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Firestone Walker Reserve Porter - Beer Review
Firestone Walker's Reserve Porter - Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California
Firestone Walker’s Special Reserve Porter is an exceptionally smooth and well-mannered beer that I believe will please the most discerning palate. It is very dark, even for a porter, with a richly complex flavor that is unique.
When opened, the bouquet is mild if not faint. Poured, the beer develops a head that is tan in color, thick in consistency and about a half inch deep in a twelve ounce glass. The color is strikingly dark, beautifully dark, not quite black, shot with bubbles that seem tinier than bubbles in other beers.
I was surprised when I took my first sip. Instead of the standard flavor associated with porter or the grittier palate of a stout, I was confronted by a very different, pleasantly complex set of taste sensations. Neither bitter nor sweet, but a very smooth and honest flavor with layered overtones: a little smoke, a little caramel, maybe a hint of sassafras, a little coffee and a little baker’s chocolate, all in a very understated way.
Drinking this beer is like listening to Brahms. Just as you can listen to the same Brahms symphony and hear something new every time, I suspect it may be the same with the flavor of Firestone Walker Special Reserve. There is a lot going on with that flavor, and all good.
With a moderate alcohol content of 5.8 percent by volume, you can enjoy that deliciously complicated flavor longer, and though it is a world class drinking experience, it does not leave you feeling as if your mother-in-law made you finish off the potato salad after you were already full.
Therefore I unreservedly recommend Firestone Walker Special Reserve with food or alone.
Drink responsibly, campers.