Thursday, November 6, 2008
Beer Review: Sam Adams Holiday Porter
Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams Holiday Porter Ale
Another seasonal offering from the Sam Adams winter classics mix pack. I am very mixed about porters at times. I generally find them to be much smoother than stouts but I just don't crave them very often. I am glad they used English hops in this brew. Not only is that more authentic but to me it seems to add smoothness to dark roasted brews. The porter pours a deep black color with a caramel colored head. Lots of lacing too. Aroma is hard to describe. I want to say smooth milk chocolate but it just sounds weird. Very pleasant though.
Flavor is very surprising. While I'll admit that I haven't had more porters in my relatively short craft beer drinking career than I can count on my hand, this is one of the best. The holiday porter is extremely drinkable in a way that even great lagers aren't while still providing roasted chocolate flavors. This is a way to get the best of both worlds. I didn't expect very much from this but the quality was a nice surprise. I don't know why they don't offer this year round. The roasted flavors are primarily a creamy milk chocolate with some light coffee mixed in. There is no bitter aftertaste, which I normally expect with such a dark beer style.
This is a great porter. If you like porters you would do well to pick up the mix pack and try this out. I can't find much to improve on this besides the malt character. The chocolate flavor is there but really not as upfront or as strong as you might desire. It's light in your mouth, has some good roasted flavor, and goes down very easity with no bitter aftertaste. This is an excellently executed beer and I will certainly consider getting more of these packs just to indulge.
Final Score: 86% (Boston Does England Proud)