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Gatekeeper | Indigo Imp Brewery

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69 Ratings

Brewed by:
Indigo Imp Brewery
Ohio, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV - 5%, IBUs - 40, OG - 55

Added by adamette on 08-11-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.87/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of JoePat
4.02/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

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Photo of EricHeff
2.88/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of Cresant
2.78/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of ABOWMan
2.54/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of meatyard
3.57/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of cooncat
3.32/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of squirrelpirate
2.34/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Indigo Imp Gatekeeper poured chestnut brown with a decently sized tan head. No lacing down the glass as the pint was consumed, but overall a good appearance. The aroma was predominanantly roasted barley and coffee notes, no discernible hop balance or other complexities. Fairly simple.

There is an overwhelmingly sour taste from the onset. Some roasty and coffee flavors there, but not much. The sour flavor seems to be a combination of lactic sourness and a citrusy pucker. Just pure astringency in the finish. Not at all pleasant.

Mouthfeel is a little light, but appropriately carbonated. Drinkability suffers because of the sourness. You might be able to get used to it enough to finish the bottle, but not enough to open another one.

I researched the brewery and I can only hope that this particular batch went badly. The open fermentation method and "slight flavor variations from batch to batch" mean that this could very well be an enjoyable beer, if you find the correct batch. Some of the earlier reviews indicate that this porter can be quite good, so try it and see.

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Photo of MCDuhamel
2.59/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

A: Poured a cola-like head that dissipated nearly immediately, leaving a light ring around the glass. Very dark brown, but not quite black, and transparent against the light. The color is correct for the style, but the lack of any head is a shame.

S: Roasted grain predominates in the nose, with a hint of coffee and cocoa.

T: The flavor is at first a nice roastiness, leading into an almost lemony sourness that is seriously out of place, and which ends up dominating. There's a slight hint of buttery vanilla, just noticeable on the fade.

M: The mouthfeel is quite light, and presents as a session beer. Fermentation is present but not aggressive or distracting.

D: The relative lightness of the beer would lend to treating it as a session beer, but again the odd sourness probably limits most people to one of these at a sitting.

Overall: I am again disappointed with the most recent offering from this local small brewery that I really want to like. Open fermented porter sounds so promising! The funk, though, manifests itself as a rather weird citrusy presence that just seems out of place for this style.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of TheViolator666
2.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Looks decent. Pours a nice dark brown that lets little light through. Has a nice full head that stays for a bit. Slight lacing.

S: Honestly, this smells horrible. Reminds me of when you open a garbage can and there are cold dirty coffee grounds that have been rotting for a while... mixed with yeast and Guinness. Blergh.

T: Taste is better than the smell, thank fuck. Tasted of well roasted coffee and a smidge of dark chocolate.

M/D: I really would like this one to be more full bodied, but I also understand that it is a porter... could still be a bit thicker.

I can see that this brewery is improving by the beer, and this one has potential. I'd like to see what happens to this one with age.

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Photo of ClevoPiwo
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours practically opaque with a small tan head that dissipated quickly. The smell is of roasted malts, coffee and some bitter dark chocolate. The taste is a bit disappointing after the smell. The taste, it seems, has a bit less complexity with the roasted malt and coffee tastes being most pronounced. Body is a bit thin for my taste, even for a porter. That being said, this is a decent porter, just not anything special.

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Photo of jampics2
4.34/5  rDev +31.5%
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.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of adamette
4.22/5  rDev +27.9%
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.

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Gatekeeper from Indigo Imp Brewery
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 69 ratings
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