Monday, January 24, 2011
Heavy Seas Letter of Marque 2010 Rye Porter
This is a hearty porter that has an American stamp on it for certain: Hoppy and funky, this American craft beer tinkers with an age-old recipe and comes up with something groovy.
The aroma carries some caramel and vanilla notes, with a touch of oak, and smells sweeter than it tastes. The roasted brew is a little bitey, with coffee and hops duking it out for top billing. Yes, there is a rye presence. It complements the bitterness and adds a certain dankness to the flavor, lest it "pop" too much from any bright hop flavor that may conflict with the roasted malt. Sometimes this happens with a "black IPA" or an "India Black Ale" that tries to do too many things at once. Nah, this rye porter is pretty well-balanced and drinkable if you don't mind beer with flavor!
Letter of Marque 2010 Rye Porter has a medium body with a creamy mouthfeel, but levels off a bit with a slightly coppery aftertaste that hits the sides and back of the palate after the swallow. I think it would really settle into my "fave" range if the hops were tuned down just a bit, the body boosted a smidge, and the rye were featured more prominently. Maybe I just need to find this puppy on hand-pumped cask and get ready for a keel-hauling.
Not to be confused with a rye IPA like Dock Street Rye IPA, (which I enjoyed at the Philly Craft Brew Fest as well as on tap at McKenzie's) or the "Pimp My Rye" rye wine from the Bull & Bush in Denver, CO (which I tasted at the Beer Bloggers Conference), this rye porter features the porter rather than the rye. Even so, it is not the traditional English porter, but rather an American variation. I suppose the only porter that could be even remotely compared to it would be Troegs Dead Reckoning, which has a non-traditional hoppy zip to it. Either way, if you are a Heavy Seas fan or a porter fan, check it out.
Food Pairing suggestion: Drink this rye IPA to complement a beef dish or roasted game. Perhaps accentuate the rye by making it a sandwich on rye bread. Ooh, ooh... maybe a Reuben or a grilled Beef Supreme! That sounds delicious.
Heavy Seas "Mutiny Fleet" Letter of Marque 2010 Rye Porter:
Personal Preference: .93
Total Score: 3.575 Flags