Thursday, January 23, 2020

Blackbeard's Breakfast

From a culinary and historical perspective, one might conclude that "Blackbeard's Breakfast" may have been something slightly better than what pirates typically ate while sailing the high seas in the 17th and 18th centuries.  For the average pirate, a meal might have included hardtack or a ship biscuit, a hard square of flour and water.  If there was meat, it usually took the form of salted and dried beef, which, after the curing process was complete, resembled bark off of a black oak tree

While pirates may have carved that "black oak" into belts or buttons, the brewers at Heavy Seas produced a thick black porter called "Blackbeard's Breakfast." The brewers describe it as a "robust porter with a new world twist." The beer is brewed with UK Pale, UK Amber, Vienna, Light Crystal, Dark Crystal, Chocolate and Dark malts, along with Target and East Golding Hops. The twist is that it is aged in bourbon barrels and brewed with Dark Sumatra coffee from a local roaster, Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company. The beer is then finished with house made caramel and salt.

Blackbeard's Breakfast pours pitch black, like that salted beef that would have been handed out to pirates as food.  The aromatic elements were a little difficult to ascertain, but there was definitely a hint of the roasted coffee.  

When it comes to the taste of the porter, the brewers describe strong notes of caramel and slight nut character.  With each sip, the character comes forward.  It is definitely worthy of a pirate, as the bourbon is very forward in the beginning, receding slightly as the beer warms (or as the pirate becomes more soused).  The roasted coffee notes become more pronounced as the bourbon recedes, with even a slight note of black pepper in the background.  

Blackbeard's Breakfast is an Imperial Coffee Porter that is brewed by Heavy Seas as a limited release.  The beer is usually available in February of each year. 


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