Turtle Anarchy Portly Stout

Look out, Terrapin, there's a new turtle-based brewer in town. And by in town, I mean actually in the town I live in, Nashville. They come out of the gate with a stout, and it's like they can read my mind for what I'm fond of. Is it some kind of peanut butter stout? A vanilla stout? Nope, they went for the classic, and I intend to find out how well they did it.

The beer is black. Don't give me that "dark ruby" or "deep brown" crap - this is black. Number of photons coming through the center of the beer is zero, and even the edges are relatively impervious to light. The light tan head had to be coaxed a bit with a more aggressive pour, but it leaves a nice little crown with a bit of lacing in its wake. The aroma is the reason to come to this party, and it is a rich, sweet smokey malt. There doesn't even seem to be much bitterness in the smoke - just sweetness.

First sip is chocolate and bitterness. They say that most of the taste that we can perceive come through our nose, as the tongue is just a blunt instrument that can only taste the very basics of flavor. That would seem to be at odds with the fact that what I smelled is not what the overriding taste is like. The two main components of the sip were nowhere near what I smelled, and it is as novel as it is enticing. But what will a proper swig bring?

Tip-in is smoke, oak, grains, and chocolate while carbonation sizzles the tongue. The middle is a creamy earth with chocolate and vanilla. It's smooth and rich while the carbonation continues its sizzling. The finish is a bit more abrupt with coffee and bitterness with nuts and even more bitterness. Trail off is bitter chocolate and coffee.

Bottom Line: Let down by its finish, it's not let down enough for me to not drink another.



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