Original Post: Val’s Portly Porter
Style: Robust Porter
Brew Date: November 2011
Original Serve Date: December 2011
I remember this beer being a molasses bomb. I always hoped that would age out some, let’s see if that hope has come true.
Upon opening the beer, I immediately smell licorice. The carbonation is good. There is a nice tan head on top of the not-quite-black beer. I remember the beer being a little lighter in color, more brown, but it looks nice.
The smell in the glass is a little stale and a lot of licorice. The taste is all licorice. I’m not sure how much actual difference there is between molasses and licorice, which is molasses flavored candy, but this beer has definitely tripped over that line as it has aged.
This is not an entirely unpleasant drinking experience. It’s very unique, and if you like licorice, you’ll love it. It is, however, pretty one dimensional. I can definitely see one of the so-called “crafty” breweries coming out with a licorice porter that tasted exactly like this and I could see it being a very divisive beer.
It would be the kind of thing I’d hear about and think “I’ve got to try that!” Then I’d anxiously pick up a bomber of it, drink it and confirm that it was exactly what everyone said and move on, never to drink it again. It’s a fun one off.
In the finish and aftertaste, I get hints of what this beer used to be. I can’t describe the difference between molasses and licorice, but there definitely is a difference. Right now, it almost tastes artificial. Literally like the candy. It isn’t artificial, though, it was real molasses. It is just old.
Just like with the theoretical commercial version, I won’t be doing this again, but I’m glad I did the first time. It is an interesting beer. That is different from a really good beer. It is really fun to track the change over time. Most of my beers seems to either spoil over time, age extremely slowly and not exhibit as much of the evolution I’m hoping for, or just get papery and boring. At least this is evolving. I’m glad that I still have a couple more bottles, but I won’t be opening them any time soon.