Style: American Coffee Porter
Bottle Type: 22 oz. Bombers
Brewing Notes: Takes BBC’s popular Drayman’s Porter and adds Dean’s Beans organic coffee to the mix
The bottle has a nice classic Berkshire look with a light milk chocolate color mixed with some golden toffee borders. I feel similarly to this bottle as I did about the Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale—it is a little too classic. The text is cluttered and the font choices, especially for the beer’s name, are a little boring. Putting the coffee shop in the label’s center was a nice touch, but overall this just feels like an old-timey beer bottle, and isn’t really special. Not worth a shelf space, maybe a scrapbooking.
The beer pours a deep black brown with a nice finger-width sand-dune-tan head that fizzles slowly away to leaving light clouds and strings of lacing on the glass. The body is too dark to tell if it’s hazy or not, and it also perfectly masks carbonation bubbles, making it a lovely thing to look at. The beer smells in the medium range of potency with nice roasted coffee sitting somewhere in the French roast range. Malts are obviously also present, tending to nice roasted notes that confuse themselves with the coffee aroma, just as they should. Slight caramel and toffee notes are also present and faint leanings towards burnt bread. The beer tastes wonderfully rich with coffee flavors and astringency. The taste opens as slight sweet caramel and then blossoms into roasted heaven with heavy coffee and roasted malt notes. The bitters come nicely off the close of the taste and linger in waves in the mouth. Mouthfeel has just a whisper of effervescence but is velvety and chewy on the tongue with a perfect body to it. Overall this beer is a terrific example of a coffee porter, and is very drinkable and pleasant. The folks at Berkshire know how to do malts, and they do them well. Try this beer; it is a tasty malty treat that will go well with a warm fire place or a cool crisp fall day.
I sampled the beer with a side of smoked gouda cheese from Yancey’s Fancy New York Cheese in the hopes that the smoke from the cheese would play nicely with the roasted coffee flavors of the beer, unfortunately the smoke of the cheese cut right through the coffee in the pairing and left something to be desired, though it did bring out more smoke in the beer on further sips.