Thursday, January 24, 2008

Full Sail Top Sail Imperial Porter review

Full Sail Top Sail Imperial PorterTake me to your Imperial Leader! I think I'm becoming a porter lover, at least if you consider the past few beers I've reviewed. Last night I decided to try something new and different. I've had porters before but never an Imperial Porter until now.

I wanted to try a porter with a bit more kick to it. I settled on a Top Sail Imperial Porter from Full Sail Brewing out of Hood River, Oregon. I had never tried an imperial porter, much less an imperial anything. The Full Sail brand was also new to me. I normally drink local beers first as a rule, but on occasion I'll try another state's craft beer. The Full Sail web site indicates that their flagship brews are an amber, IPA and a Pale Ale, so this Imperial Porter was one of their Brewmaster Reserve 2007 specialty beers.

The label stated that this brew was 7.5% ABV so I assumed this was going to have a bit more kick than a regular porter. Apparently this was a limited run beer and once the beer is out of stock it won't be made again. Shame too. I did notice that they will be making a Top Sail Bourbon Imperial Porter later this year that has over 9.85% ABV. Perhaps I'll look for that soon and compare it with this one.

Appearance: This beer poured very dark brown, almost black with a very nice brown head. While this beer wasn't quite as high in alcohol content as the standard would indicate, I figured that by being a few % points higher in alcohol than regular porters that I'd feel it a bit more after drinking an entire 22 oz bottle.

Full Sail Top Sail Imperial PorterAroma: As I poured the beer into my trusty beer glass, I noticed a rich malty aroma that I've come to love with porters. It didn't have a very big hop smell but had just enough to indicate that there were some bitterness added. What I did smell was the rich malts.

Taste: The first few tastes were just what I expected from a good porter. It wasn't too sweet and had a nice smooth finish to it without any chalky after taste. This was a good porter.

By the end of the 22 oz bottle, I figured I'd feel it a bit more than I would have with a lower alcohol beer, but I didn't. The slightly higher alcohol content was not as strong as I would have thought. Probably a good thing too. I'd drink this beer again anytime. I'm going to give it a respectable 3.5 out of 5 rating. It pays to try new beers from other states. I'm now wanting to test out more of their beers. Cheers Full Sail!

Related articles:
- Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout review.
- Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter review.
- Ska Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter review.
- Deschutes Black Butte XX review.

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