I recently was lucky enough to visit the Stoudt’s Brewery in Adamstown, PA for a second time (I mentioned Downingtown in the video which is where Victory Brewing is located as I was there earlier in the day). My first trip to the brewery was somewhat unplanned as a friend and I were driving out to Hershey and we decided to stop in and check out the brewpub since we were so close. Prior to this trip, I was never particularly too keen on any of Stoudt’s flag ship beers that are distributed to NJ. Not that any of these beers are by any means bad, it’s just that I was never particularly impressed by them. I’m a bit guilty in gravitating towards bigger, bolder beers and definitely prefer the complexity of ales over a clean, crisp lager.
Also, there’s so much out there in the world of Craft Beer, so I continually look for beers that stand above the rest and am more likely to try a new beer over a solid one I may have already had a few times. However, my lackluster attitude towards Stoudt’s beers was quickly reversed upon the first sip of their Triple on tap at the brewpub. I can still recall how smooth yet complex this beer was. It remained true to the Belgian Style with it’s great golden color and characteristic fruity/yeasty notes yet its 9% ABV didn’t overpower the beer. Onto their Heifer-in-Wheat Bavarian Style unfiltered wheat beer and I was a believer, as this is one of the best American brewed wheat beers I’ve had to date! Be sure not to pass up their Triple or Heifer-in-Wheat, especially if you come across them on tap! In addition to these fantastic beers, they have many other delicious brews including an Imperial Oatmeal Stout and a Double IPA for all you hop-heads.
During this most recent visit I was more than excited to see they had two different Brewer’s Reserve beers for sale, a Imperial Schwarzbier and a 2X Chocolate Porter. Their website notes that the Brewer’s Reserve Series was “developed as a creative catalyst for the hard working production craft brewer, [as] an opportunity for our brewers to be creative and play around in their craft.”
I love when breweries give their brewer’s a bit of creative freedom, not only because this keeps things interesting, but it also typically produces some of the best beers you will ever get to sample and this 2X Chocolate Porter was not one to disappoint. The beer poured a dark brown/black color with a generous, long lasting tan head. Great slightly roasted aroma with very slight coffee notes and some bitter cocoa. Really great mouth feel with a medium body and slight silkiness. A very well balanced robust porter, with slight roasted notes and coffee coming through the palate balanced with some bitter cocoa. Doesn’t end dry or bitter, is not sweet and is quite drinkable for its 7% ABV. Superbly brewed, and very well balanced, a great porter! Overall: (A)
Stoudt’s Reserve Series beers are brewed in small batches in very limited quantity and are only available in hand corked 750 mL bottle conditioned bottles so be sure to grab them when you come across them! As always, drink local, support your local breweries and brewpubs and stay tuned for more from RunsOnBeer!