Deschutes/Great Lakes “Class of ‘88: Imperial Smoked Porter”
This smoked porter is a collaboration between Deschutes and Great Lakes, two of my favorite breweries. Both have really strong porters so this should be a match made in heaven. Aromas are smokey like a campfire, mesquite bbq, coffee, and dark roasted chocolate grains. Flavors begin with early sweetness, toasted bread, and semi-sweet chocolate. Toward the finish, coffee comes forward with a light bitter astringency. Smoke, charred ash, and sweet burnt caramel close with hints of salted pecans. It runs medium-full in body with a wet, thick feel, leaving off with a kiss of warmth.
For a beer this big, I expected a slightly bigger body, but this is what allows it to drink with considerable ease. Sure, alcohol is present, but the flavors are hardly detectible. This is a nice homage to the style, one which both of the brewers hadn’t previously tackled. This is a very good beer, but perhaps I set my expectations too high. Anyway, I think it’s certainly worth trying, and I recommend it.