Despite a straightforward name and simple, white packaging, the Maine Beer Company has emerged as one of New England's most exciting small breweries. From the standout Lunch IPA to Zoe and Peeper Ales, MBC churns out tiny batches of above-average beers.
The brewery's latest offering, King Titus Porter, is named after a silverback gorilla. The Portland brewery donates one percent of profits to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and other environmental non-profits. There's a tiny picture of King Titus, the gorilla, on the bottle, right above the slogan, "Do what's right". Concern for the environment is not out of place in Maine, nor is good beer. If you want a quick beer-themed day trip, you can't go wrong in Portland.
I've been a big fan of Maine Beer Company ales and was curious to try their take a porter (their Mean Old Tom stout is also quite good). This is a big boy (7.5 percent ABV). It pours jet black, viscous. Some brown head rises up from the murk, but it's short-lived. Aromas of coffee and cocoa waft upward from the glass.
Bitter chocolate and black coffee notes dominate this beer. Despite the high ABV the beer is not to sweet, nor is it too smoky. The lack of a cloying presence is nice, but that still doesn't make this beer anything other than a sipper. I shared half of the 1-pint, 0.9-ounce bottle with my wife, and that was about right. That's not to say this isn't a very good beer; it's just heavy. If you want a warming winter beer it's a nice alternative to the super-sweet stouts it competes with. I'm not sure this beer fits neatly into any categories, and that's perfectly OK. A bottle retails for about $8.
What do you think? Have you transitioned to heavier beer with the weather getting colder? E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and start a conversation. Follow me on Twitter. Note that I am out of town until Oct. 29 (I drank ahead for you). Cheers.