Tasting Notes satisfies many cravings this week by spending a little time with Dank Tank Pulled Porter – Bacon Smoke Flavored Porter from SweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia).
Back in mid-December, we let you all know of Pulled Porter’s triumphant return to SweetWater Brewing Company’s Dank Tank lineup, the brewery’s series of “rarely released randomness” (click here to read that full post). When you take into account that this chocolaty Porter was brewed with malts that were carefully smoked alongside racks of bacon from Fox Bro’s BBQ, it is absolutely no surprise that Pulled Porter is back for an encore release. When all is said and done, this 7.7% ABV Smoked Porter is “a savory, smoky brew that’s a big winter warmer.” This offering is currently available for a limited time in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at fine craft beer retailers found in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and throughout the rest of SweetWater’s distribution area.
Alright, it has been officially declared bacon and beer time. Let’s pour this pint and get to some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Dank Tank Pulled Porter from SweetWater Brewing Company
Appearance: Pulled Porter hits the glass seemingly pitch black in appearance with just a sliver of cola brown peeking through at the bottom of the glass. When held to direct light, the beer proves to walk a tight rope between hues of the darkest possible browns and inky blacks. The body is opaque, but a soft, consistent carbonation presence can be witnessed coursing from the bottom of the glass. The pour built two fingers of solid, fluffy foam that is dark tan in color. Head retention is good, falling eventually to a lasting, chunky finger. The lacing has substantial stick to it, leaving wide arcing patterns across the glass.
Aroma: The first smell to present itself is strikingly similar to the one you would get upon opening an unlit but well-seasoned smoker. There is a rush of beautiful smoke, ashen wood embers and a nondescript quality of savory meats. These notes then mingle with a bit of bittersweet chocolate that is light in presence but well at home here. The smoke has firmly asserted itself as the aroma’s star.
Taste: Just as in the nose, the flavors begin with tones that are rich in smoke. Qualities of earthy wood, campfire, smoked pork, caramelized brown sugar, and just a touch of spice initially dominate. Forward but rightly so. Intense but composed. These notes then begin to relax to allow flavors of toasted grain and bread the opportunity to back them up a bit with added hearty and sweet tones. A tinge of hop character squeaks through with some citrus before the more pronounced smoke flavors eventually fade to expose decadent notes of dark and milk chocolate. Just as you think the beer is finished, another wave of smoke arrives to wash over the palate once more.
Mouthfeel: Perfectly medium in body, this Porter has a solid weight to it that is lifted just a touch by a medium carbonation level. Abundantly savory and smoky on the palate, this beer also displays a delightful grace of sweetness. ABV is light, leaving just a bit of heat to build at times in the belly. The aftertaste is lingering rich smokiness.
Final Thoughts: If I was forced to sum up Dank Tank Pulled Porter with just one word, I would quickly and confidently respond with “satisfying.” By that, I mean it is satisfying in an all-encompassing, comforting way. The smokiness is just intense enough to firmly declare itself a Smoked Beer, but it does so in a relaxed manner that is reminiscent of smoke-laced memories of good times spent around a campfire. You know the smoke is there, but you still have the chance to enjoy everything else going on around you . . . or in this case, within this beer. The smoke pulls back just enough to allow the added hops and malts a chance to do their thing by lending countering layers of sweetness and bitterness. Instead of having this beer hide behind an overly aggressive smoke character, the brewers at SweetWater clearly employed a profound level of restraint to infuse the brew with a spot-on amount of savoriness. The beer certainly knows its role and has established intentions of enticing you to return for sip after sip. This beautifully executed approach proves to be the key in producing a Smoked Beer that is truly easy drinking, approachable and a wonderful choice to pair with food. I highly recommend that you shake up your usual routine during your next beer run and pick up some Dank Tank Pulled Porter to enjoy what is absolutely an outstanding craft beer experience. Prost!