Speakeasy Ales & Lagers was founded in 1997 in San Francisco’s Bayview District. Speakeasy set out to make legit beers for people in American cities and other areas that appreciated beers built for a more discerning palate. Their Payback Porter is a great example of a “legit” beer.
The beer pours a dark, deep brown with an espresso style head. Medium brown in color, the head is thin and foamy when poured but reemerges without any motion and shows staying power at that point. The carbonation level is also noted with the small bubbles that form on the bottom and sides of the glass as well as the lacing on the sides of the glass when the beer is drunk.
This robust porter offers aromas of dark chocolate intertwined with sweet caramel. Balancing the sweeter notes there are dark roasted coffee beans and almonds, toasted malts and a light cream note similar to the frothy top of a latte. The bouquet has a great balance between roasted and sweet aromas.
The mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy. The first sip displays crème brulee (mainly the torched top of the dessert) and caramel. The mid palate packs a punch with bitter dark roasted coffee, dark roasted nuts and unsweetened cocoa. The finish is smooth with the flavor of lightly toasted malts and a hint of fruit (banana).
Speakeasy’s Payback Porter was a pleasant surprise! This fairy inexpensive beer over delivered for the price. A great beer for colder nights or for pairing with a wide variety of desserts. Complex yet balanced, Payback Porter is indeed “legit!”
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Pints out of 5
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