Saturday, September 7, 2013

Southern Tier Porter (2013 re-review)

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (963) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 12, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into an official Southern Tier goblet. It was bottled on February 14, and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black body, some carbonation visible at the edge of the glass. Forms a small, tan, soapy head which mostly dissipates and leaves trace lacing on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malt with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste: If you want a nice dark beer, but don’t want anything too heavy then Southern Tier Porter is an ideal choice. It has the classic porter flavor of dark malts, but the palette isn’t nearly as bitter and intense as a stout. Moderately sweet, almost reminiscent of a cola, but without the overt sugary sensation.

A strong flavor of dark malt is present as soon as the beer hits the tongue. Though black, it’s more of a toasted malt character than heavily roasted. There’s a gentle sweetness, almost like that found in an oatmeal stout, but not nearly as strong. At the cusp of the swig I get an intense bitterness - a combination of dry bitterness and some astringency akin to burnt toast or baker’s chocolate. It quickly resides and transitions back to a sweeter, almost milk chocolaty taste. While this all may sound complex, it’s actually a bit repetitive and a tad mild overall. So it’s tasty, yes, but nothing absolutely amazing.

Drinkability: While Southern Tier Porter is far from a session beer, it at least doesn’t drink like anything mammoth. The mouthfeel is not to heavy, with a smooth texture, gentle carbonation and easy finish. At 5.8% ABV it’s got the right amount of flavor for its mid-level weight class, though it’s a challenge to sip and savor because it’s so drinkable. 
Grade: 7/10