Winter Beer-Off 3: Snowmagedon

We had an unexpected (but not entirely unwanted) burst of cold weather out here on the West Coast so I thought I would sample a couple more winter beers in honour of this dip in temperature and increase in white stuff. This time around I am trying Belly the Mountain from Upright Brewing described as “A regular picturesque postcardy old ale”, and Winter Hum Bug’r from MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. described as “A deceptively dark holiday ale” and “A rich holiday porter.” This is my first beer from Portland’s MacTarnahan’s Brewing Co. so I am curious to see what this brewer is like –price is certainly right barely breaking the three dollar mark for a 650ml!

Belly the Mountain: Great label depicting a night scene of the city ringed with mountains. This seasonal ale pours a deep reddish brown with lots of thick   head. It is very sedimenty; even with gentle pouring the glass took some time to settle. There is sweet malts on the nose. Medium bodied, rich malt taste in the mouth and a burnt finish. The finish does not linger as much as I would have hoped. Mellows really well as it warms to room temperature becoming even sweeter. Nice strength that really meets that winter warmer criteria of warming you up from the inside out.

Winter Hum Bug’r: Fun beer name but I am not really feeling the cartoonish label design. The porter pours deep black with good clarity. There is a ton of heavy mocha coloured head that lingers for quite a while eventually developing into some nice lacing on the glass.  There is a fruity element to the nose that I can’t quite place. The porter is light in body, clean to drink with a distinctive coffee taste in both the mouthfeel and finish. The finish has a bitter burnt quality. The coffee taste is a little overpowering for me since there is not much in the way of competing flavours to balance it out. Kind of an average porter for me.

The Winner? I have to give this one to Belly the Mountain from Upright Brewing.


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