Dining & Drink

A Porter In The Storm

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Beer O’ The Week: May 12

WAMP’S WISDOM

(Staff Photo: J.T. Wampler) Anchor Porter from Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco.

It comes in at 5.6 percent alcohol and pours black with a tan head. Aroma is of plums or perhaps cherries with toffee and chocolate also present. The first thing I noticed about the flavor is a hop punch that is not found in many porters. I didn’t like the first drink, but every subsequent drink got better. Chocolate and toffee flavors, at first overwhelmed by the whole cone hops used, really start to shine about halfway through the glass.

Overall, this is a dandy ale from a legendary west coast brewery. If you already like porters, give this one a try. It’s unique character may surprise you.

Pair with pork chops and brown gravy.

RATING: 4 caps

RICO’S REACTION

On it’s packaging, Anchor describes its porter as “America’s ultimate dark brew since 1974.”

Generally, I’m not a fan of such marketing claims, usually dreamed up to cover a product’s shortcomings. “Now with an extra five ounces free!” “Picked over our competitors 4 to 1 in a blind taste test!” “Rated best in class by Method Man and Ghostface Killah!”

In this case though, it may not be overhyped bragging. I can’t say I’ve tried every domestically made dark brew, but I don’t recall one I’ve ever enjoyed more.

Roasted malts always seem to bring out those chocolate and toffee flavors I love without making me feel like I’ve chowed down on a pack of candy bars. Most dark beers don’t seem to have a big hops presence, and I’d recently wondered in my tasting notes for another brew what the result would be with upping the hops. Anchor Porter answered that query with “freakin’ delicious.”

I’d never tried any of Anchor’s brews prior to last year. After tackling their porter and their fantastic Humming Ale, it’s a leap I’m sorry I didn’t make much sooner. It’s probably a bit more than you’re used to pay for a domestically produced beer, but don’t let the price scare you off. Anchor’s proven to be worth the price of admission every time.

RATING: 5 caps

RATING SYSTEM

ONE CAP: Put it back in the horse!
TWO CAPS: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
THREE CAPS: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
FOUR CAPS: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
FIVE CAPS: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
SIX CAPS: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.

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