Beer of the Week: Ass Kisser Porter Pounder

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Name: Ass Kisser Porter Pounder
Product Of: Ass Kisser Beverage Co., San Jose, Calif.
Serving Style: chilled bottle
Size: 12 fluid ounces

It’s no longer an oddity to find beers with ostentatious brand names in your local cooler. Gaudy names based on innuendos or curse words gamble on grabbing consumers’ attention, no easy task in the mature, saturated beer market.

As far as marketing techniques go, the Ass Kisser Porter Pounder is as atypical as possible. The Porter Pounder comes in a purple four-pack, the label sports a donkey with lip prints on its buttocks, and a slogan that suggests the beer is perfect for consumers to bribe their bosses.

Good marketing may do enough to encourage product trials, but does the beer itself merit a repeat purchase?

Smell: The beer’s aroma is rather strong; spices, coffee, and mocha are dominant at first whiff. Hints of dark fruits, including raisin and some type of wild berries, can be detected on deep inhalation. All together, the smell is powerful enough to attract attention but wanting in variety to the point of being a bit boring. 3.2/5

Appearance: The Porter Pounder pours almost ink black into the glass, where it supports a dark khaki head that holds decently with minimal lacing. The opaque and lightly carbonated body doesn’t do much to dazzle the eyes. 2.3/5

Taste: The texture  was smoother than I expected, given the appearance of the body, although the flavor was lacking. Bitter chocolate, coffee, mocha, and roasted grains hit the taste buds in a delayed strike, followed by undertones of smoke that fade to an astringent metallic aftertaste that I didn’t care for. 2/5

If any Ass Kisser beers catch your eye in the beer cooler, I recommend that you note the cleverness of the marketing tactics at work, acknowledge the perverse affinity we have for brand names that are edgy or inappropriate, and instead select a beer from a more experienced brewer.

Sometimes, supporting new, family-owned breweries is a good practice to encourage beer variety, but in the case of Ass Kisser’s Porter Pounder, support seems to encourage skillful marketing rather than expert brewing techniques. My parting advice: If you want to butter up your boss, pick a better beer. Overall: 7.5/15

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