porter seems to be a legitimate subgenre within the porter style. It’s
not something you see often because it’s difficult to pull off (then
again, all smoked beers are challenging to do well). Mendocino Talon
Smoked Double Porter is more of an imperial porter than happens to have a
smoke character to it than a smoked porter per se. Nevertheless, it’s
still a flavorful, robust, well-balanced brew and that’s what’s
I poured a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date. A friend gave me this bottle (thanks, Ben!).
Appearance: Opaque black body with no visible carbonation or sediment.
Pours to a very large, tan, frothy head which laces and retains very
Smell: Chocolate and dark roasted malt. Light smoky notes.
Taste: This beer has the usual porter traits and they’re recognizable
right away: milk chocolate, roasted malt and a consistent dry
bitterness. For a beer not brewed with chocolate, Mendocino Talon Smoked
Double Porter has a lot of that character going for it. More a lighter,
sweeter, milk chocolate flavor than intense dark chocolate. Slight
dairy-ish notes towards the middle and back end, though the actual
smoked malt comes through prominently right as it finishes and leaves a
lingering, astringent aftertaste. For a big beer, there’s no alcohol
presence here, though I got a touch of toffee which might be the booze
in disguise. Either way, it’s still pretty interesting, though the smoke
fades into the background eventually and the beer drinks and tastes
like a solid imperial porter. I know Mendocino pasteurizes all their
beers, and I can’t help but wonder how much better this would be if that
were not the case.
Drinkability: You’d never know Mendocino Talon Smoked Double Porter was
10% ABV if you didn’t see that on the label (or read it online
somewhere). Big in body for sure, though it’s not intense and
aggressive. The mouthfeel is thinner than I was expecting, with no
sticky or chewy sensation. It does leave a dry aftertaste, though that’s
likely do to the smoked malt. A fine dessert beer, though drinking the
entire bomber solo would be challenging.