Portland’s MacTarnahan’s holiday offering is Hum Bug’r: an easy-drinking Porter wrapped up in packaging reminiscent of something you’d see in an indie graphic novel. The “hum bug” part of the name naturally makes you think of Ebenezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol—though MacTarnahan’s has someone else in mind:
You know he’s arrived. Wheeling through the party, being too loud, crowding the buffet, lurking under the mistletoe and spilling cheer. He’s a lot like this beer. Its dark malt body and rich roasted flavor will unravel your ribbons and leave you wanting more. Too bad it only comes once a year. Good thing is there’s plenty more where it came from.
MacTarnahan’s makes good (if slightly boring) beers, though one thing that stands out is that they are super clean and polished.
Appearance: Opaque dark brown with coffee-tan head, nicely frothy.
Smell: Roasty coffee notes, a bit of sweet cocoa malts. Some milk chocolate?
Taste: Porter with a touch of roast, a touch of spiciness (hints of cinnamon or cardamom), with a clean dark profile.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full, with bitterish aftertaste from roasted malts, very clean.
Overall: Decent porter, nice and sessionable.