So, yeah. . . Dropped the ball on a successful Monday brew post. This time it wasn’t because of mid-terms, but was due to my ecology discussion group volunteering yours truly to be in charge of making our PowerPoint presentation. They’d better bake me an appreciatory cake or something for this. Grumble grumble grumble.
OK, on to the review. This week’s frothy delight is a strange one: Morke Pumpernickel Porter from the Beer Here brewery, Norway. I picked up this beer at the Davis Co-Op for around $9.00 for the 1-pint, 9 fl oz bottle. At 7.5% alcohol by volume, this beer is in the mid-range of the stout/porter alcohol content spectrum. This brew has an interesting picture of a sinister-looking chef sliding a full beer glass into what appears to be stone bread oven. Rather strange if you ask me. Should I put my beer in the oven before drinking it? I think I’ll try my review with my beer at room temperature (298 degrees Kelvin); that usually gives the best results. I must admit, I am a little skeptical of this porter. Sometimes poor quality beers will put a off-the-wall label on their bottle, hoping to get sales from their label only, it seems. If it’s a good beer, you don’t need the eye-catching label. Quality sells itself. Well, here goes. . .
First off, I opened the beer and it basically erupted everywhere. It had not been shaken or anything. I can’t explain why it foamed over for a good long while. I hope it didn’t lose its carbonation too much. We’ll see.
Opacity: 4.8. Black as the night. I held this brew directly up to a light and could only make out the very faintest bit of light. This is up there with some of the darkest beers I have ever seen.
Color: Black. That is all.
Head: 4.5. Fantastic head. Medium-dark brown head with staying power. As the head did go down, it went down proportionally all around, in contrast to lesser quality beers that dissipate quickly and form an atoll head.
Aroma: 4.5. Smells like a moist, decade-old felled tree, but in the best of possible ways! Also has hints of chocolate and molasses. Truly a great amalgam of scents.
Flavor: 4.2. Very robust. Possibly a slight taste of fennel, but maybe it’s just my failure to properly define it. I am not a huge fan of fennel. . . Not a fennel fan. . . I need to stop. The dead tree smell is also present in the taste, but again, in a good way. Slightly bitter on the way out. UPDATE: I looked the beer up online to see how others have classified the taste of this beer. What I had originally described as the taste of fennel is actually much more accurately described as the taste of prunes. Thanks random internet reviewer for having more highly tuned senses than I.
Mouthfeel: 4.3. Low carbonation. This I like, but it’s difficult to tell if this is how the beer would have been were it not for the eruption at the beginning. My guess is no, it wouldn’t be as flat without that initial burst, but I have to rate it as I taste it, because I don’t like sloppy guesswork.
Finish: 4.1. As I said above, this brew has a slight bitter aftertaste. It drops off somewhat sharply, but not nearly sharp enough. Also, lingering taste of
fennel (black licorice) prunes is not the most pleasant of tastes; I could have done without it.
Overall: 4.4. This was a good beer, despite the pruney taste ad slight bitterness. The flavors actually grew on me as I sipped at it for a while. I would have this again if somebody bought it for me, but at nearly $9.00 per bottle I would be hard-pressed to buy it again. Pick this one up if you like dark beers. It’s a journey.