West Sixth Pay It Forward Cocoa Porter

NIBS! From Lexington Kentucky comes this porter featuring NIBS! Now, I know what you're thinking - what is a nib? Aren't nibs those really good Twizzler-like red licorice things you can get in good candy stores and pretty much any other place that sells candy? Well, yes, but that's a brand name. I don't know which part of the cocoa plant is the nib, but I hope it tastes good in beer.

The very dark porter is another one that is ultimately a bit red, but it takes a bit of effort to establish it. The head boils down to a few bubbles gripping the sides and a few steadfast islands of rather bigger bubbles floating on top. The aroma is more coffee than I expected, so the addition of the chocolate makes it seem more like a mocha.

First sip follows the nose almost exactly. The chocolate doesn't dominate - the coffee does. The earth is sitting behind, mocking me for thinking that this was going to be all nibs and no beans. The roast emits a smoke that is not unwelcome here, and the coffee isn't so overwhelming that I can't drink more (I don't really like coffee).

Tip-in is mild carbonation burn that seems to cover up the coffee and chocolate almost entirely; I'm not sure why a mild carbonation is so hard to overcome, but here we are. The middle is chocolate and roasted malt underneath with a kind of stinging nettle on top - again, I don't know where that's coming from. The finish is a bit more of the coffee, earth, and bitterness from the chocolate that becomes complete bitterness in the trail-off.

Bottom Line: Not what I expected or what I was looking for.

Addendum: As the beer warms, the coffee gets more mild and the beer gets a lot sweeter, so the 1.5 that it would have gotten is now a 1.75.



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