Yes, the exclamation point really is part of the beer title. This may be an indication that I should break out the jazzhands when I order it, but I’m not sure. Anyway.
Name: Bully! Porter
Origin: Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
I drank this: on tap at Old Chicago
All snarking on errant punctuation marks aside, this is a very good porter. Through no fault of its own, however, I hated it for roughly 10 years. The reason for my hatred has nothing to do with Boulevard, nothing to do with the beer, and everything to do with a case of mistaken identity. One day in my pre-legal years, I walked into the kitchen in search of something to drink. Sitting unattended on the kitchen counter, I saw a cold, full glass of Coke, bubbly, refreshing, and (oddly) lacking in ice.
I took a swig.
It wasn’t Coke.
I was not impressed. Malts of any variety taste execrable when you’re expecting flavored corn syrup.
As a result of the notCoke incident, I don’t think I tried another porter for five or six years, and I didn’t have another sip of Bully! Porter until 2008.
That was a lot of wasted time – this porter is good stuff. The head here is marvelous – it hung out for almost the entire pint, a rich and creamy start to every sip of beer. The flavor is predominantly chocolate with hints of smokiness in the background, balanced with hops that are all bite and little bark: the hops lend a sharp feeling on the tongue, but don’t throw the chocolate/smoke flavors off-balance by coming on too strong. They’re only hanging out to make sure the beer doesn’t veer too sweet or too stout-like. The result is a beer that tingles pleasantly on the tongue. The aftertaste is all creamy malts.
This is a beer that wants to be enjoyed with food (unlike some double IPAs, who murder tastebuds with unambiguous glee). The ideal food for this beer in my opinion would be a bacon cheeseburger and a pile of onion rings. The combo would pick up the slight smokiness and go well with the heavy malts. Not healthy, but really, really yummy.