Brewery: Ballast Point
When I first started drinking in my hazy youth it was always lager I went for first. Maybe it was because it was the most easily available or perhaps it was because that was what all my friends were drinking. It took me quite a while to branch out into other beer genres. The only pints of stout I had ever really tried up the age of about 24 were ones I had down in boozy student ritual (not recommended). Once I did start to learn to appreciate the darker beers though I found I always moved more towards stouts and porters that had more of a chocoalte tone than roasted. I’ve never really enjoyed coffee so sucking down a pint of extremely roasted coffee flavoured beer was never at the top of my list. Ballast Point started in San Diego in 1996 and progressed to being one of the biggest craft brewers in the USA. They have a reputation for quality so when I found this beer though I thought it would be something that I would enjoy, and I wasn’t mistaken.
The beer had a deep, dark richness to it as it poured and was nearly pitch black. The mocha coloured head formed easily. When swirled it was obvious that the porter had a substantial body to it, clinging stickily to the glass. Big hits of toffee, licorice and a slight burnt note from the Caffe Calabria coffee beans emanated from the beer and gave2 a really enticing aroma. The vanilla really came through strong on the tongue along with other notes such as bitter dark chocolate and creamy coffee. The porter coated every part of the mouth eith its viscous liquid and the intense flavours really came through. The aftertaste was relatively short, except for a slight alcoholic sting and a light burnt tone.
I have to say that this was a great beer. It had the body, the aroma and the full taste to put it up high on the list of great porters I have tried in my life. I really enjoyed the nice sweetness of the chocolate and vanilla and how they were made the main focus of the beer. It really had me wanting more, even though I think it might be too heavy to have more than one. This could be an amazing dessert beer, accompanied by some lovely rich chocolate cake and cherries. I look forward to trying this again soon.