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Fort George Brewery | Matryoshka

Fort George Brewery | Matryoshka
Hannah Carlson

It’s not every day that you get to taste a truly marvelous beer – a beer that defies expectations across flavor, aroma, body; that leaves you “oohing and ahhing” at every sip. Personally, when this happens to me, I feel the need to share it, to sing its praises. I send texts, take notes and, as demonstrated with this post, divulge all the details here on PorchDrinking. The Matryoshka, from Fort George Brewery, is such a brew – and is perhaps one of the best beers that I’ve been able to get my hands on this year.

It’s no surprise that the Matryoshka hits a homerun, as its maker is an absolute staple of the Northwest beer scene. Fort George Brewery – which site sits royally atop a hill in Astoria, Oregon, their taproom overlooking the Columbia River- consistently puts out beers that ooze attention to detail, innovation, creativity. Though they are best known for their IPAs, Fort George has begun to break through and emerge as a leader within the dark beer space, and even plays host to Festival of the Dark Arts, an event devoted to dark beer, in February.

The Matryoshka is an exemplification of Fort George’s emergence in the dark beer. Named after those cartoonish Russian nesting dolls, its name is also is a fitting representation of the depth, the layers, that the beer unveils. The beer’s complexity, flavors, aromas are harmoniously nestles within one another. Many of the beer’s characteristics also only emerges as the bolder features that precede it open up and are carefully set aside. It’s only at the end of the glass that one can ogle at the journey – and clearly see all of its parts lined up in a perfectly crafted, meticulously detailed row. It’s a masterpiece.

And it all starts at first sniff. Let your senses begin to heighten when you stick your nose into the glass. The aroma of the Matryoshka oozes of malt, dark fruits – like plum, fig – and coconut.

The second Matroyshka reveals the brew’s mouthfeel. Take a sip of the beer and let the tiny bubbles dance across your tongue. The body itself is delightfully light.

Once that mouthfeel opens up, and fades away, the following atryoshka dolls emerge like magic. The melody of flavors make their appearances gracefully and swiftly; bold coconut, savory malt, sweet vanilla, and rich hints of plum.

Though the Matryoshka’s coconut flavor is at the forefront, it’s absolutely balanced, and by no means overpowering. Vanilla flavors play the supporting actress to the coconut, very much standing alone in and of itself; but it also enhances the lead, the star of the show, as every good supporting actress does.

Despite the beer being extremely complex, the body continues to be wonderfully effervescent. A refreshing crisp finish accompanies every sip you take.

Yes, it’s not every day that you get to taste a truly marvelous beer. When you do, you have to admire it. And just like those little Russian dolls, a great beer should have flavors and aromas that nestle beautifully within one another. They fit together like they were meticulously crafted to do so. It’s a little bit art, it’s a little bit craft, a little bit culture, but a whole lot of delicious.

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