Friday, December 25, 2009

The 12 Beers of Christmas: Day 1
Santa's Little Helper

In all of holiday beerdom - through the spicy, the dark and the not-quite-either - there is one beer that seems to crash down the chimney with more ferocity than any other of the season. And that beer is Port Brewing's 13-year-old tradition, Santa's Little Helper.

The 10% ABV imperial stout is steeped in both dark, roasty malt and in harrowingly bitter aftertaste hops that sing of its strength. Pouring as thick as the motor oil in the fat bearded guy's sleigh, this presents an alcohol flavor that is certainly present but also is masked somewhat by the prominent chocolate and peat tastes.

Yet, through all this darkness, you keep coming back to the hops, the lingering characteristic under all of the burly, chewy taste that gives it its outstanding foundation and ridiculously loud flavor. It is wildly satisfying, like a brilliantly written subplot to an already top-notch movie, and it works in concert with the rest of Santa's Little Helper's personality to create the biggest burst of flavor to come along in winter beers.

I hope you've enjoyed these past 12 days. I know that I sure have. Merry Christmas.

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