Friday, October 5, 2012
During October, 99 Pours wants to know about some of the weirdest beers out there. Lord knows I've tried a lot of funky beers. Tons of fruit beers, beers with bacon, beers made with smoked cherry woods, beers with wild yeasts, even a beer made with the ever-popular Acai berry. Yet the most unique brew to cross my lips so far has been Epic Brewing's Portamarillo, a Tamarillo and Pohutukawa wood Smoked Porter collaboration with Dogfish Head and the world's first tree tomato beer using New Zealand grown Tamarillos, which were smoked using wood chips from the Pohutukawa tree, the New Zealand Christmas tree.
First of all, I consider myself tomato-neutral; can live with or without them, but I'm a sucker for these weird beers. The Portamarillo poured a dark leather brown/near-black with a nice beige head and big drapes of lacing throughout my session. Sweet and light smoked roasted malt aroma, some chocolate as well, and a near-citrus and slight Port nose, nicely inviting. Porter flavor at first, but wait... what is that? Lightly smoked, yes. Pleasant light flavors of dark chocolate, yes. Something else... The Tamarillos! Like a hint of a sweet, rich Bloody Mary teasingly lingering in the taste, just a pinch, but it's there, smoky, sweet, rich and very tasty. This beer was a treat. I didn't know what to expect with this one but it all worked very well together.
Acknowledgements to my beer-trading buddy in Reno, NV, Chris (slowrunner77), for sending this treat. If it weren't for numerous trades there would be no way to try some of these weird and strange elixirs from all over the world. So a shout out to all of my trading friends. Do yourself a favor if you want to try something different - Beer Trade! You might get a Epic Brewing Portamarillo... or a New Glarus Belgian Red
... or something totally unexpected, the weirder the better. Sometimes different can be good.