January 18, 2013

Skeet Skeet Skeet Mesquite Porter Tasting

Porter plus studying...I say it's a good idea!
I put this porter together at the end of October 2012 to unveil for company in December as a bottle conditioned, ready to drink beer. I used a molasses-ish stuff made from mesquite pods. It's definitely an interesting brew. The mesquite pods gives it a flavor not entirely like anything I've ever had in a beer.

Sadly I ended up way overcalculating my boil volume and ended up with about half a gallon of extra beer which is normally not a bad thing but ended up watering down the beer more than I expected and thinned the beer out to a lighter body than I had hoped for. I'm pretty sure my error was slightly miscalculating boil evaporation (an ongoing issue I am trying to dial in) and the rest not calculating the additional volume of the mesquite molasses.

Anyway, here's the review:

Appearance: Beer has a nice ruby color. It is very clear and maybe a little too light of a color, due to the extra volume. Still, it has an inviting color and clarity. It's actually quite a bit lighter than it looks in the picture. The head is thin but lasting. I undercarbonated this beer around two volumes to give it more of a cask-like feel. The head is creamy and as you see in the picture, creates some decent lacing.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a little thinner than I expected but with the low carbonation and adjuncts it isn't an unpleasant drink. There is a slight astringency from the mesquite that would probably scrub off with more carbonation but isn't any worse than a well-oaked beer.

Smell: The smell has a little of the unique mesquite character. There's the usual bready character along with sweet caramel aromas and a hint of stonefruit but the aroma is overwhelmingly from the mesquite. There's strong aromas of toffee, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, a whiff of smoke and a woody character that is very different but again, not unpleasant.

Flavor: This porter is definitely unique. It isn't chocolatey like my usual preference for porter but the flavor is really delicious. It's malty and some of the chocolate malt comes through with the caramel malts but the real player in the flavor is again, the mesquite. It tastes exactly like it smells but in the taste it really comes together as something very unique. It's almost like a coffee porter but a coffee porter made with a really different kind of coffee. I'm not sure exactly what coffee it's most like. The flavor is quite smooth, there isn't any acrid character from the mesquite.

Drinkability: It's a porter, it's really easy to drink. It's malty and if you just chugged it you would probably miss most of the mesquite flavor. If you savor it, you can really get a lot out of it without hunting for flavors. I will probably brew this again in the future since my street is full of mesquite trees but I think I will increase the chocolate malt a little to get more chocolate character. I'd also like to experiment with using a lighter or darker molasses for different flavor contributions.

Overall, pretty happy with it and glad I still have 21 bottles left.

3 comments:

  1. I have a mesquite porter on tap - It was originally supposed to be a smoked pumpkin porter, though. I smoked the pumpkin for a few hours before adding it to secondary, along with pumpkin spice and vanilla. All I got in the finished product is smoke though, so I re-branded it.

    It continues to mellow out thankfully. At first I couldn't drink more than 5-6oz, but now I enjoy a full glass. In fact...

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    1. You mean you smoked the pumpkin over mesquite wood, right?

      I have some munich malt I smoked over some mesquite wood that I plan on using in a saison this summer. I didn't smoke much but I could definitely see how the flavor of that smoke could overpower a beer.

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