Saturday, December 17, 2011

Beer Review: Santa's Little Helper

Reviewing Santa's Little Helper from Port Brewing Company.
Score: 88

2011 vintage bottle poured in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with two fingers of creamy mocha-colored head that slowly settles into a half finger. Excellent lacing. 5/5

Smell: Creamy unsweetened chocolate, some roasted/burnt chocolate and a little booziness. Some figs and dark fruits. Faint anise? Touch of toffee, hints of coffee. 3.5/5

Taste: Prominently burnt, bitter dark chocolate in the front and finish. Some black coffee bitterness. Dark cherries in the middle. Hints of roasted brown sugar and a touch of licorice too. You could have fooled me if you told me this brew was 10% ABV, though a little booziness comes out of the wood works as the beer approaches room temperature (though not enough to signal "hey, this is 10%!"). 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Finishes dry and bitter. 4/5

Overall: A very solid Russian Imperial Stout. Nothing groundbreaking for the style, but a combination of appealing flavors, a well-masked high ABV, and relatively low-cost, this is a beer worth grabbing if you have the opportunity.

Recommendation: Recommend to casual beer drinkers and beer geeks alike.

Pairings: Warm chocolate cake and/or a cup of coffee.

Cost: $8.49 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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