Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Great Lakes Alberta Clipper Porter

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1428) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 12, 2015
I try not review old beer, but if it’s within the brewery’s designated freshness window and it’s not fouled up beyond belief, I’ll still review it. That’s a good way to disclaim this review of what I assume is a late winter/early spring seasonal - Great Lakes Alberta Clipper Porter. It’s a porter brewed with chocolate and raspberries and the flavor combinations have held up pretty well. It makes for a fine dessert beer even on a warm summer’s night like this.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It had an enjoy by date of 9/13/15 and cost $5 ($0.42 per ounce).

Appearance: Seemingly black or brown but actually a very dark shade of blood red or purple. Some lighter red highlights. Pours to a two-finger, tan, foamy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Raspberries are the most prominent; very sweet-smelling like jam. A mild dark chocolate presence plus a hint of oxidation.

Taste: Chocolate stouts and porters tend to be some of my favorite beers, so it’s rare I find one that I dislike and this is no exception. I notice the raspberry immediately; it’s light at first with a slight jelly flavor, but not overly-sweetened. I also taste the base porter recipe and it’s pretty classic and traditional. A bit more roasty than most, though it does have a light malty sweetness and a taste similar to that found in a milk stout. The finish is the best part as there’s a dark chocolate taste which is amplified by the roasted malt. The raspberry flavor comes surging back and tastes very much like puree. It’s even a bit tart. Though I do detect a slight tang, which I’ll assume is due to the age. Still, it’s pretty delectable and I’ll be this is even better when fresh.

Drinkability: I’m a bit surprised to find that this is such a strong beer with a 7.8% ABV weight. Great Lakes Alberta Clipper Porter feels and drinks like something half that size. The mouthfeel is rather thin with a low carbonation. Thankfully, there is no alcohol presence, though that’s a concession I’d be willing to make for a bigger, bolder brew.

RATING: 8/10

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