Review: Innocente Brewing Company - Charcoal Porter

Brewery: Innocente Brewing Company

Location: Waterloo, Ontario

Style: Porter

ABV: 5.1%

Available at: LCBO

Having had some of Steve Innocente's beer down in Toronto last year (and being quite impressed,) I was excited to hear that one of his brews was coming to Ottawa this past month.  And what better to pique my curiosity than a porter?

As I started pouring this to snap a few pictures before taking a seat to jot down my thoughts, I got a huge whiff of deeply roasted malt and smoke.  I wasn't even looking for it, it just up and slapped me in the face!  At this point, I can tell you my curiosity was piqued even further.

Once I finished pouring, I took note of the appearance, trying not to let the initial aroma distract me.  Dark brown, bordering on black, with about a finger of creamy beige head.  About what one would expect from a traditional porter.

Okay, appearance is out of the way.  Now I can properly dive into the smell.  Smoooke.  And lots of it!  After that I get some freshly roasted coffee beans and light hints of a milk chocolate sweetness.  A little more smoke than I'd usually expect (although not enough to be off-putting,) but with a name like Charcoal I guess I should expect it!  

Now let's see how the flavor profile compares to the aroma, shall we?  Huge coffee flavors up front along with the same deep roasted malt that I first caught in the nose.  There's some light sweetness down the middle with hints of vanilla beans and cocoa.  The smoke that was so strong in the aroma holds off in the flavor until the very end, coming through as everything else dissipates and leaving a smokey lingering aftertaste.

So overall, what did I think?  A very solid, smokey porter.  I'd say it's a good representation of a smoked porter.  It's definitely worth the price tag at the LCBO.  I waited a little too long to review this, but there are still several places here in Ottawa where you can find it (just check their website in the link above for a store near you.)

-James

Oh and here's a few other shots I took that I figured I'd share for funsies.  Enjoy!