Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sierra Nevada Porter Review

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. | Beer: Porter
Style: American Porter | ABV: 5.6% | IBUs: 32
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Sierra Nevada PorterWhile Sierra Nevada has been busy reinventing their once-staid package lineup, most of their core beers have made it through the process (RIP Wheat Beer). One of the "original" Sierra Nevada products is their Porter. The label may have changed from blue to brown since I wrote the tasting notes below last year, but this is still the classic beer we've seen on shelves for years.

It has a pretty simple recipe. The backbone is built from Two-Row Pale, Munich, Chocolate and Caramel malts. Golding hops are used for bittering and Willamette hops are used for finishing. According to Sierra Nevada, the result is:

Dark and rich, Sierra Nevada Porter is a delicious, medium-bodied ale with a creamy head. The Porter’s smooth flavor (malty with hints of caramel) comes from a blend of deep-roasted barley malts.
Sounds good to me. Let's pop the top and get a history lesson.

Appearance: A thick, rich mahogany body with ruby highlights and a solid finger of cream-colored head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma: All of the normal aromas for a Porter: roasted malt with lots of smoky, bittersweet chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste: Much the same profile as the nose; lots of roasty malt, rich chocolate, and coffee. But, now there's a subtle hoppiness in the end. Bitter, yet balanced. The aftertaste features dark chocolate and a decent dose of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style, without ever being too thin.

Verdict: Sierra Nevada Porter is just a solid, drinkable beer. It's uncomplicated, but never simple. Highly drinkable, but never boring. I heard rumors last year that this beer might be taken out of my local market in order to make room for the new year-round Sierra Nevada beers. I'm glad can squeeze everyone in.

Grade: A-

Note: While the label shown above has been been redesigned, the accompanying tasting notes were taken when the beer was fresh in 2009.

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