Tastes Like Beer: Stone Brewing Co – Suede Imperial Porter

Evening all! Hope everyone is enjoying their week. Wednesday night and the wife has taken over the TV. I need to occupy myself so I figure it’s as good a time as any to post a new review. Makes sense, right?

Tonight I’m drinking the latest collaboration beer from Stone Brewing Co. This is their Suede an Imperial Porter brewed in collaboration with 10 Barrel brewing and Blue Jacket brewing featuring Calendula Flowers, Jasmine and Honey. I’m sorry, what? An Imperial Porter with what I can only describe as tea spices? Interesting to say the least… and maybe slightly odd sounding. This is 9.6% abv so at least it’s not lacking in that the department. Coming from Stone, that’s not a surprise in the least. So let’s get Suede poured and I’ll give you my thoughts.

Suede pours out incredibly dark pretty much pitch black. If I hold my phone light up to it I’m maybe seeing a little bit of a dark brown… but it’s so dark I’d call it black. Yeah, this beer is black. There’s about a finger of a foamy, frothy beige head which I got after a pretty vigorous pour, more vigorous than I usually pour. It dissipates pretty quickly and leaves behind a very thick lacing. Incredibly sticky looking and slightly soapy. This looks like pretty straight forward Imperial Porter. Let’s get the nose.

Big roast coming through right away. Some cocoa nibs, dark chocolate following right behind. But right after that I get a big blast of earthy floral characters. Those flowers are surprisingly present and holding their own on the nose. There’s the slightest bit of spice as well. Maybe from the Jasmine. I’m also getting a sweetness that’s most likely from the honey. It’s doing a nice job of cutting that roasty note I picked up at first impression. This is a very good smelling porter and these additions of calendula, jasmine and honey have me intrigued. Only one thing left to do!

Right away I get that floral sort of earthy bitterness. It has to be from the flowers and whatever hops they used in this. Coupled with the Jasmine the beer is definitely not what I expected. The spices and floral notes really linger on the front and middle of the palate. Sides of the palate I’m getting some sweetness but very subtle. Back end of this I get a blast of those dark chocolates and bitter chocolate I got on the nose. They don’t linger very long. The lingering taste I get more than anything is jasmine. Very tea like. Very subtle and smooth. Honestly if I closed my eyes I’d think I might be drinking tea! The longer I let the flavors linger I pick up more honey sweetness and a lot more tea character. So interesting!

So overall, I like this a lot. It’s not what I was expecting at all from this latest collaboration from Stone. I was expecting a big, sort of in your face porter and I’m really left looking for that. This is really jasmine, calendula, honey forward. More so than I would have ever guessed. I can honestly say I’ve never had a beer like this. There’s no hint of that 9.6% that the bottle boasts which makes this a pretty dangerous drinking beer. Body wise this reminds me a lot of an English porter. Not like a lot of the imperial porters brewed here in the states. Get this if you can. It’s worth it.

Rating: A

Home Brewing

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