Thursday, February 14, 2008

An evening with Mr. Stout and Mr. Porter

I threw out an idea over at Hoosier Beer Geek for a tasting with nothing but stouts and porters, and it came together last night. I enjoy beer tastings for many reasons. Tasting the same style from multiple brewers is not only interesting, but you can taste subtle and major differences in a brewers take on a beer style, and you get a chance to taste multiple beers in a beer friendly environment.

I am not going to write a review on each thing that we tasted, so I am just going to write some highlights and disappointments from the evening.

We started the night off with Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. I've said it before, but Sammy Smith can do no wrong in my book. Sweet toasted malt with roasted grain with a touch of smoke in the flavor profile with a silky smooth mouthfeel. This was one of my top three beers of the night that we sampled.

Another winner for me was the 2000 Sinebrychoff Porter. I've reviewed this beer before, but not the vintage bottle that Mike and Gina brought with them. I really enjoyed it when I reviewed it, but this beer with some age on it was well done. It was malty and chocolaty on the flavor profile and was big and chewy on the mouthfeel. The vintage bottle is worth the extra buck, and I plan on enjoying it again.

Another beer I was very surprised by was North Coast's Old #38. North Coast makes the famous Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, but that is the only beer I've ever reviewed from them until I had the Old #38. I really enjoyed the bitter cocoa and toasted grain in the flavor and how easy this beer was on the mouthfeel.

My personal favorite of the night was the Abyss from Deschutes. This beer was unlike any other Russian Imperial Stout I've ever encountered. It is a big beer, but it somehow is so soft and gentle on the palate and in the flavor profile. Big flavors of espresso, bourbon, smoke, and dark fruits. It somehow remind me of sitting around a campfire on a cold evening. I think it was deserving of the hype that the beer gets.

My dissapointments from the evening were the Left Hand Black Jack Porter and the Goose Island Oatmeal Stout. The Left Hand was very thin on the mouthfeel and had a bit of sour milk going on in the nose. The Goose Island wasn't bad per se, but wasn't really something I would drink again either.

The biggest disappointment for me though was Sam Adam's Triple Bock. The scent was very dominant of soy sauce and a flavor profile dominant of vinegar. I kept smelling it though over and over just to see if each smell would still be as putrid as the last, and yes, it was each and every time.

I had a great time last night and I want to thank the Hoosier Beer Geeks for coming out and bringing some great beers to share. Thank you to Mike and Gina for bringing some tasty cupcakes and thanks to Kelly for giving me my word of the week: cadamom!



Jason266 said...

Thanks for having us out and sharing the Abyss. However, I'd recommend that if you want people to return not to bust open the soy sauce and put it out as beer. That's just mean.

Matt said...

It was a pleasure to have everyone down. It is just really nice to get to talk with other beer people and have a good time around that.

I like to share both delicious and disgusting. Some people rate the Triple Bock very highly, but I just don't get it.

Matt said...
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Mike said...

We're going to spread the event out of multiple posts, so you can look forward to reading about it for the next 10 - 45 days.

Thanks again for having us - looking forward to that American Belgian thing.

matt said...

I'm surprised you didn't like the Goose Island Oatmeal Stout, I love that stuff. Your blog is making my list of beers I need to try as long as my arm!

Kelly said...

we had a great time, Matt. Glad I could help out with the word of the day... and it was nice to meet a fellow Mike Doughty fan as well.

Gareth said...

I was looking at a bottle of the Sam Adams triple bock yesterday and decided against it...and from your description I'm glad I did.

And the Northcoast Rasputin Stout is a beaut!

Matt said...


Thanks for stopping by. The triple bock gets good reviews from some places, but I just couldn't find it in there.

I am curious if the other years taste the same, but not curious enough to buy them.