Style: Baltic Porter
From: Coronado, CA
Brewer’s Note: “When naming this Baltic porter, a collaboration with Tampa’s famed Cigar Citry Brewing, we opted for Jurata as a nod to a mythological mermaid known to roam the depths of the Baltic Sea, just as the energetic yeast used to brew this deep dark beer navigated our fermentation tanks. Dive in and enjoy Jurata’s true-to-style rich and complex flavors!”
I love the silhouette style of the label, and the ‘brush-stroke’ feel of the main font provides a great classiness to the bottle. There is a little bit of clutter on the sides of the bottle, however, which is too bad. Color scheme is simple and awesome, and the minimal graphics works well. I’d keep this bottle on a shelf.
The beer pours a deep brown, like fresh coffee, forming a small head of medium sized, light tan bubbles that sit as barely-more than a scrim above the beer. In body, the beer is nearly opaque, with just hints of deep ruby light coming through when held against a light. The body seems quite clear, however, and without any particles floating through it. On the nose, the beer smells of medium roast, fruity coffee beans blended with mild dark chocolate and loamy earth. Spent coffee bean scents also linger in the nose with the faintest hint of raisins.
On the tongue, the beer tastes rather bland for 8%. Mild roast and hop bitters play beside subtle chocolate and bready sweetness, leaving my tongue underwhelmed. Flavors are light and unassertive, moving from earthy coffee beans, to subtle dark fruits, and touching upon faint bursts of citrus hops and grass. As it warms, I get hints of smooth milk chocolate, mellow loam, and even blackberries. The finish is brief with chocolate, and the aftertaste, while flavorful, is just a continuation of all the other flavors. As it warms, the blackberry flavor does develop more and more in the aftertaste as well. In the mouth, the beer feels medium bodied, with a middling carbonation that helps to provide a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that still manages to provide a light snap of crispness. The mouth is left fairly dry, with a faint slick spittle trail running in the corners of the mouth and suggesting an acidity that I did not taste. Overall, this beer is a little bit of a letdown. I have high respect for Cigar City and high hopes for Coronado (their new to MA…), but this beer comes across as average, mundane, and uninspiring on my palate. As it warms, it does release more and more flavor, but it is still rather slight and subtle. The dark fruit flavors do develop more and more as the beer warms, which is nice. This is Baltic porter, but it could use a little more to be truly interesting.