Ah, more notes from the Samuel Adams seasonal gift pack; this time it’s their Holiday Porter. With a name like that, you expect something spicy and rich and perhaps fruity, but that’s not the case here—they’ve brewed up a solid, drinkable porter without any foofah and fanfare. At 5.9% alcohol by volume, it’s almost a session beer, and just about right for the style.
Appearance: Chocolate tan head. Dark brown, like coffee, opaque-ish with red highlights.
Smell: Coffee, roasted grain, bitter (black) malt, slightly smoky.
Taste: Nice—roasted, dark, rich. Slightly astringent (dry). Burnt coffee.
Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy, with a slight puckering astringency. Lighter than expected.
Overall: Despite the brevity of my notes, I enjoyed it. It’s a well-crafted example of the style; I wouldn’t mind seeing it year-round, actually.
On BeerAdvocate, it scores 86 out of 100, with 97% approval from reviewers. On RateBeer, it scores 3.35 out of 5, in their 73rd percentile.