Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Preview: New World Porter

Avery's New World Porter, which has its official release party at the Boulder brewery tonight, is the perfect antidote to the sometimes overmalted dark beers that dominate the Christmas season. It's thick and black itself, but there's something different about this creation.

You notice it initially in the nose, a compendium of chocolate malt and caramel characteristics that seem restrained by something you can't immediately identify. When you dive past the thick foam head, you notice it again: A slow-rising bitterness that you don't expect on first glance.

That is the dry-hopping that goes into this 6.7% ABV porter, an addition that does not overwhelm the beer but adds a long-lasting and surprising backtaste. Hop characteristics grow more apparent as the beer begins to warm, though they fade slightly near the end of the glass.

After a long enjoyment - this is a slow sipper - you're left with the impression that the more muted five-malt variety and the hopping leave it with a slightly dusty taste. But this isn't the dust that is collected with age - it's the feel of something new, different and refreshing in the world of porters.

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