Sweet Baby Java

American Porter DuClaw Brewing Company

2.5

Sweet Baby Java, an American Porter by DuClaw Brewing Company

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Sweet Baby Java is an American Porter brewed by DuClaw Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a nonic pint glass from a bottle.

Appearance

The ale pours an opaque black and is topped by a thick cap of dense light-brown foam that shows good retention. The reduction leaves a soapy collar and a light film on the sides of the glass.

Aroma

A sweet aroma wafts the nose with dark chocolate, peanut, and a hint of espresso.

Flavor

Flavors of nut, chocolate, and malt are punched by a bite of herbal hops on the backend. The bitter finish mellows slightly as the beer warms and delivers a dose of coffee roast and more chocolate. The palate is tied together with an underlying bite of hops and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel

Its feel is smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Its finish is dry and astringent.

Overall

A variant of the Sweet Baby Jesus, and much like the former, the Sweet Baby Java doesn’t quite realize the potential of a nice appearance and aroma. Considering its name and concept, the porter is surprisingly light on its coffee flavor. Instead, its bitterness is jarring and out of step with the rest of the palate. However, as the beer warms, the palate finds some harmony. But it never quite comes together.

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About the American Porter

The American Porter is a malty dark brew whose palate is complex and flavorful dark malts and varying hops. Historically, it’s an aggressive variant of the English Porter and Pre-Prohibition American Porters. It’s more assertive than an American Brown Ale but not as strong or bitter as the American Stout.