Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter

The Stovepipe Porter is Otter Creek's American interpretation of a Robust Porter under section 12B of the BJCP style guidelines. Introduced in April of 1997, this moderately low alcohol beer is well-hopped and full of dark roasted malt. This richly flavored beer is one of the brewery's year round offerings along with Copper Ale and Black IPA. I feel this beer may also fall under a Brown Porter style as well.

Alcohol Content: 4.4%
International Bitterness Units (IBU): 28
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Caramel 60L, Chocolate, Carapils & Roasted Barley
Hops: Nugget, Cascade & Willamette

Medium: 12oz bottle purchased and poured into a standard pint glass
Price: $13.00 for a 12-pack Otter Creek Sampler

Aroma: This beer is dominated by a rich chocolate-like aroma with roasted and smokey attributes which creates for a low hop profile. I was rather disappointed when I could not capture any aroma from the Cascade hop and its inherent citrus qualities.
Appearance: Mostly black in appearance with ruby notes. When held up to the light, this beer shows brilliant clarity. Moderately low carbonation with a dark tan/ brown head lingering around the rim.
Flavor: Contains strong malt characteristics with noticeably burnt and smokey flavors. The perceived bitterness is quite strong and contains spicy notes as well as some drying. As I continued to sip I noticed there to be increasing harshness, especially in the aftertaste. Initially I would say this beer is more dominated by its malt character but the bittering qualities suggests a fairly balanced beer.
Mouthfeel: Definitely some astringency with some harshness and drying. It's lacking body and feels rather thin for the style. I also found some warmth usually common in higher alcohol beers which was misleading as well.
Overall Impression: I was not impressed - I found it enticing to drink more quickly because of the lingering harsh aftertaste that left me thirsty to rid these perceptions. Starts off great but finishes unpleasant. A good food pairing for this beer would be a nice Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate.

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