Thanks to Justin Smith for bringing this over the other night for one of our tasting events. I didn't realized I hadn't tried so many of the Founder's selection. Tasted Monday afternoon following the completion of the brewing segment of Great River Brewery's Operations Manuel.
Appearance: The pour was a bit hazy and one could easily draw that this beer wasn't filtered from the dreggs at the bottom (or simply bottle conditioned). In the glass it looks oily black. There doesn't remain much of a head, except for a traced thin ring of bubbles clinging to the glass. Absolute opacity and darkness.
Aroma: Chocolaty with a rich note of bready malt and yeast. Some roasted undertones provide a bitter sweetness at the end. I'd even go to say that there is a faint doughiness about this beer. Notes of alcohol are present, but under layers of dark malt complexity.
Taste: There is an interesting flavor change within the first couple sips. What starts briefly sweet and smooth passes on with a note of wood and molasses. There is a bite in the end that sparks a not of acidity alongside the carbonation. This is when the true sweetness and flavor pass over the tastebuds in an indiscriminately cocoa flavor. The alcohol is present here as well as it carries on a dryness down the throat. Some roasty flavors emerge here as the beer warms up. The burn emerges more prominently as the beer warms up as well.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation maintains two parts, one at the beginning with a very fine micro bubbled fizz, and persists down the throat. The alcohol helps produce some refreshing dryness, but there remains a lot of cloying texture on the roof of the mouth. The feel is heavier, with a chalkiness to it. Full bodied and smooth.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the unusual complimetation of the chocolate flavor and the yeasty/breadiness that was much of the sweetness. Very balanced, and produced all aspects of what I'd expect in a porter. Maybe less yeast next time because I can see it being a bit off putting to the normal publican, but to me it worked out just fine!