Deschutes “XXIV 24th Anniversary Porter”
This is really an imperial porter if there actually were such a category. Deschutes takes their amazing porter recipe, ages the beer, adds dates and figs, and artisinal dark chocolate nibs for layers of rich chocolate. The aroma is heavy with fig, vanilla, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and toast in such an outstanding way. The palate opens up silky and fruity with date and fig paired with a sour cherry accent. Chocolate and cocoa begin their layering process in a crescendo of deep, rich character. After it’s reached its final depth it dries out heavily for a bitter finish. Hops play a citric role, though they seem to stay clear when emphasis is given to malt, so there’s an interesting balance happening. It’s very roasty in a burnt toast sort of way, and is most certainly chocolate based. Finer notes of anise, light bourbon, acrid coffee, molasses, and other dark fruits lie in the underbelly. Despite the high alcohol, it drinks quite easily.
Deschutes really know how to work with malt, and hops are never forgotten in this semi-bitter, semi-sweet chocolate roasted brew. I enjoyed the fruity spin on this hybrid double. It has Russian Imperial qualities, but still remains a porter at heart. I think it takes some consideration and pondering, but the complexity is by no means off the charts. Another solid beer from a solid brewery. Get it while it’s around this fall. Recommended.