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Beer Review #185 Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer

The last time that I had a Tommyknocker Brewery beer was when I lived in Texas. The brewery is located in Idaho Springs, Colorado which is just west of Denver, and short 8 hour drive from my former “home,” Lubbock, Texas. I enjoyed both of the beers that I tasted from Tommyknock but I always felt that they were missing something. My father-in-law asked me to find this beer for him last winter as a beer-a-day calendar had it as one of the pages. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to locate it last winter, but this year I found success. To celebrate my victory, I purchased myself a bottle as well.

This porter/winter warmer pours a dark brown color and has little to no head. The lacing did wind up being tan, but I’m not sure where it came from. The nose obviously is filled with lots of chocolate. There is some candy-like sugar mixed in there as well and the combination of sugar and chocolate really made this one smell like a Tootsie Roll. I’ve had a few other beers that have a similar odor, but this one had the least “factory” smell that I have run into. Most of the beers that have a Tootsie Roll smell that I have run into don’t smell fresh but rather processed.

On the first taste the sugar sweetness along with some caramel comes up and greets your taste buds. Lots of cocoa then comes in to give this beer its name. I didn’t get any bitterness, which I was expecting a bit of. Chocolates, especially dark chocolates, tend to have a nice bitterness to them. This beer found no hop or chocolate bitterness. The lack of bitter flavors really threw this beer out of balance for me.

This beer was exactly what it claimed to be, but I found it to be just too sweet for me. If you enjoy sweet beers then this one might be for you. Cocoa Porter Winter Warmer comes in at 5.7% and after I finished drinking it I noticed that the bottle said, “the addition of cocoa powder and honey make for a special brew.” I really didn’t find any honey, but the sweetness sure is there. I don’t think I’ll be seeking out this on again. The father-in-law didn’t care for it either if that makes any difference. (more…)