Vanilla Porter, brewed with vanilla beans, 6.7%
Pours a deep brown, almost black with not a lot of head and not a lot of head retention. This one is pretty sweet with a medium body, as expected from a porter, with nice chocolate and coffee and a whole lot of beautiful vanilla.
There is some warm booziness. Craft beer enthusiasts tend to think that booziness in a beer is a negative trait – that a great craft beer should hide it's alcohol well. And while that may be true, I don't mind it that much, and I find it almost inviting on a cold, wet day like today. It makes me wonder what this beer would be like if it were aged in bourbon barrels. It would certainly ad complexity to the beer, and I think a little oakiness would integrate nicely with the coffee and chocolate. But then, this isn't about what could be but what is.
I don't drink a lot of porters because they're a bit sweet for my taste and this one is true to the style in that way. The thing that I like about this beer is that it has a sudden unexpected, bitter hop finish that creeps up on you. Not overpowering, subtle, but I like the surprise. Generally, not an overly complex beer, but it has some great flavor and a lot of potential. I really like the vanilla and the slight bitterness which adds a little balance. I find myself wanting just a bit more balance, but don't get me wrong - this is a very drinkable beer.