It was an absolute BLAST getting to meet them, have dinner and drink and review some beers with them

In this video, we review a beer made pretty much in my backyard and we all had about the same opinion on it!

Also, be sure to check out the Q&A the Imasofats conducted with me (this video is a video response to that!)


   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - JUL 29, 2011
Barrel-aging is all the rage these days, so in a way they’re almost par-for-the-course these days instead of the rarities they should be. Many of the highest-ranked beers in the world are barrel-aged and for good reason. But most of those beers are extremely rare, difficult to acquire and expensive (i.e. Three Floyds Dark Lord; Founders KBS). What about an ordinary microbrewery in an ordinary town that was making a beer of the sort BEFORE it was cool? That’s exactly what Brown’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged Porter is - a delicous, robust porter with genuine whiskey flavor but without the density of those aforementioned imperial beasts.

NOTE: I have had this beer on tap and from the bottle MANY times, but for the purposes of this formal review I’m basing it on a bottled version.

I poured a 22oz bomber into a Brown’s tumbler.

Appearance: Opaque black body all around. Forms a large, dark brown, foamy head but it mostly dissipates and leaves minor lacing.

Smell: The whiskey notes are very prominent - creating for a strong potpourri of vanilla, smoke, wet oak and roasted malts.

Taste: The best way to describe this beer would be to think of any of those highly-acclaimed barrel-aged imperial stouts and simply reduce the energy level. What separates Brown’s WBA Porter from the rest is that it is at the core just a porter. It doesn’t have the intense roasted maltiness or bitterness of a stout, but rather the sweeter, sessionable qualities of a true porter. Vanilla is a very strong component throughout the palate, followed by a whiskey sweetness and a slightly smoky aftertaste. A syrup-like flavors of toffee and caramel are quite strong through the middle, but never become cloying. Overall, it’s a delicious palate that never grows old.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and tepid, with a finish that is actually a little more clean than it should be. Probably the only beer I’d ever subtract points for not being thick and sticky enough.

Drinkability: The sweet whiskey taste combined with the thin, fairly clean mouthfeel make Brown’s WBA Porter amazingly drinkable. It glides across the tongue and down the throat leaving a pleasing, albeit short, aftertaste. It’s astounding that so much flavor is available from a beer that only weighs in at 5.75% ABV. I have sat at the brewpub many times sipping (or chugging) glass after glass without becoming totally inebriated. When paired with a beef or pork dish the appreciation for this brew grows even stronger.

Overall, Brown’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter is an amazing beer for what it is. I take tremendous pride in knowing I can get this on tap whenever I want.

Grade: 9/10

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