Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Silver Moon getting its Porter on

I sometimes despair of ever finding a good dry stout. Every stout I've tried from the local breweries have been sweet, caramel, molasses-y messes. In contrast to these so-called "English stouts," my taste is more toward what some call an "Irish stout": a full-bodied beer with a dry finish.*

I read in last week's The Source Weekly (I think it was), that Silver Moon had a new stout on tap. Today being the sort of gray, wet, useless day that invites nothing more ambitious than sittin', I decided to swing by Silver Moon after completing some gift-y errands that I told Mrs Elliot were none of her beeswax to try their new stout.

I got there a few minutes before opening time (noon). They must have taken pity at seeing me standing outside the door, in the drizzle, so they let me in. I found a seat at the empty bar, and within a couple minutes a few more locals found their way in, too.

I ordered a pint of the new stout and I gotta say it was better than I hoped for. Still not as dry as I like, but gracious! compared with the dozens of obnoxiously sweet stouts better suited for children -- if children drank beer -- than for adults that I've tried and discarded over this past year, I found Silver Moon's stout quite likable.

As a point of comparison, I asked for a taste of their porter. I last tasted their porter in autumn of 2008, and wanted to see how it differed from the stout (porters and stouts are pretty much the same thing: cf., "What is the difference between porter and stout?" but brewmasters and -mistresses have their own conventions so I'm mentioning this, is all).

I found the porter to be better than I remembered it from last year, and better than their new stout. It has interesting citrusy or maybe cinnamony notes, and a cleaner finish.

"I had this last year. I don't remember it being this good. What did you do?"

"We made it better."

A man of few words, I reckon.

I left with a growler of the porter.

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* Some disagree with the terms "English" and "Irish" as labels for sweet and dry stouts, respectively; I commend to the earnest student "The Hunting of the Stout" at http://zythophile.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/the-hunting-of-the-stout/ .

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