Purchased for $6.99/22 oz. bottle and poured into mason jar glasses.
Fairfield-based Heretic Brewing created this sweet, silky porter, which pours an inky onyx color topped by a sizable, biscuit-hued head. Milk chocolate, smooth coffee and roasted nut aromas meet you on the nose, rounded out with notes of caramel, toasted cereal grains and maple, offering strong indications of a rich and complex sweetness ahead. The first swallow follows through on those enticing promises, with dessert-like chocolate flavors balanced against hazelnuts and graham crackers. Chocolate Hazelnut Porter is an ideal accompaniment to the similar chocolate-and-nut flavor profile of mole, with a bitterness on the finish that is substantial enough to stand up to strong spices. It is a straightforward but complex beer that can pair with a variety of Mexican dishes and desserts, and the light body and lingering milk thistle flavor should help to soothe any scorched tongues.
Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes have been blogging about craft beer at His & Hers Beer Notes since January 2012. Darcey is a freelance designer and illustrator, and Daniel is a film critic for the Sacramento News and Review and a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.