Posted by: Michael | 30 September 2009

Brew Review #8 – Bluegrass Brewing Company Dark Star Porter

After a lengthy hiatus, tonight we feature a local favorite: the Bluegrass Brewing Company’s Dark Star Porter. Unfortunately, no photos tonight (I need to get a card reader for my computer, and figure out a suitable background against which to take photos), but I’ll do my best with text only.

This particular porter, labeled by the BBC as a “traditional English style robust dark ale,” (a good description of the colour, by the way – dark brown, almost the colour of dirty engine oil) had a rather thin head after pouring it into a standard pint glass; I’ve read that others get a much thicker head, but I ended up with about 1/8″ and little to no lacing throughout the session. The nose was annoyingly deceptive, but I think this was due to my own lack of recognition; the only thing I can come up with is something sharp and earthy, like wood or something similar. Certainly an element of hops; perhaps the proper term would be freshly sprouted vegetation. The taste, however, was substantially different.

On the first sip, I immediately thought “Someone roasted a peanut in the oven for about a week and now I’m drinking it.” The roast element is absolutely undeniable – it is as if flavoured, liquefied smoke was bottled and sold under the BBC label. Oddly enough, it was a pleasant taste, and would be an excellent partner for certain foods…perhaps something deep-fried? I’m not quite sure, but I can imagine being happy with this as a dinner libation. The roasted smell continued into the aftertaste, with perhaps just a hint – a hint, only to be grasped at as the last wisps of smoke disappear down the esophagus – of overdone toffee.

The beer was unremarkable for mouthfeel – no real carbonation, but not thick and sludgy, either.The best comparison would be 2% milk, I think. Certainly easy to drink, and this would make a good quaffer for those of you inclined to darker beers. Aside from its highly drinkable quality, there’s not much reason to savour and ponder on this beer, as it doesn’t change much either during sips or throughout the session.

Overall, I’ll write this beer a B; while it’s definitely good and has a pleasing taste and feel, it doesn’t stand out as anything particularly special. Being very close to Louisville, the BBC’s home city, I know it’s easy to find here, but attempting to get it outside of Kentucky or Southern Indiana may be a bit of a challenge. It can be found in a pack of 6 for a little less than $10 (although this price may increase substantially should it be found far outside of this area).

Don’t forget – alcohol is meant to be enjoyed, but it can hurt you and those around you. Drink responsibly – buzzed driving is drunk driving, too. Enjoy your fine brews in moderation, and don’t be afraid to know when it’s time to stop. As they say over at Beer Advocate – Respect Beer!

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