Thursday, March 17, 2011

SweetWater Mean Joe Bean

CommanderSuds, another asshole with a beer blog here, and today's entry is about SweetWater's latest installment to the Dank Tank series, Mean Joe Bean Imperial Porter.

Several studies in recent years have shown that there's more to a cup of coffee than just a morningtime burst of caffeine, like, real, palpable medical benefits. Now, recent findings suggest beer is a veritable 'boon' to your health as well. I know I need a pot of coffee in the morning to get me going and a six-pack at night to wind me down, so I'm definitely getting plenty of both. I'm sure many of you are the same way. Hey, let's get a quick rundown on those health perks, shall we?

· Decreased Risk of Type-2 Diabetes Parkinson's Disease, and Dementia

· Fewer Cases of certain types of Cancer, Heart Rhythm Problems, Gallstones, Cavities, and Strokes

· Elevated energy levels

· Lowered risk of suicide

That's wonderful news! Without adequately reading the hastily Googled articles, cherry picking "facts" to suit my blog entry, and altogether ignoring those pesky potential health risks, you would've naturally come to the same conclusions, too. Why, I feel healthier already! I don't need no damn Jiminy Cricket to tell me I'm gonna live to be a hundred and three.

Mean Joe Bean is part of SweetWater's Dank Tank series of limited, experimental beers, in much the same way Tröegs has their Scratch beers and Terrapin's got their Side Project series, and, like any limited release beer series, its had its share of ups and downs. Usually more ups than downs, but whaddya gonna do, you know?

Imperial Porter has recently been embraced by American brewers and their never-ending love of cranking up every single beer style to 11. So, one can expect higher degrees of dark-roasted malted barley, occasionally heavier charges of hops, and always, always more of your precious alcohol. Just more of everything, really. Oh, and let's not forget this particular Imperial Porter features a generous dose of Nicaraguan coffee provided by JavaVino Coffee & Wine House in Atlanta. So, we'll be getting all those added health benefits mentioned above. This beer is turning out to be a regular health tonic.

Coffee-infused beers aren't quite as ubiquitous as the cash-for-gold sign twirlers on every street corner, but they are certainly more commonplace than they were just a few years ago. During a trip to the local beer store, one can expect to find such java brews as Surly's Coffee Bender, Brooklyn Brewery's Intensified Coffee Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, Terrapin Wake 'N' Bake, or Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale, depending on whereabouts in the U.S. you live, of course.

In trying to select proper glassware in which to serve this brew, I opted for a decade's old McDonald's Garfield mug, to better facilitate its coffee component. Sissy Cat approved.
Running parallel to the aroma is an initial taste of sweet roastiness, imparted by the dark-kilned malts as well as the added java. There's a noticed chocolate note to it, ranging at times from sugary bulk Easter chocolate to a slightly-more-refined bittersweet chocolate flavor. Fuggle and Columbus hops add a light undertone of citrus and herbaceous, as well as a solid, though agreeable amount of bitterness. The 8.5% alcohol remains fairly masked during the undertaking. Fairly balanced throughout, this supposed Mean Joe is actually a pretty genial guy.

Alright, I need another beer.

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