Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shipyard Brewing Co. - Imperial Porter

ABV 7.1% (Bottle 625ml)


The Brewery

The Bottle
"Imperial Porter is a full bodied, very dark, malty beer with a good roasted character coming from the Crystal, Chocolate and Black Patent Malts used in the mash. Warrior, English Fuggles, and East Kent Goldings Hops balance the malts with a good hop bite. The beer has an OG of 1.070, rounding out after fermentation with just a slight residual sweetness and cutting dry at the finish. 7.1% alcohol by volume."


The Pour
Pours thick and jet black like cola.  Head...did you see the picture?  Freaking beautiful!  Puffy, sudsy, khaki in colour with the texture of mousse that collects in soaring peaks above the rim and eventually settles like a blanket over the beer.    

Aroma
Big roasted malt, dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee.  There are also aromas of Caramilk bars with alcoholic whiskey notes similar to the smell of Baileys.  Some welcome fall/winter spice aromas of nutmeg, pine, maple and earthy hops as well.  Quite wonderful.


Taste
Full bodied, smooth, creamy and thick.  The roast malts are not sweet but strong and powerful with a large coffee hit that is helped along by the generous dose of alcohol.  It mellows quickly into more familiar porter territory.  The brew ends up feeling light despite the high ABV and strong nose, which could be quite dangerous.  There is also a surprising sticky hoppy sensation on the backend that leads to a very welcome dry finish. 

Overall
Very cool indeed.  Maybe a little heavy on the alcohol burn and hops but also extremely impressive.  I think there is some room for hops in dark beers right now.  It adds a new and different dimension to  realms where malt has held sway for so long.   I also like Silversmith's new black lager because of the creative malt/hop balance.  I give it an A.  Very impressive, not perfect in composition, but close.

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