Style: Imperial Porter Brewed with Tayberry & Coconut
From: Newmarket, NH
Brewery’s Note: “Dormancy is our interpretation of an imperialized American Porter. This beer is brewed with 2-row, roasted malts, rye malts, Tayberry, & fresh organic coconut./ This beer is 100% bottle conditioned, 100% unpasteurized and like all our beers, 100% unfiltered. There is a naturally occurring sediment in the bottle: it is a matter of personal preference whether to rouse or decant./ We suggest serving Dormancy in a stemmed glass at no less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit./ Dormancy is here to remind you to take a beat: for yourself, for your friends, for your family./We hope you enjoy!”
The beer pours a rich, deep coffee brown, and sits in the glass as a black chocolate treat. The cap opened with a hiss, and the head that formed on the beer was equally crackly, with uniform pebble-like bubbles the color of a mocha frappe. The head pours healthy and strong, and pops and hiss away to a good little cap, but leaves no clinging remnants on the sides of the glass. When the beer is splashed against the sides of the glass, a uniform curtain of lacing slips up and down the glass, along with a healthy mirage of oozy alcoholic legs. The body of this beer is unabashedly and unsurprisingly opaque and black. On the nose, this Dormancy is jammy with the Tayberry (raspberry) fruit, but this is countered by a rich, dark bread scent that’s lush with crusts, and even a slight sense of peanut butter nuttiness which has me thinking classic PB&J on the nose. It’s actually a bizarre and delicious nose, as the jamminess is very present, but by no means overpowering, and it actually features more of a floral nuance that you see with a raspberry beer. There is subtle baker’s chocolate, cream, generic potpourri, faint-faint coffee beans, and a whole lot of crust like complexity also wafting over the nostrils. The coconut is not really “boom coconut” to me on the nose, and instead is a lovely floral and meaty combo that accentuates and plays with other scents in the beer. I eventually figured out that the rich creaminess in the nose was from the coconut, and that I was also sensing a light coconut oil scent that was slightly vegetal. The nose of this beer is hugely complex and interesting in ways I did not expect it to be, which I like. On the tongue, the beer is earthy-sweet with a sharper fruity-sweetness that plays beside it. Mineral water mingles with more “classic Porter” bitter roast and a touch of herbal/pine hops in middle and finish while a gentle, raspberry acidity plays throughout the sip but never really puckers or pops the mouth. Sweet, creamy coconut flesh lounges on the finish alongside light raspberry jam, and a background bitterness that carries through to the aftertaste, but is in no means strong or unpleasant. The balance of this beer is really taking my palate for a number. It is not overpoweringly sweet by any manner, but the sweetness is the really flavor and taste that comes through the most. Beside the sweet is a light bitterness that mixes with the creamy, perhaps umami taste of the coconut flesh, the subtle acidity of the Tayberry, and even a kiss of salinity in the middle and finish. The flavor is a beautiful PB&J sandwich on a thick, dark crusted bread only the sandwich is light on the PB and the J is more floral and delicate than your average Smuckers jelly. Of course, there is also coconut flesh and oil added to the sandwich, but hey, that’s how it goes sometimes. In the mouth, the beer feels oily and smooth, but with a light tingle and prick from the Tayberry acidity and the mild carb, which help to keep this beer from feeling weird on the palate. When the beer leaves an oiliness is left coating the tongue, but it is not heavy or displeasing, and spittle definitely wells along the lower jaw, leaving the mouth fairly damp. This is a unique, tasty, and fascinating little sipper. Deciduous has crafted two uniquely different Imperial Porters from the same recipe, and I’m very impressed (expect the other review at some point…). This carries the Tayberry and Coconut flavors very well while still harkening back to the lovely base porter. The beer is delicious, and I think it would pair beautifully with rich, cake-based desserts, especially those with berry flourishes. This is another beaut from Deciduous and their slowly growing bottle collection.