Palo Alto Brewing Syrah Barrel Aged Porter | Firehouse Grill & Brewery

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Brewed by:
Firehouse Grill & Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by nickd717 on 06-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of Philousa
2.08/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Imbibed on tap at the Rose & Crown on 5/25/12. Reviewed from notes.

Sits completely black an opaque in the glass with a thin head. Mostly large bubbles in the head, and inconsistent. Aroma starts out sour with some light fruit, mostly cherries and lingonberries. I got a faint hint of the porter hiding behind after a big whiff. Malt seemed slightly metallic. Taste is more sour than the aroma. Light fruit such as strawberry, cranberry, and lingonberry. Acidic and caustic in the throat. Don't really get much porter malt from this, sourness just makes it fleeting. The sour nature soesnt come across as complimentary to the base malt. Feel is watery and finish is dry.

This is just as fleeting of a beer as the malt is on your tongue. Just seems like a mistake to sour this beer. I like to support local microbreweries, but this one just ain't worth it. And worse yet, this is the second of four beers that I've tried by PA Brewing that I've found unpalatable. Do us all a favor and stick to hops, PA Brewing.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.86/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I finally got to try the elusive Syrah Barrel Aged Coconut (I assume) Porter. I've missed this on tap at the Rose & Crown numerous times. Since I like the other versions, I was enthusiastic about trying this one.

A: Pours a an opaque dark brown body capped with a small beige head.

S: It's tart, even slightly sour in the nose. Suggestive of metallic buttermilk. I suspect a lactic infection.

T: Mild flavors of chocolate and coffee, but it's dominated by very tart, borderline sour grapes. Mild anise. If nothing else, I'd accuse this of being clashing, but if I were being honest, I'd say that this is probably infected and is starting to turn toward the dark side.

M: Thin-medium bodied, with a metallic finish.

O: Unfortunately, this was tossed in the bushes. Either the syrah barrel doesn't work with this particular style, or it introduced something unfavorable to the beer. My guess is the latter.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.62/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Rose & Crown.

A - Like melted chocolate with ruby highlights, and a loose-looking two fingers of mocha-colored head that has some staying power. Sheets of lacing that don't do much sticking.

S - Interesting mix of aromas -- cocoa and coffee in front, backed by the vinous notes that others have mentioned. Like a chocolate-coffee Consecration. Pretty nice; once I got used to it I really started to like it. I kept sticking my nose in the glass until it was gone.

T - The same notes are there, but in different proportions. The wine is more subdued and the chocolate and coffee are prominent. And then I get the barrel. It reminds me of what I liked about Parabola. The way that the barrel, coffee, and chocolate work together is great, but the wine is somewhat of a distraction.

M - Fairly average for a porter. The flavors reminded me so much of a big coffee stout that I kept wanting it to be thicker, but the carbonation is too high and the creaminess wasn't there.

D - While I could go for another, that would likely be it. Flavors are nice but it makes me want more.

O - Had this on my last night out before I move to FL. Glad I got a chance to try it. Good, but not great, beer.

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Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Rose & Crown, served in a 25cl goblet. Opaque dark brown, nearly black. A dense tan head forms and retains well.

It smells of dark chocolate and licorice with a vinous undertone. Nicely integrated wine barrel, strong oak and fruit.

The oak lends a pleasant tannic bite that my palate immediately picks up. Vinous and chocolatey with black licorice, a little smoke, spiciness, a hint of diacetyl slickness. The body is medium-full, just hefty enough to balance the oak, and it finishes quite dry with lingering notes of bitter chocolate and tannic oak.

I'm not always a fan of stouts and porters aged in wine barrels, but this came out very well.

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Photo of nickd717
3.52/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ah, how lucky I am to get to tick another barrel aged porter incarnation from the world-famous Palo Alto Brewing.

This beer was served on tap in a large snifter, with a fairly generous pour for about $7 I believe. The beer pours black and opaque as hell, with a small tan head that soon fades.

Aroma is nice, with lots of roast and a little dark chocolate. The -bal aging is evident, with a noticeable oak presence, and some tannic red wine is evident as well.

The flavor is good, but not nearly as good as the bourbon barrel aged incarnation. The base beer and the syrah barrel fight it out rather than cooperating. The roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee are still present, but to a lesser extent than in the original, and the tannic wine and oak overwhelm a bit, giving it a slight sour note.

Decent mouthfeel, medium-full bodied and smooth, but I don't like the tartness all that much.

I downed the glass but probably wouldn't have wanted too much more. A valiant effort from Kasim, but since I'm rating tougher on barrel aged beers these days, it's a B.

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Palo Alto Brewing Syrah Barrel Aged Porter from Firehouse Grill & Brewery
3.02 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.
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