Pressed Tiramisu | Phase Three Brewing
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Sometimes you get tired of all the big stouts. Big alcohol that makes you groggy afterwards, sometimes too sweet, and containing too many adjuncts. That causes me to seek things out – especially after barrel-aged December – that have those stout characteristics without all the baggage. We’ve had brown ales and I’ve reviewed a baltic porter and a more traditional oatmeal stout. So why not get crazy and try Phase Three’s Pressed Tiramisu Imperial Porter?
Phase Three’s beers usually hit me as sweet. Even the hazy IPAs come off that way to me. People love them, so they’re doing something right. I approached this Pressed Tiramisu with some trepidation. While a porter, it’s a biggun at 12% and just has coffee (as far as I can tell). Other Pressed beers have contained vanilla, maple, toffee and chocolate among other things, but they all contain coffee. So there might be other things in here, but nowhere (Instagram, site, can) does it say so. Anyways, let’s get Pressed!
Pressed Tiramisu pours a dark brown to black color with a nice finger of khaki head. Really big bubbles show up and slowly pop away. After all the head leaves, it appears that some things still reside in the beer. It makes it look a little bumpy, almost like how coconut flakes sometimes look in a stout. Can says only coffee!
And yes, coffee! The coffee hits you first on the aroma followed by some sweet chocolate. You know how some breweries have a certain smell that lets you know it’s them? Phase Three has that with chocolate. Shaun Berns somehow always makes his chocolate smell like cocao powder and this Pressed Tiramisu is no exception. It’s that Nestle Quik-style cocoa powder too. Beyond those two big notes, vanilla and some nuttiness comes through.
Upon sipping, no surprises! Coffee roast and chocolate show up first, but not the sweet, cacao powder note on the nose. This veers more toward a bitter baker’s chocolate. The 12% does show up a bit on the end but not so much so that it makes it a bear to drink. The fact that it’s a porter helps out as well, as the medium carbonation and style choice helps move the beer faster across the tongue. This prevents it from becoming too thick and molasses-like. Some hints of vanilla pepper the tongue throughout the sip as well.
The style choice makes all the difference here. If it was a stout, it would’ve probably been on the too-sweet side of things for me, with the chocolate and slower moving mouthfeel cranking it up too far for me. As a porter, though, the bitterness of the chocolate cuts the sweetness just perfectly while the coffee roast lends a hand. It getting out of the way faster also causes you to finish it a bit quicker than normal.
Due to that bitterness, Pressed Tiramisu also makes an exquisite dessert pairing beer. Too often beers paired with dessert are assertive and flavorful in their own right, sometimes overpowering the dessert they’re paired with. Not here. That bitterness allows for whatever dessert you’re having to shine, while still also complementing it with some roast and chocolate. (Seems like I’m partial to this, but a cheesecake with some fruit compote would be *chef’s kiss*.)
While I have not had the range of Phase Three beers others have, this might be my favorite beer from them. A full mouthfeel that moves quick, nice roast and bitter chocolate character, and sweetness kept in check. Only downside? Watch out standing up after finishing the entire 16 ounces of this 12% ABV beer. That first step is a doozy.
Phase Three beers, including Pressed Tiramisu, area available through both their website and beer retailers. But act quick as most releases typically sell out quickly.