Tasting Notes: 5BEANS Bazaar Porter from Sixpoint Brewery

5beanscarpetIn the pursuit of something a little different, this week’s Tasting Notes has us trading our hops for beans as we feature 5Beans Bazaar Porter from Sixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, New York).

Not too long ago, I let you know of Sixpoint Brewery’s plans to ship 5BEANS Bazaar Porter out to distribution (click here to check out that post).  This Imperial Porter is the brewery’s latest “*BEANS” offering and newest addition to their Cycliquids Series, a constantly rotating lineup of beers in which the brewery experiments with new styles and/or reformulates new takes on past releases.  With this release, the brewers at Sixpoint decided to create their take on Turkish coffee by brewing a beer with Romano beans, cacao, vanilla, coffee and cardamom.  5BEANS Bazaar Porter is available now as a limited release offering, and you can find it in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments within the brewery’s distribution footprint.  With those details now covered, let’s open up a can o’ beans!

Tasting Notes for 5BEANS Bazaar Porter from Sixpoint Brewery

Appearance: Deceptive at first glance, 5BEANS makes you believe that it is filling the glass with a brew that is glossy black in color.  The introduction of direct light proves otherwise by exposing that the beer is actually the darkest of browns, inky and slightly tinted red.  Although it is almost completely opaque, a rolling carbonation presence can be seen as light breaks through at the top and bottom of the beer.  The pour quickly built three fingers of caramel colored foam.  Retention is good, eventually falling to a lasting half finger of creamy head.  The foam clings easily and beautifully, leaving webs of lace all over the Willi Becher glass.

Aroma: The exotic character of the cardamom reigns supreme here, sitting uncontested atop all other aromas produced by this beer. Intensely aromatic, it is herbal, savory & sweet.  A touch of citrus moves us to recognize dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes.  A smooth, but light vanilla tone rounds off this bold, seductive fragrance.  As soon as it first hits your nose, you are easily convinced that you are about to experience something quite special with this one.

Taste: Just as it did in aroma, the cardamom leads the way with exotic spice, citrus, and herbal notes.  The coffee has more confidence here, rising up to embrace and support the cardamom with dark roasted goodness and a light fruity character.  Vanilla and dark cocoa form a sultry alliance to provide some balance to the cardamom spice and coffee bitterness.  That said, nothing is going to stop that cardamom from shining.  It is wonderfully on point and absolutely worthy of top billing in this brew.

Mouthfeel: This Porter falls closer to the medium-side of full bodied, and a higher carbonation presence makes the beer feel much lighter than you would expect.  The beer is silky on the palate, allowing flavors to playfully linger.  At 10%, the ABV is present to remind you of the beer’s size with a warmth that builds in the throat and coats the belly.  Cardamom remains as the only aftertaste.

Final Thoughts: Bold.  Complex.  Intense.  Exotic.  These are the words that constantly run through my mind as I sip 5BEANS Bazaar Porter.  This offering brashly forces you to take notice of its differences from any other coffee beer currently on the market, but it does so with a wonderfully composed complexity and an obvious understanding of how flavors work. The cardamom acts as the perfect ingredient to reinvigorate the taste buds and imagination while giving a renewed energy to the beans previously used in this series.  Sure, the 10% ABV makes this offering come across a little hot, but it keeps you honest in your approach to the beer.  It convinces you to slow down, sip and luxuriate in each and every note this beer throws at the senses.  Once you do so, it easy to see that more is definitely better when it comes to 5BEANS Bazaar Porter.  Prost!