I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $1.99 ($0.09 per ounce).
Appearance: Black as night opaque body with a large, dark tan, frothy head which laces and retains tremendously.
Smell: Similar to that of an RIS with a strong black grape and chocolate syrup presence.
Taste: I should disclaim this review by mentioning I got this bottle at
my local beer store off the clearance rack, which is usually where
expired beers are kept. However, I’m not so sure that’s the case as
Speakeasy Payback Porter still tastes and drinks as well as a seemingly
fresh bottle. Just like the nose, the palette here is akin to that of a
Russian Imperial Stout, only much less intense. It’s certainly stronger
than your average porter, though, with strong notes of dark fruit,
chocolate and grape.
It starts out on the sweeter side with a familiar and traditional robust
porter assortment of flavors. Dark cherry, black grape, chocolate
syrup, clove, and a touch of dairy flavor are all prominent right away.
Some bitterness at the crest of the swig with just a hint of roasted
malt. It ends just as it begins with the same flavor notes, only in
reverse order. It’s not a particularly sticky, chewy or cloying palette,
but it’s sweet enough to be a true porter rather than a stout, as the
hops and roastiness are subdued.
Drinkability: If Speakeasy Payback Porter were a stout, I’d look at the
7.5% ABV on the label and think of it as a relatively light beer.
However, I went into this expecting something heavy and I was not
disappointed. This is a big bodied brew in every way, though the actual
delivery process is quite nice. The mouthfeel is thick, calm and soft,
but with a velvety texture and smooth finish. It finishes fairly clean,
though there is some residual sweetness. It works as a dessert in a
glass (though it’d pair well with a steak I’m sure), and I had no
trouble handling the entire bomber myself.