Greetings beer aficionados, Brandon here with another edition of the Saturday Night Sixer! As always, this week brings us another tasty offering from the craft brewing world that can be found on the shelves of your local fine packaged liquor store. Unsure of which bomber or six-pack to grace your lips with, or are you just looking for something new and exciting? Look no further than this week’s offering! Now onward to beer …
There seem to be a lot of dogs floating around the craft brewing scene these days. No, I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, I’m just referring to the canine-related names that seem to be producing some quality brews these days. We have Big Dog Brewing in Las Vegas, Dogfish Head from Delaware, the good folks from Flying Dog Brewing in Maryland … I’m sure there are more I could think of, but I digress. Plus, I’m here to write about beer and not dogs; although I can never resist an English bulldog when I see one. But anyway, back to the topic at hand, which is beer, specifically a tasty dark offering in the form of Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter from the folks at Laughing Dog Brewing.
Laughing Dog has been brewing a number of delicious craft beers in many forms since 2005, and have developed quite a knack for it. Based in Sandpoint, Idaho, they currently boast 15 beers in their lineup, and have gained recognition for a number of them, collecting awards for a few of their varieties of IPAs, their Cream Ale, and others. This should be a good indication for those of you not familiar with their brews that the Laughing Dog crew knows brewing. And as for the pooch that graces the label of several of their selections? That would be Ben, the family dog of owners Fred and Michelle Colby. The companion of a couple devoted to brewing beer; I’d say Ben is one lucky, well, dog.
Now as for the Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter, this was a welcome find. After Stoutmeister voiced his excitement to try it, I decided to beat him to the punch and do this review; this was a pleasant treat since I’d been taking in a good amount of lighter beer due to the hot weather. Anubis pours an opaque black, and I do mean BLACK. It gave off about two fingers or so of frothy brown head that settles into a nice whipped foam and lasts for the entire beer. Beer mustache, anyone? The aromatics in it are heavy with roasted caramel and freshly ground coffee, with cocoa and slight hints of resiny hops.
The flavor profile on Anubis is wonderful. It possesses a smooth mouthfeel, though a bit thinner than I was expecting for this style, and has perfect carbonation. The coffee hits right away upon first sip; it’s not overwhelming but is enough to let you know who’s the boss. It is almost more of an espresso flavor than straight coffee. No matter, as there is plenty of roasted malt and caramel there to accompany and give a sweetness to balance out everything. There is a mix of darker tasting malts around the middle that I just couldn’t decipher through my pint, but hints of vanilla pick up as well and lend to the sweet and smooth characteristics of the beer. The bitterness from the coffee sticks around the whole beer and actually gives way to a different kind of bitterness in the back, that of dark chocolate and even some hints of baker’s chocolate, and a subtle touch of licorice that is barely detectable. The finish is a tad dry with a bit of alcohol warming.
As far as hops go, the malt bill is what is meant to stand out obviously, but the resiny hops are slightly present in the middle and back. The finish is very impressive here, as the coffee bitterness transitions well to the chocolate bitterness. The ABV is pretty well hidden in there (about 8 percent), but you will feel it by the end of the pint. There is more than enough malt and coffee in Anubis to make it a breakfast of champions … if you drink beer for breakfast, of course. What a beer, a beer that leaves you happy on several fronts as long as you love the malts or the dark side of beer. Which we do here, after all.
Overall, Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter is a sucker-punch of a coffee beer, one that still doesn’t let the coffee completely overtake the palate. The bevy of chocolate and caramel malt make it smooth and distinct, with enough complexity to keep the most discriminating of us beer geeks thinking about each sip. It is a great beer to have for dessert, or even with a nice slab of meat on the grill. So on your next outing, make sure to pick up a bomber and take a couple home before myself and Stoutmeister harvest them all!
Until next time …
— Brandon Daniel