Yards Brewing Company – George Washington Tavern Porter

I have managed to do a post every single week day since the new year began, and even though I was thinking it would be okay to miss today, I found this little porter at the store this week that has an obvious important connection.  I really wanted to do a special post for Groundhog’s day this year, but I wasn’t able to find one that was specifically geared towards it.  I managed to find out that a Sam Adams beer is considered the official beer of Groundhog’s day, but it wasn’t interesting enough to get me to want to pick it up and do a review of it.  This “little” holidays are interesting, but they don’t always warrant a lot of people being interested in the events of the day.  Therefore, I thought it would be fun to have a little something for the holiday.

George Washington’s birthday is officially used as the day that we celebrate President’s day.  Like most people’s birthday, Washington doesn’t have the same day of the week as his birthday every year, but since his birthday is February 22, they just use the third Monday of February every year to mark President’s day.

Yards Brewing Company is a craft brewery out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It only seems appropriate that a brewery out of Philly would have some beers dedicated to some of our founding fathers.  They don’t have all of their beers dedicated to such figures, but I saw one for Thomas Jefferson and this one to George Washington at the store this week.  Yards has been a brewery since 1994, which is only 6 years after they began creating their own homebrews.  I think this is yet another confirmation that I need to get homebrewing already.

I ultimately decided I needed this brew even more because it is a porter.  Porters are the last stage before a beer becomes a stout.  So, it is pretty much the closest thing to a stout without being a stout.  Yards states that this is a molasses based porter that Washington himself used and created after a Philadelphia style porter.  This seems like the perfect one to drink in honor of both George Washington and all the presidents.

This one pours out like a lot of the stouts I’ve enjoyed so far this month.  It has a very dark black color to it.  It isn’t completely solid black, since you can see slightly through it; however, it is quite dark overall.  The color definitely reminds me of a stout for sure.  There is a nice quantity of off white head that develops on top of it which lasts for an ample amount of time.  Swirling the glass brings the head back slightly, and it helps you to see a little bit of the carbonation hiding in here.  It is definitely too hard to see the carbonation without the agitation.  There is some nice sticky lacing that builds on the side of the glass with a little swirl.

It’s interesting how the beer seems to have an almost sticky sweet smell to it.  It definitely has to be the influence of the molasses base to it.  There is an apparent alcohol booze quality to it as well.  The roasted notes are a little more muted than on a stout, but they are still definitely there as well.  The roasted notes combine with some really mild coffee aromas as well.  Coming out stronger than the coffee is a lot of raisins and molasses.  I am also pulling out some sweet brown sugar notes as well.

There are some really sweet malts and brown sugar flavors that kick off this beer.  It has a really light chocolate flavoring mixed in there as well.  These lead into what feels like a little quick hit of hops and some ample alcohol burn as well.  As the alcohol mellows, I pull out a lot of sweet raisin and molasses flavors.  The alcohol definitely has a lingering burn to it till the end of the taste. There is a lot of heavy sweetness and light roasted notes on the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is where I find myself feeling a little down about this beer.  There is a ton of syrup to this one and not a lot carbonation to it at all.  There is a slight hit of carbonation right at the beginning, but then the ample sweetness and alcohol take over.  It has a lot of crazy thick and creaminess to it.  I would have appreciated a little more carbonation to help mellow out the syrupy nature.  The aftertaste is a really nice combination of sweet molasses, roasted flavors, and alcohol burn.

Overall I do like this beer, but I get a little stuck on how thick it is.  I would like to see them add a little more carbonation to this one to help ease the syrupy quality.  I am, however, a big fan of all the flavors that combine to make this beer.  If there is still any time left to President’s Day, you definitely need to check this one out for yourself.  If porters aren’t you thing, they do have a few other good looking beers as well.  I’ll be looking for something else from Yards pretty soon.

Teacher Grade: B-

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