Saturday, February 5, 2011
Random Fridge Beer - Mill Street Coffee Porter
I've had Mill Street Coffee Porter many times before, but it has been a while since my last go. I think this bottle suffered a bit from over-refrigeration - extended periods in the cold can seriously harm certain beers - so I'll base some of this review on notes I made previously.
Poured into a Mill St. pint glass. Very deep brown, light tan head, a bit of lacing. I remember the brew looking better before - this time around, the head dissipated very quickly, resulting in an end product that looked a great deal like Coca Cola. Again, I really think this is the result of being neglected in the fridge for about a week.
The smell is most certainly a pronounced ground coffee, which is one of my favourite scents so I can't help but mark high here. A bit of roasted maltiness in the back, with some cream and bold chocolate.
As we've seen before, most porters and stouts, by nature of the roasting process will naturally possess elements of coffee, chocolate and caramel in their flavor profiles, just like weizenbiers will naturally possess coriander, lemon and other citrus notes. In order to really make the flavors pop, however, some brewers will add extra coffee or chocolate into the fermenting mix, a procedure that generally works well, but sometimes can fail disastrously if the end product feels 'forced'. Fortunately, in this case, Mill Street is a case of the former. Their porter possesses a good blend of coffee, dark chocolate, malt and caramel flavors that blend together nicely. The mouthfeel is about right for a porter: thick, creamy, and with a moderate carbonation.
A solid porter all around. Mill Street chose to add some pretty damned good coffee to the mix: a special blend from Balzac's, which is an excellent mini-chain of coffee houses found in southwestern Ontario and Toronto. One just opened up in Kitchener recently, and I'm hoping to make a trip down that way very soon. Because of this, the flavors found within their Coffee porter feel somewhat natural, instead of being the result of deliberate additions, which should always be the end result of making a "flavored" beer. Mill Street Coffee Porter would pair well with any dessert - and would make a terrific breakfast beer. (Grade: B+)