Photo courtesy of coronadobrewingcompany.com
Apparently, Coronado Brewing Company and Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa became BFF at the previous Great American Beer Festival. Lots of breweries team up for the occasional hit-it-and-quit-it collaboration brew, but these two are approaching full-blown monogamy with the release of a winter collaboration: Jurata Baltic Porter.
The Baltic porter is one of my favorite styles, partially because it elevates the (occasionally limp) porter, but more generally because it's just robust and flavorful. It tends to accentuate the smoke and booze character of the porter significantly, which I greatly enjoy. Add to that my not-so-concealed love affair with Cigar City Brewing and you've got me riveted.
The Jurata is a dark cola brown with a weaselly little taupe head. There's a straightforward, roasty coffee note to the aroma, but I think I detect a woody hint lurking within it, as well. The flavor opens with coffee and anise, but then further offers an interesting acidic, almost sour, tang midway through. It's a component of the style I've read about but never really noticed to this degree before. The alcohol is detectable in the mix, but not burdensome.
Overall, this felt a little lean in flavor and mouthfeel to me, but it's most certainly true to style and quite tasty. It didn't happen to be my favorite take on that style, but that's just personal bias slipping in. Fans of the oft-overlooked Baltic porter will likely enjoy Coronado Brewing's latest collaboration.