|What's the buzz on this beer?|
One thing I like about Portland's Gigantic Brewing Company, besides the tasty beer they brew, is the cool artwork they put on their labels. I'm almost as interested to see the new labels as I am to taste the new beers. The beer I'm drinking today came in a bottle adorned with the image of a honeybee who's thorax is either encased by a bomb or IS a bomb. The beer is named Saboteur. There's a slogan on the label that says, "Always watch out for the saboteur trying to enter your hive" -the guy not watching.
The label also proclaims: The Saboteur seeks not only to destroy but to save. To be free of the machine, the powerful, the dogmatic. Consider this beer both the agent and his action. Resulting in a new concept of what a Baltic porter can bee.
I'm sure there's some deep literary or lyrical reference in there that I'm too dull to get, but I appreciate it nonetheless. I do like my beer with just a touch of anarchy and/or Orwellian dystopia, so it's all good. But how's the beer, you ask? Let's find out...
Saboteur poured into my glass an opaque, dark, dark brown color. It was almost pitch black. The mocha head rose up to more than a full finger thick and dissipated at a moderate rate. A decent amount of webby lace was left behind. Very pretty in the glass, I must say.
Aroma was cocoa and coffee right up front. Lots of both in the nose. Roasted malt and dark fruit in the background. Overripe cherries and figs. Toffee.
Taste was bittersweet, dark chocolate and espresso that faded to more of a milk chocolate and toffee flavor as it stayed on the palate. Very subtle fruit notes. Wait, I never use profanity in my reviews, but there's a time and a place for everything: This beer is F*CKING DELICIOUS! Seriously, one of the most flavorful porters I've had in a long time. Plenty of complexity. Not too thick, not at all watery, not cloying. It was just right.
Slightly full mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. A semi-dry finish with a nice bitter bite at the end. No hint of alcohol to this 8% ABV brew. A bit of a metallic taste at the very end, but something I really liked. Similar to what you get from an oyster stout, although there's nothing oyster-y about this beer. It has a mature, grown-up kind of flavor, though. Like a slow tug on an expensive maduro cigar. I know that probably doesn't sound appetizing to most people, but trust me, this is a tasty, tasty brew.
I'm giving Saboteur a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. I'm also going to buy a few more bombers of this seasonal before it leaves the shelves. You should, too.