Samual Adams Holiday Porter is a full-flavored porter inspired by the famous drink of London's Victorian Era luggage porters. Brewed with generous portions of Caramel, Munich, and Chocolate Malt, this hearty porter finishes with traditional English Fuggles and East Kent Goldings.Well, that all sounds real fancy (fuggles and goldings are hops, by the way), but I have to question what is really going on here. While this is only my 24th porter since I started listing beers, I have an idea of what they should taste like and this just doesn't cut it.
After pouring, the color suggested that deep brown color akin to Coca-cola. The head was barely there and a moderate tan color. Fully expecting a roasted caramel-malty sort of aroma, I curled my nose up after my first inhalation. Ugh. Totally wrong in every sense. What did it smell like? I can't be sure. But "bad" certainly describes it, I think. On the palate, the carbonation was a bit higher than I would have expected. I find this puzzling as I think the head should have reflected this. High carbonation, but low head? Go figure. On the other hand, the creamy feel was very refreshing, but still not as much as I would have liked. The finish was very lackluster. At no point did I come away thinking "Wow, this is a great porter." In fact, at times, I struggled to accept the idea it was a porter in the first place.
This is my 17th beer from the Boston Brewing Company. Given their other superb beers, this was certainly a disappointment. Knowing I sometimes suggest I can score a beer higher when I am in a good mood, I can't do that here. 2 out of 5 tops (assuming this was healthy bottle; I can't rule out that it was infected/skunky bottle). With that thought, I re-wrote the label:
Samual Adams Holiday Porter is a weakly-flavored porter inspired by the famous drink of London's Victorian Era grave diggers. Brewed with generous portions of muds and malts, this sub-par porter finishes with weak tastes and will leave you fuggled.