Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chatham Spike Devil Porter

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1321) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 9, 2015
According to a brewery’s tweet to me, Chatham Spike Devil Porter is simply their regular porter with a new name in packaged canned form. Odd, because it seems like a different beer than I remember. This is more of a traditional stout as the bitter roasty malt character is the dominating flavor rather than sweet fruitiness often found in porter. It also seems to lose something from draught to cans, though it’s still a sold brew overall.

I poured a 16oz can into a nonic pint glass. There was no freshness date. It cost $3.90 ($0.24 per ounce).

Appearance: Opaque black body with minimal highlights. Pours to a small, brown, foamy head that laces and retains well enough.

Smell: Moderate aroma of dark fruit and roasted malt. A hint of tang.

Taste: Sweet dark fruity flavor up front; subtle notes of prune and cherry, maybe even root beer. I detect a subtle tanginess as well – the first sign of infection or oxidation. A less refined palate probably wouldn’t notice it. The second half is quite pleasing, though. Strong, almost aggressive roasted malt bitterness coupled with dark, unsweetened coffee or dark chocolate. The bitterness is dry, but restrained. The initial fruity character emerges for a moment just before it washes away. Overall, it’s an enjoyable beverage to say the least and with a few tweaks it could be truly excellent.

Drinkability: Chatham Spike Devil Porter definitely has the body and mouthfeel you expect in a 6% ABV porter. It’s not quite full-bodied like an imperial brew, but more than simply medium-bodied. The carbonation might actually be a tad too high; a brew like this should be thicker and stickier – it finishes almost a little too clean. Additionally, for the weight there should be a bit more complexity and robustness. That being said, it’s an easy beer to drink as it’s quite light on its toes. It’s tempting to throw back multiple cans (maybe one with dinner and one with or for dessert). 
Grade: 7/10