The Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus is located in Downtown Columbus, OH, and is the original site of the Bott Brother’s Billiards and Gentlemen’s Saloon. The building was originally opened in the late 19th century and flourished until prohibition in the 1920′s. Today, the old saloon houses Elevator’s restaurant and bar, while their full-scale brewery is located a couple blocks away. Elevator is one of my favorite local brewers, and Horny Goat is one of their limited release offerings; a porter aged in oak whiskey barrels. This year’s batch was just released a few days ago and I quickly snatched up a 4-pack for around $10. This is my first go-around with this particular brew and I’m really excited to try it out.
This beer a very dark brown, almost black color with very little head. My pour managed less than a finger, and retention and lacing were not much better. A small ring of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass on the top layer of beer is the only evidence of any carbonation.
The nose is strong with whiskey and there is no mistaking that this beer has been aged in whiskey barrels. Dark chocolate malts and molasses aromas are plentiful, and there is a smoked wood scent as well. There is also a nice layer of roasted coffee. Finally, there is a hint of vanilla and some dark fruits, perhaps raises. I give a thumbs-up to the aroma, but I will say the whiskey is very forward.
Similar to the aroma, the whiskey flavor is very forward and hits the pallet immediately. I would have liked it to be a bit more subtle, but it’s not bad. Dark malt flavors are very prominent in this porter, particularly chocolate and, to a lesser extent, coffee. There is a little bit of vanilla sweetness in the flavor and just the slightest hint of raisin fruitiness that I detected in the aroma. There is an odd flavor near the finish that I best described a cola-like flavor. The beer finishes with a very light hops flavor and a moderate amount of alcohol burn from the whiskey.
Horny Goat is a medium-bodied porter with light-to-medium carbonation. It has a creamy mouthfeel and is quite smooth. This is my first experience with Horny Goat and I was expecting it to be a little heavier than it is and this is somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this beer.
While Elevator Horny Goat doesn’t quite stack up to other limited release, barrel-aged beers that I’ve had (especially Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged BORIS Imperial Oatmeal Stout), I like it a lot and it is certainly worth another drink. Also, the fact that it comes from a local brewery makes it an easy choice for me. If you live in Columbus, or in Elevator’s distribution area, give this beer a shot and let me know what you think. Cheers!