Upon pouring, Avery Brewing’s Coconut Porter reveals itself in a clear, deep cola hue, resembling a jet black elixir in the glass. The formation and retention of its medium-sized, tan head are commendable. However, the visual appeal is only a prelude to the complex experience that follows.


The assertive aroma initiates with starchy sweetness, reminiscent of Twizzlers, eventually transitioning to glimpses of higher alcohols and a hint of Malibu rum. This aromatic journey sets expectations for a multifaceted sensory encounter, which unfortunately takes an unexpected turn.


The initial bitterness on the palate, possibly stemming from barrel-induced oxidation, sets the tone for a perplexing flavor profile. A flabby mid-palate and an anesthetic finish leave a disconcerting impression. Disappointingly, the coconut character, promised in the product description, is barely discernible. As the beer warms, a marginal improvement occurs, unveiling dominant notes of milk chocolate and dark rum. Despite this, the thin body and pronounced booziness redefine the drinking experience.


The body of the Coconut Porter, although thinned out and boozy, exhibits a certain appeal as the beer warms. It transforms into a slow sipper, showcasing the dominant flavors of dark rum and becoming more palatable. While this may enhance the sipping experience for some, it doesn’t entirely redeem the earlier shortcomings.


In the grand scheme, the Coconut Porter falls short of delivering a well-balanced imperial porter experience. The low presence of coconut character and the overpowering influence of bourbon result in a beer that leans more towards a liquor-like beverage than a bourbon barrel-aged imperial porter. The lack of a substantial base beer diminishes its appeal, relegating it to the realm of a divisive drink within tasting circles. While personal preferences may vary, my impression leans towards a less favorable stance, emphasizing the need for a discerning palate to fully appreciate this offering from Avery Brewing.