Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers, Escondido, California
Date: February 2 , 2019
The Story— We knew this beer would be “biologically stable” even after three years. Stone just doesn’t mess up. Stone is one of the most interesting craft ventures to come out of the first wave of craft. They’ve been proud of their attitude and their willingness to not only push the envelope but rip it up and throw it on the table. Still, some of their best beers have been almost conventional — if you can call a double IPA conventional.
This one, we thought, was a no-brainer of a lay-down beer. A Stone quality porter with enough Chipoltle to maim a human, but kill any unwelcome bugs. And it wasn’t bad — not the dramatic improvement we may have wished for, but an edge better than it was three years ago
Tasted fresh, it was interesting though un-moreish with a sturdy roast that helps contain oily smoke and late pepper only to a point.
The Beer— Three years later it was still pretty impressive, sporting a nice tight brown head. The pepper has mellowed — a bit- and chocolate malt, rich and smooth, shines at the start. The finish leaves no doubt that the pepper oil has survived, though. It’s rich, beautifully preserved, but only slightly less un-moreish. That nice chocolate does hold up as it drinks. Marginally better at 3 years, but do you want to use space for this? and — fire in the hole…. show up for work a bit late in the morning.
Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
In February, we’re digging into our legendary “vault” where we’ve been storing hundreds of bottles of beer waiting for the right time to taste them (or sell them for charity). The charity market has slowed, so we’re working through them in front of a fire and finding some disappointments, but more very surprising delights. You can find the full list –eventually– here on this “index post.”
We’re often asked to share our tasting notes on over 33,000 beers; this blog is in answer to those requests. Not all our notes, though. The great beer writer Michael Jackson admirably followed the Thumper Rule, and we’ll try to do the same. (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”) All the beers we post are from the top half of our ratings and most are from the top quarter. Of greater value, we think, are the stories behind the beers, and we try to give you enough about the brewery, the style and the places to find great beer to help you on your own beer journeys. At CulturAle Press we try to write books and publish posts that will help you “Drink Well and Travel Safely.”