Great Lakes “Edmund Fitzgerald”
This robust porter was a gold medal winner at GABF in ‘02. Aromas are roasty with hints of chocolate and caramel malt and a mild grainy accent. The flavor profile begins with bittersweet chocolate, then dries out to expose a black malt character with hints of coffee. For the finish, hops touch lightly on orange peel, and a mild leafy hop character. The hop flavor is actually quite subdued, so I’m guessing it’s of British origin. This allows for a more minimal impact on the flavor of the malt, while providing just the right amount of bitterness. The chocolate/coffee tradeoff is perfect, and so is the balance of bitter and sweet. Mouth feel is medium-low in body, somewhat thin, perfectly carbonated, and creamy. This is a stunning example of a proper porter. I’d say it’s practically perfect, but they’re definitely playing it safe in keeping it simple. There’s always room for improvement, but I highly recommend it.