Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Saranac 4059' Porter

I’m so used to drinking porters that are flavored, imperial, experimental, barrel-aged, etc. that I’ve kind of forgotten about the base porter style. Saranac 4059’ Porter is such a beer as it is indeed "just a porter." There’s no bells and whistles about this one, though a few would be nice.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (771) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 18, 2012
I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Saranac shaker glass.

Appearance: Opaque black body, no visible carbonation. Forms a large, brown, fluffy head which is slow to dissipate and leaves plenty of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Classic pub aroma of dark malts and a hint of dairy sweetness.

Taste: When I think of a satisfying, passable porter, the palate to Saranac 4059’ Porter is exactly what comes to mind. It’s a great representation of the style as it shows there’s definitely flavor to be found in a fairly simple recipe and relatively light body. Mild chocolate and vanilla candy flavors up front with a lactose-like sweetness akin to a milk stout (though there’s no lactose in this brew according the description on the brewery’s website). There’s a surprisingly sharp, dry, but quick hop bite at the apex before it finishes with that classic malty porter taste. I don’t really get much in the way of coffee except for the bitterness, though the aftertaste is a tad dry. Overall, it’s a decent, by-the-numbers palate that’s not particularly flawed in any way. I enjoyed it at the time but it’s nothing to write home about.

Drinkability: Saranac 4059’ Porter would be a fantastic "starter porter" as the mild palate makes it drinker-friendly combined with the calm, creamy mouthfeel and smooth finish. Not quite robust enough to pair with food, it does make a fine standalone beverage and at only 5.2% ABV you won’t have any trouble drinking a few back to back.
 Grade: 6/10

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