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Review of Bluegrass Brewing Company Dark Star Porter

24 Jun
For today’s review I thought I would try another beer from my home state of Kentucky called the Bluegrass Brewing Company Dark Star Porter.  It’s brewed in downtown Louisville and is named after a Kentucky Derby winning horse (I think).

As you may have read in my “Introduction to Craft Beer” post, this brewery is the one that got me started on craft beer, so it holds a special place in my heart. 

I have been able to try several different styles that BBC produces and all seem to be decent interpretations, not to mention that I, like many other enthusiasts want to support local brewers.

Here’s the brewers description from bbcbrew.com:

A rich robust blend of light, caramel and dark malts set the stage for BBC Dark Star Porter’s robust presence on the palate.  This smooth but robust porter has complex notes of chocolate and roasted grains balanced by additions of traditional English hops, creating a delicious chocolaty and smooth ale.

Let’s get it in a glass, shall we?

This Porter came in a 12 oz. bottle and had a 5.6% ABV.

I apologize for the picture being of such poor quality, but you can sort of tell that it’s a very dark brownish/black color with some traditional ruby highlights showing through the middle, around the bottom and around the edges when held to the light.  It had a very meek and virtually non-existent tan colored head that left only the most diminutive amount of lacing.

The aroma was of some subdued coffee notes along with very meager hints of chocolate.  Some roasted grain and toastiness were presented, but both seemed to be rather light and insignificant.  Small traces of dark fruit (raisin, plum) made and appearance, which helped to bring about a little bit more sweetness.  Overall, this aroma was balanced ok, but it was very weak, undersized and negligible.

The taste was like the smell in a lot of ways.  Tones of coffee and chocolate malt with some toastiness, however they are, once more, rather tame and relaxed.  As it warmed, the dark fruits came through a bit more and it started to develop some of that “chalkiness”, of which I tend to like in my Porters and Stouts.  Don’t get me wrong, the aroma and taste are not bad at all.  They just don’t have enough “power” or “oomph” for me that’s all.

The mouthfeel was medium, smooth, somewhat crisp and slick.  It was mostly dry, although I thought it could have been a little bit dryer.  As the beer warmed it started to become a bit thin too.  Not a whole lot of flavor was left covering the palate.  Some was, however it was just not an overabundance.

I honestly think that this beer would be a great “introductory” Porter for someone interested in the style.  It has many of the proper characteristics, yet it’s just very restrained and laid back.  The Dark Star is very easy to drink, mostly enjoyable and not too filling.  I’m guessing it’s safe to say that since I now favor big, bold, rich Porters and Stouts that maybe my expectations have changed for a proper interpretation.  It was one of the first Porters I ever sampled and I haven’t had it in a very long time, so I may have mislead myself and expected too much from this one.   With that being said, I’m still going to visit the Bluegrass Brewing Company on occasion, have a Porter and enjoy myself, so it’s all good.

If you have never sampled a Porter and are interested in the style, give this one a shot for sure.

Thanks for reading guys.  Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  3.3 out of 5
Grade:  B-    

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