A guest blog post by Bill Fishburn. You can follow Bill on Twitter @rwfishbu1.
I seem to be on a bit of a porter kick these days. Silver City Brewery’s Panther Lake Porter is my third in as many months, but I promise it’s worth it… if porters are your thing. This beer was recommended to me on a recent trip to Port Townsend for Strange Brew Fest, by @technobozo, one of my craftbeer tweeps. I found it at the Safeway in Port Townsend, but keep your eyes open in the greater Puget Sound region. They are starting to venture beyond local distribution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and have made it into Gig Harbor.
Aroma: The first scents to make their presence known were coffee and dark caramel. These were followed by a dark fruit aroma of raisin and then a nice hint of molasses. The hop aroma was very low and somewhat spicy, but I had difficulty picking a spice to compare it to.
Appearance: The head was thick and dark tan, and very persistent. As is standard for me with the darker beers, I had to shine a light through this near-black nectar. The light that found its way through revealed good clarity for a dark beer and provided some ruby-like glints for my viewing pleasure. Without a light, the beer was completely opaque, preventing ambient light from penetrating.
Flavor: This porter was a flagship of dark-roasted flavor, mostly reminiscent of espresso but with some pleasant hints of dark, dark chocolate. A very slight burnt contribution from the dark grains presented in the background. The dark roastiness was offset by a tart hop flavor, but no bitterness to speak of. The beer provided a low alcoholic note and slight carbonic flavor as I finished the swallow, leaving me with a lingering roasted grain flavor that was quite nice.
Mouthfeel: With a medium body and moderately low carbonation, it finished somewhat dry, but with no astringency.
Overall: This beer had a nice, roasty character that was complemented by just the right amount of hop flavor to make it a very enjoyable beer. At 6% ABV you should be able to enjoy a couple before you find you need to walk home or lie down… or order a couple more.