Beer Blogging - Stone Smoked Porter
Well, it sure does look like a porter. It poured into the glass very dark and thick, and there was no head to speak of, just a little foam around the edge of the glass. Holding it up to the light showed...well, not much. It's really black, with a little bit of red-brown around the edges. There's a strong odor of roasted malt along with some hints of coffee and molasses.
The first taste reveals some surprising sweetness; the malt is not at all as roasted as you'd expect. There's also a little more carbonation than you usually get in a porter, which is interesting considering the almost total lack of head. If I had to put a name to the sweetness, I guess I'd say dark chocolate, brown sugar, and either vanilla or caramel. It makes for an interesting and surprisingly sweet combination.
The "smoked" in the name comes from the next layer of flavors. After the sweetness dies down, flavors of coffee and smoky roasted malt show up. There's actually not a lot of aftertaste, but what there is tastes like dark chocolate. There's no hint of alcohol in the taste, and very little hops either. Despite all the strong flavors, this beer is fairly easy to drink, and it's not nearly as overpowering as some (OK, most) of Stone's other offerings.
Rating: 7/10. Recommended for fans of just about any kind of dark beer. I think it would be especially agreeable to people who like chocolate stouts, Guinness, and any other beers with coffee or chocolate flavors. If you can get Stone beers where you live, you should try this one (and all the rest, as a matter of fact).