Rohrbach Brewing Company just recently came out with a new release and I was able to get my hands on it not too long ago. By now I believe it should be on the store shelves as well as at the brewery itself. House of Silent Shadows was brewed to commemorate the 90th anniversary of a local Rochester theatre, the Little Theatre.
The Beer: House of Silent Shadows Prohibition Porter by Rohrbach Brewing Company
Style: America Porter
ABV: 6.4% IBU: 24
On the side of each can is a write up of the inspiration and thoughts behind the brewing of House of Silent Shadows:
‘This prohibition-era porter is titled after The Little Theatre’s original name during the time of silent films. Inspired by the theatre’s popular concession snack, Nanaimo bars, House of Silent Shadows is brewed with additions of cocoa nibs, toasted coconut, and almond. Its complex malt recipe offers characteristics of caramel and chocolate, while lactose in the boil adds a touch of sweetness to the finished brew.’
The House of Silent Shadows pours a beer that is very befitting of its name, a black appearance with a nice thick creamy head to top it off. If held up to the light, you may be able to see things through it but these are mere shadows.
The aromas are very pleasant and resemble a concession snack at a movie theatre. For the most part there is a very sweet chocolate aroma with a small touch of the toasted coconut sneaking in for a little attention. Just from the aromas it is very easy to notice the cocoa nibs and lactose used in the brewing process. The coconut isn’t as strong and I feel could be over looked if one doesn’t take their time. So be sure to embrace the full experience of these aromas!
Embrace The Shadows
To make a long story short I was told this beer tastes exactly if not very similar to the candy bar that inspired it all. Now I’ve never had the Nanaimo Bar before but I am going to take a leap of faith and say the House of Silent Shadows is a pretty close match just from my first few sips.
The beginning of each sip seems to start off with a nice sweet chocolate flavor which is surrounded by a sweet creamy mouthfeel. Shortly after that the rest of the flavors start to emerge from the shadows. Right after I picked up on the chocolate I began to notice a slight touch of almond that got stronger the closer I got towards mid sip. From mid sip the chocolate and almond flavors continued but then were joined by a touch of coconut. At this point it is a very small touch and not as impressionable. Once you get to the end of the sip it very easy to pick up on what the Nanaimo Bar might actually taste like. All three flavors combine and together create a fusion of chocolate, almond, and coconut. The coconut is still a mere accent but once you start to swallow that’s where it shows its true strength. From here I am getting a surge of coconut which then tails off into the other two flavors, chocolate and almond.
All three flavors have a general presence in the aftertaste but with the coconut remaining center stage. If I am not mistaken I am also getting a slight touch of caramel at this stage of the game. Other than that I didn’t pick up on the caramel anywhere else. I’m not sure if it got lost with the sweetness of the lactose or if I am just missing it altogether. If you notice it more than I do, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to seek it out with my next pint.
The mouthfeel and body of House of Silent Shadows is very interesting to me. There isn’t a robust Porter feel. Instead, and I’m sure this was purposeful, we are left with a sweeter creamy mouthfeel that accompanies the candy bar flavor of the beer. The body is lighter than most Porters but again I feel that wasn’t by mistake seeing the mission of this beer.
Over all every aspect of House of Silent Shadows paired very well with one another. Starting with the aromas you knew instantly the direction this beer was going. And the flavor was done perfectly with all the extra ingredients, there was no difficulty in distinguishing each flavor. The amount of Lactose used was perfect and gave this beer the perfect touch as one inspired by a candy bar. The brewers at Rohrbach Brewing Company had a mission when they came up House of Silent Shadows and I believe they were successful!