“Across the cold and brackish waters of the Baltic, the English porter was transformed, from a mild ale to a dark and complex lager that confounds definition. Immersed in dark, roasted malts and a bold citrus hop character, these big and contrasting flavors are brought together with the smoothness of a lager for a brew that’s rugged, mysterious, and full of flavor.”
Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into my nonic imperial pint glass. The color is a deep reddish brown, allowing just a trace of light to penetrate through. The head is big and frothy, tan in color, lasted throughout, and left solid lacing.
A very strong, sweet, dark fruit scent (dried cherries?), powerful from the second the cap was removed. Almost gives off a wine-like, barrel aged scent. Mild undertones of typical Samuel Adams yeast/hops/citrus, and a hint of black licorice. The nose doesn’t seem typical of an English porter, or that of a lager. A bit of a west coast style IPA scent, but that is underneath multiple layers of other scents.
Begins a little thin, with a moderate amount of bitterness, leading to a strong, dark fruit syrup flavor. Some of the licorice from the nose comes through, but the dark fruitiness dominates the palate. I’m finding it difficult to put my finger on the exact flavor, but the dark fruit is strong (maybe too strong). Finishes dry, with a light, roasty, fruity aftertaste. There is no real piney/floral taste of a traditional IPA.
I could tell right away that this was an experimental, transformation brew. The base of a porter comes through right at the end, but is unimpressive. The lagery/IPA fruitiness that it is designed to lead towards is potently flavorful, but off-putting to my palate. There is a transformation that takes place in the mouth, and the overall experience is a neat one. That being said, the better parts of this beer are the understated ones, while the flavors my palate found nearly offensive are predominant.
This beer may be more palatable by those who can appreciate a deep, dark, dry red wine. However, the flavor combination offered by this hybrid brew just isn’t for me. 3/10
The Boston Beer Company – Boston, Massachusetts