Sunday, April 8, 2012

Avery Review #8 - New World Porter

Posted by: Tyler Rippeteau

Apr. 6, 2012

Review #8 for The Avery Project is the third regular, year-round release we’ll be reviewing from this Boulder institution - Avery New World Porter (Avery IPA and Joe’s Pilsner were the first two).  This beer has been described as a hoppy porter and even by Avery themselves as Black IPA.  But, then again, that’s sort of what Avery does, they put lots of hops in things. 

My personal experience with this beer is surprisingly limited.  It is not easily found on tap and when I am at the tasting room here in Boulder I typically reach for what I cannot just pick up at the Liquor Store.  While I have had a few tasters of it, I have never actually had an entire New World Porter from Avery all to myself.  So, here’s to new experiences!

Location: Boulder Liquor Mart
Cost: About $1.89/12 oz. bottle
ABV: 6.7%
IBUs: 45
Brewery Location: Boulder, Colorado
Style: American Porter
Average Beer Advocate Rating: B+/3.92 – Very Good
My Beer Advocate Rating: B+/3.88 – Very Good
Current Number of Reviews on Beer Advocate: 438
Brewery Description: New World Porter
Bottled On: NA

APPEARANCE:  (3.5 out of 5) This is a pretty dark beer, black all the way through with a pale, red light breaking through at the edges.  The head is about a quarter-inch thick and seems to be fairly strong, but disappears quicker than I expect it to.  The lacing is fairly strong.

SMELL:  (3.5 out of 5) Raisins, chocolate malt and a touch of coffee greet the nose with less hoppiness than I expected lingering in the background.  The aroma is quite pleasant, but not as strong as I would like it to be. 

TASTE:  (4 out of 5) Here’s a shocker, Avery hit the nail on the head in terms of the style, but they made it hoppier than most other beers in the category.  Roasty malt flavors begin each sip as some lemony citrus notes creep in.  Chocolate, toffee and coffee all enter the mix mid-sip and then the Columbus hops (one of my favorite varieties) take over for the finish providing some spicy, bitter and earthy characteristics that almost make it taste like a black IPA.  In fact, the bottle calls it “A Pioneer Black IPA”.  It also then goes on to say that this beer is “Expanding the porter category”.  Anyhow, as it warms caramel enters the mix, however, the citrus component becomes stronger as well, maybe a touch too heavy.  Despite that minor criticism, though, this is a surprisingly tasty beer.

MOUTHFEEL:  (4 out of 5) The New World Porter is creamy and smooth, but it still has a decent sparkle to it.  It is medium bodied and while it leans towards the sweet side up front, it finishes on the dry side. 

OVERALL:  (4 out of 5) The last review here at 20 Beers in 20 Nights was of Avery’s Hog Heaven Barleywine (Although it was not reviewed for The Avery Project, it was reviewed for The Barleywine Project instead).  In that review, I defended Avery’s decision to call it a Barleywine since many people, including some Avery employees I have spoken to about it, think it should be renamed Hog Heaven Double or Triple IPA.  In the case of the New World Porter, which Avery themselves also refers to as a black IPA, there is a stronger case for renaming it New World Black IPA.  This beer does have many characteristics of a Porter, and ultimately, it still is one, but it is a very, very American-style Porter with a lot of IPA traits.  It could easily be recategorized and no one would bat an eye.  Finally, at 6.7%, the NWP can sneak up on you.  It tastes like a much more sessionable Porter than it really is, but the near-7% gives it a punch.

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