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Tasting – Black Porter

12/10/2014

Porter

Autumn is here and a roasty dark beer is just the thing while the wind blows and leaves fall from the trees. Maybe with a peaty whisky in front of a fireplace. Well, I suppose two out of three isn’t bad…

Appearance :  An ink-black body that has bright ruby overtones when held to the light. The head is brown-ish and settles down to a low foam after a while. Not much lacing is left on the sides when the pint empties. On a sidenote, taking a decent picture of a black beer is difficult when there isn’t much ambient light…

Smell : A slight burnt coffee note. Cocoa and biscuity malt. A bit of apple esters from the fermentation after the beer warms up.

Taste : Pretty much the same as in the nose. When the beer warms up from the kegerator temperatures there is a nutty aftertaste that is quite pleasant. I enjoy the taste, it feels balanced with just enough of roast without tasting like burnt coffee. Still, there is room for improvement, it could be a bit sweeter. I left the crystal malts out on purpose following my usual rule of keeping the malt bill simple but with this beer I think crystal malts would benefit the end result.

Mouthfeel :  Hmm, not as thick as some of my favorite commercial porters even with the oats in the mash but then again it ended up at an final gravity of 1.012. (not that FG tells the full story of how a beer feels in the mouth) I’ve turned down the pressure in the kegerator so less carbonation than usual which suits this beer well. Not bad, but I’d enjoy it more if it would feel a bit thicker.

Notes/thoughts : I think this recipe could benefit from some crystal malts that would give a bit of sweetness and body. Also, I would smash higher the next time, maybe at 68C (The mash cooled down more than usual with this one and ended up at 66C). The beer isn’t bad, on the contrary, I enjoy the roast and nutty flavours but it could be a tad better with a slight sweetness and a thicker body.

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