Monday, June 2, 2014

Coronado/Cigar City Jurata Baltic Porter

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1105) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 2, 2014
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. I received this bottle in a trade with a friend in Florida (thanks, Matt!).

Appearance: Opaque black body with light reddish/brown highlights. No visible carbonation. Pours to a fairly large, dark tan, frothy head which laces and retains quite well.

Smell: Remarkably sweet aroma with a distinct lager character, not unlike a schwarzbier.

Taste: I love collaboration brews because they tend to be experimental and unusual, though in the case of Jurata, Cigar City and Coronado Brewing seemed to have played it completely safe. They’ve brewed an exactly-to-spec Baltic Porter and made an excellent one at that. No weird ingredients or eccentric approach here, which is rather unusual for these breweries – which is what makes it unique.

The palate opens up with a lightly sweet taste of cola and a touch of dark chocolate and roasted malt. It has a distinct lager quality to it, making great use of its Baltic Porter style (it’s not trying to be a stout). Additional sweetness on the finish akin to that found in milk stouts due to lactose sugar. A slight dairy/milky/vanilla character can be found on the backend as well. It’s delectable to be sure, though the flavors are still constrained enough to not be cloying (or mind-blowing, unfortunately). Still, there is nothing to dislike and everything to enjoy about this beer.

Drinkability: What makes Jurata so successful isn’t just its palate, but the way it drinks – like the lager it is. The mouthfeel is on the thinner side with consistent crispness. It’s not thick and syrupy the way an imperial stout would be. It’s even refreshing for a moment while in the mouth, and goes down extremely smooth with no warmth from the 8% ABV at all. It makes full use of its potential, though at no point is it dense or obese. This should be packaged in 12oz bottles and sold as six-packs. 
Grade: 9/10

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