Santa's Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (2016)
Port Brewing Company
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A Note on This Beer
As a beer geek, there’s one thing I always plan ahead for, and that’s digging through the cellar for a beer gift that will really impress. Obviously, I can only pull that off if I have a stash of brews that have been aged to smooth perfection.
So we’ve put together a box for those that not only like their beer silky smooth, but also love a little spice in their life — not just around the holidays, but all year ‘round. Our tasting team hand-picked these brews for their ability to wow the crowd at any occasion. Each one is sweet enough to replace your favorite birthday dessert, but none of them are too sweet — they’d all hit-the-spot on a sunny park picnic.
Today’s box of memorable beer gifts includes:
Port Brewing’s 2016 Barrel Aged Santa's Helper - Yes 2016, that isn’t a typo. This is one of the most exciting brews in our cellar because every time we sample it, the flavors seem to get richer.
Three years ago it was like drinking a Bourbon-spiked spice mocha. Two years ago it tasted like a bittersweet hot chocolate-infused Irish coffee. And sipping it now you get all of that vanilla caramel smoothed to silk with absolutely no boozy heat getting in the way of the subtly sweet flavors and marshmallow finish.
It’s no surprise both Paste and Draft Mag call it out as one of the best of its style.
Hoppin’ Frog’s 2018 Whiskey Barrel Aged Frosted Frog - Ranked in BA’s Top 100 in the World for its style, this whiskey-kissed gingerbread cookie of a brew is just too damn delicious to wait all year for.
With an assertive spice profile of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, Frosted Frog is the ideal beer to sip while baking cinnamon rolls or just chillin’ on the porch on a lazy Sunday. Its spiced aromas swirl through the air, mingling with the already intoxicating scents of the kitchen. It has a candied orange peel and vanilla finish that’s great with the gingerbread-like malts in the body. And its 8.6% ABV will give your cheeks a rosy glow.
Monkless’ 2018 Friar’s Festivus - This beer won a Gold Medal at the Oregon Beer Awards. And it was the first time the brewery had ever entered a beer competition!
Brewed with spices like Mace and Cardamom, Friar’s Festivus is a light, vibrant, and dry take on the traditional caramelized Quad flavors. The use of two different yeast strains, Belgian and Witbier, inspires a delightfully nuanced interplay of piquant and plummy. The inclusion of candy sugar creates a soft flavor of dates that melts into a 10.2% ABV warmth.
Thanks in large part to trying Friar’s Festivus, Thrillist voted Monkless the Best Brewery in Oregon.
Here’s a piece of advice, though: this is your fleeting chance to stock up on the latest batch; otherwise you’ll be stuck scrambling when the actual winter holidays hit. And we all know how difficult it is to actually plan ahead.
Port 2016 Santa’s Little Helper is rated 4.26 on Untappd
Hoppin’ Frog’s 2018 Whiskey Barrel Aged Frosted Frog is rated 4.11 on Untappd