Back in March I found BridgePort Brewing‘s Raven Mad at Whole Foods for a really good price, so you know I had to pick one up. You remember Raven Mad—it’s their Imperial Porter, part of their “Big Brews” series in the 22-ounce bottles, and it’s the one with the 3-D label (and comes with 3-D glasses). I had previously sampled this with friends but had never done a full review.
It’s also a barrel-aged beer; part of the batch was aged in wine and bourbon barrels and then blended back in to the main body of the brew. The 7.8% alcohol holds up well to the aging, and Porter is a nice canvas for wood-aging as well. All in all, a good combination.
Appearance: Black and opaque with light brown oatmeal head, thick and creamy.
Smell: Sweet and roasted malts and a touch of coffee; bourbon notes and “from the wood” character with a touch of lactic sour aroma.
Taste: Very roasty with lots of charred wood notes and alcohol heat; smoky, dry, a bit astringent or even acidic like a very strong black coffee.
Mouthfeel: Thin of medium-bodied, like a good porter should be. Finishes long and dry.
Overall: Nicely complex, yet fairly straightforward. Very enjoyable.