As winter settles in around Boulder, Colorado, fans of Twisted Pine Brewing Company are bristling with the excitement that surrounds the annual release of the brewery’s Northstar Imperial Porter. The Baltic-style porter will make its 2011 debut on December 1st to a select few ticket holders for the vertical tasting which coincides yearly with the beer’s release. The highly regarded ale will be available to the public at large beginning December 2nd.
Northstar, which carries a 98 on ratebeer.com, is black as a moonless night and gives off an aroma of toffee and dark fruit laced with licorice. Once the porter hits the palate, the tongue dances to notes of chocolate-covered raisins which harmonize well with subtle traces of roasted nuts and molasses. The beer is dry enough to punctuate the flavors with a crisp finish, while just silky enough to leave a stamp of the epic experience behind for a while. An ABV of 9.1% provides a slight warming glow that grows up the chest as the ale drops in the glass. Northstar was awarded a gold medal at the 2010 Colorado State Fair, a silver in the 2006 World Beer Cup, and a bronze in 2008’s State Fair.
A great beer for the cellar, Northstar ages gracefully, which has led to the increasing popularity and decreasing availability of tickets for the brewery’s fourth annual vertical tasting. Starting with the 2004 vintage, participants will have the opportunity to sample nearly every version since, plus a few other porter varieties that the brewers have created for the occasion, all tastefully paired with small bites of food, cleverly crafted for accompaniment by the Twisted kitchen.
In addition to state-wide availability in Colorado, this year’s Northstar will find its way to Texas, Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, Nebraska and Louisiana.