Second Chance Tabula Rasa

Second Chance Beer Company - Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter

Brewed by: Second Chance Beer Company

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Porter
  • Variation: American
  • Seasonal: No
  • ABV: 6.2%
  • IBU: 33

Notes: Canned for the first time in 2016.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Toasted oats lend a nutty note and smoothness. Deep roasted malt flavors, with grains reminiscent of dark chocolate and espresso.

Hops: N/A

Malts: N/A

Additional: Toasted oats

More Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Follows the Second Chance brand label template, using black background with silver and electric blue font.

Color: Jet black.

Aroma: All cocoa with a hint of booze.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 16oz. Can

Served in: Stemless Wine Glass

Well, we finally found it… We’ve been on the lookout for a quality year-round, locally brewed and distributed, bold and delicious porter for quite some time now. Second Chance Beer Company’s Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter was the answer, and it will be our go-to for the style from now on.

Second Chance’s porter being a standout shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise though. Co-owner and head brewer Marty Mendiola has received countless accolades for his dark ales during his 15 year stint brewing for Rock Bottom La Jolla.

Marty’s new venture, Second Chance Beer Company opened in September of 2015 and it didn’t take them long to start canning their core beers. First up was their flagship ale, Seize the IPA in late March, followed by Tabula Rasa one month later. We had never tried the porter, and grabbing a 4pk turned out to be a very wise decision.

Tabula Rasa poured a jet black color, with a moderately sized cream colored head. Its frothy covering melted fairly quick, and revealed the beer’s chocolaty notes. There was a slight booziness to its aroma, but also smelled like a scoop of cocoa powder being held under our noses.

Some porters can be on the watery side, but Tabula Rasa had a medium-plus body with a soft and creamy mouthfeel. Besides its flavors, or how effortlessly it vanished off our palates after each sip, its smoothness was one of this ale’s best features.

Tabula Rasa offered up an amazing assortment of dark roasted and chocolaty flavors, with toasted notes up front. In the finish, it was hard to decide which direction it tipped more: cocoa or smoked malts. You can’t go wrong either way, but as the finish dried out it seemed more smokey with some sweetness and coconut underneath.

Second Chance Beer Company self-distributes their canned beer line-up. Grab cans to go from the brewery in Rancho Bernardo, or find them around San Diego at locations like Brothers Provisions, Falcon Liquor, and SD Wine Co.

Final Score: 4/5

4 Stars

Translated in English Tabula Rasa means “blank slate”, but this beer should actually be used as the mold to brew all porters going forward. This ale was satisfying, with a great balance of dark roast and chocolate. Now we need to get back over to the brewery for the coconut variant.

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