Discovering a regional gem
A Review of Deadeye Jack by LoneRider Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/12/2012 by Chops
                   
Delicious
When you embark on a never ending quest for better beers, there are a few consistently rewarding moments that you look forward to. One moment, of course, is the discovery of a world class wonder. Another moment is the discovery of a personal favorite, a trusty go-to fridge stocker. Yet another moment is the discovery of a regional gem, those local beers that you are proud to tout as must tries for visitors. I recently stumbled upon one of these delicious brews: the Deadeye Jack Porter from the LoneRider Brewing Co.

In the glass, this beer has a very dark, almost black appearance. I did find a little dark brown edging, but it's pretty much a black beer to the average eye. It came with a creamy white head that dissipated fairly quickly.

The aroma is where things started to get interesting. As a matter of fact, there are so many different aroma characters swirling around that it's hard to figure out where to start. First of all, the two core notes are a thick smokiness and a rich roasted character. They balance each other to form a solid foundation that dominates everything else. The combination takes on a very woody character and actually comes across as a charred piece of bark. If I had to choose a particular wood, think of a charred piece of hickory or cedar. It's a fantastic smell that instantly transports you to a campfire setting. I spent a lot of time with the smell before diving in for a taste. Based on the introduction alone, Deadeye Jack actually reminds me of a quality Rauchbier.

That first sip was nothing short of magical. The first aspect to catch you attention is the mouthfeel, which is surprisingly smooth. It's quite the mind bender because the taste itself comes across as roasted and gritty, but the mouthfeel isn't at all. It feels as if you're drinking charred wood pulp, but in a very pleasant way. The finish is amazingly clean and quickly disappears with no bitterness. It leaves behind only a few mild roasted smokey notes.

I have to devote a separate paragraph to the flavor because I found it incredibly difficult to describe. The hop profile is present and easily noticeable, but it's not bitter at all. Instead, it plays off the roasted and smokey flavors in such a way that it tastes like a rich herbal caramel. I know that doesn't make much sense because caramel is usually a core malty flavor in porters. But this isn't a malty caramel. It's a hoppy caramel. If you can, imagine an herbal infused caramel, almost as if you added savory herbs to maple syrup. Make sense at all? Now pepper the beer with some dark chocolate notes and you have Deadeye Jack's core flavor profile. In all honesty, this is the kind of beer you have to try yourself to properly understand.

Overall, LoneRider's Deadeye Jack is a fantastic porter that I can recommend to any level of beer fan. Seasoned drinkers will find this beer irresistible. It's a very interesting interpretation of the porter style and is really fun to dissect. It will certainly make you think and will spark some great conversations. Novices can also benefit from Deadeye Jack because it showcases the great diversity of quality porters. So hats off to LoneRider for creating such a delightful local gem. Deadeye Jack has officially secured a spot on my short list of regional recommendations.

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Deadeye Jack by LoneRider Brewing Co.
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