Beer: Walker’s Reserve Porter
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing
Style: American Porter
Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s apartment
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Secondary Consumer: Tall Polish gal and small Midwestern gal
Sight: Black, opaque body with half an inch of off-white head. The Native Detroiter said, appropriately, “THIS LOOKS LIKE MOTOR OIL.” Take her word for it.
Scent: Polska said, “This is the best smelling beer EVER…they should make it into a perfume!” There is a surprising floral note upon first whiff; it’s kind of like sticking your nose into a fresh rose. If you keep smelling it (and you’ll want to!) the next scent is an overpowering smell of fresh, gooey caramel and molasses.
Flavor: This doesn’t taste like it smells (unfortunately…does anyone know of a rose-caramel beer??). The hops presence makes it quite bitter at the front, leading into a roasted/burnt maltiness in the middle, and ending with savory caramel flavors. Detroiter tasted some chocolate as well. But not the sugary Hershey bar kind of chocolate, the bittersweet baking kind.
Feel: Admittedly, I love carbonation. So this, for me, had an amazing mouthfeel: intense carbonation with a medium, creamy body. However, it is a little over-carbonated for the style.
Firestone’s Walker Reserve is incredibly balanced, with an even start and finish. The sharp bitterness of the hops is punchy, but doesn’t overpower the palate, allowing welcomed caramel and chocolate notes to come through.
Concluding remarks: Overall, this is a satisfying Porter. Unfortunately we drank it on the fly, on our way out to drink our weight in German beer downtown, so I didn’t have the time to sit down after consumption and think deeply about the merits of this beer. But, I can say with assuredness that the Walker’s Reserve is delicious and I would absolutely give it a second chance, take it on a second date. And isn’t that the hardest part of finding a worthy mate–uh, I mean beer?