Sunday, October 26, 2014

Evil Twin Brewing - Ashtray Heart Smoked Porter

Like licking an ashtray?
Yes, I am influenced by flashy beer labels and interesting beer names. I'm probably highly susceptible to subliminal advertising, too. Hey, there has to be some logical explanation for my attraction to Flamin' Hot Cheetos and Pop Tarts...right? Right?

As for this afternoon's subject beer, I spotted Evil Twin Brewing's Ashtray Heart in a cold case the other day. The label on the 12 oz. bottle proclaimed it to be a smoked porter with a pretty hefty ABV of 8.9%. Truthfully, I considered the name to be a challenge to my taste buds. Could it really taste like an ashtray? With that kind of gauntlet thrown down, how could I NOT buy it?

The beer poured into my snifter a dark, dark brown color with a tan head. The head rose up to about an inch and dissipated at a moderate rate. A thin cap of lacing was left behind.

Aroma was was smoky, mesquite charcoal on top of cocoa and toffee. Interesting. It reminded me of how my shirt smells after an afternoon of manning the Weber Kettle.

Taste wasn't anything like licking an ashtray, but the pronounced smoke flavor probably isn't for everyone. I really liked it. Smoky, boozy, a little bit of an astringent aftertaste, but not in a bad way. Lots of dark cocoa and roasted malt. Hints of overripe, dark fruit. Licorice and vanilla notes. Not sure why this is called a porter. Seems like Imperial stout would be a better descriptor. 

Medium to slightly full mouthfeel. Creamy and a little oily on the finish. Very pleasing mix of roasted malt, cocoa and smoke flavors left behind on the palate at the end. Good stuff!

Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'd definitely drink this brew again and I can't help wondering what it would be like poured from a nitro tap. Awesome, I bet! I'm giving Ashtray Heart a BeerGuyPDX rating of 3 1/2 crushed cans out of 4.

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