Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSP - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 60 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev +9%
Loved this beer in the big bottles!!...Now that its in the 12oz 4-pack I am sold!!! I live right down the street from the distillery and they give tours every weekend. If you haven't tired their whisky and bourbons u must.. they just released a Beer/White whisky blend that is very unique!!
02-12-2014 23:51:15 | More by J85jam
3.14/5 rDev -16.5%
22 fl oz brown glass bomber with standard label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery, which has put out a few trainwrecks via its barrel aging program. 6.4% ABV confirmed. Bottled 07/16/13. 15 plato. 20 IBU. 45 SRM. Reviewed as a rauchbier-meets-porter.
Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor.
Paired with waffle pretzels and melted camembert.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 3 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice even smooth consistency, if a bit airy. Lacks creaminess. A bit thin for a porter head. It's fluffy. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 5-6 minutes.
Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - not quite a jet black. Yeast particles/sediment are plainly visible floating in the body, especially towards the bottom of the beer.
Overall, it looks like a pretty standard porter. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.
I'd prefer the head fuller and creamier, with a darker coloration and better lacing.
Sm: Harsh mesquite smoke dominates the aroma, with notes of meat and char in there as well. Dark malts. Subdued chocolate malts. The meat aroma here isn't the usual pork of a rauchbier, but comes off vague and indistinct. Leather, sure. I'm not picking up any nuanced mesquite wood per se; it's just muted smoke.
No hop character, yeast, or alcohol is detectable. Lacks sufficient roast.
Overall, it comes off more like a timid rauchbier than a robust porter. More chocolate as well as some cream presence would be very helpful. For a rauchbier, it's pretty average in strength. More intense aromatics would be welcome.
Given my previous experiences with Ranger Creek's attempts at wood-aging beers, I can't say I'm overly excited to try this one.
T: Okay, so they got the standard foundation right - there's your usual portery dark malts and chocolate malts. No roast, cream, or true chocolate though. There's also none of the coffee they advertise on the label.
Mesquite smoke lends a nice cured meat flavour to the beer, and luckily no overt char or ash makes its way into the flavour profile. I don't find any nuanced mesquite wood notes; it's all the smoke. I'm not an experienced barbecuer, but I doubt I could identify this as mesquite if I tried it blind; I'd be equally as likely to guess hickory.
It's got a leathery tone and some black pepper, sure.
No hop character or yeast character comes through. I do find some very light alcohol presence which doesn't distract from the flavour profile per se, but is nevertheless detrimental.
Okay balance. Has some nice cohesion, but isn't gestalt. They combine the two constituent styles in interesting ways, and I'd mostly consider this a success. Not particularly complex or subtle, but there's a bit of intricacy here. Not nuanced. I'd really love more depth of flavour, especially where the mesquite wood is concerned. Intensity of flavour is below average. Flavour duration is average.
Acridity grows as it warms.
Mf: Not as harsh or aggressive as you might expect. The smoke does roughen up the otherwise smooth and wet mouthfeel, to its detriment, but the effect is slight. Fairly creamy; I'd like it better creamier. Way overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. It's surprisingly soft for a smoked beer, but they could push it still further. Medium-bodied, with a good apt thickness. Nice presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile well.
Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy.
Dr: It's not an ideal marriage of a rauchbier to a porter, but it surpassed my meagre expectations. It's not a great beer in either style, and the whole is not more than the sum of its parts. I wouldn't pick it up again, but it's an enjoyable brew for what it is and would pair well with barbecue. I suppose it accomplishes its aims, and that's respectable.
Ultimately, the smoke element just doesn't blend seamlessly into the porter build, and the beer feels unfocused and a bit scattered as a result. This lack of fundamental balance is what really holds it back.
11-27-2013 06:53:39 | More by kojevergas
Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSP from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
85 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.