We have grilling on the brain these days, and we can think of no better brew for the first cook-out of the season than this porter from Deschutes Brewery. Its dark roasted flavors will make good company while we wait for the grill to warm and take deep breaths of that fresh spring air.
Beer Details: Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon (5.2% ABV, 30 IBUs)
Appearance: This one is dark dark dark brown with enticing glimmers of red around the edges. It sports a thick cap of milkshake-esque foam and leaves sticky trails down the sides of the glass as you sip it down.
Aroma: Lots of roasted malts here, chocolate-y and sweet. Earthy notes from the hops balance things out.
Taste: Fresh coffee grounds and bitter chocolate flavors mellow out into a warming toasted malt quality. A touch of charcoal sneaks in there, making this an even more appealing beer to sip with dinner coming off the grill. The hops give just enough of their citrus and floral characters to freshen up the malts but not so much that the brew becomes overly bitter or unbalanced.
In fact, this beer feels very well balanced. Not sappy sweet, not burnt to the point of bitterness; it's just right. With a mild carbonation, this beer has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. The barest whiff of coffee lingers in an otherwise cut-and-dry finish.
Food Pairing: Pair this porter with a juicy cheeseburger with all the fixings and a side of grilled vegetable kabobs. Deschutes also has some great recipes to try on their website:
• Black Butte Porter Pub Recipes from Deschutes Brewery (scroll to the bottom)
What do you think of this beer?
(Image: Emma Christensen)