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Richard Wong's picture

95 Rating: Santa's Little Helper by Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey

January, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This Imperial Stout (BJCP style #20C) poured liquid black in the glass with an accompanying creamy tan head. A very nice foam stand of small, tight bubbles remained for a while after the pour. The aroma was straightforward roasty and smoky (think chocolate and coffee notes) with little to no hop elements. The flavor was a nicely balanced malt and hop profile that again had very distinctive roasted elements that tasted like chocolate and coffee balanced with lots of malt. The bittering hops played well in the background providing a supporting role in this beer. 

The beer was medium/heavy in body and mouthfeel and it was very creamy in the palate. The carbonation level was about medium and provided just enough body. The aftertaste of this beer was very smooth and had a very nice subtle warm 'burn' due to the fact that this is an Imperial Stout weighing in at a powerhouse 9.9 percent ABV. This is a wonderfully made beer that hit all the right marks for the style. It had nice roastiness and bittering that was well balanced and it certainly was big and alcoholic -- implying that this indeed is an Imperial Stout.  A nice tipple of this near a hearth will certainly warm things up in the record-breaking cold of this winter season.