Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Horseheads Chocolate Porter


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1210) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 5, 2014
Horseheads 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 praise.

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. 
Grade: 8/10