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Gatekeeper - Indigo Imp Brewery

Not Rated.
GatekeeperGatekeeper

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BA SCORE
77
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43 Reviews
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Reviews: 43
Hads: 69
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 16.16%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Indigo Imp Brewery visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: adamette on 08-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

ABV - 5%, IBUs - 40, OG - 55
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 69
Photo of jampics2
4.34/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

NOTE - just wanted to update this (5/15/10). I had another bottle this past weekend, and this has gone to the sour side, I think it's even being marketed as a sour now. However, it was a good porter before the infection took over, now it's an "interesting" sour - just realize my review isn't for the beer that this beer currently is!

*8/15/2009 review below, bottle was 2 weeks old*

I liked Jester better than others who reviewed it here but thought their first two releases (Bombshell and Winter Solstace) were sub-standard, so I was thrilled to hear the Imp was putting out a porter. Now we're talking, at least with the style being more up my alley.

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle purchased in a six pack from Whole Foods. Pours dark brown almost black with a bit of head. LOTS of sed. in the bottom of the bottle, but it was pretty caked so it didn't make it in my beer. I noticed most of it when rinsing out the bottle.

Smells nice and roasty. Well balanced and not too gimmicky - this is what a nice American handcrafted porter should smell like.

Taste is impressive. A bit one dimensional when compared to other porters like Ed. Fitz and Founders in that it's all about the roast, not some sweet chocolate or coffee tastes. Also not heading into Baltic territory. But this is actually REALLY well done in that it's beer, not chocolate beer or coffee beer, but a nicely balanced roasty porter with just enough hops to give it the right finish. Mouthfeel is right-on for a porter, not too stout-heavy like the Founders tends to be.

Drinkability suffered a tad b/c the roast can decimate one's palatte and makes me crave a bit of a mix-up, but I bet it would be have been great with some cheese. The last 1/4 was the best, as it really opened up and got fluid and favor-cohesive.

Congrats to the Imp on the best offering yet. I'll buy more right away and will be including these as extras in trades to spread this great porter. Afterwards, I had a pint of Ed Fitz from my kegerator and, honestly, I liked the Imp more. So you won this battle, let's hope you make it for the war :)

Worth searching out if you're a porter fan. (2,150 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from a bottle that I bought as a part of a 6 pack for $9.39 at Heinen's in Mayfield Heights earlier today. Notes from the web site: "The first batch of our new beer will be on sale at the Imp Store this Friday the 7th of August. Gatekeeper is a Robust Porter brewed with Black and Caramel malt. It has a malty aroma and flavor with a moderate bitterness in the finish from a combination of the black malt and hops." So today is the 10th...this is just about as fresh as you can get! Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

A Ink black body and almost no head whatsoever after I poured per the instructions on the label. Good look.

S Very good smell. Reminds of some of the better Porters/stouts such as Southern Tier Choklat or even DFH Palo Santo Marron. It just REMINDS me of those, it is not the SAME as those. Really though, dark roast malt, nice dark chocolate notes. Interesting, inviting. It is difficult to resist drinking this one.

T Why resist? Great deep, dark roast with chocolate and even maybe some coffee notes. It could also be the caramel coming through as well. Any caramel is like one of those awesome dark caramels, not cheap dime store caramel. Delicious, complex, interesting. This is, by far, my favorite Indigo Imp beer.

M Moderate mouthfeel with big dark malt and other tastes and moderate syrupy feel but it is not as sticky, chewy as others in its spectrum.

D It was easy enough to drink.

Notes: Indigo Imp impresses with this one. (1,484 characters)

Photo of JCrazy84
4.12/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, darker than black coffee. Small, darker head.

Smell: Smell is coffee, with a few caramel notes.

Taste: Taste is very heavy coffee, with some caramel backing. There is also this lingering taste that I can only describe as campfire ash, but it adds a dimension that I enjoy.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but I don't like heavy porters. If I was in a porter mood, I would drink this all night.

Overall: I really enjoyed this brew and would buy it again for a porter friendly crowd. (503 characters)

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.05/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black, unusual for a porter. Expected some lighter tones around the edges, nothing but midnight black. Mocha colored head rises up quickly, then drops to a thin layer of foam on top. Nice lacing expected.

Aromas of dusty, dark roasted grains, a graininess, some dark roasted coffee, hint of cocoa. Other than the roasty notes, an otherwise "clean" smelling beer.

Flavors of a light bodied, iced mocha java. Cocoa, coffee, creamy sweetness. No hop flavor noted. Roasted graininess isn't deep, kept light. Finish is short, like sweet iced coffee.

Mouthfeel is light, a little too light for me. Almost watery. Some carbonation prickle, which comes with a little harshness.

Overall drinkability is good, but this is a much lighter version of an American Porter, or Robust Porter, than I was expecting. This is sessionable. Very flavorful. (874 characters)

Photo of JoePat
4.02/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

Chocolate, slight roasted malts, fruity esters, and a little something that I just can't place. A little ash?

Flavor is very similar to a good porter with a little twange just under the flavor. The ash I smelt comes through in the flavor as well but very light. I get a little acidic flavor at the end but it is a very smooth and almost sweet flavor.

The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side for a porter but with the almost certain infection it is expected.

The light acidic finish goes well with the porter sweetness making a more drinkable porter. (633 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chocolate dark ruby roasted malts and a thicket of caramel tan head, leaving behind fine speckled lacing. Aroma has dark mild chocolate with roasted chest nutes and a hint of dark coffee and mild fruitiness. Flavor is a soured dark robust porter after having open fermentation performed, milk dark chocolate notes with a slight twinge of soured yogurt. Low carbonation hints of funky and soured ale notes bring out dark chocolate undertones and mild oak barrel notes...actual enjoyable hints of oak dark malts and apple fruitiness. This is an experimental brewery nothing like it around here except for Jolly Pumpkin with all open fermentation why not in Ohio, I'm liking these sour ales because of the open fermentation just adds a mature level to these brews, I'm glad my palate is ready for this stuff...it's been excellent each and every bottle. There's got to be a market out there for these style especially after open ferementation effects take on. (968 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown to black in color with a light chocolate brown head. In the aroma, chocolate, coffee, and notes of caramel sweetness. In the taste, caramel sweet coffee and chocolate. A nice hop bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee and note of caramel sweetness in the aftertaste. A nice rich porter. (329 characters)

Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.87/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, the faintest of light peers through the edges of the glass. A finger of foamy head which dissipates quickly but leaves a small head for a while.

S - Chocolatey malts up front with a deep roast that reminds me a bit of toast. I get hints of coffee and prunes as well.

T - Chalky, sweet malts come first with a touch of raisin/prune. Rounded out with a light touch of savory roast and a slight hop bite. Not too complex, but still tasty.

M - Overly-carbed and light in body even for a porter, yet still creamy.

D - Not a bad beer by any means, maybe not the best, but worth trying if you are a fan of American Porters. (635 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.81/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gatekeeper is dark brown with some lighter edges. It's in a good range for a porter, not as heavy as a stout. A good-sized medium-brown head keeps itself moderately well and leaves similarly moderate lacing.
The aroma is robust, with a strong malt foundation showing a bit of roast leaning toward char. It balances against the sweet and mildly tangy notes of dark fruits.
More of that melding of sweet and tart dark fruits blends really well on the palate. It remains robust in the flavor and offers up that bit of charred wood with absolutely no acridity. It's well done all in all.
The medium body may be a little light for a robust porter but it's still pretty rich. It also is light on the crispness (carbonation could lay off just a notch), and smoothness is in every sip. (777 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Picked up in Columbus. Dark brown pour, light tan head .

Aroma, malt and milk chocolate.

Taste, chocolate, malt up front, fades to a tart cherry. A nice roast, light coffee, heavy cocoa finish.

A little over carbonated, light side of medium. A little dry, but drinks pretty easy still. Obviously abv is not a problem.
Thought this was pretty good. (357 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
3.71/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jampics2 for the nice unexpected extras in trade including this.

12 oz. bottle with yellow wax and a pull string. Really nice packaging for such a small brewery. I only wish there was a date but I do know that the trade was at least 18 months ago.

Enjoyed in honor of the Buckeyes playing tonight against the Razorbacks in the Sugarbowl. GO BUCKS!

Served cool into a goblet, Gatekeeper is a dark chestnut brown color with good clarity. The head is just like a coke - fizzy and gone in less than 5 seconds. No lacing of course.

Aroma is quite nice considering there is no carbonation to deliver it to my nose. It has a really nice roasty malt quality. Very enjoyable here.

Flavor is pretty good but not great. The roasted malt gives some coffee notes but they are almost overwhelmed by a tart cherry sweetness. Oxidation? Possible, but surprising given the wax-covered cap.

Mouthfeel is light in body for a porter and the carbonation is not nearly as creamy as I would have hoped. Not heavily carbonated but too fizzy.

Overall not the greatest porter. Great Lakes makes a legendary one just down the street. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.71/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No date bottle at cellar temo into goblet
Aroma slightly milky
Head small (! cm), light brown, frothy, fully diminishing
No lacing
Body dark brown, hazy (bottle conditioned)
Initial flavor moderately sweet, slight coffee aftertaste without bitterness, no diacetyl
Medium body, creamy, carbonation soft

This is an interesting beer which always puzzles me; it seems to be a "real ale", if not by CAMRA definition at least by taste. Some of II's beer is produced in a stainless steel coolship, a process used by both Theakston and Sam Smith.
If you're ever in Cleveland on Friday afternoon, check out the brewery and try what's on tap. (633 characters)

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had all the beers in the Indigo Imp lineup, and so far they have all been average at best. Here is my review of their latest offering.

A: Pours a pitch black color. No light penetrates the beer at all. Head is minimal.

S/T: The aroma is very similar to a Sweet Stout. Very sweet with caramel and smokey undertones. The taste is pretty decent. The smokey character carries over in the flavor. It does have that Sweet Stout quality in there as well. Slightly roasty with a nice coffee aftertaste. Similar to Bells Double Cream Stout.

M/D: Medium to heavy bodied beer. Somewhat creamy. A little thicker than the average Porter. Finish is slightly dry. More of a sipping beer. Overall drinks very well. Nothing harsh or off-putting about it at all.

This is definetly Indigo Imp's best beer yet, however it is not quite up to craft beer standards set by brewers like Founders, Great Divide, or Southern Tier. I would buy this again, but I am still waiting for this company to have a truely stellar release. Worth checking out. (1,033 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TrebleStauter for this brew, it was a pretty nice extra (from a trade earlier today). I've been wanting to try something from Indigo Imp for a while now, so that worked out good! 12 ounce bottle, dipped in wax. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch brown head that went away pretty quickly. Not too much lacing, either. Aroma is roasted malt, caramel, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. However, the taste is different. There's the typical porter flavors of roasted malt, chocolate and caramel, but there's also a slightly tart citrusy/fruity flavor (that's hard to describe) too. I wouldn't say it's sour, but there's a definite tang to it. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick and has decent carbonation. Drinkability is good, it didn't take me too long to finish this one. I have to say this is a unique brew. It's definitely worth a try, I'd like to try this again and some of Indigo Imp's other brews soon. (967 characters)

Photo of meatyard
3.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly opaque black/brown with a short tan head that quickly falls to a ring around the edge of the glass.
The smell is a nice toasty malt.
The taste is a tangy, toasty malt without much else happening.
Mouthfeel is on the thin side tending toward dry.
Drinkability:It's pretty simplistic, uncomplicated but still OK. This could use some tweaking but if a light, tangy porter suits you OK then this is not too bad. (422 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thick black with dark brown dense soapy head. Decent roasty aroma. Taste is balanced, a tad sweet combined with mild astringency and a drop of burnt malt. Good drinkability, medium mouthfeel although a bit oily.Serviceable porter. Suitable carbonation. (264 characters)

Photo of nubz77
3.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Since this was from a small brewery I'd never heard of, I didn't have high expectations, but I'm willing to try just about anything. I was pleasantly surprised.

Dark brownish color, and the smell is of nice roasty grains. As others have said it's a little on the thin side though. The best aspect in my mind is the excellent balance between the roasted coffee/burnt sugar flavors from the malt, and the hops, neither of which dominates.

Easy session beer, I'd definitely have one again. (490 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Indigo Imp Gatekeeper

Pours a dark brown color with an off white head and little in the way of lace or retention. Roasted malts in the aroma, with mild coffee notes as well. In the flavor, roasted malts again up front with a deep black coffee flavor which gives way to a mild tangy nearing tart aftertaste. The presence of wild yeasts and open fermentation has a small footprint on this beer, but its there. Big roast, coffee, cocoa and a mild sour tang. Gatekeeper makes for a nice beer, and interesting enough to keep the sips coming. (537 characters)

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.52/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a pint glass with a small head that dissipated quickly.dark brown,roasted malt and coffee in the nose.dark chocolate and roasted malt in the nose,very thin mouthfeel.drinkability is good though.

needs more body. still pretty good,but if im gonna get a porter im gonna get something with more body.really pretty watery if you ask me.kinda disappointed. (364 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Very dark brown with a thin fizzy head that quickly disappears.
S: Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt.
T: Just like the smell: coffee, chocolate, roasted malt.
M: A bit thin, but rich and pleasant.
O: Far from the best porter I've had, but decent and one of the better Indigo Imp beers I've had recently. (355 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.43/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours jet black, dark tan head is thin and dissipates to a lacing.

Smells of cocoa, roasted coffee, oak, and a hint of brine.

Tastes of roasted coffee, nutty oak and a grape tartness. A bit of brine saltiness.

Medium to full body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

This is a weird one. Not sure II's open brewing suits a porter, but it's not terrible. Just different. I like it okay, not sure I would have it again, but I'm enjoying it. Worth a try. Strangely tends towards an oyster stout. (510 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very lively ale. Probably a bit too much. The carbonation interferes quite a bit with the flavor delivery at the start. But it tones down slightly pretty soon into things. Molasses and sweet malt tones. But again, lots of carbonation. Too much for me, really. A nice brew with some good character, but too much bubble getting in on the mix. I feel like this would be a Belgian stout, if it was intentional with the carbonation. (427 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cola like color with a one finger coco color head which eventually recedes to skim and leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. The aroma is of a big roasty smell along with hints of coffee. The taste follows the nose with a few differences. The backbone is of a big roasty malt, in the middle are hints of dark chocolate and coffee. At the very end thier is a sublte sourness from the yeast. The taste is good and interesting. The mouthfeel is good maybe a little thin. Overall this is a solid beer, it makes a good session beer with enough flavor to keep me interested. I would say this is a good try. (619 characters)

Photo of cooncat
3.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Live review, and a tip 'o the hat to Adamette who gave me this brew to sample.

Poured at about 55 deg F into my SA glass. A firm pour produced an opaque beer, with a smallish mocha colored head. Head retention is not impressive, and there is only minimal lacing on the glass. Even a swirl leaves no lacing on my glass.

The nose is promising, with roasty notes of malt, accompanied by light aromas of coffee, chocolate and some dark fruit. Fairly complex nose for a robust porter, even if its not classic.

Taste exhibits roast malt up front with some astringency. The dark fruit flavors are more pronounced in the taste, while coffee/chocolate seem to fade. A bit of earthy hops are in the background as well. Now half way through the glass and at room temperature. There is a bit of a tawny port wine flavor coming through now, probably the aforementioned dark fruit flavors coming to the fore. Mouthfeel is med/thin, and that is surprising, as the carbonation is fairly low .. perhaps as low as 1.6 volumes. ( low carbonation generally equals bigger mouthfeel) Drinkability may be this brew's forte, as it is at session strength. However, my overall impression is that I would only reach for a second of these, only if the rest of the brews were BMC calibre.

Not terribly impressive, especially since I've had plenty of homebrews that are much closer to style than this brew. Tough to top Edmund Fitzgerald in the Robust Porter category, but an "E" for effort with this one. Worth giving it a shot if you get a chance.

Na Zdravje!

Edit: (5-27-10) I could have sworn that this was originally listed as a Robust Porter, but I see its now listed as an American Porter .. not a BJCP style (Brown, Robust and Baltic are the BJCP porter styles). The American Strong Ale is a catch all category in which you find many brews that don't fit BJCP styles. Perhaps the American Porter is such a style. (1,896 characters)

Photo of Mississipping
3.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very, very dark brown, almost completely black.  When held to light, the tiniest bit of light penetrates only through the top.  A medium brown head with very tight bubbles sit on top and stubbornly sticks around most of the glass.  Minimal lacing left behind.

S: Roasted malt, bakers chocolate, and only a hint of coffee, caramel, dark fruit, and hops.  The smell is really pretty nice, but it's typical and not very robust.  You really have to be looking to find each of the various aromatic qualities.

T: Much as the smell suggests, roasted malt and chocolate up front with just the faintest touch of vanilla, caramel, coffee, and hops.  The aroma was pretty subdued, and the taste is even more so.  At the finish, the roastiness amplifies a bit and lingers with the hops and a slight grassiness.  There is something that seems a bit off in the aftertaste.  Not completely off-putting, but just odd.  

M: Lighter side of medium bodied with medium carbonation.  Creamy and velvety, but feels slightly watered down.  

D: Overall, this porter is pretty drinkable, but it's not one that I would drink a lot.  It really looked great, and I loved the exception retention of the darker head.  The smell, taste, and mouthfeel just weren't there to back it up, though.  Not a bad porter, but rather typical and toned-down.  I also enjoyed the burst of roastiness at the finish, however, it was accompanied by an off-flavor that really counterbalanced my enjoyment. (1,488 characters)

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Gatekeeper from Indigo Imp Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.