After a couple of weeks in bottles, it was time to see what I had wrought.
Appearance: Pretty much black. The beer is carbonated and there is a head on the pour, but it quickly dissipates due to residual oil in the beer contributed by the coconut. I had read about this happening with those who’ve tried using coconut in beer, so this is no real surprise. Also, some tiny bits of coconut had escaped my paint strainer bag and into the bottled beer. So at least I can point to that as proof that I used real coconut in this. But they are so small, you can see them but you can’t feel them in your mouth.
Aroma: Nice chocolate and coconut undertones coming in with the roastiness of the malt. Very pleasant. The solvent/rubbing alcohol aroma had subsided.
Taste: As with most beers, the taste follows the aroma. Familiar roast malt profile from my base porter recipe, but the chocolate comes through assertively and the coconut was subtle but noticeable in my early tastings. However, the coconut has totally fallen off in a matter of a week. The solvent flavor has retreated but you can still detect a little bit on the back end. But it doesn’t prevent me from enjoying it. The half pound of lactose has also dialed in a nice level of sweetness to it.
Mouthfeel: Nice medium mouthfeel, and luckily there is no oily slickness from the coconut. When I conceptualized this beer, I was thinking of a more velvelty, viscous mouthfeel, which I didn’t attain. But still not bad.
Aside from the residual solvent note which ended up at a lower drinkable level, I’m kind of pleased with how this came out for a first try. I was hyper critical when I had my first bottle. But now as another week has gone by, I’ve had a few more and I’m finding it very drinkable and delicious despite the coconut falling off rather rapidly. I may consider foregoing the real coconut and just add some coconut flavoring next time around. I do find myself looking forward to the next bottle. This is the opposite of the bourbon porter I made last year that I still have a good amount of. That one was not a badly made beer and I know some who really like it, but the taste profile does not click with me and I just don’t enjoy drinking it. But this coconut porter? Yeah.. I dig it.