State Pen PorterJanuary 1, 2009 Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Brewing Co.
Santa Fe, NM
Available: AZ, CO, NE, NM, OK, TX
This porter is named for the brewery’s close proximity to New Mexico’s infamous State Penitentiary.
Original gravity: 1064
State Pen Porter pours a deep, dark mahogany — nearly black — with a slightly lingering tan head that leaves a trace of lace along the side of the glass. Toffee-nut and mocha-coffee aromas rise from the glass with coffee and mocha predominating as the beer warms up. Despite the enthusiastic effervescence in the head at the pour, the beer itself is nearly velvety with just a hint of fizz. At 6.4 percent ABV, alcohol is definitely featured alongside the chocolate and coffee flavors in this hefty porter from New Mexico’s oldest craft brewery. But it goes down very smoothly, with hints of roasted bitterness to keep things from getting too sweet. State Pen is a porter that would go great with desserts, from carrot cake to anything chocolate. If this is what they serve at the State Pen, I want to be sentenced.
- Lisa Morrison
The deep ruby beer shows promise right from the start. The sweet, nutty chocolate and orange cream notes in the aroma are very inviting. The taste, too, is enjoyable: full, slick, sweet and nutty, with more chocolate and orange — it’s rather fruity by porter standards — although the alcohol vapors become just a little intrusive. The finish I’m less keen on. I like the nutty chocolate notes but it all winds up just a bit chalky, sticky and sweet. Taken as a package, though, this is a decent beer with plenty of character, well worth trying.
- Jeff Evans
Morrison, aka the Beer Goddess, writes about beer whenever and wherever she can and also gets to talk about it on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide and The Book of Beer Knowledge, Jeff Evans is an eight-time editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and one of Britain's best-known beer writers.
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