Aurochs Brewing Porter
Gluten Free Dark Ale From Pennsylvania
I’m excited to introduce tonight’s taste test…a rare flagship style in the gluten free brewing industry. It’s time to pop open the Porter brewed by Aurochs Brewing in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. (Officially called the “Aurochs Porter”.)
Aurochs Brewing Co. is a 100% dedicated gluten free brewery, one of only 2 in the Eastern USA. (The rest are scattered around the midwest and west coast.) So, I’m happy to report this porter is safe for even the most sensitive of Celiacs. It is also free of oats, so no issues there.
Back when I reviewed the Blonde Ale and the Session IPA, Aurochs beers were packaged in 12 oz. bottles, but the brewery has undergone a packaging upgrade since then. They’re now using 12 oz. cans that appear to be sold in 4-packs. And I have to say, the new Aurochs cans are beautiful. I love the matte finish and simple, yet elegant design.
The Aurochs Porter is brewed on a base of millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. (Arguably my 3 favorite brewing grains!) It holds a 5.6% ABV. The hop bill includes both Saaz and Simcoe hops.
The Taste Test
The beer pours with a very dense brownish black color that doesn’t seem to let any light through. The head is thick and slow to fade. Carbonation is fairly audible. Its aroma carries notes of chocolate and roasted nuts. It’s a super inviting smell, particularly because there’s not much sweetness to the aroma.
The flavor surprises me slightly because it presents with more espresso notes than chocolate, which I love. There’s a healthy bitterness on the tongue, but everything throughout the flavor profile tastes really balanced. It packs 41 IBU, which to be honest, has it tasting a bit like a stout to me.
There’s also a brightness on the first sip that presented gentle flavors of dark fruit. The body is pretty full, but the carbonation level keeps the texture crisp and the flavors sharp. This is a beautiful porter. (That tastes a little like a stout.)
The Aurochs Porter has a richness to it that gives it a dessert quality. Its more moderate sweetness makes it a good accompaniment to dessert, but honestly, it’s perfectly suitable as the full course. Or in my current case, an appetizer. :)
As you can see from the photos below, there isn’t much difference between light-in-front and light-behind the beer, in terms of opaqueness. You simply can’t see anything through this beer, and light has very little effect on its color.
I can picture myself kicking back on a chilly evening in front of a fire with one of these babies. Its reasonable ABV makes it easy to opt for a dark beer like this one. This Porter is complex in nature–yet so balanced, that I think anyone who likes dark beer would appreciate this beer. So long as they could handle the 41 IBU part.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this Aurochs brew. I have yet to taste something from Aurochs that I didn’t like. Their recipes seem like works of art that have been thoroughly developed before release. I wish I was closer to this brewery and could visit it in person.
Have any of you East coasters tasted the Aurochs Porter before? If you’re anywhere near Pennsylvania, it’s time for a road trip. Trust me! If you’re too far to visit and are interested in reading about the Aurochs Brewing taproom, check out this guest review written by Neil Rupp.
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