2013 Vintage Oak Barrel Aged Santa’s Little Helper by Port Brewing is a 12% ABV Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.
Everyone knows that Santa delivers toys and gifts to little girls and boys each Christmas Eve. But what does he do with the sleigh the other 364 days a year? Well rumor has it he hitches up the reindeer each July testing driving to ensure it’s still in operating condition. At the North Pole they mark their calendars calling it Christmas in July.
How do we know that? Well, Virginia, each year Santa stops by Port Brewing to load up his sleigh with beer for his return trip to the North Pole. He’s a big fan of Santa’s Little Helper, and for the last nine months our brewers have been extra naughty aging some in bourbon barrels. Hopefully Santa won’t drink it all by himself, but we wouldn’t blame him if he did.
Aged for 3 years, this beer has been a staple and a favorite of mind since I first started trying different craft beers and one of the ones that really started getting me into trying different barrel aged beers. They stopped making this beer for a while but was recently released once again but in smaller bottles. So to my surprise, I was able to find this still at the local Downey Liquor in Downey California. This beer was first bottled in 22 ounce bottles and was bourbon barrel aged. Now a days, they sell the same beer for the same price ($15-16) but a 350ml bottle. Considering I was able to find more of these, I refuse to pay for the smaller bottles. The decision for Port Brewing to sell in smaller bottles for the same price is quite irritating especially for such an amazing beer. I would understand them lowering the price if they wanted smaller bottles but it is pretty ridiculous now a days. Anyways, it has been 3 years and I definitely want to see how this beer has progressed. Cheers!
Rich oak, vanilla, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, vinous dark fruits like raisins, plums, currants, black berries, dark cherries, figs, fruit cake, almond, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cinnamon, ginger bread cookies, cookie dough ice cream, cookies and cream, oatmeal chocolate cookies, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers chocolate, rocky road ice cream, toasted coconut, stone fruit hints, wine grapes, crème brulee and mango.
Rich vinous oak, vanilla, port wine, bourbon, roasted coffee, Kahlua Liqueur, flan hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers chocolate, rocky road ice cream, toasted coconut, figgy pudding, dark fruit raisins, plums, currants, black berries, dark cherries, marshmallow smores, fruit cake, almond, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cinnamon, ginger bread cookies, cookie dough ice cream, cookies and cream, oatmeal chocolate cookies, tobacco, leather, dulce de leche caramel, wine grapes, sweetenend condensed milk hints, crème brulee hints, raspberry chambord hints, stone fruit peach notes, dragon fruit and mild mango.
Finishing with port wine notes, dark chocolate, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits, flan, fruit cake and figgy pudding. No alcohol in the taste, deep dark abyss full body, smooth, silky, rich and chewy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.
A bucket list beer, especially since this one being the original when they used to sell in 22 ounces. Now a days they sell this in 375ml bottles for the same price as this one which I don’t know about. I have tried it a while back on tap and it was as good as I remembered this one. Essentially, it is the same beer as I remember before. However, this 3 year aged one for being the oldest one and the bigger bottle, a definite find is in order for you beer lovers. The beer has turned into a more vinous delight complementing the chocolate complexity along with the development of raisinettes in bourbon and rich fruit cake and figgy pudding servings. A true Christmas beer, you can have in June, July or any time of the year.
Keira Hagai from Jack and Daxter and Sansei Muramasa from Full Metal Daemon were used in this for the overall Christmas theme. I have used Keira in the past as she was to represent the colors of Christmas but she also has Daxter on her arm to represent Santa’s Little Helper. This time around, Sansei was brought in to be the Santa’s little helper as she has the reindeer antlers but also represents how the beer has essentially aged well.