Green Flash – Cosmic Ristretto Porter

I ran a 30km race and got a bronze medal. It was the most meaningful physical feat of my life and something I was very guarded about sharing with virtually everyone. I had also abstained from beer all month in the name of “training” and “not being an alcoholic”. And finally, I left too soon after the race and had to drive through some pretty crumby weather. So today, while putting my kid to bed, I thought I’d indulge a little.

And now, after exhausting my body and not drinking for a month, I’m a little drunk off a glass of beer. Turns out it’s not totally my fault, though.

Green Flash is a brewery based in San Diego, but unlike most other San Diego-area beers I’ve drunk (looking at you, Ballast Point and Stone), this beer doesn’t taste like soap and sadness. In other words, they didn’t add a stupid amount of hops to it. Who knew that was possible in California?

The Bottle: Terrible company logo, terrible write-up on the back (e.g. “Houston, we have a problem. My glass is empty.”), but it’s hard to fault a bomber-sized bottle. Still, they’ve labelled it as “1 pint, 6 fluid ounces”, once again proving that the Imperial measurement system is dumb.

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The Colour: This is a porter, so it sure is black. I’m not sure why the label went on about its colour (and the colour of its froth) in detail. Every porter is basically the same colour, but there you go. Here’s a shot of my glass on the floor, next to my kid’s chair (I was giving him his own bottle):

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The Flavour: Holy hell this is great beer. At first I couldn’t figure out why it was so delicious, malty but bitter, rich and intense and yet not too heavy. Then I figured it out. This thing is jammed full of espresso (i.e. the “ristretto” part of the name) and alcohol. This is an 8% beer, but unlike most “imperial” porters and stouts, the coffee nicely cuts the sweetness and leaves a well-rounded flavour. I’m sure some of the coffee and dark chocolate notes are coming from the malt, but still, I would avoid this if you don’t like a lot of bitterness in your porter.

The Verdict: This is the most delicious new beer I’ve tried in ages. I’m probably going to have a hangover before 9pm, or have to keep drinking to maintain the buzz I got from it, but I would drink this all the time. Let’s you and I crack another one of these open right now, OK?

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