Monday, August 23, 2010

Flavored Porters — Tree Brewing Co. vs. Maui Brewing Co.

Tree Brewing Co.
Raspberry Porter

ABV 5%

Dark brown with red accents. No head.
Chocolate covered raspberries.
Slightly tart with raspberry and coffee notes.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
None. Overly fruity.
Bit thin and acidic with lingering raspberry taste.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Mediocre -

Maui Brewing Co.
Coconut Porter

ABV 5.7%

Black with tan head.
Aroma: Sweet coffee.
Flavor: Rich, sweet coffee with some hop bitterness and maybe just a hint of toasted coconut (or was that just the power of suggestion?).
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Balanced.
Finish: Sweet with some coffee bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Fantastic

Winner by unanimous decision
: Maui Brewing Co.
We picked up this bottle of Raspberry Porter on our recent trip to Canada, so as far as we know, it is not readily available in the Seattle area. Consider yourselves lucky because the Tree Brewing Co. Raspberry Porter is not very good. It's yet another example of one of those beers that we would have finished and been OK with if it had been on its own, but when compared side by side with the Coconut Porter all of its flaws were magnified.

The Tree Brewing Co. porter was interesting at first, but the more we tasted it, the more it seemed off in some way. The Coconut was just so freaking good that every sip of the Raspberry seemed like a waste of time and calories. The fight was so lopsided, in fact, that eventually we just gave up on the Raspberry altogether and dumped it down the sink. Mind you, it wasn't absolutely a dumpable beer, but when you're comparing it to the sweet, rich, balanced, concoction of chocolate malt and toasted coconut that is the Maui Brewing Coconut Porter you're liable to make rash decisions. And at that moment it seemed completely reasonable to use the Tree beer as a drain cleaner while we closed our eyes and made oohing noises with each delightful sip of the Maui masterpiece.

Extra credit: The Coconut Porter has a tag line that is completely baffling to us. It says "... Like hot chicks on the beach." What? If anyone knows the story behind that line, please fill us in.


  1. I really wanted to like the Maui Coconut Porter... especially after having the Ken Schmidt/Maui/Stone -Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter (fantastic).... but damn, that Coconut porter is way too frickin sweet (and I've got a high tolerance for sugars in beer). I couldn't finish the can... I hope it was a batch attenuation issue......

  2. Russ-

    Weird. We didn't find it too sweet at all. As a matter of fact, the finish had enough hops that we categorized it as a "balanced" beer rather than a "malty" or "hoppy" beer.

    Then again, it is not a beer that we'd recommend that people just drink at any time. It seems more suited for after dinner sipping as a dessert or with a dessert.