Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Breckenridge Vanilla Porter

I hate it when a beer tastes totally different between tap and bottle and that’s the case with Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. I had this on tap and it was delicious so I picked up a bottle at my beer store and it was only good. Perhaps I got an old bottle (there is absolutely no freshness date whatsoever), so all I can do is review what I have in front of me: a tasty, by-the-book porter with a vanilla twist in the end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (724) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 3, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into a Irish stout glass.

Appearance: Cream soda complexion of brown and ruby red. Seemingly opaque, but translucent with visible carbonation in the light. Forms a large, dark tan, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Standard porter aroma of dark malts, a touch of honey or some kind of confectionery sweetness. Mild, though.

Taste: I had this beer on tap and it was as robust as many imperial stouts, but when I tried the home version it was quite different. It’s a porter in pretty much every aspect. Mild, toasted dark malt through the palate with sweetness in the background the entire time. Minute taste of dark fruits, but nothing not found in most other porters. The finish is what gives the beer its uniqueness with a burst of vanilla flavor and a quick kiss of bitter dark chocolate. These candy flavors linger momentarily, but then the palate fades away cleanly. I enjoyed what was there but I wanted a lot more.

Drinkability: I was shocked to discover this beer is only 4.7% ABV since it seemed like a much bigger brew on tap. This makes Breckenridge Vanilla Porter an anomaly of a brew since it’s a tad too big to be a classically defined "session beer," but I think it’s one you can bend the rules for. The body isn’t too thin, the mouthfeel is comfortable, and there’s no cloying sweetness or dryness whatsoever. It’s a good alternative to the usual boring porter.
 Grade: 7/10

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