Temecula is a bit far for me to go to hit up breweries right now. I may eventually make it up to hit up the breweries there but until then I rely on breweries with big enough distribution to get beer down to San Diego. I couldn’t resist when I saw Descend Black IPA at Bottlecraft in Downtown San Diego. It was everything I hoped for and I will certainly keep an eye out for more from this brewery in the future.
I could smell the hops on the nose quite nicely though they don’t really show up in the flavor. To me Black IPAs have always been a strange beast. What separates it from a hoppy porter? Hard to say. This one certainly has a lot more in common with a bitter porter than anything else. On the front I could taste a strong bitter chocolate flavor. The bottle claims there is a malty caramel flavor on the back end. I could taste it but just barely. This would have been too bitter for my husband but totally hit the spot for me.
The holidays are officially over today but the specialty beers brewed for Christmas are still here. I happened to grab a bottle of Santa’s Little Helper Imperial Stout from Port Brewing Company in San Diego recently and cracked open the bottle tonight. Thankfully I had a few people to share it with because it is a strong 10% and one of my new years resolutions is to try to avoid drinking as much during the week.
It is fitting that I get to enjoy this while the Christmas tree is still up. Apparently Santa is a big lush and needs some good beer to get him through his route and this beer does the trick. The beer pours thick with a bitter chocolate nose and a thick head. The taste is heavy on the bitter side with some clear chocolate flavors at the forefront. The aftertaste gives you a nice sweeter coffee flavor that some stout lovers might have missed. Overall, this is a great beer if you don’t like your stouts too sweet but might be too bitter for some.