Saturday, December 14, 2013

Suede Imperial Porter

Breweries: 10 Barrel, Stone Brewing, and Bluejacket
ABV: 9.6%
IBUS: 50

Today, I decided to sample this special collaborative beer as a way of celebrating the nearly 3,000 visitors (and over 100 Facebook fans) I received yesterday after posting the first of my end of the year roundups. It's not often I get more than two hundred visitors a day, and I seldom receive more than two or three likes in a productive week. With this in mind, I initially set out to film a video of myself sampling a beer. The video was taken, but I think I need to work on my "stage fright" (so to speak) before I try to incorporate video of myself onto this website.

I purchased this beer about a month ago, as I trust almost anything with a Stone label, and I'm always excited to try new breweries, especially when they're collaborating with a brewery I love and trust. Neither 10 Barrel nor Bluejacket receives much (any?) distribution down here in Florida, so it was an added bonus to discover some new talent. As a fan of dark beer, I think this will be up my alley enough to review for many newcomers to get a feel for what I do. While drinking this beer, I perused tunes from spacey krautrock and drone inspired rockers The Cosmic Dead, at a friend's recommendation. Sufficiently psychedelic, and appropriately new to me for such a new and exciting beer.

Upon initial pour, the beer is quite fragrant, yet nothing too strong is revealed outside of the traditional porter style. For a beer with as many unique and compelling ingredients as Suede boasts, I'm surprised that the flavors aren't more pronounced. However, this isn't necessarily a complaint, as the rich yet sweet balance that is created (mostly from the avocado honey, I assume) works like a charm, providing a smooth drinking experience. I've never had calendula flower in anything before, so I'm not entirely certain what to be searching for with that, but the jasmine is probably too subtle to be a dominant flavor in something as bold as an imperial porter. The beer is rather syrupy in its body, but there are no syrupy flavors fortunately, just a pleasant sensation in my mouth. This is definitely delicious, although not so much of a groundbreaking beer as it is a thoroughly enjoyable take on a familiar format. If I gained nothing else from this beer, it's that I need to add 10 Barrel and Bluejacket to my list of breweries to seek out.

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