Monday, January 11, 2010

195. Port Brewing 2nd Anniversary Ale

Our third beer from Port Brewing; we’ve had the High Tide Fresh Hop and the Hop-15. I sense a theme, don’t you? And this beer certainly continues that trend...

Port’s 2nd Anniversary Ale has a sweet caramel nose mixed with a generous abundance of hoppiness—there are citrus and hot spicy hop aromas, and maybe a slight metallic astringency. The beer is a cloudy murky copper color with a light white head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. There are hops throughout the flavor profile on this one—it’s got some big hops. Starts with a sweet malt with some already present bitterness, and moves into some caramelized sugar flavors that blend well with the blossoming bitterness of the middle. There are also some pine and resin flavors, but nothing that can be clearly pinned down (i.e. we taste nothing that would allow us to lay claim to this being particular types of hops). Port’s 2nd Anniversary Ale does end rather clean—there is a good amount of lingering bitterness, but the malt profile rounds out smoothly. It is medium to medium heavy-bodied with some carbonation bite, but there is more hop bitterness and bite than that of the carbonation. There is some slight stickiness in the mouth; the alcohol is rather subdued, but the large hop presence could easily cut this out. There is also some astringency from the larger hop profile, but nothing overbearing—it is more the product of a big hop beer than something detrimental. The description on the bottle says this beer “oozes hop oils, aromas and flavors,” and we certainly agree with that. While the hop profile is big, it is a bit indistinct. It is much better than many of the other DIPAs or Imperial IPAs we’ve had, both in terms of the hop profile in relation to the malt profile and the overall taste in relation to it being a big beer, but it could use a bit more crispness in the malt profile and bit more distinctiveness in the hop profile. But in the big picture sense, we both like it—I may like it a bit more than Elli, but the strengths of this over other big beers we both agree on.

From the bottle: “Let’s party! It’s been our mantra for years now. Since we opened our doors two years ago, we’ve had many things to be thankful about. So, in true Port Brewing fashion, we thought it would be appropriate to mark our 2nd full year of business with another new beer. Port 2nd Anniversary Ale joins other Port Brewing beers in celebrating all things hoppy.

In your hands, you are holding yet another hop monster of beer brewed in San Diego. Yes, we know this is hardly original, but, we love hops as much as you do so let’s party! This oozes hop oils, aromas and flavors. We hope it’s a worthy addition to the riches that is the Port Brewing family of beers. We look forward to this annual release each May and hope you will too.”

ABV: 9.5%


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