Monday, October 27, 2014

Stone Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange Peel


3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1205) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 27, 2014
There are certain flavor combinations that would never seem to work on paper, but in practice they’re surprisingly good. Stone Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange Peel is a perfect example of what I mean. Each of these flavor characteristics stands out and works on its own, but all three also work as a team in conjunction with the solid porter brew at the core.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It was bottled on 10/17/14.

Appearance: Seemingly opaque dark brown body, but actually a deep shade of ruby red; slightly translucent. Pours to a large, tan, foamy head which retains and laces excellently.

Smell: Initially just a standard porter aroma with notes of smoke; eventually becomes all orange in aroma.

Taste: Up front, this beer has a familiar porter taste to its palette, only a little smokier than most. There’s a mild, dark fruit character as well as a sweet chocolate flavor immediately present. Throughout the first half there’s a subtle orange candy taste which is interesting, but not the star of the show (not yet, at least). At the apex of the swig I get a fairly strong bitterness as well as increased smoke-like astringency. As the beer goes down the palette becomes sweet with a strong orange and citrus character akin to sherbet or soda. The only problem is, the orange quickly dominates the palette and pushes the smoke and chocolate to the background. It becomes a little repetitive, but it’s never not enjoyable.

Drinkability: I tend to associate Stone beers in 22oz bottles with being beastly, imperial brews. But Stone Smoked Porter with Chocolate & Orange Peel is quite approachable at only 5.9% ABV. The mouthfeel is slightly thin, calm, with a flat texture. Light fizziness while in the mouth, though it’s easy to gulp down. Just a mild, dry aftertaste with a hint of orange. This makes for an interesting dessert brew for sure. 
Grade: 8/10