Here we are again on a cold and windy Buffalo night, if you ask me it sounds like a good night for a porter. Specifically speaking 12 Gates Brewing Company’s Coffee Porter. If I am not mistaken, the Coffee Porter has always been one of the main beers that 12 Gates has had a constant distribution of. So if you are unable to make it to the brewery(which is a shame because it is a very pleasant place) you should not have any trouble finding it elsewhere.
On the side of the can 12 Gates provides a love note of what to expect when cracking one open:
‘Dark chocolate, light roast, and toffee paired with traditional English hops make for a creamy smooth porter. It is then treated with a monstrous amount of cold brewed micro roasted coffee from Western NY roasters.’
The Beer: Coffee Porter by 12 Gates Brewing Company
ABV: 5.8% IBU: 28
Hop Profile: Northern Brewer
East Kent Goldings
Malt Profile: German Pale
2 Types of Chocolate Malts
Pop the Top
Right out of the can the Coffee Porter boasts a strong coffee aroma, though it is not working alone in this case. Besides the coffee aroma, you are also provided with aromas that spawn from both the Northern Brewer and East Kent Goldings hops as well as a few of the malts. So let’s break this down into hops and malts.
First and foremost, the Northern Brewer hops are providing their quintessential earthy/ nature like aroma. Very refreshing in my eyes especially when used in a porter or stout. Besides the Northern Brewers hops we also have the East Kent Goldings which have a very interesting aroma and flavor characteristic to them. In the Coffee Porter, it seems to me that they sit in the background providing a very minute leather aroma. A thin layer if you want to put it that way. Not easy to pick up on, but when noticed it does provide a very intriguing aroma to the mix.
So what malts can we attribute to the aromas? I’m thinking Roasted Barley, Chocolate, and the Crystal malts. The Roasted Barley works very well with both hops, bringing a nice ashy burnt aroma to the mix. If you really think about it for a second the Roasted Barely is a perfect malt partner for the Northern Brewer hops. They truly work hand in hand. I’d say it’s fairly obvious what the Chocolate malts provide us with. It’s not a very in your face chocolate aroma though, more of a darker richer chocolate aroma. Very smooth and pleasant. And lastly, we have the Crystal malt allowing the Coffee Porter to have a sweeter side, again not terribly strong but a simple accent, if I may. Just noticeable in the background, not something you’d pick up on initially.
Moving on from the aromas, Coffee Porter does a provide a very strong image for itself. Leading the way on how a strong porter should carry itself. A nice creamy two finger width head, as well as a very dark if not opaque appearance. The creamy head I am sure is given to us by the Flaked Oats and the opaque dark appearance from the Chocolate and Roasted Barley malts.
So far 12 Gates has carried itself very well with its Coffee Porter, bringing it in with strong aromas and an enticing appearance. But these days you have to dig deeper, good looks and aromas won’t get you far in today’s world. In other words men a good shit, shower, and a shave isn’t going to be enough.
I’m about half way through my first can and with every sip it just keep getting better and better. So again let’s start with the hops, what are we getting from them flavor wise? Just like the aromas, Northern Brewer provides a nice nature like flavor. If you ask me, the Norther Brewer hops are a strong carrier of this beer. Regardless of the fact that they are one of my favorite hops. They stick it out from beginning to end. Again, the East Kent Goldings provide a nice leather background flavor, nothing terribly strong but sure enough it is there.
Malt wise, again I am mostly getting the Roasted Barely, Chocolate and Crystal malts. The Flaked Oats will be coming later on, I will be sure not to forget about them. So the Roasted Barely works hand in hand with the hops, coming together with its burnt/ ashy flavor. They work together so well that without one or the other something would be missing and thing wouldn’t be the same. So 12 Gates mentioned two distinct flavors, one of them being dark chocolate. Which to me it is just the right amount. I’ve had a few stout and porters that the chocolate has a tendency of taking over. This is not the case, it sits in the background providing a perfect dark chocolate flavor. The second flavor was toffee, noticeable but just enough that it doesn’t block the way for the coffee to take the main stage.
Flavor wise 12 Gates did very well with its Coffee Porter and they put it on the can for all to read and take note. The dark chocolate flows perfectly with the light roast(I love Roasted Barley) and toffee. The sweetness though is not thwarted by a very intriguing coffee bitterness. Though the IBU is only 28, the coffee bitterness is perfect and makes the beer all the more enticing. It flows smooth as glass from beginning to end. Throughout the entire sip the Flaked Oats provide a nice creamy mouthfeel that is the cherry on top of an already amazing beer.
What can I say that I haven’t already. The burnt, nature like aroma and flavors walk hand in hand with the coffee and chocolate side of things. There is not one thing about this beer that I can think of that would throw it off balance. Top to bottom an excellent beer. I hope you find it to be as enjoyable as I did.
Thanks for reading, keep the beer flowing!
12 Gates, I hope to stop in soon and maybe do a Brewview onsite, I would love to get some insider input!!!!