Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter
Firestone previously released a “Robust Porter” in their single-bottle Reserve Series, but this 2011 vintage is simply labeled “Porter”, an all-too-telling sign of its tepid nature. It pours a black coffee color with a sandy brown head, and smells of slightly scorched grain, watered-down alcohol, and tea bags. The taste is initially heavy with rich toffee and mocha java flavors measured against mild hop notes, with a coffee-like bitterness lingering on the tongue. This is a severely watered-down version of the English porter, with a creamy mouthfeel reminiscent of a nitrous tap pour, even out of the bottle. At this price, however, it’s recommended only for fans of weak coffee or strong tea.