Monday, September 24, 2012

Palmetto Espresso Porter

My best friend of 20 years recently got married in South Carolina.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the wedding party and this trip enabled me to make a trip to the well renowned Charleston Beer Exchange.  My time was extremely limited, so I communicated with Brandon from CBX via email in the days prior to my arrival so that my trip could be well organized.  They did not disappoint.  Upon my arrival at CBX the guys there had a box of about 12 beers ready for me to pick up.  I was interested in mostly local beers and was hooked up with beers from Palmetto, Westbrook, Coast, and Thomas Creek among others.  The Charleston Beer Exchange is probably one of the best bottle shops I have ever been to.  Shelves on top of shelves on top of shelves of beer.  The store itself is quite small, but it's absolutely loaded with what I can definitively say was the best selection of beers I have ever laid eyes on.  If you are ever in South Carolina, the Charleston Beer Exchange is an absolute must.  Cheers to the guys there for making my short experience an incredibly memorable one.  They also ship and I won't hesitate to use this service in the future because of the awesome customer service I received.

On to the beer.  I was fortunate to try the Palmetto Pale Ale at the wedding reception.  The bartender wasn't supposed to provide this beer, but after conversation about how Amstel Light wasn't cutting it for me, he conceded and hooked me up.  It was a fantastic pale ale.  So that made me even more excited to try one of the two bottles from Palmetto the guys at CBX provided.  This is the Palmetto Espresso Porter.

Choose Your Vessel:  The 16oz New Belgium Globe.  I like porters in globes.  

The Pour:  12oz bottle pours a deep brown.  At first glance it appears black in color, but hold it to a light and it's quite clear that this one is dark brown.  Thin tan head that vanishes quite quickly.   Minimal lacing, almost none at all.
Aroma:  Massive coffee roast is all I have on the nose here.  Smells quite rich of coffee.  Not much else to say.  Pretty straightforward here.  My notes indicate that the aroma got stronger as the beer warmed a bit.
Taste:  As I expected, this one had an awesome rich coffee flavor throughout the drinking experience.  Some slight roasted chocolate, caramel, molasses, a touch of vanilla, and maybe even a little hazelnut at times.  The coffee is predominant and lingers throughout the finish.  If hops are present, I can't tell, but that may be due to this little head cold I have.  Beer has a thin mouthfeel and an almost creamy texture with lively carbonation.  Typically I don't like lively carbonated porters, but the carbonation in this one actually seems to make the coffee flavors pop a bit more, which is quite enjoyable.  

Overall:  Pretty solid offering from the folks at Palmetto.  I love the coffee flavor that dominated the palate, but was balanced by a variety of subtle flavors throughout.  The lingering coffee finish made me want that next sip even more than the last.  I'd like it to be a little more full bodied.  Was quite thin for a porter, but that's just a personal preference.  Really looking forward to trying their Amber.


  1. The Charleston Beer Exchange is the best!!! They guys there totally know their stuff. I have lived in Charleston for a few years now and CBX is a spot I regularly visit and always take out of town guests to. Should you ever end up in the area I would highly suggest stopping by Holy City Brewery. Super local, low key operation and great experimental brews.

    1. thanks for reading!! The CBX guys had some Holy City in the growler station when I was there, but i just was too busy with wedding stuff to stop for it. I hear it's great!! I wish we had something like CBX here in's awesome.