Chocolate Porter is essentially a standard brown porter (BJCP style
12A) that has some chocolate in it rather than being a
chocolate-first/porter-second kind of beer. Normally, that would annoy
me to no end, but in this case the base brew is so enjoyable that the
chocolate component does indeed work as a background feature.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $7.99 ($0.36 per ounce).
Appearance: Opaque black hue, with little to no translucency. Pours to a
two-finger, brown, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.
Smell: Typical porter aroma with general notes of dark malt, some fruit, and a light chocolate scent.
Taste: The brewery’s website mentions that this beer is their
“Valentine’s special,” which leads me to believe it’s a seasonal brew.
Since there’s not freshness date I don’t know how old this bottle is. If
it’s old, it’s stood the test of time quite well. It meets pretty much
all the criteria of a standard porter with its sweet, dark malty taste.
Perhaps a hint of cherry can be found in there, and I also detect slight
cola notes. What I don’t get is any kind of coffee or burnt toast
flavors of deeply roasted malt. Only minor bitterness through the middle
with a sweet chocolate candy taste on the back end. It’s quite
delectable, but doesn’t have the liquid dessert deliciousness found in
some imperial chocolate brews. Still, the chocolate is still a major
component of the palette and it’s quite enjoyable and for that I give it
Drinkability: Oftentimes, chocolaty beers tend to be viscous, chewy,
sticky and cloying. In the case of Horseheads Chocolate Porter it drinks
like a pub-style porter with a calm body, medium mouthfeel, and
relatively clean finish. I’d probably expect more complexity and body
out of a 7% ABV brew, but its easy drinkability means a single bomber is
essentially a single serving.