Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Harmon Brewery Vanilla Porter

Puget Sound Vanilla Porter
Style: American Porter (Robust Porter)
Serving Type: On tap at the Brewery in Tacoma, WA
$4.00 / pint
Read more about Harmon Brewery at Beer Advocate.

Aroma: Rich and full bouquet of sweet milk chocolate with balanced vanilla undertones rounding it out. No hop aroma detectable. There is a hint of roasted barley that comes off a bit grainy, but it is very subtle.

Appearance: Deep black with only a trace of ruby red hue near the top edge of the beer. A very thin head holds a faint off-white ring around the glass.

Flavor: Excellent sweet chocolate and vanilla flavor up front that fades to a light candy sugar in the middle before finishing with a touch of roasted barley. While this beer seems to be all about the vanilla and chocolate malt, the hops come into play in the finish with a subtle cut of citrus before dropping away.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with light carbonation, though the CO2 does have a tingling effect on the tongue. While I wouldn't put this in the brown porter category, the mouthfeel seems a bit watery for a robust porter. This ale finishes very clean with some roasted barley drying effects on the tongue, though not tannic. A very light stickiness is left in the mouth at the end.

Overall: A sweet and enjoyable porter with very nice levels of vanilla and chocolate. The body is a bit uninspiring but what it lacks there is made up in well balanced flavor and aroma. An easy drinking and fulfilling porter, I'll be asking for this one again.

As a side note my wife tried the standard Puget Sound Porter during our visit. While her beer offered more of a hop presence often welcome in a porter, I have to say the Vanilla Porter supplied more depth and complexity overall.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.