Three weeks ago I got my first Christmas present. A little early perhaps, but a gift it was. Mr. Sam Adams decided to allow me to purchase his 24 bottle Holiday Sampler pack for $20.99. For less than $1 a bottle, I stocked my fridge for at least, well, a week or two.

So today, with the first Chicago snow still gently falling outside my window, Jessica Simpson (I know) belting out something about decking the halls and my wife joyfully wrapping gifts, I decided it was time to open my present and see just how generous ol’ Sammy had been.

The porter was a deep mahogany, with its core even darker, but not quite black. A nice, tan, frothy head formed and blurred my pint glass like snow on a windshield. The scent was simple, but pleasant, like a cheerful child. Maltiness presided, with wisps of sweetness, brown sugar and slight chocolate. The taste again is malt forward with a sting of sour and a bit of dark-chocolate-bitter on the finish. Its not chewy, but the mouthfeel is solid, more so than many porters I’ve sampled, and lingers in a good way.

Thank you, Mr. Adams, and Merry Christmas.