Still More Beer Blogging!
So if you pay attention to strange news stories, you may have heard about the strange case of Santa's Butt Winter Porter. Short story: it's been banned by the Maine state liquor agency because, since it has Santa on the label, it might be attractive to kids. It's also possible that they object to the word "butt", which refers to the barrel (called a butt by brewers) on which Santa sits in the label art but has a more obvious connotation.
Whatever the reason, this ruling is really stupid. In what store can a young kid pick up a beer, open it and drink enough of it to be dangerous without an adult seeing it? Anyway, when I saw a bottle of this in my local liquor store, I knew I had to have it. And this afternoon, I decided I had to drink it.
The pour promises a rich, flavorful beer. It's a deep brown as it comes out of the bottle; if you hold it up to the light you can maybe see some amber, but it pretty much just looks really dark. There's not much head to speak of. The aroma is roasted and spicy, as expected for a winter porter.
The first thing that surprised me about drinking this beer was that I only got the smallest hint of carbonation. It almost feels flat in the mouth, a feeling that's compounded by the slightly sweet first impression. I think what mostly surprised me is that it doesn't really drink like a porter. It kind of reminds me of a black lager or a really dark winter lager. The aftertaste sticks around for a long time, and tastes like a mildly spiced ale more than anything else. It's kind of confusing me, but the Santa's Butt Winter Porter is interesting and enjoyable. It's very mild for a porter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Rating: 5/10. Recommended for fans of darker lagers and non-bitter ales, even if you normally wouldn't buy a porter. I don't know if I'd go out of my way to buy this one again, but it's an OK beer and the label kicks ass.