Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, New York
Alcohol Content: 5.8%
Official Description from Brewer:
"Porter is our darkest beer, but not necessarily our strongest. It is widely held that the darker the beer, the stronger the beer, but this is summarily false. The contribution of color comes directly from the color of malt that we use. Some malt is roasted to achieve dark color and coffee-like flavor which in turn get transferred to the beer. Our Porter is richly complex with overtones of chocolate and espresso beans followed by a subtle flavor of hops. It’s a nourishing beer without being too sweet or filling."
I know I had promised a week's worth of hop heaven, but when a beer is given to you for free you do not turn it down. So after a visit with my brother I pilfered (with permission) a 12oz. bottle of Southern Tier's "Dark Robust Porter" out of the two six packs from his kitchen. I was told I would like this beer.
As always, we start with the pour. Not unusual, the porter flowed like motor oil and offered very little head. The motor oil in this case is used conventional and not synthetic. If you know your motor oil that does make a difference. For simplicity's sake, the beer is dark. Surprise! Southern Tier reminds us that the color comes from the roasting of the malts and for their porter they use 5 different malts. I couldn't tell you which ones, but then again I'm not an expert enough to know what the difference is.
Porter smells like stale coffee. I was searching for the chocolate overtone but I came up empty. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. A good porter doesn't need to remind you of sweets. The coffee aroma was a little strong but it did not affect the taste of the beer much, at least I don't think it did. Porter sits on your tongue with a little bit of a syrupy consistency. It's not as smooth as some of the other dark beers I've tried before.
Southern Tier is right when they tell us that the beer is not sweet or filling. You can easily go through a six pack in a night and not feel the heaviness of having consumed six porters. The hop balance prevents that overall sweet sensation some porters can give and the aftertaste isn't nearly as potent as YETI yields so you can enjoy the buffet after consumption. As far as nourishing? Well, don't think of it in terms of the nutritional content. I'm sure the folks of western New York cherish this porter as a local favorite.
Suggestion: If you don't like porters, this might be one to avoid sticking a toe in the water. If you like porters, you will be pleasantly surprised by how easy this one is to drink. It might disappoint you too. I was told I would like it and I did. But fortunately for me, it was free. Would I spend money on it? Not sure, depends on the price.
Value: See above. Free is always a good value. I might amend this post in the future if I can land a price tag for you.
Michelle Factor: Poor Michelle missed out on this one. She was out at the movies with friends and I had just come back from fishing and decided to have a cold one. I promise I'll get her in on the next one.