Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co. Smoked Porter w/ Vanilla Bean

Style: American Porter
ABV: 5.9%

Fun Fact About the Brewery:

Wow, this is the first Stone Brewing release I've reviewed here? Well, shoot, here we go. Stone was founded in 1996 in San Marcos, CA, and later moved to its current headquarters in Escondido. Stone, volume-wise, has become one of the biggest and most wildly successful craft breweries in North America and is even trying to expand into Europe. They have a (mostly earned) very high opinion of themselves, hence names likes Arrogant Bastard Ale, etc. Beer Advocate worships at their feet pretty much. Because of all this hype, I really find some of their standard releases to be pretty mediocre, especially the Stone IPA, but almost all of their special or seasonal releases deliver on the hype x 10, which brings me to...


It had been a little while since the first sip of a beer I'd never tried before made me say, "Holy shit" out loud. I mean, you know I love me some porters and just the words "porter" and "vanilla" in the same sentence practically give me a half-chub (too much? sorry!). But man, this beer is just exquisite. Porters are inherently smooth, but when you add a smokey vanilla flavor to it, you're just the smoothest smooth in smoothtown. The light smokiness keeps it from being too overtly sweet, so it's not just a full-on desert beer, although I would probably take it over just about any chocolate stout I can think of. And finally, the low ABV makes it all the more drinkable. If six-packs of this were available year-round (they're not, sadly), I would not buy many other beers on the regular.

Rating: 4.75/5

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