Posts Tagged smoky
I recently went to a little gastropub that just opened up down the street from my house called Junk House Gastro-Pub. This was a little funky, industrial, warehouse-looking place just off the freeway. I was directed to it by a hand-painted sign (graffiti style) with a name and an arrow pointing through a neighborhood of pre-fab condos. I must have driven past this place a dozen times and never noticed it, as I thought it was just a residential area next to the freeway.
It was not much to look at walking up to the place, with lots of corrugated steel, cement and chain link. The inside was much the same, with roll-up glass doors to one side, some scattered tables on the other side and a large L-shaped bar dominating the middle of the place. Despite all the industrial grunge (not dirty, but the general theme), the tables had wood tops and had lead pipes for legs. Cool vibe, but the menu is kind of expensive.
Looking at the beer menu, my eye stuck on one particularly raunchy-sounding one: Stubborn Jack Smoked Porter Ale from a brewery called Ass Kisser in Ukiah, CA. This beer poured black, with off white head that left some nice lacing on the glass. Smokiness and chocolate met my nose on the smell. Chocolate came through first on the taste, with faint smoke coming afterward. It was mild and medium bodied and the smokiness was hardly overpowering. The finish was of bittersweet chocolate. I have definitely had more dynamic porters, but it was a fair example of one.
Junk House does have good food and a moderate beer selection, but needs to come down on its prices. I would not mind if they started brewing their own beer, either.
Stone Brewing Co. is a growing San Diego brewery that has lots of beers that use a ton of hops, which is one reason I haven’t really had a whole lot from them. They also don’t go for over-the-top alcohol content with most of their stuff, aside from certain special releases, which I appreciate. They are also willing to try new stuff, which includes a slew of collaborations throughout their history and upcoming.
I have had their Smoked Porter, which is great, but when I saw a smoked porter with chipotle peppers, I had to try it. It pours a clean, clear dark brown with thin tan head that doesn’t stick to the glass or hang around long. This isn’t all that uncommon among porters, but this seemed extra short-lived. The aromas coming from the glass were chocolaty and smoky, though the smoke was not overpowering. It also had hints of spice from the peppers and some light sweetness.
The first thing on the taste was the chocolate, which I expected from a porter. Working through was the peppery taste then some sweetness, sliding back to the peppers with some smoke on the finish. After swallowing, there was a spicy acidity that came back up that felt a little like heartburn, which was not particularly pleasant.
Overall, I would rate this beer: