Portland, OR – Admittedly, Halloween is long passed unless you are still one of the obstinate hosts with an oozing, rotting, pumpkin on your stairwell or patio. As was customary leading up to this event, restaurants, grocery stores, and alehouses, all get in the Halloween spirit with decorations, themed foods and beverages, and of course parties.
Last October Lompoc released their Monster Mash Imperial Porter to the masses. Monster Mash, featured strong chocolate and roast flavors as well as a slight hint of dark fruit (cherries?). At over 8.00% ABV, and with 50 IBUS, this limited edition beer was featured at some familiar bottleshops, grocery stores, and even was on draft at select locations (including the brewery).
Additionally, this year, the brewery tapped a barrel-aged version of the dark monster, that had rested in bourbon barrels for 11 months and then cellared for an additional 2 months. What came out of this beer was a Imperial Porter with notes of bourbon, as well as chocolate and licorice flavors, before it finished with elements of vanilla. Like its tamer self, this beer was released in limited quantities outside the brewery.
For this writer we were lucky enough to see both bottles arrive for us to enjoy, but we couldn’t keep to ourselves.
Monster Mash Imperial Porter
First we started with Monster Mash Imperial Porter (sans, Barrel-aged moniker), which poured dark as pitch without any light passing through it. As it settled in the glass a strong mocha (khaki) foamy head forms, resting on the murky surface before receding leaving behind small isolated islands of lace inside the glass.
Taking a moment to ponder how this will smell or taste, we take the plunge with a small swirl of the glass and a waft under the nose. What greets us something that we are very familiar with, between the strong waft of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and hints of cherries?
A sip later and we detect a stern cup of coffee, before elements of dark chocolate and darker fruits bounce across our tongue, finishing only slightly hot from the 8.00% ABV. Overall this beer produces an average weight on the tongue and almost finishes slightly dry.
An imperial porter, Monster Mash feature strong chocolate and roast flavors with a touch of red fruit. Monster Mash will be available Oct. 9 on draft and in 22 oz. bottles at all Lompoc locations and in select stores.
You Should Try This. Chances are much like Halloween this beer is not to be found at your usual expected locales (Belmont Station, By the Bottle, Hawthorne Fred Meyer, etc.), but there might be some pockets that were ignored in the first wave, that would love to sell you a bottle. If you do manage to lay your hands on this, enjoy with some hearty brats, pork chops, or a bloody steak.
Monster Mash Barrel-aged Imperial Porter
Our follow-up to the previously mentioned beer is the Barrel-aged version of the Monster Mash Imperial Porter. Much like the regular released version, this beer also pours dark without any clarification from the light. As it settled in the glass a strong mocha (khaki) foamy head forms, resting on the murky surface before receding leaving behind small isolated islands of lace inside the glass.
As the beer settles under the nose, one cannot help notice hints of oak, bourbon, vanilla and roasted grains.
Sipping on this we are greeted by an oaky door that is cast aside, by elements of ginger, minor (apple?), before the familiar dark fruit finishes at the end. Overall this beer comes across light to almost average in weight as it coarses across our tongue, with only a slight touch of stickiness
This Imperial Porter has a slight Bourbon aroma with chocolate and licorice flavors finishing with vanilla notes (8% ABV). Monster Mash will be available Oct. 9 on draft and in 22 oz. bottles at all Lompoc locations and in select stores.
You Should Try This. Unlike its mild-mannered cousin, Barrel-aged Monster Mash is one that can be consumed now or potentially in a few months. If you are one of the lucky ones who has this resting somewhere, you might want to keep that a secret. Food options are pretty similar, but maybe consider something like roasted turkey to bring out a bit of the char from the barrel in the beer.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.