GLB 25th Ann. Robust Porter

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JeffPorter
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GLB 25th Ann. Robust Porter

Postby JeffPorter » Wed May 09, 2012 4:17 pm

Thought I'd start a thread for the bottles...

Haven't done a review in a while and I'm still a little stuffed up, but here goes

Wax dipped Belgian-style bombers with a really pretty label poured into my new GLB 25 years snifter.

Pours a deep dark brown almost black - no light gets through. Light mocha tan head that fades fairly quickly to a few bubbles, but laces nicely.

Aroma is all roasty toasty goodness - perfect for this rainy day right now. It'll be even better in the fall and winter, methinks. Espresso, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, tiny wisp of cherries or some other dark fruit.

The taste hits you with those coffee dark chocolate notes, and then finishes with a good bitter bite either from the hops, or just the roast, but I'm not that good at telling those apart. Exceptionally dry and lingering.

What a gorgeous and special bottle of beer this is. It was worth the wait. I'll be saving my few other bottles for the fall, I think. It'll be interesting to put a couple months on it.
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Postby cratez » Fri May 11, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks for the review Jeff. I haven't taken any notes yet but my first impression is that it's a very solid American-style porter that really opens up as it warms. I also respect Great Lakes for filling gaping voids in the Ontario market with their new retail releases. We lacked hoppy in-your-face APAs and then Crazy Canuck came along. Miami Weiss remains one of the only APWAs brewed in the province. And now they've answered the call for a proper robust porter on store shelves (albeit a limited release). Anyway, I'll report back with a full review in due time. Cheers!
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Fri May 11, 2012 6:59 pm

cratez wrote:Thanks for the review Jeff. I haven't taken any notes yet but my first impression is that it's a very solid American-style porter that really opens up as it warms. I also respect Great Lakes for filling gaping voids in the Ontario market with their new retail releases. We lacked hoppy in-your-face APAs and then Crazy Canuck came along. Miami Weiss remains one of the only APWAs brewed in the province. And now they've answered the call for a proper robust porter on store shelves (albeit a limited release). Anyway, I'll report back with a full review in due time. Cheers!
Well said. I haven't cracked one of mine yet but I will post my comments when I do.
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Postby velovampire » Fri May 11, 2012 9:39 pm

cratez wrote:Miami Weiss remains one of the only APWAs brewed in the province.

Mmmmm, yeah, it'd be really nice if we could have some of that, like, now. #GREENTEAFTW!!! :cry:
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Postby mintjellie » Sat May 12, 2012 12:46 pm

Pretty funny that the best IPA made in this province was a one-off APWA. No offense to Flying Monkeys, Muskoka, and the rest - Miami Weiss was a damn good hop fix.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Sat May 12, 2012 2:29 pm

I agree fully with Jeff's notes. This is a top-class traditional porter, with good Irish/British-type hopping (i.e., no pronounced aroma and lots of incisive bitterness). It proves for a fine porter, you don't need to add coffee or fruit, those tastes are built into the recipe when made in a traditional manner and come out just fine from the malts and hops alone.

I have nothing against a good flavoured porter or a Black IPA, but nothing beats the old-school when it's done right, like here.

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Postby Soods » Sat May 12, 2012 3:44 pm

mintjellie wrote:Pretty funny that the best IPA made in this province was a one-off APWA. No offense to Flying Monkeys, Muskoka, and the rest - Miami Weiss was a damn good hop fix.


Not really a one off when it's been released the past two years in a row. First year was their retail store only for bottles though.
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Postby phat matt » Sat May 12, 2012 6:47 pm

Had a bottle of this tonight while eatting some muscles. Wasnt a fan when I first poured it, but as it warmed up the flavor and aroma really came through. Excellent offering.
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Postby velovampire » Sun May 13, 2012 12:39 am

phat matt wrote:Had a bottle of this tonight while eatting some muscles.

Can't wait to see what Belgian does with this! :roll:
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Postby icemachine » Sun May 13, 2012 8:59 am

Well Mussels are mostly Muscle
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Postby cratez » Mon May 14, 2012 2:29 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote: This is a top-class traditional porter, with good Irish/British-type hopping (i.e. no pronounced aroma and lots of incisive bitterness).


Gary - which European porters would you say fall under the Robust category as opposed to Brown or Baltic? I'm at a loss here because I generally associate the style with American renditions from Great Lakes Cleveland, Anchor, Bell's, Smuttynose, etc. Nøgne Ø is the only Euro example that comes to mind, and the BJCP exclusively lists U.S. porters under the Robust classification. Also, besides differences in hop levels, is there any distinction between traditional/historical porters and modern American examples? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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Postby liamt07 » Mon May 14, 2012 2:50 pm

Excellent beer, thoroughly enjoyed one last night. Price point is a bit out of reach for repeated consumption. Feel like this has shared Baltic and Robust porter characteristics.
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Postby G.M. Gillman » Mon May 14, 2012 3:36 pm

I must say I can't assign any meaning to the term robust, it is, from all I have studied and read on porter history, a recent term used in the U.S. by those who classify beers especially with a view to reviewing them in competitions.

I think it means a well-hopped porter, although historically, all porter was well-hopped.

In my view, using of course my own classifications/understanding, there are only three kinds of porter: i) English-derived porter and stout, which includes all Irish stout and porters made anywhere in an English way; ii) American-style porter or stout, meaning porter hopped with American varieties for aroma. These include Black IPAs that still have a roasty taste since almost all Black IPA I've had has a C-hop taste ; and iii) Baltic porter, meaning bottom-fermented porter, no matter what it tastes like otherwise.

Porter made in an English way means porter with any kind of grist provided it has a roasty taste and non-aromatic bitterness, like e.g., Great Lakes 25th Anniversary Porter we are discussing now. Russian Gun is another example. So is Keefe's Stout at the Granite.

Black IPA that has a non-roasty taste is not a porter IMO, it is a sub-set of the APA style of beer.

Thus, assuming Nogne is top-fermented, I'd say it is an English-style porter.

Any porter or stout with a strong C-hop smell and taste would be an American-style porter.

Baltic Porter is, for instance, Sam Adams Baltic IPA, or any of the strong Polish porters on the market.

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Postby cratez » Mon May 14, 2012 5:10 pm

G.M. Gillman wrote: I must say I can't assign any meaning to the term robust. It is, from all I have studied and read on porter history, a recent term used in the U.S. by those who classify beers especially with a view to reviewing them in competitions.

I think it means a well-hopped porter, although historically, all porter was well-hopped.

In my view, using of course my own classifications/understanding, there are only three kinds of porter: i) English-derived porter...which includes porters made anywhere in an English way; ii) porter or stout hopped with American varieties for aroma...and iii) Baltic porter, meaning bottom-fermented porter.

Gary


I've always thought of Robust/U.S. examples as being generally darker in colour, drier, less sweet, and slightly richer than brown porters, with the American hops contributing fruity and sometimes resinous notes but only low to moderate bitterness. I also find that the burnt and roasted malt flavours tend to be stronger as compared to English renditions. In the case of the 25th Anniversary, it strikes me as a classic Robust Porter with some Baltic characteristics (deep toast on the nose before warming, subtle tartness mid-palate), though I agree that the hops are not prominent in the aroma.
Last edited by cratez on Tue May 15, 2012 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Derek » Mon May 14, 2012 5:23 pm

I tend to think of 'Robust' as having more stout-like roast character (though typically from malt and not roasted barley), but it seems everyone has a different opinion (both brewers and drinkers).

A fun read:
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.ca/2011/ ... lshit.html

I think the BJCP needs to work on porter classification. Last year I entered an 1850's East India Porter that I thought was great (and bang on historically), as well as an overly hopped-up American Mocha porter that was honestly quite rough (bitter with flavours that were poorly integrated). Although the second was more like an overly roasted Cascadian Dark, it actually scored much higher.

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