Name: Planet Porter
Origin: Boulder Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Style: American Porter
IBU: not listed
I drank this: poured from a bottle at Old Chicago, OP, KS
This is a rich, almost black ale that managed a fairly thick, tan head even with a careful pour. There isn’t a strong nose here (which may be because my bottle was fresh-from-the-cooler cold, making it difficult to smell). What I did notice was mostly black patent/chocolate malts with hints of coffee and smoke.
Taste-wise, this is chocolate smoke, with hints of everything from coffee to something slightly fruity running throughout. They’re loud, boisterous malts, but they don’t have a ton of body. In a lot of stouts with this kind of chocolate/coffee/smoke malt flavor, the beer is really thick. In the case of the Planet Porter, they have flavor, but they somehow create a much thinner beer. Texture-wise, this wasn’t far off of drinking water – it had that same sort of almost unnoticeable thinness to it. It was an interesting experience to have a beer that malty that didn’t have the backbone that I usually associate with those flavors.
There are hops here too, hiding in the background. They’re shy hops. When I swallowed the beer quickly, the hops didn’t appear at all. They only came out to play when I let the beer hang out in my mouth: the longer the beer stays before the swallow, the sharper it gets. It got almost painful at about 10 seconds, which was the longest I went before moving onto the next sip.
For once, I have no notes about the aftertaste. Having had a string of beers recently where the aftertaste has gone all kinds of wonky sour/bitter/generically bad, the lack of aftertaste here was something of a relief.
All in all, this is a textbook porter. The thing that most strongly differentiates it from the other porter I’ve reviewed on this blog – the Bully! Porter from Boulevard – is that Boulder’s porter is very lightly carbonated, whereas the Bully! has almost cola-sized bubbles of carbonation. As far as porters go, the Planet Porter is good, but it isn’t a standout. If you can, get ahold of a Founders Porter. If not, the Planet is perfectly serviceable, as is the Bully!. In any case, it’s a great style to go for if you’re tired of Oktoberfests and enjoying the slow cooling-off of the temperature.