A few weeks ago my wife went to LA, and when she returned it wasn't empty handed. It was with beer, not just any beer of course, but great wonderful craft beer. I posted about the Hitachino XH last week, tonight is one from California. Port Brewing to be exact, based in a small town outside of San Diego. The brewery started out in Solana Beach California in 1993 as a pizza/brew pub serving great pizza's and great beer. I was actually at the one in Solana when I escaped Hurricane Ike last year. Since then they've grown to a couple of more locations and actually took over the old Stone Brewery site as their main brew site. Also noteworthy is the former head brewer Tomme Arthur at Solana Beach is now the head brewer at Port's sister brewery Lost Abbey. But, I know you are asking "what about the beer?" I'm getting there I promise. The brewery says that this beer is a BIG Black nasty monster brewed to no particular style. Its a blended beer, of two beers, one that is fermented in stainless steel barrels, the other that has been aging in bourbon barrels. The blend is 80% new and 20% aged.
The Beer: This brew weighs in at a hefty 10% abv and pours a thick viscous pitch black with a thin cafe colored head. The nose is of coco, espresso, raisins, burnt malt, Toffee, hints of oak, and a sweet vanillan flavor. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. More notes of coco, espresso, burnt malts, figs, dark fruits, raisins. A smokeyness shows up in the mid palate hinting at notes of vanilla and oak. As the beer warms there's a tangy sourness that just starts to show up in the back ground, then flavors of chocolate chip cookies. Finally ending with port or sherry notes. While the head starts thin, it leaves a copious amount of cafe colored lacing down the glass. This is a wonderful beer with a whole lot going on. A bit like an Imperial Stout, but with so much more going on. This one gets an A- from me. Here's what the folks at BA had to say.