Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Breckenridge Imperial Porter review

Breckenridge Imperial PorterBrewers say: "Good things come in small batches" and Breckenridge Brewery of Denver, Colorado has been busy making several beers in small batches these days. One fairly recent addition to Breckenridge's Small Batch series is their Breckenridge Imperial Porter. This 7.5% ABV porter comes in a big 22oz bomber bottle with a painted on graphic that reminds you of the front of a steam engine train. This isn't Breck's first venture into porters as they also produce a year round Vanilla Porter.

The Breckenridge Imperial Porter poured a dark brown with mahogany edges. I could just barely see through this beer when held up to the light. An aggressive pour yielded a generous 2+ finger tan head that showed off a nice cascading bubble effect. The head subsided in a short time and left a small ring of bubbles with a loose lacing around the glass.

Aroma: My first impression of the aroma was a curious one. Not only did I pick up a whiff of a nutty caramel malt and a slight roastiness but the smell also got my mouth watering right from the start. I could also imagine a bit of brown sugar in this beer.

I wonder if it was the combination of the 2-row Pale, Carament, Chocolate, Roasted Barley and Black malts or the mix of Chinook, Palisade, Perle and Goldings hops that got my mouth working ahead of time. Still, something about the aroma was different than a regular porter but I couldn't quite put my finger on it just yet.

Mouthfeel: This brew initially had a light to medium mouthfeel with just a mild amount of carbonation. It coated my tongue with a mildly bitter (21 IBU) drying effect yet it also had a bit of slipperiness to it. I was anticipating a thicker mouthfeel for an imperial porter but got something lighter instead.

Taste: My first impression of the Imperial Porter was that it was moderately roasty with almost a smoke like flavor. There were hints of chocolate and vanilla in it but it came along with some burnt malts as well. It was a tad watery but that could be the fact that my salivary glands were in overdrive after smelling this beer. Some of the sweetness left in this beer reminded me of one of my homebrew beers that had some left over sugars that didn't quite fully ferment out.

Initially the alcohol wasn't very noticeable for an imperial beer as it didn't give off much "heat". The alcohol became more apparent after the first glass was done. Remember that slight slippery mouthfeel? It came back in subsequent sips. It stopped short of being buttery but was nearly so. Still, it didn't affect the overall enjoyment of this beer.

I was easily able to finish off the entire bottle during an evening of watching Monday Night Football. The beer became more enjoyable as the night progressed. The brew seemed to have a few flaws but they were overlook-able and was a nice drinker. I'd almost call this beer a regular porter as it didn't seem to have all of the qualities to be called an imperial porter. I was expecting more from this beer, but it's a bit higher strength than a session beer.

Still a good effort. Not my favorite. I enjoyed their Mighty Brown more than this one. I'll give this a tentative thumbs up with a slightly average grade.

Related articles:
- Breckenridge Mighty Brown review.
- Breckenridge Brewery Tweetup highlights.
- Breckenridge Small Batch 471 IPA review.
- Breckenridge Vanilla Porter review.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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