Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beereview: Full Sail Imperial Porter

There are two things my mind has in common with a colander. It's roughly shaped like half a sphere and most of what goes it in leaks out the bottom. A while ago a reader may or may not have left a comment on a post which I can't remember recommending that I review something from Full Sail brewery. Since this possibly imaginary recommendation is about as good as the real thing, you can't say I don't do requests (even if they come from voices in my head.)

I was looking around the store for something to review and Full Sail Imperial Porter seemed to jump out at me. It didn't have the flashiest label, the best placement, or the least amount of dust on the bottle; What it did have was "five bucks" appeal. What's "five bucks" appeal? If you remember your Ren & Stimpy, everything cost five bucks; this fact was terribly exciting to the disgusting duo, but they did seem to have a point.

"Five Bucks" Appeal

Five bucks won't buy you a whole lot these days. In the 1990s you could get a super sized extra value meal at McDonald's and still get change. Now, you can get diabetes at McDonald's (but no change.) Your five bucks can get you 5 songs on iTunes, around 5 Apples on sale, or a small bud light at TGI Fridays. Besides the apples, none of that is very exciting.

Most of the nicer beers we review on this site are in the $7.50 - $12 per 24 oz. bottle range. Seeing something that was arguably a recommendation from a valued reader priced at the magical five bucks mark was too hard to pass up. Additionally, their Hop Pursuit was similarly priced and positioned. Why buy one when you can buy two for twice as much?

Full Sail Imperial Porter

This porter pours a very dark chocolate color which is almost totally opaque. It has a thick and creamy head which lasts for a very long time. The sweet hoppy smell is similar to Young's Double Chocolate Stout but seems to have a slight grapefruit aroma.

The first impression I got from tasting this beer was that it was very thick, dry, and smokey. It was almost buttery, sort of like milk but not sweet -- it kind of slides off the tongue and leaves a lingering hoppy aftertaste. The closest comparisons I could make for flavor are Stone Smoked Porter or Keegan Ales Mother's Milk but this beer is quite a bit thicker.

The dominant flavor is almost like burnt toast. It's not unpleasant considering how dry and hoppy this beer is supposed to be. It left me craving Fish & Chips with a side of malt vinegar. At 7.5% this is a little on the strong side, but not excessive.

If you pick this beer up, I highly recommend pairing it with something fried and a steak or hamburger. For the price, it's an excellent Imperial Stout (but you need to like bitter flavors.)

Did you recommend Full Sail? Have you had this beer? Drop me a line in the comments below!

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