Greater Good Imperial Milk Porter

As more breweries join the crowded marketplace it is important for a new brewery to have a calling card, something that sets them apart from their competition. Obviously the most important thing is brewing great beer, but it helps to have a theme that customers immediately associate with the brand. The first session-only brewery in the country was Notch Brewing, and other brands have followed that trend. Surprisingly nobody took up the other end of the spectrum, brewing only high-alcohol imperial beers, until Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company launched last year. All of the beers in Greater Good’s lineup are “imperial”, with ABVs between 8-14%. Greater Good currently contract brews their beers in Connecticut, but they are planning a brewery in the Worcester area and cans of their first five releases are available throughout eastern and central Massachusetts. I tried a few of their first beers, including Greater Good Imperial Milk Porter, a big dark beer brewed with unfermentable lactose to add some sweetness. Greater Good Imperial Milk Porter is available now in 12 oz. cans.

greater-good-imperial-milk-porterGreater Good Imperial Milk Porter pours pitch black with a solid khaki-colored head. the scent is mild, just a little roasted malt. The flavor is very malt forward, notes of black coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel and licorice. There is a hint of sweetness from the lactose, not as pronounced as some milk stouts. There are enough hops to add some balance, hints of grass and earth along with a touch of crispness in the finish. The beer is missing a little body, it doesn’t have that thick mouthfeel you expect from a big dark ale, but it drinks incredibly easy for a beer with 11% ABV. I can think of very few beers with double digit ABV that have no alcoholic flavor or burn, and this is one of them. The finish is dry with a little lingering malt flavor. Overall Imperial Milk Porter is a solid start for Greater Good, I like the concept of a brewery with all imperial beers and look forward to what they come up with next. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.

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