East Nashville Young Hickory Smoked Porter

My second beer from this local brewery, and I am really looking forward to the stuff that they might be able to bring. A standard smokey porter is almost as far inside my wheelhouse of beloved beers as a solid IPA. So, they seem to be aiming at me with this, and I certainly expect that they'll hit.

The beer is so brown that it's black, and no light can penetrate the center with even a single photon. The head isn't much to start with, and it leaves a ghost of a ring around the edges to try to signify that this isn't just a Coke or other cola (what's the name of that other brand?) The aroma is, true to its name, charred and smokey oak with oats tossed in for good measure. It's a good smell, I have to say.

First sip is rich and dark, as you might expect. There is a lot more of a coffee taste than I was expecting. It is not so strong as others I've had lately, and I really think that taste is coming from the malt, which I can totally respect and look past (as opposed to the beers that actually add coffee, which is a cheat). I'm too shocked with the coffee to have actually tasted anything, and that's my bad. I'll dissect this with the swig, as usual.

Tip-in is almost no carbonation atop light chocolate, vanilla, and heaps of that oaky smoke. The middle rolls in with oats and very light coffee (I almost thought I was imagining it when there was none in the tip-in) and the other tastes kind of fade away; there's kind of a syrupy feel that builds like a wavefront at the back of the tongue. The finish is a crash of bitter coffee and grains that trails off with a bit more smoke.

Bottom Line: Not really my cup of beer, but it seems to be growing on me as it warms up a bit.

2.5/5

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