Russian River PorterJanuary 1, 2001 Gurneyville, CA
Russian River Brewing Co.
Available: northern CA
This porter is brewed with 2-row, caramel, honey, aromatic, special B and chocolate malts; and Horizon, Styrian and Kent Golding hops. The brewery is located on the same site as the Korbel Champagne Cellars, in California’s Sonoma County.
Original gravity: 1058
To my mind, porter, along with its kissing cousin, stout, are among the world's great beer styles. The classic subcategories vary widely, but not this widely. I would hesitate to call Russian River a porter. It is true that it is quite dark, and the head is almost porter perfect, but the beautiful red hues make it more like a dark ale. With the hops of a good IPA, I enjoyed this beer--but please pass the traditional porter when serving oysters on the half shell and other traditional porter matches.
- Charles Finkel
A deep copper-colored porter invites inquiry. The aroma is an expression of cocoa (how do they do that?) and the flavor sweetly whispers of smoke. All balanced by hop flavor, cocoa malt sweetness, and roasted malt sharpness. A refreshing porter that lingers as a very good memory. Not too heavy, but full and balanced. I’m there!
- Charlie Papazian
A dry, yet creamy chocolate aroma balanced by peppery hops, with tart fruit, hops and bitter chocolate dominating the palate. The long finish has hops beautifully balancing the rich, creamy malt and espresso coffee flavors. Deeply satisfying, quenching and a marvelous restorative, as befits a beer style fashioned as a pick-me-up for 18th-century market porters.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.