Summer is gone but not forgotten. With it's warmth and long days filled with cloudless skies, it's easy to not want it to end. But like all things in life change has to come. So with the prospect we wanted to remind you of a beer that might still be on the shelves, Grand Teton's Wake Up Call Imperial Porter.
Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter has a distinct and robust coffee flavor that blends harmoniously with the roasted malts. Caramel, chocolate, and black malts give this ale its dark color and overtones of caramel and a cocoa-like sweetness. Only very gently hopped, the addition of coffee shines through, providing a delicious accent to this brew.
Grand Teton Brewing Company used well over a pound per barrel of Triple Certified Espresso beans from Caffe Ibis Coffee Roasting Company in Logan, Utah. This specialty dark roast has caramel sweetness with hints of dark chocolate and nuts and a smooth clean finish. While the focus has been on finding the perfect mate for this seasonal porter, it is no coincidence that the choice of beans also supports social justice and sustainable agriculture.
Caffe Ibis is a locally owned and operated 35-year-old award winning Green Business and custom roasting house. It specializes in Triple Certified, Organic, Fair Trade, and Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly” coffees from around the world. Reuter’s Triple Pundit called it “The World’s Most Sustainable Coffee.” Over the years Newsweek Magazine, The Wine Spectator, and Sunset Magazine have all added to the chorus singing praises to the remarkable cup quality of Caffe Ibis Coffee.
Porter was the first industrial beer, brewed for the laborers of England's Industrial Revolution. Technological advances of the 18th century--such as the thermometer and hydrometer--allowed brewers to refine the brewing process. These changes allowed for brewers to create consistent batches of beer, and that beer was nearly always porter.
The addition of coffee to porter is an even more recent creation, with craft brewers of the past 30 years embracing the enhancement that coffee makes to the flavor and body of dark ales.
The coffee flavors in this ale pair exceptionally well with meaty entrees: drink this Imperial Porter with grilled steak, barbequed spare ribs, or portabella mushrooms sautéed with soy sauce. The toast and chocolate-like flavors of the dark malt complement sweet confections. Any dessert that you would take with coffee will be a fine accompaniment to this ale. We recommend tiramisu, hazelnut scones, and German chocolate cake.
If stored appropriately, this beer should stand up to the test of time. The roasted coffee and rich maltiness will mingle together and mellow with age; but at 7.5% alcohol by volume, we don’t recommend you cellar it for much more than a year.
Suggested Style Guidelines by the Brewers Association
Imperial porters are very dark brown to black in color. No roast barley or strong burnt/astringent black malt character should be perceived. Medium malt, caramel and cocoa-like sweetness should be in harmony with medium-low to medium hop bitterness. This is a full bodied beer. Ale-like fruity esters should be evident but not overpowering and compliment malt derived sweetness and hop character. Hop flavor and aroma may vary from being low to medium-high. Diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be absent
On draft or out of the bottle Grand Teton's Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter rests in the glass with a strong dark and opaque appearance. As it settles a strong mocha-colored cap of foam rests on the surface before diminishing slowly into the atmosphere.
Taking in the aromas we recall notes of ground coffee, roasted malt, bits of cocoa and a hint of nuttiness. So far we can't complain.
Taking the first few sips it's easy to see how this beer resembles the porter qualities required of it. From the first sip there are notes of bitter coffee, roasted malt, and some sweetness. Much like other Imperial 'beers' this one qualifies but might throw a few Imp. Stout / Porter appreciators a curve, with its lack of heat. At 7.50% ABV Grand Teton's Wake Up Call Imperial Coffee Porter has a mild to medium body and there is no expected warmth.
Should Try It. As a Porter this would make a great addition to your palates collection of Coffee, Chocolate, or other 'flavored' Porters. . Whether you're having burger with blue cheese crumbles or a slice of black forest chocolate torte, we think this should be a companion at your dinner table.
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.