Thursday, November 3, 2016
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Last of the pumpkin ales currently in my fridge, Out of Your Gourd pumpkin porter is a surefire winner. Pours a chocolate brown with a frothy tan one-finger head, this isn't one of those ales where the flavoring overwhelms the beeriness of the beer...if you know what I mean. Solid roasted malt foundation, sweet, but not cloying. Lots of spices floating around but not clamoring for attention: nutmeg, cinnamon, even a little cranberry. If you're a porter guy or gal, if you're a pumpkin ale aficionado, then this gourds for you!
Notes added September 6, 2016
My appreciation for this porter increases every time I taste it. The head poured a lot deeper this year, four fingers easily with that reverse waterfall effect that characterizes a porter or stout pour. One thing that I did not notice last year was the maple syrup, which evidently gave Out of Your Gourd its sweetness, but did not seem overly mapley this year, even when I knew it was there. This is by far one of my favorite pumpkin ales and one of my favorite porters.
I was looking for Red Hook's Out of Your Gourd Pumpkin Porter, but sadly they were out, but the helpful beer store guy suggested this pumpkin stout from the Utah Beer Collective: Black O'Lantern. It poured a deep mahogany, with scarlet highlights and a brief tan head. The mouthfeel was very thick and creamy, there was pumpkin and spices, but not overmuch, mostly nutmeg. It had an almost eggnogy taste to it, if that makes sense. Pretty decent stout, but if you're looking for a great pumpkin ale, this isn't it.
Updated September 6, 2016
I've changed my opinion since last year. While the words I used to describe the beer are pretty spot on, I think I must have been disappointed that I couldn't find any of the Red Hook pumpkin porter last year. Trying one now, I'm much more impressed than I was last year. Even without the pumpkin this would be a very good stout, the pumpkin spices just add to the seasonal feel. I'd upgrade my opinion to "this is an outstanding pumpkin stout"
Monday, September 5, 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Within the stout/porter category, there are several subcategories. One of the earliest was Russian Imperial Stout, so named because it was exported to Russian for the Czar. Imperial Stout was characterized by a very high alcohol content. The appellation Imperial has come to be used for high alcohol versions of other styles. Baltic Porters are similar in taste, but are typically lower in alcohol content. Milk Stout, also called Sweet Stout is a popular style. Brewed partially with lactose, which is not fermentable by beer yeast, the residual lactose sugar imparts a sweet creaminess to the stout. Dry, or Irish, Stout is kind of the opposite of the sweet stout. It's hoppier and drier; Guinness is a good example of this style.
Many stouts and porters have a distinct chocolate or coffee taste. This is not necessarily due to any flavoring being added, but qualities of the malts themselves.
Stouts and porters are perfect for cooler weather, and also go well with chocolate or other sweet desserts.
Don't be afraid of the dark...beer