Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Summit Great Northern Porter

A few weeks ago,  I entered the IPA from Summit on this here blog, and noted that the Great Northern Porter was the only other regularly brewed offering from that brewery that has not been listed here yet. (Although another new one appears this week, the Frost Line Rye. Had a taste on Saturday, but wasn't able to snag a bottle.) I picked a 6-pack today in an effort to close that circle and dot that i, and now I re-visit the old notes.

But, first. My, oh, my, how like opening a time capsule it is when I check out an eleven year old beer review. You'll know what I mean when you're done reading this one. I gave it a whopping 4.58/5, a full 19.9% deviation from the standard mean, back on January 9 of 2003:
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Someone once asked me what would be the one beer I'd choose if I can only have one for the rest of my life, the old desert island query. They were surprised when I chose this, and I had to bring out my rationale. But first...

Big, bubbly, cocoa-colored head, dark brown color.

Aroma comes out with fresh roasty flavors, toasty flavors, some spiciness, chocolate, espresso, etcetera.

 Darkens in taste as you go, with a thick full, well-balanced mouthfeel, but still sufficient bitterness. Marvelous and mellow, slips down the throat nicely, but still with a bit of a bite.

If Summit ever dropped it, I'd have to break down and sob.
Not as powerful as many other porters, but reliably flavorful. Why do I choose it for this "last and only" choice?
 It's excellent for my kind of session ale, not too strong or powerful, just right in hops and malt. And it's local, from just across the river, and I don't have to mention how important that is...
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From the perspective of eleven years later, I can honestly affirm the rightness of my thinking. A mere three years later, along came Surly and the game began to change forever. This year looks like it will beat last year, with more and more new breweries being announced. It was important to support the one from across the river eleven years ago, but now I have the option of supporting the one from a few blocks away. Summit Great Northern Porter, one of their first offerings ever, is still an excellent example of an American version of a robust English porter. Nothing spectacular at all, as evidenced by how my wild enthusiasm veers so far from that of rational thinking people, obviously, but a good old stand-by.

So, the final question is would it still be my "desert island beer", the last one you could drink for the rest of your life? I remember once answering that with Anchor Porter, for the exact same reasoning, and I have to re-agree with myself. It wouldn't be an Imperial Stout or Imperial anything. As much as I like them, I can only have one or two a day. If it were an IPA, would I get bored by too much hops, and they would lose their luster? Would I be over-whelmed, not able to stomach too
(Note: check out the glass: something I bought at the Summit Brewery gift shop many years ago. One of the oldest glasses in my collection. Compare it's logo to the bottle. Then consider that they're re-branding currently, and both of those logos will be out-dated soon. That is all.)

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