Smuttlabs Satchmo (Smuttynose Brewing Company)

Style: English Brown Porter Brewed with foraged black trumpet mushrooms and aged in red wine barrels

4.9% ABV

25 IBU

25 barrels brewed
Malt: North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, C-60, Brown, Chocolate
Hops: Willamette
Yeast: American Ale Yeast
Other Ingredients: Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Red Wine Barrels

Bottle #357 of 836

DSC_0400

Brewer’s Note: “This is our second batch of Satchmo, Smutty’s first culinary collaboration beer. Initially conceived with Chef Evan Mallet, three time-James Beard semi-finalist of Portsmouth’s Black Trumpet Bistro and Newmarket’s The Joinery, Satchmo is a brown porter brewed with black trumpet mushrooms from New Hampshire’s forests. These unique mushrooms (below), also known as black chantrelles, can’t be cultivated, so we called the New Hampshire Mushroom Company in Tamworth, who sourced 36 pounds of dried fungus for the brew./The result is a 4.9% full-bodied, full-flavored beer that lacks the roasted astringency typically found in porters and instead highlights fudgy, chocolate notes and rich, but subtle earthiness from the mushrooms. The malt character is the perfect complement for the fungus. When we poured the beer at SAVOR in Washington DC, even self-professed “mushroom haters” surprised themselves by how much they enjoyed it.”

imageThe beer pours a deep, dark brown with a head of creamy bubbles that hint at sand-dune tan in color. The head dwindles to a fluffy scrim above the glass, leaving a thin, slightly drizzly string of lacing. In body the beer is dark and impenetrable to the eye, though it does show hints of dark maroon when held to the light. On the nose, the beer smells earthy, yet sweet. There is a lingering hint of rich, jammy strawberry beneath everything else, which must be due to the barrel treatment. Wet moss and fungal mushroom definitely dance as delicate scents on the nose, too. This is not an in-your-face scented beer, but is delicate and aromatic in a way that makes me think it would be perfect for food. On the tongue, the beer tastes roasty bitter with a bready/earthy sweetness. Very subtle tannic bitters dry out the finish. Beneath everything else, you can pick out faint hints of the fruity strawberry from the nose, but I may be stretching it to mention the taste. In flavor, the beer tastes of sweet, dark fruit coffee with an earthy, fungal must. The coffee roast tingles in the back and turns more towards a French roast, which is great. The finish is dry, earthy, and still carries a slight musty hint. The jammy strawberry flavors build in the mouth as you drink, and the beer opens up. In the mouth, the beer feels on the light side of medium with a soft carbonation that allows for a nice fluff to the tongue. The mouthfeel is a touch thin and watery for the style, and is really my only complaint for the beer. Even being watery however, it allows the beer to superbly pair with foods. Overall this beer is delicate and fantastically flavorful, with superb delicacies and unique quirks. This is a beer to make again, and bring out for beer dinners. I’d love to see what Evan Mallet can do with a pairing dinner with this.

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