Sharing Craft With a Craftsman
A Review of Mary’s Maple Porter by Brooklyn Brewery
Posted on 5/22/2012 by Chops
                   
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It's not every day that you get to enjoy a specialty creation from a world-class craftsman... with the actual craftsman. I recently got to do just that when Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery's brewmaster and one of the world's foremost experts on beer, visited my town for a craft beer expo. As part of his trip, he made an appearance at our beloved craft beer store to sign books and bottles. On tap for the event was Mary's Maple Porter, part of his Brewmaster's Reserve series.

Per Brooklyn: Every four months or so (if things are running on schedule*) Garrett and the boys emerge from the brewhouse with a brand new beer. We count these one-time only creations under the banner of Brewmaster's Reserve. BMR's, as we call them around here, are released on a limited basis to our favorite bars and restaurants. Since BMR's are here and then gone forever, this section is more like a history as opposed to a list of beers you can try.

In the glass, Mary's Maple Porter has a stark black appearance with no edging. It comes with a creamy copper-tan head that likes to stick around for a while. On the nose, I picked up a sweet roasted malty smell with a slight hint of smokiness. The maple syrup used in the brewing process was initially difficult to single out, but became more prominent on the nose after several sips.

The first thing you notice when diving into this beer is the mouthfeel. It's smooth as silk with absolutely no grittiness or chalkiness. I imagine this has a lot to do with the maple syrup addition, almost like adding a thickening agent or a candy coating to any residual sediment. The flavor itself is very rich, full of savory dark chocolate notes and maple sweetness. The finish is very clean, somewhat dry, and leaves behind a rich coffee roast aftertaste.

Overall, Mary's Maple Porter from the Brooklyn Brewery's Brewmaster's Reserve is an easy drinking delight that I could happily enjoy all day long. It's quite unique for the porter style and is endlessly enjoyable. Consequently, I can recommend this brew to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will appreciate it as a clean, silky smooth version of a time honored style. Novices will appreciate it as a soothing and approachable porter with lots of flavor and character.

I can't thank Garrett Oliver enough for the visit. He's a classy and gracious individual, and it was an honor to get a chance to share such a fantastic brew with him. I may never get a chance to try Mary's Maple Porter again, but I will certainly be looking forward to the next Brewmaster's Reserve. Cheers!

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Mary’s Maple Porter by Brooklyn Brewery
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