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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…)


Tommyknocker Imperial Nut Brown Ale Beer Review

10-05-04I don’t know if I have ever reviewed a nut brown ale on here before. I’ve had plenty of them, just not while I’ve had this website. As our first nut brown ale, Tommyknocker Brewery’s Imperial Nut Brown Ale comes in at 9% ABV and is surely not your typical nut brown ale. I’ve had a few other brews from Tommyknocker before and I’ve enjoyed some more than others. Their Imperial Nut Brown Ale is a bigger version of their Maple Nut Brown. The label says that it is brewed with pure maple syrup. Ok, sounds interesting.

The beer pours a deep brown with a light brown head. It is crystal clear and has a plethora of smells coming from it. The nose is hops, malt sweetness, and, of course, maple syrup. There are some slightly toasty smells in there as well. When the beer warms a bit their is some heat noticeable on the nose as well.

10-05-05I was ready for a big beer on the first tasting and it delivered that feeling. It was sweet and hoppy, with some nutty undertones and alcohol. The alcohol is not a huge part of the flavor and becomes less noticeable as the beer warms and the sweetness takes over. I think that is do the the fact that it has a super sweet aftertaste. There is a bit of a hop bite, but the sweetness dominates the tail end of the flavor. It has a super big body as expected with a high alcohol beer.

The question always comes up; would I buy this beer again? I think I might. It was a decent beer that had a lot of alcohol that was well hidden and balanced. My only complaint is that it is on the sweet side and I wish the finish would be a bit more neutral. Overall a decent beer with some interesting smells. (more…)


Tommyknocker Butt Head Beer Review

09-01-06It is getting close to fall and that means Bock season. Here in Lubbock we had a dip in temperatures over the past week from the high 90s to the high 80s to low 90s, and yes, you can feel the difference here. So I went down to the six pack store and decided I wanted something drinkable and had a lot of flavor. I saw Tommyknockers Butt Head Dopple Bock and grabbed it. First off, I’m a big fan of Bocks, Dopple Bocks, and the one Triple Bock I had I also enjoyed. Secondly, the name of the beer is Butt Head. Why wouldn’t I buy it?

09-01-02When I got home I chilled it down in the fridge overnight and I had it last night after dinner. Upon opening a sweet caramel smell leaked out all over. It was wonderful. After closer inspection, there was a bit of alcohol on the nose behind all of that sweet malt.

It pours a brown to ruby color and had a brownish head with it as well. I usually expect a bock to be crystal clear, being that lagers generally are, but this was slightly hazy. There was also some sediment which I can only assume was some yeast. Being a homebrewer that doesn’t bother me at all, but you generally don’t see sediment on a commercially brewed lager.

09-01-04On my first taste I noticed the malt all over the place. It was sweet, with a slight hop flavor on the back end, but not much. As a bock should be, it was very crisp and had those lovely bubble on the front of the tongue.  As the beer warms up the heat in it becomes more and more noticeable, but that’s not a bad thing. It left a pleasant aftertaste in my mouth that made me want more.

The mouthfeel was a bit thick, almost creamy. It was very smooth and went down easily. For beer that comes in at 8.2% ABV I would expect it to be a bit thicker in the mouthfeel. But man, did I enjoy this beer. It was super drinkable and just a wonderful addition to my taste buds.

A few other notes I jotted down. There is a lot of heat on this, so you really can’t drink too many of them. There is a nice layer of head that last through the whole drink. I don’t know why but I like that quality in a beer. The sediment I talked about earilier was a bit strange. Strange enough to have me comment about it twice. And my final note is that this beer gets more and more enjoyable as it warms up. I would suggest getting a sixer of this if you have the chance. I think most would enjoy it.