THIRSTY THURSDAY: Saranac's Maple Porter

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

Maybe the 6AM cries of songbirds I heard on my morning run were a bit precocious for February; they were simply no match for the ubiquitous cold, wet snow. Maybe I was too optimistic. Upstate New York is still weeks away from those fifty-five degree, green grassy days beyond recall. Perhaps a long, cold winter can lend itself to enjoying all things cold and wet?

How do I pass the time until warmer, brighter days are within reach? I let go and give in to Office marathons, crusty bread, and cold, dark beer served in a frosted pint glass. Because when you can’t beat the cold, you have to join it.

I’m certainly no stranger to Saranac’s Beers of Winter (check out last week's post on the Rye IPA) and, likewise, their Maple Porter offering has really wet my whistle. I’ve never had predilections for gimmicky flavors and seasonal spices (like in their Winter Wassail), but in the interest in diversifying my palate and moving beyond the ample repertoire of chocolate stouts, I decided to give it a chance.

Poured into a glass, the porter has a mahogany hue and creamy head. It tastes slightly bitter, gives off hints real maple syrup, and interestingly enough, the contrasting flavors battle for my attention. But this isn't a bad thing. I'm in love with them both. And I find myself sharing common ground with Jake from The Bachelor -- Vienna or Tenley? For now, I slip on my long wool socks, place myself beside the forced hot air vent, and pour a cold Maple Porter.

Saranac Brewery Shop and Tour Center
830 Varick Street
Utica, NY 13502

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