Jan 7, 2012

two winter brews from each coast...

Peak Nut Brown Ale (4.7%): This is the third expression I will review from Peak Organic. The Portland brewery describes their brew as an English style brown ale on their website. I have to say Nut Brown Ale is a tempting name for a beer. Look: Clear chestnut brown color with a fair amount of slow settling off-white head. Pretty good start. Nose: Sweet lightly roasted malt, milk chocolate, dry leaves and roasted hazelnut at the beginning. Then it takes a sharp sudden turn to rotten molasses and medlar. Also some old leather couch and soapy aromas. Very odd... Palate: Very thin texture, almost like watered down. Quite a carbonation in the glass which actually I am not a big fan of. Roasted chestnut shells and bread crust. Very faint charred wood notes. Overall: It's a very crisp and vibrant autumn beer maybe but I couldn't find anything too exciting about it. Definitely not my favorite from Peak Organic line-up but it is an easygoing, light and balanced beer. It is a little too thin for my taste but could pair good with spicy Indian, Thai or Middle-Eastern food.

Anchor Porter (5.6%): The famous porter from Anchor, one of my favorite breweries in the States. Actually this porter from San Francisco has been around for a long time since early seventies. It is not an easy find but available all around the year nationwide. Look: Opaque black with a thick and foamy dark brown head. Nose: Dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate and chocolate covered cacao nibs. Wet dark garden turf and fresh cut timber. Nothing very robust but everything above if not more are present and amazingly balanced. Just beautiful... Palate: Hershey's chocolate syrup squeezed over roasted malt.  and Charred wood chips, hazelnuts and lightly roasted espresso beans. Not as thick as the nose suggested. Finishes pretty sweet with dark dried fruit notes like dried purple figs and dates. Overall: I am not going to deny that I have a soft spot for this brewery but this beer is one of best widely distributed porters I ever tasted. Perfect to pair almost with any type of barbecue meat, thick stews, meat pies and creamy and aged cheeses but also incredibly easy to drink by it's own. Definitely a must if you didn't taste it before...