Presents and Porters

"A pint of plain is your only man"
- Flann O'Brien

Today, Christmas Eve, I decided to go out shopping for last minute Christmas presents and swing past the local beverage purveyor. I thought a festive spin on the time-honored tradition of drinking whilst wrapping presents would be to build a six pack of porters to taste. Somehow I only ended up with four porters and two other seasonal types.

Here is the list (and some thoughts):

Anchor Brewing Co., Anchor Porter:
A very good beer from an excellent brewery. Initiates with a cocoa and malty flavor that quickly gives way to a bitter, spicy finish. Buy it again? Yes, mainly to feel cool and support this San Frannie brewery.

Rogue Ales Brewery, Mocha Porter:
Tasty quencher that looks dark and tastes even darker. Starts smooth but very quickly transitions to a bittersweet taste similar to a 70% cocoa bar. Aftertaste is much the same as the aftertaste of a double shot of espresso. Esspresso and bittersweet chocolate, theres really almost nothing better than those. Buy it again? Even though I enjoyed it, probably not because Rogue makes so many other delicious options I'd choose first (I'm looking at you Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar).

The Boston Beer Co., Holiday Porter:
We all know Samuel Adams and most of us love their brewing prowess. This Holiday Porter is a tasty beast and sweeter than the aforementioned porters. Starts out big and malty, nearly a stout of sorts, but it gives way to a bitter flavor that lingers for several minutes. Tasty? Yes. Buy it again? Yes, I am a Samuel Adams fan.

Bell's Brewery Inc., Porter:
Oddly, I feel this is the least offensive porter I've tried in terms of bitterness. The initial tasting of this porter is smokey and sweet, maybe even a bit smokier than others so far today. The malt flavor is big enough that it never really gives way to the residual hopiness that can bring the hard bitterness of other porters. Ultimately, this porter ends up being a bit too sweet for the porter category and some may say it shares resemblance to a flat cola. I wouldn't go that far. Buy it again? Yeah, but wouldn't seek it out. And much like Rogue, I like other offerings from the company more (ahem, Bell's Two-Hearted).

So there you have it, a new post about Porters and very little about presents. Happy Holidays to everyone who may read this and hopefully the new year will bring many new posts and new brew concoctions.