Port Brewing Older Viscosity

July 26 2011 - 10:18 AM

Why is a raven like a writing desk?  Only Lewis Carroll can answer that one.  I suggest that a great beer is like a great movie: you begin by observing it, start enjoying it, it takes over your senses to a degree, and it's gone before you know it.  That was my arc of impressions from "The Social Network" which I thought was the best movie of 2010.  It was one of those rare movies that passed the clock test:  I never once checked my cell phone for the time.  It was brilliantly paced, the dialogue was at a breakneck speed, and it never dragged for a moment.  Think about it.  They managed to make a movie about a Harvard student coding software as told in flashbacks occurring during a legal depositon – about the most boring place to be on Earth – and made it edgy, stylish, and above all, interesting, as it sent your mind racing with anticipation. 

A beer, Port Brewing's Older Viscosity Ale would seem to have almost nothing in common with this or any movie.  But it does.  This bourbon barreled American strong ale, as it's described, is also incredibly seamless, edgy, and disappears before you know it's gone.  It's very dark and looks like it's going to be a stout or porter, but has a distinct translucence like somewhat spent motor oil, hence the name.  It smells and tastes of bourbon, vanilla, raisins, dark chocolate, and I've even heard molasses.  It's faintly sweet, or, rather, bittersweet.  At 12.5% ABV, it can easily be aged for a while, and should be, to tame the flavors and allow them to blend delectably. 

This is a great sipper from the snifter glass for quiet evenings in perhaps cooler weather.  But OV (aren't those initials kind of cognac like?) is not exceedingly heavy like a cream stout, and on a warm evening is still very enjoyable.   You can find a lengthier review of it here where I gush about Port Brewing and their great people and beer.

–Mark Sheppard