Holiday Cheer Porter
22 oz bottle, $7, 6.5% ABV
Purchased at the brewery, Manchester
I’m not a Grinch. I don’t want to be a Grinch. Who doesn’t love Christmas? And who doesn’t enjoy spreading a little holiday cheer? Ironically, if I were to spread Top Shelf’s Holiday Cheer around next Christmas, I would be seen as the Grinchiest Grinch whoever Grinched.
Because this is a bad beer.
Or at least the vomit version I had was. I swear, if Top Shelf doesn’t get its infected bottles reigned in and corrected, like, yesterday, I can’t see them surviving through another Christmas.
I just found this on untappd. Now, on my planet, you never ever serve (or drink) a porter from a frosted mug. But maybe that guy is the smart one here – although the ice created an absurd root beer-like head and watered down the beer, perhaps it stifled the butyric acid that was ripe through my bottle?
Top Shelf says:
An assertive porter to add an abundance of flavors to add cheer to your glass. Roast coffee, chocolate, and toffee-like maltiness are showcased with mild hop bitterness and flavor. Happy Holidays from all of us at Top Shelf Brewing Company.
As with most butyric infections, the beer itself didn’t taste half-bad. The Holiday Cheer is a serviceable porter. The noted flavors were there. I guess. Unfortunately for the earnest guys at Top Shelf, we humans have evolved in such a way that our noses are intimately entwined with our palates. So while the beer may taste okay, when it smells like a sick kid’s trashcan during a Christmas stomach bug, it’s undrinkable.
And as a parent of two little kids, I’m pretty familiar with that scent. And after a few sips of the Holiday Cheer, so is my kitchen sink drain.
Now that I’ve beaten that to death, I wonder if Top Shelf had any Faux News acolytes give them grief for “Holiday” Cheer and “Happy Holidays” on the label? Not to stereotype the Manchester region, but we all know that the town and those that surround it are populated by many Trve Christian patriots.
And calling a beer “Holiday” Cheer instead of Christmas Cheer, the way God and Jesus and our constitution demands is just begging for backlash. The War on Christmas gets more worrisome and far-reaching every year.
It’s enough to make me vomit.
Overall Rating: D-
Rating vs. Similar style: F