Parrot in a Palm Tree (Karl Strauss Brewery)

CHRISTMAS IN JULY Beer #2: PARROT IN A PALM TREE

My roommate was singing the praises of this beer ever since he had it back in December. In February I happened to stumble upon a bottle sitting on the shelf at Bevmo (the last one I might add), so I knew I had to either pick it up now or wait another 10 months to try it. You’ll never guess what I decided to do. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a Baltic Porter with 35 IBUs and an 8.5% ABV. This is the first beer in Karl Strauss’s “Twelve Days of Christmas San Diego Style” series and was released in November of 2010.

In San Diego, we’re not known for our partridges or pears but we can all relate to those noisy parrots and their relentless “caroling”. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny Port barrels, the resulting brew isn’t for the birds. This winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle as this limited release will age with the best of them.

Parrot in a Palm Tree pours a deep brown with ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. The head starts as a khaki color that fades to a ring of foam that follows the beer to the bottom of the glass.

The nose starts off rather typical before a few uniques scents come flying in. Dark chocolate and brandy start off in the forefront; before making way for hints of malted milk balls and raw cookie dough. This is one of the best noses I’ve smelled on a porter in a while.

And just to make things even odder a completely new flavor takes control of the taste. Toasted coconuts come through big in the taste of this beer with dark chocolate pleasantly noticeable. The malted milk balls come through in the end, with a faint hint of port that reminds you of the 8.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel is lighter than one would expect from this style. What isn’t surprising is the drying and stickiness that appears as the beer finishes.

This was a tasty Baltic Porter. The toasted coconut and port flavors separate it from other beers in the style. I would not be upset in the slightest if Karl Strauss decided to add Parrot in a Palm Tree to their regular rotation.

Overall: 7 out of 10

As a BALTIC PORTER: 8 out of 10

FOR FANS OF: Baltika Breweries BALTIKA #6, Smuttynose BALTIC PORTER, Surly SMOKE

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