Breckenridge NVP Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge+NVP+Vanilla+PorterIn the mountain town of Breckenridge, the 3rd oldest craft brewery in Colorado opened its door back in 1990. Located below the ski slopes most would associate Breckenridge with, the breweries first home was on Main Street. A favorite by locals and tourists alike, it didn’t take long for expansion plans to be put in place, and a second location was opened in Denver just a few years later. They recently moved to a 12 acre campus offering guided tours, a restaurant and of course breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

What is a Nitro charged beer?

Some may be hearing this for the first time, others are very familiar with the technique. When breweries infuse the beer with nitrogen it creates smaller gas bubbles, giving the beer a creamier and smooth mouthfeel. It also adds variances in smell and appearance. Usually reserved for heavier or darker beers, some have started experimenting with IPA’s as well.

This beers pours a very dark, almost black color. The nitrogen infusion gives way to beautiful frothy white head and leaves sheets of lacing on the side of the glass.

On the nose, vanilla really jumps from the glass. There are strong notes of malt, toasted nuts and aromas of chocolate. The vanilla is by far the most prominent of all aromas but also gives off a very inviting smell.

In your mouth is where the nitro really takes charge. While the Vanilla porter on its own is very smooth, the creaminess from the nitrogen really seals the deal. silky smooth, with plenty of vanilla and chocolate notes that give way to malt and barley flavors.

Overall, stays true to its core brew but adds a smooth creaminess that makes this Vanilla Porter shine. A great choice for those ready to jump right into stout season a few weeks early. This would pair nicely with a nice porterhouse, earthy shellfish like oysters or chocolate mousse cake.

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints

Baxter Brewing Window Seat Porter

baxter window seatBaxter is a Maine based micro-craft brewery located in the up and coming community of Lewiston. Founded by company president H. Luke Livingston in 2010, Baxter Brewing Company’s line of year-round and seasonal offerings can be currently found throughout the much of the Northeast. Their most recent addition to the seasonal line-up, is a coconut almond porter called “Window Seat.”

The beer pours an almost black color with maroon highlights when viewed directly against the light. The one finger khaki colored head shows average retention and dissipates to a spotty lacing.

On the nose you will find enticing aromas of coconut, chocolate and almond that can’t help but make you think of that well known candy bar with the same ingredients. There is some roasted coffee notes and a hint of creamy vanilla as well.

The palate echoes the bouquet rather seamlessly. Notes of toasted coconut hit right off the bat alongside notes of toasted almonds and chocolate. The vanilla from the nose is a little more prominent on the palate as is the dark roasted coffee. There is a light hop presence which adds a (needed) bitterness on the finish.

Baxter delivers what they promise, an airlift to a tropical escape! The coconut and almond notes definitely conjure tropical images. A yummy beer that would be a great complement for brie, pork mole or German chocolate cake. It would also make a delicious dessert in and of itself! 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

Ballast Point Homework Series #6 Robust Porter

ballast point #6 porterBallast Point was founded in 1996 by Jack White, who was a home brewer. Almost 30 years later, staying true to its roots, Ballast Point launched a new line of beers dubbed “Homework Series.” These beers are selected recipes entered by home brewers. The most recent winner and the 6th installment of the series is a robust porter.

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights when viewed against the light. The one finger mocha colored head dissipates somewhat quickly. Once the head has completely dissipated a light lacing remains atop the beer.

Aromas of roasted coffee and cocoa nibs highlighted by roasted malt notes. Sweet caramel and toffee notes intertwine seamlessly with a creamy marshmallow note. A smoky char aroma is also discernable. Some dark fruit notes can also be detected.

On the palate you’ll find charred malts, roasted coffee and chocolate notes. Sweet caramel and toffee are melded with a creamy lactose character. The dark fruit notes from the bouquet are also present on the palate. The deep roastiness of the malts and the coffee add a slight bitterness that aids in balancing the beer’s sweetness. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied.

This robust porter was rightfully chosen for batch 6 of the Homework Series line. It is well balanced and well brewed! This homebrewer should be proud! Try pairing this one with Colby, smoked brisket or brownie a la mode. 4 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Pints out of 5

Lancaster Shoo Fly Pie Porter

Lancaster Shoo Fly Pie PorterInspired by long and rich traditions, Lancaster Brewing Company is located in the heart of Lancaster County, PA. Brewing alongside scores of old-world craftsmen, independent farmers and their fiercely independent Amish neighbors. Lancaster Brewing Company boasts a portfolio of over a dozen and a half beers, one of their latest releases pays homage to a local favorite, the Shoo Fly Pie!

The beer pours a rich deep cola with some ruby highlights when viewed directly against light. The generous dense two finger head recedes extremely slowly. Once the head completely dissipates a lovely lacing remains.

Aromas of roasted malts and a hint of char create a rich and dark backdrop for contrasting notes of sweet molasses, rich black cherry and creamy vanilla. Hints of espresso, chocolate and roasted Bavarian nuts are also detectable.

On the palate the sweet molasses hits up front. Roasted malt and nut notes can be found among the molasses. Creamy vanilla notes flow freely throughout while black cherry notes pepper the palate in waves. A touch of cocoa is discernible on the mid-palate and a bitter espresso note hits on the finish combating the sweetness.

Lancaster does justice to one of the region’s most renown desserts. This smooth, lighter style porter is a great pair for Stilton, glazed baked ham or of course, Shoo Fly pie! 3 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Out of 5 Pints 

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current  inventory! 

Yards General Washington’s Tavern Porter

Yards General Washington PorterFounded in 1994, Yards Brewing Company went from a garage-sized operation to a nationally recognized name. Part of their “Ales of the Revolution” line, Yards General Washington Tavern Porter is a dark beer brewed with molasses. General George Washington originally created this porter to satisfy the thirsts of his field officers. Washington’s fondness for Colonial Philadelphia-style porter is reflected in this historic recipe.

The beer pours a deep dark brown with garnet red highlights when viewed in the light. The thin half finger mocha colored head dissipates at a decent pace. Once then head has receded, a thin layer of lacing remains atop the beer.

Aromas of roasted caramel malts dominate the nose. Roasted coffee and baker’s chocolate aromas piggy back off the malt notes. Sweet notes of dark dried fruits like raisins and figs add complexity and balance the bouquet.

The palate echoes the nose seamlessly. The caramel malts hit first and carry through to the finish. Along the way roasted coffee and nut notes as well as rich chocolate flavors make an appearance. Sweet dried fruits notes pop up next and are highlighted by a rich molasses flavor. A touch of smoke is introduced just before the finish which offers a touch of hop bitterness.

Yards has created a winner with this one! General Washington’s porter is a well-crafted beer with an impressive history. A great pair for aged gouda, pot roast with root vegetables or chocolate mousse. 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints 

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current  inventory! 

Harpoon Maple Tap Imperial Porter

Harpoon Maple Tap Imperial PorterHarpoon Brewey started with three friends who shared a love of beer. College classmates Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary were passionate about craft beer, but couldn’t find what they were looking for at local pubs. While traveling in Europe, they drank many diverse, fresh, local beers and experienced firsthand the wonderful beer culture that existed just across the pond. When they returned to Boston they decided that if they couldn’t buy the beer they wanted, they’d create their own, and in 1986 the Harpoon Brewery was born! One of their most recent limited seasonal releases is their Maple Tap Imperial Porter.

The beer pours a dark amber color and appears as a deep dark brown in the glass. Reddish hues are noticeable when viewed against the light. The two finger cappuccino colored head shows some retention and leaves behind a hearty lacing.

Dark roasty aromas of chocolate malts and coffee are compounded by notes of burnt sugar. Toasted nut aromas are also quite discernible. Sweet caramel notes with a hint of creamy vanilla are notable through the dark roasty aromas.

On the palate you get big flavors of roasted malts, dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted notes. Sweet brown sugar and maple sugar notes add a level of sweetness to the palate. A fruity note of dried dark fruits like raisins hang in the background. There is a boozy presence that is warming but not over powering. The beer is subtle and balanced. The maple adds sweetness but doesn’t scream “I’m a maple beer!” The body isn’t super thick or cloying, making the beer easier to enjoy.

Harpoon’s Maple Tap Imperial Porter is a great cooler weather beer to sip on in the company of fellow beer lovers. Try pairing this one with Asiago cheese, smoked sausages, braised sweet red cabbage, or cheesecake. 3 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory

Evil Genius Purple Monkey Dishwasher Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

evil genius purple monkey dishwasherEvery now and then a style of beer that was once considered a specialty or rarity becomes mainstream in the craft beer scene. Chocolate Peanut Butter Porters are the newest addition to this list.

With many breweries adding this style to their portfolio, or moving an existing recipe from a specialty product to year-round, it’s evident that Chocolate Peanut Butter Porters are becoming mainstream. One of the breweries offering this popular style is the Evil Genius Beer Company. Evil Genius began in 2008 when founders Luke Bowen and Trevor Hayward met in an accounting class at Villanova University. Realizing that their job prospects were grim due to the recession, they decided to follow their passion and start their own brewery. The rest is history. Evil Genius produces eclectic brews, most of which are limited or seasonal offerings such as their Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter.

The beer pours an almost black dark brown with some dark red hues when view directly in the light. The cappuccino colored head is thick and frothy. The head dissipates somewhat quickly and leaves a very light lacing a top the beer.

On the nose the first aroma is sweet peanut butter, similar to a peanut butter icing. While the peanut butter dominates there are notes of dark and milk chocolate accented by creamy vanilla. Malty notes are also detectable and highlight the chocolate. Finally there is a faint fruity aroma that adds a sweetness and creates a break from what you would expect from the bouquet.

On the palate you are hit with flavors of sweet, creamy peanut butter. Roasted notes of chocolate and malts mix perfectly with hints of vanilla as well as the peanut butter to create a flavor profile similar to a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup milkshake. The creamy mouthfeel of this beer adds to the milkshake quality. The beer isn’t thick or cloying and surprisingly not too sweet.

This beer is all good (no evil here) and quite possibly genius. A straightforward and classic version of this new up and coming style. Try pairing this with chocolate cheddar, Thai peanut chicken sandwich on a pretzel roll or chocolate peanut butter cream pie with pretzel crust. 3 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory