The Only Gluten Free Imperial Porter
(That I know of!)
As far as I know, the Ghostfish Brewing Hull Breaker is the only gluten free Imperial Coffee Porter on the market. The label is absolutely beautiful. (The lighting doesn’t exactly do it justice in these photos.) It has an eye-catching metallic baby blue color and is a bit simpler in design than some of the other Ghostfish beers.
One of the reasons this beer is so special to Ghostfish is because they collaborated with Slate Coffee Roasters, a local Seattle coffee house that views coffee as both an art and a science. They utilize a method called exposure roasting which they say highlights the nuances of the coffee bean’s origin without over roasting their inherently unique characteristics.
The Hull Breaker Imperial Coffee Porter was packaged in 22 ounce bottles and distributed as a special winter release. If you’re lucky and happen to be in the Pacific Northwest, you may be able to still find this beer in stores. But if you see it, best to scoop it up quick because it probably won’t be there for long!
The Taste Test
Hull Breaker Imperial Coffee Porter
The Hull Breaker Imperial Coffee Porter pour was a velvety one. It’s probably the darkest beer I’ve ever seen come out of Ghostfish Brewing actually. You can *barely* see any light through it. If you watch the pour, you can catch a faint reddish light exposed when placed directly in front of a bright light. Otherwise, it’s pretty opaque.
It formed a beautiful, light colored head that fades very slowly. So far the visual texture of this beer has me very excited to taste! The aroma is rich and sweet, and smells strongly of Slate’s carefully roasted Crema Espresso beans.
The taste of Hull Breaker Imperial Coffee Porter is straight up decadent. It’s rich, soft, full-bodied, mildly–but not overly–sweet, smooth, chocolatey, and incredible delicious. This may be my favorite dark beer of Ghostfish’s to date. Porter fans…you need to get your hands on this beer!
It has a smooth 7.4% ABV and a gentle 25 IBU. The carbonation seems to brighten this porter the perfect amount. It has a very fine texture that gives off a fantastic mouthfeel. Seriously…wow. I am extremely impressed with this porter. I love the way the head climbs the glass as I sip too. (You can see it in the photo.)
I honestly don’t have a single complaint about this beer. It’s entirely unoffensive and incredibly well balanced. Even those who don’t love coffee, might still like this porter. As I type, there’s still a gorgeous layer of foam resting at the top of the glass. I’m glad I took the extra time to ensure this glass was “beer clean” before pouring. It’s a beautiful beer.
My taste preferences have always given me a lukewarm opinion of porters. I tend to find them too smooth and too rich, without enough bitterness to balance the dessert qualities. I don’t feel that way about the Hull Beaker though. This beer makes me think differently about porters. It’s fantastic.
I’m curious how many of you have had the pleasure of tasting this beer before. What was your reaction to it? Does it hold up to your memories of glutenous Imperial Porters? Please feel free to email me or share you thoughts in the comment section below. :)