A Possible New Passion for Porters
A Review of Black Jack Porter by Left Hand Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/11/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
From time to time in your better beer journey you will find yourself on a one style street, and no matter how hard you try, you can't get yourself off of it. It's almost like whatever store or establishment you visit, the shelves or menus seem to be packed with whatever style has been on your mind. For me recently it has been porters, and in all honesty I've really enjoyed it. When done right, porters can be both delicious and satisfying. At times they come across as a lighter version of a stout, and anyone who knows me knows that stouts are my thing. One of the better offerings that has crossed my path during this little detour comes from Left Hand Brewing Company in the form of their Black Jack Porter.

When in the glass, Black Jack Porter has a dark brown coloration with some deep ruby hues around the edges when held to a light source. A good two fingers worth of sandy colored head sits on top with a very good retention rate, and it leaves a decent amount of spotty lacing throughout the session. Malts abound in the aroma department with charred espresso and dark chocolate dominating the introduction. After a few minutes of warming time, some more lighter notes of cocoa powder and caramel make their way through, and laying deep down beneath everything else are some very earthy hops that seem to assure you that things are to remain in balance no matter how sweet the initial greeting is.

The first sip follows the nose almost point for point. Some chalky dark chocolate is what you first pick up on, and then a bitter coffee bite comes in to keep the sweetness in check. The cocoa plays well in line with the dark chocolate, and at times there is almost a tobacco taste dancing around in the glass. The earthy hops noted in the nose make an appearance at the very tail end of the flavor train, and at times you almost wish you had a little more of them based on their flavor profile alone. The body is well in the range of medium, and the carbonation would fall in the same category. The finish is crisp and clean, with nothing but a hint of dark chocolate hanging around for an aftertaste.

As I have said before, finding a good representation of the porter style isn't as easy as most might think. It seems that more and more breweries are focusing their efforts either on the IPA arms race, or the search for the strongest stout, and thus end up leaving out all of the ''in between'' styles. That is why I really have a new found appreciation for beers like the Black Jack Porter. In my book it has always been a winner, but the more and more I think about it, the more I realize how good it really is. Left Hand Brewing Company has always been one of my favorite breweries, and with beers like the Black Jack Porter I have plenty of evidence to support my case.

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Black Jack Porter by Left Hand Brewing Co.
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