Brewer: The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Co. (Philippines)
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (Base Style: Baltic Porter)
Review Year: 2021
Cold brew coffee concentrate purveyors, Cycle Philippines, once again, teamed up with Tony Sindayen of The Marc’s & Tony Brewing Co. for Crossfade–a Baltic Porter made with cold brew coffee.
This beer is being evaluated as a Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (30A) with the Baltic Porter (9C) as the base style in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Opaque ruby brown with a thin brown head. The aroma was initially of dark fruits, but closer, earthy-spicy coffee surfaced alongside hints of roastiness and molasses. Full-bodied; medium-high carbonation. Similar to the aroma, the flavor profile was mainly of dark fruits (raisins and plum) with notable tartness. Secondary flavors included light earthiness and roasty malt with medium bitterness akin to dark roast coffee. Fermentation character felt clean, but it was difficult to pinpoint this given the dark fruit esters and the coffee addition. Dark fruits remained as aftertaste; sticky.
Overall, Crossfade is a seemingly clean Baltic Porter with notable dark fruit and earthy-coffee characteristics. For some, this coffee Baltic Porter may be slightly tarty or winey, which is not typical in a classic Baltic Porter (with no coffee addition). We have separately tried the cold brew concentrate of Cycle Philippines and we think the earthiness and tartness noted in the beer are attributed largely to the coffee.
On its own, Crossfade, in our opinion, is a fundamentally well-crafted Baltic Porter that showcased a clean fermentation character due to the lager yeast. While it’s a full-bodied dark beer, the roastiness is restrained relative to that of an Imperial Stout. Very good, but the tartness could still be tempered for a much more flavor-balanced beer. Enjoy during breakfast with pancakes and maple syrup or late in the evening as a nightcap.
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