Our dark beer saga continues with an English Brown Porter tasting. This week, John puts three beers in front of me to try blindly. A commercial porter (Taddy Porter), his home roasted malt Brown Porter from the Brew United Challenge, and his newest Brown Porter made from traditionally roasted malts.
John put the these three beers before me without my knowing which was which. Straightaway I was taken back by the aroma differences. The old Taddy Porter had the distinct aroma of raisins and sweetened dark fruit. The new fresh Brown Porter had a strong and glorious toasty nose to it. Surprisingly, the home roasted malt version had little to no aroma.
On the palate, it was the same story. The Taddy had signs of oxidation and sweet raisin like flavors with a mild toasty note. The home roasted Porter had some notes of light toast but lacked depth. Finally, the traditional porter one the day with a rich dark toast character along with some nice dark caramel notes and some strong biscuit character.
I was proud of myself for being able to pick the three apart and identify which was which. I was even more blown away by home much the home roasted version had lost it oompf. Just a few short weeks ago I was really impressed by the beer. I am still amazed how much it has fallen off in aroma and flavor. I wonder if that is a function of the home roasting vs high quality commercial malts, or is it a function that starting material for roasting (making Brown malt from Pilsner malt).
Regardless, it is a fun way to make your palate work a little bit and pay attention to what you are tasting and what you are NOT tasting. Makes me want to re-invest in becoming a certified judge.
Anyhow… we move on. Hopefully I can sit down with some more of that fresh Brown Porter soon! JOHN!!!