This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

State #5: New Hampshire

Beer: Robust Porter

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

ABV: 5.7%

Dark and tasty. The head pours a nice orange color, which the label (unintentionally?) evokes.
While it’s warm and sunny here in San Diego right now, earlier this winter, when the weather was dreary, I found myself on a big-time porter kick. After all, nothing goes better with gray, rainy days than dark, thick beer. While back home in Connecticut I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some Robust Porter by New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing Company.
Well hi there, little fella! I tried to see if the harbor seal on the bottle cap could "swim" on the head of the beer, but he "drowned" before I could take a picture.
Smuttynose, in Portsmouth, is a good, clean brewery with a dirty sounding name. The brewery takes its name for Smuttynose Island, off the New Hamsphire coast, which is actually part of the state of Maine. Even though I think of the White Mountains when I think of New Hampshire, this beer has quite the nautical theme to it, as Portsmouth is found on New Hampshire’s 18-mile long coastline. There is a little baby seal on the bottle cap, and the porter style is so named because it was favored by “porters” in Victorian England: big, strong guys you could hire to carry a load of goods from the docks to your warehouse.

Porters are strongmen who can carry your load of spices, rum, or tobacco from the docks to your warehouse. This guy is instead porting a barrel of something and a circus girl. You figure it out, because I'm stumped.
Perhaps naming the beer Robust Porter was a bit redundant, as the style is meant to be thick, dark, and richly flavored. This is a very good representative of the style, however, with lots of coffee and chocolate flavor present, and a nice, thick head. The head was so thick that I tried to put a bottle cap on it to see if it would float. It didn't, and I had to fish it out of the bottom of my glass; a minor inconvenience for a very tasty beverage.  New England winters would certainly be a lot more tolerable with more of this stuff around.

Here's what the real Smuttynose Island looks like, thanks to Panoramio user Scott Finley. Looks like a nice day for a dark beer.

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