Gatekeeper - Indigo Imp Brewery

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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 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 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 BeerBuckeye
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark brown, a little thinness, a small head with little lace retention.

S - Lots of malt, notes of baker's chocolate and coffee, some caramel and dark fruits as well. It's a full smell, but not exactly robust.

T - Roasted malt and some chocolate, a bit of sweetness present, not a lot of coffee or anything. Honestly, it tastes a bit thin for my taste, not a lot of complexity here.

M - Again, fairly thin mouthfeel.

Overall - It was just a decent porter. Nothing remarkable. Missing a lot of components that makes up a solid porter. (550 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 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)

Photo of breathinghope
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Any brewery with label art that features an imp drawn in the style of Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame) automatically scores points with me. As a result, I had high hopes for Indigo Imp's Gatekeeper when I purchased it. In addition, being an Ohio guy tried and true, I definitely wanted to support a Cleveland brewery if I could. I wish, wish, wish I could have followed through on drinking this with words of awe and wonder, but it just ain't happening.

The Gatekeeper is billed as 'a robust Porter' brewed in a classic style with Black and Caramel malts. Its appearance upon pouring had me hopeful, as this baby is dark and smooth. Head was caramel forth, fingertip thick, with some obvious sediment having been poured into the glass. Hurray for unfiltered, bottle-conditioned beers! Smell was promising, too, with hints of burnt sugar.

Initial mouthfeel wasn't bad - as I'd pointed out, this beer poured smooth, and my initial sip echoed that. However, afterward, there was... well... not a whole lot going on. I got those hints of caramel and slight sweetness, but the rest of the overall sensation (and this was throughout the bottle as I drank it from a wide-brim Chimay glass at the suggested temperature) was kind of thin. It tasted like a pretty decent Porter that had simply been watered down, rendering it slightly tasty but overall, rather forgettable. (1,363 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Near black, tan head leaves to ring fast. Some cling lace.

S - Earthy, burnt chocolate/coffee. Malt wafts up into it.

T - Not much in the front, ends with bbq smoke.

M - Medium body, fair carb, not enough malt to even get some balance.

D - Good to try one. One is enough. (279 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gatekeeper pours a very dark chocolate fudge color. Looks onyx. No light cuts through at all. Impressive. A nice mocha tan head covers it and rises to a finger and a half in depth. It takes its time receding, and leaves a nice, sticky coat of lace behind. I’m impressed.

The nose is on the weak side, but isn’t bad. It features a pretty solid mix of roasted and chocolate malts. The chocolate variety smells like bittersweet dark chocolate. Not sweet at all. Roasted coffee is definitely in the mix and complements the malty scents pretty well. Alcohol is buried. It’s simple and straight forward, but isn’t bad.

The flavor is very consistent with the nose, but seems even a little shorter on flavor. It does have a decent base of chocolate and roasted malts. It does have a light, bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. I’m not getting any real sweet flavors. Coffee is there, and works alright with the other flavors. Unfortunately, the flavors just don’t seem to carry through. They all seem to trail off toward the end. It’s not bad, it isn’t quite good either.

Gatekeeper has a lighter body that feels a little on the thin side. Carbonation feels a little active and buzzy. It’s average overall. A little more body and fewer bubbles would help. I guess it goes down it easy, but I’m not enjoying it a great deal.

Gatekeeper is an okay American Porter. It’s not bad, but lacks in just about every category other than appearance (and carbonation). It needs a little more aromatics, more flavor, and more body. Having said that, it really is alright. I think it’s worth a try if you can find a single bottle. But, if you’re in the market for a great American Porter from Ohio…this is not the one you’re seeking. (1,744 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 nickd717
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle thanks to Ryan011235. Here we go again from Indigo Gimp.

Looks decent actually, clear dark brown with a nice one finger tan head.

Really roasty aroma, with coffee and not much else to it. Smells ok I guess.

The flavor is fine, just really weak and watery. Roast, coffee, charcoal, and H2O.

Very watery mouthfeel with average carbonation. Thin as Kate Moss or Kate Hudson or Mary Kate Olsen on a coke bender.

The best I've had from the Imp, but still subpar. (474 characters)

Photo of misfit1034
1.62/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Shared with two friend and drank from an oversized wine glass... I am really hoping that this was a bad batch/bottle but aside from the appearance and mouthfeel this was one of the worst beers I have had... Smell and taste were a porter and cigarette butt mixture... I really want this to be an isolated incident because the word of mouth that I have gotten on this brewery has been nothing but good and I want to try more of their stuff but fear buying it again.... (466 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 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 JoeyBeerBelly
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer from drgonzo3705. Thanks Paul!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - black with a very short lived cocoa head.

S - roasted malt, vanilla extract and baker's chocolate.

T - roasted malt upfront with the vanilla extract coming into play before finishing rather dry with light bittering.

F - medium bodied with a slick feel.

D - it was ok. (369 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at Hal & Al's on 11/12/10

Dark reddish-brown. Vigorous carbonation foams up, eventually hitting one finger of foam. The head fizzles out just as quickly are it rose. Thin collar of retention. No lace.

Deep aroma of roasted dark malts mixed with scorched caramel & tobacco. Very grainy with a hint of cherries. Warmth brings out sweetness in the aroma.

Tastes odd in general but close enough to a porter, I suppose. There are some definite off flavors, though. Dry, roasted coffee; burnt overtones; hints of dark chocolate on the back half. Earthy hops aren't particularly bitter but are a decent fit, regardless. Not so fitting is a tartness that emerges are the beer warms.

Full bodied; possibly the most viscous porter I have ever had. The feel is kind of slick. Carbonation is pointed without being too fizzy; it peaks quickly. Coffee, chocolate & nutty residuals linger on the finish.

Gatekeeper is certainly a bizarre beer but close enough to a porter to be amusing. On the lower cusp of drinkability. Aside from the "are they marketing an infected product as an intentional sour" debate, I have to wonder if there is severe bottle variation - the feel of the beer I had doesn't fit with many of the other reviews. (1,251 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 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 EricHeff
2.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I recently stumbled upon Indigo Imp and saw it was a local brew from Cleveland and I had to give it a try. Gatekeeper is my second Imp beer.
It pours out almost black with a very small and brownish head, much like many porters. The smell also is much like others with some cocoa and maybe coffee but theres a hint of something in there that I just cant place.
The first couple drinks were good with a bit of sour but as I let it warm I noticed the sourness coming through a lot more. It is almost like there is a bit of a fruity after taste from it that fizzles on the tongue. Very odd for a porter.
Overall I give this an OK label. Defiantly interesting and worth a try for its uniqueness but its so hard for me to top Eddie Fitz from GLBC here in Cleveland. (761 characters)

Photo of Cresant
2.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Guinness pint. No date. The body was very dark brown and the head was the color of a chocolate milkshake. The texture of the foam was soda-like and it faded quickly, leaving a ring.

The smell was ashy. Metal and toasted malts. Typical but understated.

Taste was lightly toasted bitterness. Not too sweet but enough to give it some balance. A little more sour than your typical porter (due to the open fermentation tanks!?). Some sour cherry flavor. Difficult to describe, but a bit hollow. Not very interesting flavors but interesting brewing techniques. I'm not sure I would call this one a success. Not a sour or wild ale but a funky porter. That's it - it tastes like a wild porter.

Mouthfeel was thin and smooth. Tiny carbonation. (776 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 ABOWMan
2.54/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This porter is a real fooler.

I poured a typically deep mahogany color which was nearly opaque. There was very little head and no lacing evident. So far so good.

The aroma also smelled like a typical porter with notes of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. All very appetizing.

Here is where this porter shocked me. The flavor was more reminescent of a Belgium flanders ale with its sour grapefruit flavor profile than of an American Porter. There was no hint of the chocolate of coffee notes that I smelled when I poured this beer.

Mouthfeel was also atypically thin for a Porter and the drinkability would have to be rated as poor for a Porter with such strong sour notes. I would not recomment this beer unless you like sour beers. (739 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 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 Clydesdale
3.29/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque black color. The light brown head is small and rather short-lived. Lacing is minimal. Well, ok...

S: Some moderately robust roasted maltiness, with firm hints of dark chocolate and some coffee. A bit of a vaguely lactic sweetness is also present. Interestingly, there's a pungent tartness to the nose as well - equal parts lemon juice and lactic yogurt cultures. They've advertised the open fermentation methods this beer was brewed with - perhaps this is the result?

T: A mild, unobtrusive roasted malt presence up front. Pleasant and moderately assertive dark chocolate flavors are joined with a weaker coffee flavor. I don't get much of a hop flavor or bitterness. There is a flash of the same lactic/lemon tartness near the finish, which fades gradually into a lingering, vaguely smoky sweetness with an aftertaste of lightly burnt malt.

M: On the light side of medium bodied. Carbonation is slightly soft. A slight pucker into the finish from the beer's tart flavor.

D: I'm on Gatekeeper #5 out of this six pack (not on the same night, of course), and I still don't really know what the hell is going on here. Interesting? Yes. Memorable? Probably. Good beer, or gimmick? Uncertain. Personally I find the idea of a tart porter better in reality than it might seem on the drawing board. This is a flawed, unfocused beer, but it's definitely worth trying for the inevitable reaction it will provoke, whether it be positive, negative, or just plain confused. (1,485 characters)

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