Sometimes it’s important to consider life’s milestones. This weekend last year, I celebrated launching my company’s website by blacking out at dinner from drinking many, many tulip glasses of Alexandria-based Port City Brewery’s One, a special beer brewed for their first anniversary. I was exhausted/exhilarated, and One was a limited-edition, incredibly good Belgian Imperial Stout, so I gave myself a pass.
Looking back on that weekend (the parts I remember, at least), drinking a ton of amazing local beer really helped me relax after one of the most professionally stressful times of my life. And so I’ve developed an affinity for Port City’s anniversary beers, as they remind me that both my start-up business, as well as my favorite local brewery, can successfully grow with hard work.
That brings me to this week’s review, of Port City’s Two. It’s another extremely limited run of their special anniversary beer, but this time the chosen brew is a smoked imperial porter, and hot damm is it good.
Two pours out dark, darker than a black steer’s tuchus on a moonless prairie night, with a beautiful creamy foam crown. The aroma is complex, a mix of chocolate and coffee, with smoky undertones, and it begs you to stop waiting around and take a sip.
So sip I did, and “wow” was all I could think. Up front, there’s a ton of chocolate and sweet malts, which give way to an amazing smokiness, like a hickory-smoked barbecue. At first I couldn’t place the end note, but then it hit me: bacon. This taste revelation was seconded by wifey, who I had to consult on such a complex flavor combination.
I know it sounds weird, but somehow, the transition from chocolate sweet malts to smoky hickory barbecue to bacon happens smoothly. Just like with One, Two also masks a really high ABV of 9% without any hotness or burn through the flavor. So you get a really good tasting, really strong beer that you can’t put down.
If you live near DC, get this beer. Now. Happy second anniversary, Port City. Keep doing what you’re doing.