Beer Review: Twisted Pines Brewing Company Northstar Imperial Porter

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Brewery: Twisted Pine Brewing Company
Beer: Northstar Imperial Porter
Style: Baltic Imperial Porter
ABV: 9.0%
Character: Brewed with chocolate, black, and crystal malts balanced by a combination of American and British hops
Metal Connection: HEATHEN FORAY – Northstar

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I have had close to ten different beers from Twisted Pine Brewing Company over the past couple of years. Sadly, not all of them made the website, but I am including all the recent ones. Maybe, I will go back and buy the others again, so I can give them a proper review on the site. Here we have a Baltic Imperial Porter style beer that the northstarbrewery has said can be cellared  4+ years. Well, I didn’t do that, obviously, with this bottle, and I did not buy a second one to age. I kind of suck at the aging thing, cause I really want to drink these damn things.

Using a Seidel style beer mug, Northstar poured a dense black color in appearance. Held up to a light, there is the slightest hint of  dark brown peeking through. Don’t get me wrong, this beer is damn near black in the heaviest part of the body, while the slight brown shines through at the very top of the beer, at the thinnest part. There wasn’t much of a head on this beer, except for a thin tan colored ring sitting on top. Minimal lacing showing up while the drink was going down, but nothing stuck around on the glass. No sticky residue at all.

The aroma is roasted malt strong, with a variety of other scents tagging along like chocolate, licorice, dark fruit notes, and a hint of brown sugar/molasses on the back end. There is a scent of booze, slightly dry feeling in the nose at the end.

Northstar’s taste matches the nose exact. There is a body of roasted malts, mixed with licorice, dark fruits, and chocolate being the next dominant flavor. The booze leaves a slight burn in the throat. There is the brown sugar/molasses showing up at the end, again, leaving a dryness in the throat. Imagine a roasty sugared cocoa powder with dark fruits, like raisins or prunes.

The body was a little thinner than expected, but it was still a healthy medium-like thickness. I just imagined this beer being a heavy motor oil like consistency. Mild carbonation with this one. The mouthfeel was smooth, then chewy, left with a dryness on the tongue after the drink.

Overall, I was impressed by the effort here. This beer is definitely one I will like to pick up again. Next time, maybe I will actually pick up two bottles, and age one of them for sure. Beer is a beverage and the aroma and taste are the most important aspects to a beverage, and this beer was very pleasing in both of those areas. I was let down a bit by the appearance. If there was better carbonation, more head present on the beer, and more sticky lacing, I would have gone 5 out of 5 on this one. It just seemed a bit flat on the appearance.

HeathenForayMetal Connection: Here I am featuring a new band that I only found out about recently while searching through Metal Archives and YouTube. Here is a song called “Northstar” by the Austrian band, Heathen Foray. The song comes from their debut album, The Passage, released in 2009 on the German record label, Black Bards Records. Heathen Foray plays Melodic Viking Metal with lyrics covering tops of Norse/German mythology, Paganism, fantasy, battles. My inner nerd just got happy! “Lightning Bolt… Lightning Bolt!” Some of you will get that joke!

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