Einstök Ölgerð Icelandic Toasted Porter

I had the White Ale before, and I had really hoped for something better. A friend mentioned that they really put out some great beers, so I should give them a second shot. I was paying for this when the guy checking me out said that the White Ale was the best of the bunch, so I come into this one with a bit of trepidation. Still, a porter, eh?

A very deep red to the point of being black, the fluffy head tops this beer for a very short time, and it leaves a mere ring of bubbles around the rim with minimal lacing. The aroma is smokey malt and cherries. I think I can smell a little bit of coffee and a little of chocolate, but I may just be expecting those smells, so I'm picking them out.

First sip is pretty good. It's a bit weaker than I had expected, but there's certainly nothing bad about it. When I had a chocolate stout by a brewer from the UK, I was really taken aback by just how little taste the damn thing had. This one is not nearly that weak, but it puts me in mind of it. A second sip confirms that it is still pretty good. There's a much heavier coffee note than the nose would have indicated with just as much smoke as the smell indicated. Let's dissect it with a few gulps.

Tip-in is carbonation burn and a bit of burned wood. The middle is smooth with a bit of a chocolate hint in there with the smoke. The smoke isn't overpowering - it's just about right. The finish brings a wave of coffee bitterness and then a bunch more smokey malt. But the coffee is even more intensified on the lips after the beer is gone.

Bottom Line: I've had two Einstök beers so far, and the trend is definitely headed in the right direction.



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