Anchor Porter: 5.6% abv
This is a very special review tonight. This is a micro-brewery from San Francisco, and there is a reason to be excited about it. We've gone to a special store, which does "Crash Courses" on beers every day. Those special beers get discount prices at this already super-competitive store. More on this store later. Anchor prides themselves on unique beers, and man, do they deliver on that front. Porters are known for their rich coffee flavor and lighter style, but there are some very unique perks to this one.
On the nose, you will find a disappointing lack of complexity, but don't be discouraged. On the nose we found primarily, your standard coffee, with vanilla and caramel giving some sweetness to the smell, but also including a light, sweet apple note when the beer is agitated, and also slight brown sugar. The nose is pleasantly light, telling you that it only wants to be a porter, and not box with it's heavier stout cousins.
On the taste, we have coffee of course, but less of it than you'd expect. The arrival is led by a very outlandish green apple tartness, but also includes cinnamon, bitter roasted malt, and toffee. We feel that there is a lack of balance and evenness in the flavor, although it is complex enough. Here's where things get really good. The finish is wonderfully long, with great notes of vanilla, bitter malt, pine, coffee, and an utterly unique spicy red pepper subtly nestled in the back of the finish.
The whole beer is definitely dry, which is different from your average porter. Unfortunately, the complexity of the beer is lacking, and balance is disappointing. This is still unique, and definitely worth a try. It certainly raised our brows. Let's get back to this shop. If you are in the Kalamazoo area, make a trip to Beer and Skittles and check out their awesome prices, good selection, and wonderful customer service. This beer will be on sale at a special price tomorrow.