Sam Adams Holiday Porter – 5.8% ABV –

A good hearty winter beer, this one is built for the hard worker in need of a satisfying drink at the end of the day. Loaded up with Caramel, Munich and Chocolate Malts; its color is dark brown, almost black. If you were to hold it up to the light, you can almost see traces of deep ruby and an almost raisin-like color in the shallowest areas. It leaves plenty of soapy lacing around the glass as you take each pull, but leaves a bigger imprint on your stomach, slowly filling you and keeping you nice and warm. The lacing fades into obscurity eventually, but your stomach is never in doubt about the warming effect this brew has on it.

When poured, it sported a nice thick tan/light brown head, but that head disappeared quickly, leaving on a thin cream ring around the edge of the tulip glass. There was a faint trace of head floating at the top, like a bit of seaweed would look at the surface of the ocean. The smell you get from each whiff is nice and nutty, maybe a little hint of caramel in there as well. I could also conjure up thoughts of a loaf of wheat bread or maybe pumpernickel being baked in front of me. Bready aroma prevailed.

When it came time to see what my taste buds thought, I was more than happy to oblige. Each taste brought more of the same, nicely balanced chocolate, roasted and caramel malts coming together in unison. This gave me that roasted malt, chocolate and coffee mix, with an ever so slight hop bitterness at the end, keeping it respectably crisp and not too creamy. The mouthfeel had a nice smooth texture, almost velvety.

So, was this one a winner? I’d say it could hold its own. It may be a little light in the body to be ranked highly among its brethren in the porter category, but that’s not to say it isn’t an enjoyable brew. I like this one, even if it doesn’t exactly make me “fat and happy” at the end. A solid effort by Sam Adams…


Samuel Adams Holiday Porter