Anyway, I was really pleased when Tina and I ventured over to Costco on the West Side (the one that magically appeared across from Cottonwood Mall one day) and found a Breckenridge variety pack that included 12 Avalanche Ambers and 12 of a mix of beers. One of the cool things about the 12 packs is that they have these Breckenbucks on the inside (don't miss 'em!) that you can take to one of the Breckenridge Breweries and trade them for a free beer, food, hat, shirt, etc... All it takes is 1 (that's ONE) Breckenbuck to get a free beer...and you get TWO in this sampler!
I don't recall every having a vanilla porter before and if this one is an example of other vanilla porters, I think I will really enjoy them. This beer has a really nice stout flavor to it with enough vanilla to taste it, but not enough to make it taste like you've been eating whole vanilla beans. The vanilla flavor really hits in the aftertaste. A smooth and tasty brew with a light scent with a hint of malt. Only 16 IBUs and 4.7% ABV, which was surprising. Tina really enjoyed this one and she's not much of a porter fan.
The Oatmeal Stout has got a real strong oat and malt aroma...real strong. Which is a contrast to the not-as-strong, medium body taste. A sharp taste hits on the back of your tongue with a light lingering aftertaste. The flavor of the beer is crisp and is all over the tongue. More bitter than the vanilla porter (31 IBUs) but about the same alcohol content (4.98% ABV). I still enjoyed the Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout better, but this one was good enough.
The name for this beer is clever. When Pandora opened her bock, she actually released into the world all of the Evils of Beer. Skunky beer, Bud Light Lime, Zima, Smirnoff Ice, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat...The list goes on and on. The only thing left in the Bock was the hope that microbreweries would rise up and provide humanity with alternatives to the crap that emerged from the Bock. This beer has a really spicy scent to it - you can pick up a bit of hop in the aroma, but this is not a bitter beer (only 16 IBUs). The medium body of the beer has a complexity to it, that is so complex I can't adequately describe without my head blowing up. Pandora is a bit of an intense lady anyway - her Bock is too - 7.5% ABV. Sneaky Pandora.
Well, that was a lot of blah-blah. Let's do a quick summary:
Breckenridge Vanilla Porter - Oat, malt taste with a hint of vanilla. Lower ABV and bitterness makes it a beer almost anyone can enjoy. I give this a Beer Score of 87%.
Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout - A strong smell paired with a medium taste and a light aftertaste. Ok beer, but I've had better oatmeal stouts. Beer Score - 64%.
Breckenridge Pandora's Bock - A complex brew with a spicy scent, medium body and mild, but unique taste. Beer Score - 82%.