Beer of the Week: Asheville Brewing Ninja Porter

Raw Data:  Asheville Brewing Company Ninja Porter.  Brewed in Asheville, NC, USA.  750 ml bottle purchased at Hops and Vines, Asheville, NC.

Pours the deepest brown, almost black, with maple syrup hued highlights at the edges.  The slightest carbonation keeps a thin light brown head around the glass.  The smell is amazingly roasty and malty, with a vague nutty character.  The mouthfeel is just thick enough for a porter, but not sticky.  The overwhelming first flavor is chocolate, followed by a swift bitterness, coffee, and caramel.  There’s a multifaceted sweetness like a mix of caramel, vanilla and chocolate.  I’m a fan of all of ABC’s beers, and this one seems to get a bad rap by a lot of folks.  Perhaps it is because ABC do so well at their lighter beers.  While it certainly isn’t the Shiva of porters, if you’re into bold porters with pronounced coffee or chocolate flavors Ninja Porter is a nice middle ground between straightforward porters and more experimental offerings.

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