Monday, April 22, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 105, Yards Tavern Porter

This is a recipe that belonged to George Washington and it is considered an English Porter which were beer blends of an old ale (aged and sour), a new ale (fresh, rough around the edges) and a weak ale (table beer, el cheapo and watery beer) that actually tasted exceptional and this being Earth Day I can call it recycling as it used some beer that may have been, Dog forbid, thrown away.  Modern porters are not brewed that way, well, I don't know of any as of yet, but are brewed with pale malts with a small portion of darker malts mixed in.  I suppose that this is what George Washington did, unless Yards did it the old way.  THAT I don't know.  I haven't seen the exact recipe and only have read of folks using 6 row grain and a ton of molasses.

Let me just add that Saturday I ate two very small slices of pizza after I had a very small piece of cake that my friend made on board Gazela.  I thought at the time that it would be a good experiment to see if I got ill.  Sunday I was fine.  Tonight I am not.  I have severe abdominal pain and drinking this beer is probably not a good idea, BUT for the sake of the blog AND the fact that this beer is exceptional I am willing to continue and as I blather on about my problems and waste time, the beer approaches it's best temperature.  A method to my madness there is!
This beer pours a very dark brown where if you look at the base of the pint in my picture it is actually quite clear with a tan one finger head that remains as a full ring and center cap on top of the beer and leaves a very nice wet lacing pattern on the glass.

The aroma is of molasses, caramel malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, a hint of bread and sweet dark fruit with not much in the way of hops, maybe something piney, but so distant that I can't make it out.

The taste is a very similar profile as it's nose.  In fact, just reread what I wrote above and add in a mild bitter finish that balances the beer almost perfectly if not perfect (to keep it from being overly sweet) and leaves you slightly dry and in complete anticipation of the next sip!  A slight peppery tastes lingers as well and there is no hint of the high 7% ABV content of this beer.

Mouthfeel is definitely creamy, smooth, slightly sweet and very full in body.  The carbonation is just under moderate and refreshing.  Mildly dry finish.

Overall, I would like to say that this beer is world class.  I think that some may argue with that assessment on the grounds that it may be too sweet with too much molasses or somehow doesn't completely fit with the grain bill.  But it seems to me that this is a pretty broad category in beers and allows for such differences.  I'm going out on a limb here and calling this 5 out of 5.  It's so very complex, sweet yet dry, balanced with the only hint of the ABV being the warming feeling in my stomach.  World Class!

You folks need to try this beer!  Especially you East Coasters.  Hopefully this, as well as the other Ales of the Revolution collection,  will become in my beloved Portland, Oregon.  I would love them to serve these beers at The Horsebrass Pub!

Have a great night!


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