Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unchained Series 05: Pumpkin Porter

Tasted over winter break following a long day working at Binny's. I grabbed the last 6 pack on the shelf, and I'm sure glad I did.

Appearance: No head upon pour or after for that matter, though a ring persists along with a tanned wet lacing that leaves globs on the glass. Deep beautiful chocolate black, with hardly any transparency when held to the light, even around the edges.
Aroma: Dry with bittersweet dark chocolate and earthy squash notes. Some ginger and cinnamon add a bit of spicing to the finish. Other than that this beer has a nice subtle aroma to it of dark roasted and chocolate barley.
Taste: You don't really taste the sweetness of the adjuncts until the beer washes down. Much of the flavor resides at the back of the palate and in the aftertaste. Nevertheless this is not something to be worried about. This beer boasts a magnificent chocolate profile accompanied by a baked pumpkin and brown sugar sweetness. The spices as noted above help carry the beer on out into the aftertaste. I really enjoy the mingled combination of both dark roasted chocolate and the earthy and sweet flavors of pumpkin and its additional adjuncts. This is the best pumpkin beer I've had by far because the complexity and the not-too-over-spiced character that is all too common to most pumpkin attempts. Much is just left to the simple ingredients. By the finish, some roasted coffee flavors begin to emerge accompanied with some Golding characters.
Mouthfeel: Minimal carbonation, but enough to leave a tingle at the tip of the tongue. The beer is thicker bodied and tacky to the lips. The texture remains smooth and controlled for prolonged enjoyment.
Overall Impression: Certainly a dessert beer. Or whatever to the drinkers imagination. But I can still drink it pretty fast while enjoying it (devouring). I'm so glad I picked this beer up! The unique and simplified label was catchy. I know summit was doing some experimentation's and I had liked their pale and red ales so I decided to give it a shot. I picked this one up along with their rye, and I couldn't be happier. This beer relies on the balance between chocolate, pumpkin and minute spicing along with Golding hops to create a nice appreciable sweet beer. Spectacular job, Nate Siats!


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