I have to confess – ever since my trusty old colleague Tim turned me on to IPAs a couple years ago, they’ve basically been the only kinds of beers I’ve tried since then. What can I say, I like hops I guess.
But I realize not everybody does. In fact, I know a lot of people who actually hate IPAs – I used to be one of them. Since we are an equal opportunity publication, I decided to get off the IPA train for once and get back to my roots of darker, heavier beers.
My travels brought me to the Red Blazer, where there’s always a slew of beers I’ve never tried. On this particular day, there was a beer on special that I’d never seen before and was not an IPA – Stoneface Porter – so I ordered a pint.
The beer had a strong toasty, malty flavor and a deep dark-brown color with a tan, almost coffee-colored head. It had a noticeably boozy taste, as though it were aged in a whiskey barrel, even though it was not.
Despite the strong taste, the beer had a modest alcohol content of 5.5 percent by volume – that’s rather low for a porter. This beer isn’t really about the booze as much as it is about the flavor and the overall drinking experience – the aroma was pretty pronounced, too.
While many porters are thick and “chewy” with a lot of froth, this one was only mildly “chewy” and had a relatively small head of foam. This was just fine, as I’ve always felt an abundance of foam is just an obstacle.
If you like toasty, aromatic dark beers, you should try Stoneface Porter.