Stone 20th Anniversary Encore Series: 6th Anniversary Porter

Total Score: 7.8/10 Wood1Vanilla1Chocolate1Tulipglass1

This rerelease is based on a beer based on an anniversary for Stone, it’s a veritable Inception of beers – like a beer within a beer within a beer… it’s BEERCEPTION! Anyhow I really quite enjoyed Stone’s actual 20th Anniversary beer: Citracado, so I figured this rerelease of their 6th Anniversary Porter would go down a treat, plus in 2002 (the year the original was released) I was drinking mostly Guinness and there was no way in hell a craft beer from the states would even have gotten to Australia, so I guess my only chance to try 6th Anniversary Porter is right now in 2017, yay the future!

Poured from a 650ml “bomber” bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep chocolate brown almost jet black body with a nice thin tan head that quickly fades to leave a thin lace ring and bubbles on top. At 8% ABV seeing a head disappear like this is not uncommon, and I do like the look of a dark beer… so: 8/10.

S: Beechwood upfront provides a nice bacon(y) foil to the dark chocolate/coffee grinds aroma of this Porter. Can’t really go past that Beechwood smoke though – it’s reminiscent of the best (Schlenkerla comes to mind), hint of nuttiness in there as well. This aroma has plenty of character, as Stone are known to provide in most of their brews. Really looking forward to the next bit. 8/10.

T: F**ken tasty this! Bold dark chocolate/coffee front palate, mid hits with bacon and Beechwood smoke, vanilla sweetness enters (and quickly departs) as this delightful brew finishes with what I would call an overly assertive astringent bitterness in the finish. That bitterness wrecks the palate a little bit and holds it back from being a truly great brew, but the journey is still good. Aftertaste lingers with some sharp bitterness. Did I mention woody? Yes, woody too. 8/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with a dense/creamy carbonation, great stuff! 8/10.

D: Apart from that sharp lingering bitterness in the finish and aftertaste this is one decent Porter from those fine chaps (and chapettes) at Stone. The simple fact is: This is a real assertively bitter American Porter. If you’re a Russian Imperial Stout drinker… or nearly any Stout drinker, chances are this will be too OTT bitter. However if your favourite beer tipple begins with ‘I’ and ends ‘A’ you’ll probably get right into this. Me, I feel I straddle both worlds – I love a Stout and an IPA, and this Stone was edging a little too much for me with bitterness. 7/10.

Food match: The smokinest Cuban cigar you can conjure up for less than $50.

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