As happy as I have been with the beer that Bull Jagger has been putting out, I’ve been a little lax about keeping up with their beer and writing it up. I was lucky enough to be one of the first bloggers to write about Portland Lager, and very recently I did a post about Dirigo Crimson Lager for the Portland Press Herald. If you’re not familiar with those two, I think you’re missing two really solid parts of the craft beer scene in New England.

However, since it was originally released, I’ve also been a fan of the darker side of Bull Jagger – the Number 19 Baltic Porter.

This pours a dark, dark brown and smells like deep plums, a great depth of malt roastiness and a tiny bit of sweetness. Every time I have this beer, I pour it into a glass and am surprised – again – by the wonderful smell that it exudes. It doesn’t have much head, and I know that’s not how I washed my glass, but I think that the aromatics more than make up for what should only be a thin head to begin with.

The taste is molasses, dark fruit and even some dark chocolate and coffee notes in there. It is interesting from start to finish, bringing a balance of the bitter side and the sweet side to each sip. If it were not as roasty, I don’t think it would be as strong, but that roasty taste just seems to bring the entire beer together.

What makes this beer – what makes it stand out over others – is the mouthfeel. I find myself often disappointed by the thin-ness of some porters, and it always makes me want just a little bit more – just a little more depth, a little more character. When I taste this, though, I’m not left wanting one bit.