Friday Brew

SamplerTonight we will sample one of the four beers that were provided in the Michelob Ale Flighting Experience Sample PackMich-pack box top recently purchased at Sam’s Club. First off, I’m not sure what the title means but I’ll try to give you my best interpretation.

First of all, this is a sampler pack of four ales. A wheat, porter, pale ale and a rendition of a rye IPA.

What’s “flighting?” I recently learned at the last meeting of M*A*S*H that a homebrewer could simply send in via UPS or other means, samples of his/her finished recipes to judges and receive feedback via handwritten forms. A person’s beer would be one candidate in a certain style, say Ales. If the judges received 7 other ales, the 8 candidates would then be called a flight of ales. Then, where your beer stands in the flight has a weight based on how the judges critiqued. If your beer was third in the flight, it was the third tasted. The first two ale tastings may have biased the judges’ palate, so what was written in the critique has merit on where your beer was in the flight.

In this case, it appears to me that Michelob set up a contest or competition and selected four of their choices as best to be offered to the beer drinking public for sale. Thus we have a flighting of ales at our disposal for the nice price of $21 and change for a sixpack each of four different styles of ale.

Mich-pack box frontsheet

Mich-pack open beersThe Michelob Ale Flighting sampler was quite similar to the other sample pack I bought some time ago. Same style case boxing with the explanatory data sheet enclosed. Perfect for our application. In the coming weeks we’ll try each one of these Michelob brews in turn and give back our own critiques.

After what seemed like a month of dark, cold, overcast and rainy days in Illinois, we’ve chosen the dark and overcast with doubt Michelob Porter from Anheuser Busch (InBev) for our sampling and critiquing. Let’s begin, shall we?

Mich porter foam

The beer poured the color of Coke or Pepsi. A nice dark brown liquid arose with a thick, creamy beige head about an inch’s worth. Inside the liquid, barely perceptible due to the darkness of color, were a bajillion tiny micro-bubbles rising quickly to the top. The aroma was of a dark and roasty flavor. This should be nice.

The first sip went down… hmm. The taste is there, rather forthright in the beginning but petering out towards the end. The rich roasty flavor greets you at the door, shakes your hand and then excuses itself to attend to other matters. Maybe after the first glass things will get better.

Mich porter glassAs the sips continued, the taste filled in a little more in the middle but still left me wanting that period at the end of the sentence, that goodnight kiss at the door. Gradually, sip by sip, the cavities in my tongue were filled with goodness. Nice lacing on the glass. It wasn’t until deep into the second bottle that things rounded out. The dark roasty malts remained at the front and the middle filled in. A closed-mouth kiss, but a kiss nonetheless.

I’d say that this beer is a good after-work beer. If you feel like having a dark beer after a day of drudgery but don’t want the headiness and rich, overpowering flavors of a world renowned porter or stout, pop open one of these Michelobs. By the second bottle, your tongue and your stomach will sing a duet and will be right with the world once again. Your stomach will still accept a hearty supper.

This is a good tasting beer. The flavors are there waiting and the beers go down nice and easy. You get just enough of the porter style of beer to put your tongue in the right mood. It’d be a good beer to choose to take to a BYOB party or as a gift for a friend. I can see why Michelob chose this brew for it’s sampler pack. It’s not bad.

Mich Porter six-logoThe SixPackTech ratings for Michelob Porter are:

Taste: B- > Turns the lights down in your mouth.
Smoothness: B+ > A waterslide of dark beer.
Drinkability: B+ > Go check how many are left.
Bang for the buck: B- > Go for it first in the sampler pack.
ABV: 5.9%

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