photo edited with Instagram
At halftime during the Florida State vs. Virginia Tech game last night, I decided that an emergency trip to the store was in order so that I could get myself a porter or stout beer. I had just finished off my share of a Samuel Smith Organic Cider and suddenly developed a craving for something quite the opposite of this light and refreshing drink.
The dark brews are my favorite, especially for the chilly nights we are now enjoying here in Tallahassee. Before I started working at a liquor store, the only stout that I really remember having tried in the past is Guinness. And I don’t remember being particularly fond of it. (It may have been acceptable, but as far as I can tell, it didn’t leave any lasting impressions on me.) Now that I’ve got a wide variety of beers to choose from and take home from work to sample, I have come to the conclusion that I tend to gravitate towards heavier, more malty selections such as the Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout and this newest discovery, Anchor Porter.
As you can see from the picture that I posted above, I enjoyed it out of my commemorative Brewfest! glass from last weekend’s event. (This is where I actually first sampled this beer.) I think that pouring your beer into a glass instead of sipping it straight from the bottle allows it to truly reach its full potential of flavor. Leaving it in the bottle impedes that because it doesn’t allow as much oxygen to mix with the beer. Ice cold in a glass, this Porter presented a very light coffee and chocolate flavor with a subtle bittersweet finish. But as the beer warmed up a bit over time, the flavors became much more complex. The chocolate was more distinguishable and a hint of it even lingered a bit at the end of each sip.
What draws me to the beers and stouts are the delicious coffee and chocolate flavors that they usually boast, as well as the full body of the beer itself. I would describe it like a “comfort” beer, much in the same way that mashed potatoes and soup are comfort foods to most people. They are great brews to slowly sip on slowly and savor the flavor of.
Anchor has earned its place among my favorites, and for that I will give it 7.5 out of 10 stars. On most occasions, I would probably enjoy something just a tad bit sweeter–like the Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout, (another Brewfest discovery). And this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who is familiar with my tastes, because if you know me, you’ll know that I tend to stick to the sweeter options when it comes to what I drink.
As the temperature continues to drop and we head into winter, I know that I will continue to enjoy the Anchor Porter as well as other dark beers. (The SS Organic Chocolate Stout is next on my “Beers To Buy” list!) They pair well with big dinners–like maybe a steak or even a roast beef sandwich, or fare well on their own as a hearty treat to end the day and have in hand while cocooned in a blanket and catching up on TV shows saved on the DVR.