Hopefully you are not one of those beer drinkers who do not appreciate Porter in all its forms as much as they should. If you’re not familiar with this beer style, let us introduce you. This style of beer is one of the heartiest forms that will make it to your lips, known today as Baltic and Imperial Porter.
For the first couple of decades, Porter was brewed from a blend of a continuous series of mashings. It was actually called the entire-butt beer, referring to the 108-gallon cask it would be stored in. The rough and smoky edge would get tamed during a maturation period of up to a whole year or at least a few months. As a result, tart and wild vinous flavors would be unleashed from their native microflora and wooden butts.
Enough of the history lesson, let us get down to what you can expect if you decide to enjoy this style of beer, which is quite strong compared to standard beers of today.
Once you pour the beer, it will appear to have an almost black, dark brown color with a one-fourth inch light tan head that will quickly ebb away to a ring of foam. You may also spot a patch of large irregular bubbles off to either side or both and the surface of the liquid may have a few very thin patches of foam. As you sip the beer, you may also notice irregular patches as well as speckles of foam on the sides of the glass.
The aroma of roasted malt will fill your nostrils once you pour this style of beer. The aroma will probably comprise of the scents of coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses, and even a hint of herbal earthiness.
If your nose predicts correctly, then you will indeed taste some coffee and dark chocolate along with the dark molasses as you sip the beer. The beer will conceal the alcohol quite well and the hop flavors will no t really show because of the almost burnt, dark malt, roasted flavors.
The mouthfeel with style of beer will be medium bodied on the lighter side while the carbonation gives it a light prickly feeling. It has a fairly long finish as it fades in the back of the mouth into dry roasted bitterness.
You will quite enjoy sipping your way through any Baltic and Imperial Porter beer and will be more than delighted to have it again. This beer style is interesting and well-maid, and if you taste it for the first time, it might even remind you of a Baltic Porter, an Imperial Stout, and a Porter, i.e. if you have tasted those as well. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?
You may not regard Porter as highly as a stout, but don’t forget it was actually a true king in the world of beers once. If you want to drink beer and feel like royalty, then the Imperial and Baltic Porter style beers should be at the very top of the heap.