Cooking with Beer: Chocolate Stout Cake

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vanilla Porter Tasting

So the vanilla porter has been bottled for about a week and a few days so I figured it was time to crack one open and see how it went! Pictures would've helped to at least make this interesting but hey, get over it. I'll use the normal BeerAdvocate Appearance, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Drinkability scores as always.

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass (sorry, that's all I have at my parent's house to drink from) at cellar temperature.

Look: pretty much identical to the porter before it was vanilla-fied. One plus is that there's actually a bit of head formation. I poured carefully so as not to disturb the sediment but ended up with a three finger head regardless. The head is a creamy, mocha color. Excellent retention on the head, which sticks around until the glass is empty. Not a whole lot of lacing but there's a little bit.

Smell: the vanilla is definitely here but it doesn't overpower the other malt aromas. The vanilla is front and center but roasted malt lurks in the background with a bit of chocolate and a smaller bit of coffee. There's also a bit of resinous hops in the aroma too. Smells very nice.

Taste: follows the nose incredibly well. The vanilla is definitely here in exactly the way I want it to be. Very full, rich vanilla flavor stands in the front with a bit of chocolate malt and some caramel, toffee flavors that are fairly subdued. There is a resinous hop finish.

Feel: much improved, probably due to the fact that this is actually carbonated. A bit creamier but it could use some more fullness and that's something I'll work on next time around. Moderate carbonation is spot on for the style.

Drink: really liked this beer so drinking it was easy, especially considering its sub-7% ABV.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with this. I am starting to think maybe the carbonation issue on the bomber was because it was in a bomber. I am really happy to have a fridge full of this beer. Usually, I've had a fridge full of homebrew and thought "Shit, how am I going to get rid of all this?" Well, I think I'm coming along nicely with my brewing. Not bad for my first full batch of all grain beer! Cheers!

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