Bridgeport Dark Rain
(Black Pale Ale)
W '12 Dark Saison
As a final farewell to the dark days of winter, here is a battle featuring two beers with "dark" in their name. Let's all raise a glass to daylight savings. As far as we're concerned the loss of one hour of sleep is well worth it for some light in the evenings so we can grill without wearing a headlamp.
As expected, these beers were completely different. Really the only thing they share is an attempt to be dark in color. Both achieved this admirably with the Widmer showing off a reddish brown color and the Bridgeport looking a bit darker with none of the red. In the aroma they both went their separate ways, the Widmer revealing a typical Belgian yeast character (banana, clove, bread) while the Bridgeport focused on piny, spicy hops with some cedar and soap notes as well. In the flavor the Widmer asserted itself as the front runner with a sweet, dark maltiness complementing the Belgian yeast flavors. The Bridgeport, on the other hand, was a bitter beast. Sharp and clean with a harshly bitter, soapy, cedary finish. Seemed to us like the bitterness overwhelmed the chocolate malts.
Both of these beers hail from breweries that are mainstays in the Portland beer scene with a reputation for solid year-round beers and intriguing seasonal offerings. As of late, however, we have enjoyed more of the Widmer stuff. As a matter of fact, I just went and looked at the Bottle Battle archives and found that of 5 battles featuring Bridgeport (this being the fifth) they have lost all of them except one which was a split decision. Could just be bad scheduling on our part, but that's a rough record.
Winner by Unanimous Decision: Widmer W '12