I feel like I’ve mentioned that porters, and by extension stouts, are not my favorite style of beer. There are people that would gasp at that I’m sure. That said, I’m continuing to try to up my porter/stout game. Somerdale, NJ’s own Flying Fish Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter is apparently a limited release brewed in honor of Flying Fish’s 20th anniversary. I definitely felt the “I need to try this” come over me when I heard about it but I’m not sure this was the best porter to try to change my opinion of the style.
From the Flying Fish website:
Nothing highlights the North/South divide of New Jersey more than the breakfast sandwich debate: Egg, cheese and ? Southerners call it pork roll, while further North, it’s called ham. Whatever you call it, it’s good! This dark brown, caramel porter, features aromas of cocoa with hints of maple and smoke from the peat smoked barley. Flavors showcase chocolate, maple, toasted nuts and a bit of spice from the pork roll.
Pork Roll Porter pours very dark, maybe very dark brown or if possible a light black….is that a thing? About one finger of light tan head and a little soap bubbly in appearance. The head hangs around for sure. Some strong lacing as you swirl the beer around the glass.
Here’s where things get interesting. The aroma is crazy. You start with what I would consider normal porter aromas. Lots of roasted malts with a hint of sweetness. A little chocolate note for sure but I didn’t get it as much of a “showcase” as the bottle will tell you (I’m wondering if letting it warm up would have brought that out). Beyond that, there’s a definite strange but subtle smokey, almost meaty aroma mixed in. Bizarre.
Exit 7 has a mouthfeel a little thinner than one might expect but beyond that it’s a porter alright. It’s a porter that tastes like it has hot dog water mixed in but a porter nonetheless. It’s malty, a bit roasty, and a tad smokey. I really didn’t get any chocolate or nuttiness in the taste; again I wonder about if it had warmed up. There is a strange almost savory, slightly spicy or meaty flavor mostly on the aftertaste. Burps a bit like you washed down a slim jim with a porter.
Beers4Plat and I talked jokingly about brewing a meaty type of beer, so I viewed this as homework. This is a novelty beer for sure and worth a try if you come across it. Saying that, I’m not a big fan. I like a lot of what Flying Fish does but this one was definitely not for me. Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter is a 4/10 for me, based mostly on the novelty of it.