Beer: Robust Porter
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
|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.|