Thursday, March 10, 2011
Great Lakes Brewing Company - Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
For me, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter will always be remembered as the beer that I should have never gotten to try. Over the weekend in Cincinnati, we ended up at a grocery store on kind of an off night with the intent of stocking up for a night in. After picking up the usual array of snacks and treats for a movie night, the choice became what beer to get. Of course, this wasn't an easy choice because almost everything on the shelf was new to me. Great Lakes was one of the breweries I had really wanted to try during my trip and the grocery store had a pretty good lineup from them. Eventually, my choice came down to Edmund Fitzgerald Porter or Commodore Perry IPA. To tell the truth, I felt way more like an IPA that night. Typically, porters are heavier beers and my stomach was still reeling a bit from both the bockfest the night before and the delicious but artery-clogging midwestern food we'd had the past two days. Still, something kept drawing my eye to the porter and so, knowing full on I might regret my decision in a matter of minutes, I took the porter. Now I can say, without a doubt, that it was the right move.
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter pours a deep dark color that looks black but is more of a deep ruby color when held to light. The beer smelled fantastic and I picked up a lot of prune, plum, raisin and smoke. Normally, that might not sound so great together, but these smells blended together perfectly.
I took the first sip a little tentatively, unsure of how my stomach would handle it, and was totally relieved. The beer has some heavy characteristics without tasting or feeling "heavy." I don't know that I've ever had one like this. Roasted malts, bittersweet coffee, brown sugar, a hint of hops and a bit of unsweetened baking chocolate all meld together for a near perfect porter taste. Usually, porters are a one-and-done type of beer for me, but I was able to put this one back no problem. It's the most drinkable (and maybe the best) porter I've ever had. After coming back, I saw on a beer forum that a lot of people believe that this is the porter that all other American porters should be measured against. After trying it, I'd have to agree.
Final Grade: A+