This past weekend found me at one of my all time favorite beer places. While not necessarily local (it is a chain) Flying Saucer has one of the best beer selections around, bar none. Usually when I head into my local Saucer my eyes are immediately drawn to the chalk board above the bar, here is where you find what's just landed, whats new on tap and in the bottle. This time was no different, and my eyes were immediately drawn to Tommy Knocker's Cocoa Porter in the bottle. I had heard about this beer and was eager to try it. No sooner had a sat down and ordered one than my friendly waitress set one before me poured into a pint glass.
The Brewery: Tommy Knocker is not only a brewery but a pub in Idaho Springs, CO. I actually went there, well before I had delved deep into craft beer so its a place I want to visit again. They've been around for about 10 years, and while some of the beers can be run of the mill, they do make some interesting fair, chief among them their Maple Nut brown, a brown ale made with maple syrup. In fact they've just released an Imperial version that I'm dying to try but alas I don't think it will make its way to Texas.
The Beer: The Cocoa Porter is a winter warmer made with real ground cocoa. The beer pours an almost opaque with a thin barely visible toffee colored head. The nose is full of cocoa, honey, roasted malts. The mouth is creamy chocolatey, slightly sweet and incredibly smooth. It has a sense of Swiss Miss cocoa mix, and trust me this is a good thing. Its quite amazing in its cocoa-ness. The hop profile is pretty low as this is a creamy malty beer. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer as the only negative I could find was its utter lack of head. I think that would have made the beer even creamier. That withstanding I found this beer to be outstanding, its a strong B+ in my book. While a quite a lot of folks at BA didn't like it, I think they missed the point. This is not a serious Porter or stout, this is drinking hot cocoa by the fire. I believe this is what TK wanted to do, and if it is, its a success.