So yesterday my local Beer Growler shop had their weekly pint glass giveaway and Red Hare Brewing's Chocolate Porter was featured. If you're around the Atlanta area I hope that you are familiar with this young Marietta brewery. They're just a couple years old* and have already started to can: first their Long Day Lager and soon their Gangway IPA. They also have a brown ale called Watership Brown and are big hits with their reserve series brews. When I saw the porter go on the local menu I jumped at a chance to have it and a cool free pint glass!
The picture doesn't do it justice, but here you go…
This beer is the first to come from Red Hare's "Rabbit's Reserve" Series and at 8% ABV, it's billed as a "silky porter" that has hints of chocolate. Earlier this year a version of the smooth porter with creme de menthe and cocoa nibs added won a first place award in the Atlanta Cask Ale Festival. Luckily it was just re-released last weekend for a second run. So if you see somewhere that this one is no longer in production and has been retired, that is past history my friend. It's back and better than before. Trust me!
Gimme the glass and let's give this one a pour!
This one falls into the glass a brownish black with hints of amber that dance off the light. The head is a pronounced tan, but is minimal. As you can tell from the picture (which was taken almost right after I poured it) what head there was dissipated quickly. So we're left with what I would gauge is a moderately thick beer that is eager to be tasted.
But first I want to see how much cocoa I can pick up on the nose. The scent is faint at first but gathers the more I sniff. It's never overwhelming at all. In fact there's plenty of malt on the nose as well as some dark fruit, perhaps cherry.
The taste is silky smooth and genuinely semi-sweet chocolatey goodness. Plenty of maltiness too and a faint, sweet fruit taste that I can't quite place. However, the overwhelming taste is chocolate. Dark and roasty with a slight bitterness at the finish. Not dry at all. Just a warm taste that makes you eager for the next sip.
The carbonation is minimal and the alcohol is very well hidden. It leaves your mouth well coated and your tongue anxious to lick your lips.
Overall, this is a delicious beer. Not overly done and very well balanced. It goes down just as smoothly as you expect. Nice taste that would complement almost any hearty winter meal that graces your table, or stand alone as a nice after dinner dessert beer.
Again, well done Red Hare! Cheers and keep up the great work!
*Roger and Bobby started brewing in 2009, but just opened their doors on their new facility last September. So this is a small brewery going BIG places. If you're in Georgia, ask for them by name at any bar, growler station or bottle shop. If you're outside of GA, look for them soon.