Saturday, December 22, 2007
Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter
My brother in-law recently moved to Durham, NC and when he wrote that he was coming to visit a couple weeks ago, I sent him an email asking him to pick up a "few things" for me. Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter was something I'd been wanting to try, but that isn't available locally. He brought this, along with a couple other beers, when he visited. After I shampooed our carpets last night, I decided it was time to relax with a glass of Baltic Porter. Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville, NC bills itself as "The Dark Beer Specialist." Their Winter release Baltic Porter certainly gives backing to that.
The Baltic Porter pours black. That's about all there is to say about the color, this stuff is dark. There's a beige head that fades pretty rapidly leaving just a thin ring. The initial aroma of dark, bittersweet chocolate is noticeable as soon as I opened the bottle. Baltic Porters are typically higher in alcohol than standard porters and the Duck-Rabbit offering is no different. This is a big beer at 9% ABV and the alcohol is also apparent in the aroma.
The mouth feel is thick and quite smooth. There's a moderate about of carbonation to tingle the tongue as well. Initially the flavor is that of dark chocolate. The alcohol provides a warming sensation on the way down. The alcohol is well played in this one. It is not overbearing nor unpleasant. The alcohol in a big beer should be noticeable, but not over power the other flavors. Duck-Rabbit does a good job of keeping the alcohol level enjoyable. As the beer warms, roasted coffee flavors begin to emerge, along with some dark fruit. There are some faint bitter hops detected in the aftertaste, along with roasted coffee.
One of the things I find with these flavor-rich, high ABV beers is they continually draw you back for sip after sip. I have to make a concerted effort of enjoying the beer slowly. Duck Rabbit created an outstanding beer in their Baltic Porter. My bottles have an "Enjoy By" date of October 2008 so the beer probably holds up well to aging. However, there will surely be enough cold nights this Winter that need some warmth from a good Baltic Porter. Mark, next time you visit ...