This porter has a nice black color, excellent bitter coffee aroma however not much head (at least pouring it from a bottle to a glass). The flavor mirrors the aroma and is very flavorful upfront, finishing clean. Porters can be pretty hit or miss in my book ranging from a beer that is dark in color but weak in flavor to ones you’d almost mistake for a stout. Summit’s version is a nice, solid porter that I think I’m enjoying more this year than in the past.
In general, I’m not a fan of the Oktoberfest-style beers, just like I generally don’t like wheat beers however from time to time a beer from one of these categories will come along that reminds me to keep trying the things I THINK I won’t like, ’cause just maybe this one will be the exception. I had the pleasure of giving this one a go at Surlyfest (the event) and wow! I should have known that if there was one brewery that would make an Oktoberfest-style beer I’d enjoy it would be Surly. And hush, I’m not a Surly sheep, goat, or whatever, I just believe they make some fine products, including Surlyfest.
By some strange, but good, curveball thrown by the beer gods I was able to try this brew over the weekend (August 23 to be exact) while at Town Hall for pint club. Not sure if they ran across some extra or purposely reserved some. Either way, I was mighty excited to be able to give this a try. Unfortunately, even with a beautiful raspberry brown color staring out at me from the glass and a cranberry raspberry aroma wafting up I was disappointed. There was not as much overall flavor and not as much tartness as I had expected. The lactose was evident and that was pleasant. I’m still glad I got to try it but now less disappointed than I had been previously about missing it in July. I think with some work, this could be a good beer. I’m hoping they’ll try it again in the future.
All it takes is crafting from the right person’s (Jeff’s) hands. Angry Planet is a beautiful copper color, reminiscent of many an IPA. There was sufficient head, enough so that the server had to pour some off, and a mild hoppy-sweet aroma. With a creamy feel in the mouth and just enough hops to make my taste buds smile without going over the edge this is a winner in my book.
If anyone asked I’d say one of my favorite Schell’s beers is Firebrick (Schmaltz Alt is a close runner up). However, having gotten lucky enough to score one at a friend’s party Saturday night I enjoyed it less than usual. Maybe it was the heat but it just seemed sweeter than usual and almost too sweet to enjoy. I’m not writing it off however. Once the cool breezes of autumn arrive I’ll give it another go around. Hopefully it was just the heat and not a changing of my palate.
I can’t help but think, every time I take my first sip, that this beer tastes like iced tea. Not iced tea like you might have at a restaurant, and certainly not sweetened, but like the old fashioned sun tea where Mom used to take a big jug of water, put some tea bags in and then let it ssit out in the summer sun to brew for most of the day. Very thirst quenching on a warm day!
I recall enjoying this last year when they made it and enough to pick up one of their 1800 shirts, too. That being said I’ve had a lot of beers over the last year so I didn’t have a specific taste memory before trying it this year. Being an IPA it was nearly a gimme that I would like it, especially since Town Hall tends to do IPAs very well. Plenty of flavor but well balanced enough to sit and drink for hours.