Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pugsley's Perfect Porter

I picked up a Shipyard Brewing Co (Portland Maine) Pugsley's Signature Series Imperial Porter at my local Ralph's supermarket last weekend.  I drank it 2 nights ago, before dinner, and WOW... it was impressive.  Alan Pugsley is the English master brewer who crafted this amazing porter.  The back label reads:
"Pugsley's Signature Series is named after Shipyard Brewing Company's master brewer Alan Pugsley. Alan is from England where he worked with Peter Austin at the world-famous Ringwood Brewert before moving to the United States in 1986. Imperial Porter is a full bodied, very dark, malty beer with a good roasted character coming from the Crystal, Chocolate and Black Porter Malts used in the mash.  Warrior, English Fuggles, and EastKent Goldings Hops balance the malts with a good hop bite.  The brew has an OG of 1.070, rounding out after fermentation with just a slight residual sweetness and cutting dry at the finish.  To fully experience all the flavours, this Porter is best enjoyed at 55 degrees Fahrenheit."

Well, I didn't detect Any "hop bite"which is good, because I detest bitter, biting, hoppy beer.  I did taste coffee, chocolate, malty deliciousness.   This quote from the Shipyard website says it best:

"The Pugsley's Signature Series Imperial Porter from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine pours out jet black in color with no light getting through and a one finger, tan head that sticks around. On the nose aromas of chocolate, coffee, deeply roast grain, nuts and earthiness. In the mouth flavors of creamy bittersweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, smoke and a slight herbal hoppiness. Full side of medium bodied. Nice carbonation. Good lacing. Smooth mouthfeel. Slightly sweet on a long finish that ends with a bitter twang. A wonderful Imperial Porter."

My beer fridge is set at 45F, so somewhere along the 2 hour drinking curve, this Porter warmed to around 55, then 60, and all 22 ounces were consumed before it got to 65F.  I didn't notice any "bitter twang" though - maybe I got a 'bad bottle'?  There were a little bit of gritty residual tannins in my bottle, so it may have been out of the bottom of the vat.  I enjoyed it tremendously, and it will not be my last bottle...  though... my new Californian primary care physician has recommended I cut down from 22 ounces to 12 a day... so I will have to look for this porter in six packs instead!

When I first saw Alan's thumbnailed head-shot on the back of the bottle, I thought "there's some hubris for you" ... but after drinking this fine beverage, heck yes, if I had created this, I'd certainly put my picture on every single bottle too!  Excellent stuff.  I highly recommend it.

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