Well it’s Tuesday, and being the predictable, domesticated man boy that I am, I spent my mid-week day off with some light cleaning, and heavy duty Sid Meyer’s Civilization playing, peppered with a craft beer or two. Today’s review will look at bottle of Ranger Creek’s Mesquite Smoked Porter that’s been sitting in a cool dark place for the last twelve months.
Decanting a beer shouldn’t be too hard for me, being a seasoned veteran of the sobriety wars, however this black as night ale created copious amount of cappuccino colored carbonation (alliteration, motherfuckers!) While in most beers I would give this a few jeers, this ale is bottle conditioned, and I think helps give a beer a better mouth feel than the standard forced carbonation most commercially produced beer goes through, craft or not. A somewhat more difficult pour is an easy trade-off for a better beer drinking experience.
On the nose there is a nice roasted coffee and dark chocolate essence accentuated with a slight leather and floral aspect. Now, I first had this beer at the first annual Dallas Winter Warmer (you might have seen me use the taster in prior reviews), where I felt the smokiness was just too much. Now I had it at the end of a brewfest, so suffice to say my taste buds and level of inebriation might have caused an overworked palate, or perhaps the year of bottle conditioning has tamed that tiger. But from this bottle, while the smokiness is still upfront, it seems more in balance with the dark roasted malt and subtle hoppiness. While I have had a few smoked porters, this one has a unique, but not unpleasant, light sourness.
The finish of the Mesquite Smoked Porter is dry and leaves a somewhat floral, dark roasted coffee aftertaste. These flavors seem to concentrate the more this beer is consumed.
This beer would be perfect with a nice plate of chopped brisket, as its smokiness would obviously pair well with the smoked meat, while also standing up to the sweetness and tang of a good barbeque sauce.
Without the glory that is barbeque, it still holds its own as an enjoyable ale. I would highly suggest this to the Texas craft beer consumer.