Genesee Salted Caramel Chocolate Porter

I do want to seem persnickety, but this beer does have the word artisan on the label. This always kind of scares me off of beers, well, ever since I had problems with a particular artisan brewery. But, this beer is brewed with "hedonist artisan chocolates." The actual brewery doesn't have artisan in the label, so maybe they're not too pretentious.

As is kind of traditional for porters, this beer presents as basically black. It has a reddish brown tint that you can see just around the edges of the beer, but I'd accept anybody calling it black. The tan ahead actually sticks to the glass pretty well, but I'm not expecting any lacing. It leaves enough head on the top of the beer, but it's a bit patchy. The aroma is indeed chocolatey, but it's got a lot more than chocolate going on in it; I'm detecting the caramel, toffee, and maybe a bit of harder liquor.

First sip is dry. I expected a chocolate porter to be a little sweet and maybe even a little bitter. I did not expect the dryness that I'm getting from the beer. The chocolate involved may not have had a whole lot of sugar added, or maybe something else is going on, but this is not as sweet as I really expected it to be. It's like they've added toffee, chocolate, and caramel with only the minimum requirement of sugar to leave the entire beverage so dry without making it bitter.

Tip-in is almost entirely the salted caramel with the carbonation barely causing any kind of disturbance. The middle rolls on with more of the caramel, but this time it adds toffee and a little bit of that chocolate to the mix; it's not incredibly dry at this point, but it still hasn't actually hit sweet. A bit of sweet actually hits right as the finish starts, and then it turns quickly into a dryness with a touch of bitterness and a bit of grains as those trail off, getting drier as they go.

Bottom Line: A valiant attempt at a beer that would normally have been a dessert beer, but now it's quite drinkable anytime.

2.75/5

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