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MacTarnahan's Winter Humbug'r Ale - Portland Brewing Company

MacTarnahan's Winter Humbug'r AleMacTarnahan's Winter Humbug'r Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

63 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 12.25%

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Malts: Caramel, Black Roast, Wheat and Oats
Hops: Northern Brewer and Willamette
Bitternes: 27 IBU
Alcohol By Volume: 5.3%
Availability: September through December

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 10-08-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 44 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jeffreysan


2.94/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong aromas of roasted malt, freshly baked dark bread, dark chocolate and brown sugar.

Taste: Flavors of roasted malt, coffee, some subtle licorice, some generic sweetness, and subtle hops. Unfortunately, all the flavors are muddled and muted, not leaving much of an impression.

Mouthfeel: A little thin actually, with very little, but some carbonation. With an ABV of 5.3%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an ok beer, not bad, but not good either, rather, it’s bland and pretty forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 02:55:17 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of Jsteez


3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled beer mug.

A-Deep black and not translucent; light brown root beer 2 finger head that lasted throughout consumption. This head was thick and foamy. It almost looked like I could eat it with a spoon! I love the look of a good porter! Sticky lace left on the glass.

S-My first whiff was of black licorice and malt. It had a slight smell of molasses and brown bread, but not too strong. There were hints of barley and oats, too.

T-My problem with this beer is that right after I poured it and started drinking, it had an unpleasant metallic irony flavor. It was mostly prevalent in the aftertaste. The aftertaste had a bite once the metallic taste dissipated. However, after the beer warmed a bit, the true flavors "ripened" and the metallic taste went away. I could taste spice, cinnamon chocolate brownies, and mocha-choco cake.

M-Full-body, carbonated a little too much.

Overall- I am not sold on it, but it was okay. There are other holiday porters out there that are destined to please.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 15:03:40 | More by Jsteez
Photo of N3rdM3t4l


3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown bomber into standard pint. Served cold.

A: Completley opaque with a finger of richly chocolate colored head that fizzeled down to nothing like it was a soda. Looks tasty except the head was sad.

S: coffee notes, smells like darkness. No hops on the nose. A little bittersweet chocolate. Something I can't quite identify but not un-pleasant. A tad sweet smelling.

T: big coffee notes, a bit of bitterness but not hop bitter, more dark roast bitter. Just enough hop to balance. A hint of metallic taste to the finish.

M: rich, as advertised. But thinner than expected. Smooth, the carbonation doesn't add or detract.

O: for $2 and change this is a good buy. It is a good porter all around, nothing stands out to make this great but it is worth drinking.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2012 03:49:02 | More by N3rdM3t4l
Photo of Murrhey


3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half mocha head. Large bubbles and decent retention. Creamy lacing. Deep mahogany brown.

S- Distinct coffee and chocolate scent. Warm brewing spices as well.

T- Chocolate and coffee again. Warm and nice flavors with some vanilla thrown in.

M- Surprisingly light and creamy for such a dark smelling and looking beer.

O- Quite good. My hopes weren't high but this exceeded it.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 04:55:39 | More by Murrhey
Photo of beer348


3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A : Nice simple bottle design, feel. Twist off cap.

S : Smelled good, like a dark porter should.

T : Seemed a little too bitter.

M : Had nice texture.

O : Good beer. I got a 6-pack. I think it could have been sweeter. That was the main problem. Just seemed like something was missing.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 10:03:25 | More by beer348
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours a dark, nearly opaque red brown with cola tint at the edges. Two finger fine light brown head with good retention and lacing. Looks nice. Aroma of roasted malt, slight chocolate and a hint of earthiness. Flavor follows with roasted malt, a hint of chocolate. Finishes rather abruptly and somewhat dry, with the hops and spices leaving a somewhat mineral taste. Fairly light flavored, starts off pleasantly, but the thin taste does not hold up. Light to medium bodied. A satisfactory dark ale, but somewhat thin and lightly flavored for a porter. Happy to finish this one, but will probably not look for this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 04:13:15 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of BilbosNuts


3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color with light brown and garnet colors coming through on the sides. A creamy tan head sits on top. Light bubble streams can be seen rising up the sides of the glass.

S: The aroma consists of light roasted malts with a slight piney hop profile. This is basically all I could pick up here.

T: The taste is similarly muted. The same roasted malts and piney hops are present, but are limited.

M: It has a sort of watery feel to it and it's body is on the lighter side for a porter. It has a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: This was just an average porter for me. The flavors and aromas were somewhat muted and I would've liked to see these aspects more pronounced.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2012 23:11:32 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of mactrail


3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brownish black beer with a light body. Decent carbonation to start. More of a dark lager with some deep roasted malt. Quite a lot of grainy flavors. Slight sourish taste, maybe from the charred malt. Lacking in depth. A fair amount of flavor, but not much malt body. Thin and the dishwatery caramel hints finish it off. Some slight hoppy bitterness.

"Deceptively dark" is about the silliest thing anyone has put on a beer label. "Festive" is about the last word you would use to describe this. A plain cheap beer with a nice label.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 05:24:10 | More by mactrail
Photo of RJLarse


3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought a bottle of Humbug'r in a grocery store. $3.99. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black color with a bubbly beige head that reduces to a thin froth.

Smell is a sweet chocolate milk aroma.

Taste is a roasted grain and coffee flavor, but with a bit of an acerbic vinegar like flavor on the finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, with a dry bitter aftertaste.

In terms of drink-ability it's not the best porter around, and is really nothing special in terms of the holiday season either. I'm probably not having this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 00:26:15 | More by RJLarse
Photo of pdxtomct


2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

This is not one of the better winter ales I've tasted this year. It has decent color and the malty character is okay. But there is little aroma and mouthfeel iis non-existent. There's a reason Humbug'r sells for under $2.50 a bottle in stores. If you do choose to buy some of this stuff, drink it quickly. It won't hold up to cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 20:16:31 | More by pdxtomct
Photo of robmorris31


2.23/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

DO NOT buy if you are expecting an ALE!!!

Not one of my favorite Winter Ales this season. It's sold and self advertised as a Winter Ale. It says it's a "deceptively dark holiday ale" however it is in-fact a winter porter. If you read the neck label on the bottle it reads "The limited edition Porter with a deep, dark character and rich malt flavor that will unravel your ribbons.

As far as porters go, yum!

It's reminiscent of Bare Knuckle Stout and Boddington's.

Not very hoppy, more barley flavored.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 00:28:47 | More by robmorris31
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Hawaii Liquor Superstore in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. I picked this one up because I have never seen it in California.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Chunky rings and streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted dark malt, coffee, and some metallic notes. Taste is of roasted dark malt, coffee beans, and some slight cocoa flavors. There is a mild roasty bitterness that sticks around after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp but thin mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good porter but nothing that special. I have never seen this in California so I am glad I was able to try something new.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 04:28:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of timtwoface

British Columbia (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've seen this beer in the shelf at a local supermarket for months now and as the Christmas season is finally upon us, I finally decided to give it a shot.

I was surprised at how much I liked it. For a porter it's standard...I'm more of a stout guy so for my taste, it came across as weaker, simpler, but still delicious and filled with those caramel-and-coffee tastes that make these beers delicious in the first place. And for only $2.29 for a 650ml bottle, that's quite a good deal.

I won't come running back as there are other delicious beers in this vein I enjoy more, but it's definitely a worthy candidate for someone looking for a decent porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 02:34:49 | More by timtwoface
Photo of kagent777


3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the Utah system poured into my beer goblet.

Appearance: A nice rich dark brown, pretty clear with garnet edges if I hold it to a light. One half finger of tan head. Leaves a little lacing as I go.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with a little dark dried fruit mixed in. A little general hoppiness thrown in for good measure, also a touch of light alcohol.

Taste: A solid bittersweetness from the roasted malts with a hint of chocolte. A fairly middling length finish. This is a "winter" beer only in the fact that it is produced for the winter, it does not have any "winter" spices or flavors. I would be just as happy drinking this in the summer as the winter. A tasty porter.

Mouthfeel: A middle to heavy beer, not viscous but solid nonetheless. The carbonation is strong but smooth, not prickly. The flavor spreads around the mouth nicely.

Overall: This is a solid porter at a very decent price point. I will pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 05:56:52 | More by kagent777
Photo of corylew


3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty solid winter porter. Nice roasted malt flavor accentuated with hop bitterness. Tastes chocolatey and nutty, not too bitter and slightly sweet. Light smokey flavor lingers after it goes down. It's pretty light in body making it a good beer to kick back a few of. Other than that, it's relatively forgettable but certainly not flawed.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 00:29:55 | More by corylew
Photo of jkdrummer


3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark dark porter. Pours a nice foamy head that slowly dies into a thin lace. Not much aroma but this is a porter. The taste is very roasty, chocolatety, smokey - typical porter really - nothing very special. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but this not a stout right? The price is right though, not a bad choice is the Anchor or Butte is not stocked.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 23:13:23 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of beerandcycling88


2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From notes poured from a bottle into a mug.

A This beer pours out a nice deep brown almost black body. The head is about 1 finger but lasts pretty much the entire time you drink it.

S The nose of the beer is kind of lackluster and faint. But there are notes of coffee and chocolate in there.

T. The taste starts off strong with very nice notes of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. However it finishes with nothing but essentially water.

M The mouthfeel is kind of thin and watery but actually not bad. It's just not good.

Overall this is a very disappointing beer. The taste has some signs of potential with a very nice strong start of coffee and chocolate. However the lackluster nose and the watery finish pretty much leave you wanting more from this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 04:05:14 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of timmick


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, nearly black with faint reddish highlights when poured into a pint glass. Two fingers of nice, frothy, tan colored head than clings to the glass as it slowly recedes.

S: Coffee, along with roasted malts. Nothing really stood out and grabbed me.

T: Followed the nose. Coffee and roasted malts up front, with a slight citrus rind finish. Mild flavors that seem balanced and simple. Very little hop except for the slight citrus finish.

M: Smooth and light bodied with no overpowering flavors. Finishes very clean with a slight roasted malt taste hanging around.

D: Very drinkable. I would have no problem downing a few during a session. Not a lot of complexity, but it is a pleasant brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 22:38:54 | More by timmick
Photo of notsoprobeer


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown--almost black color. One of the darkest I've seen. Has a tan head with some lacing. Aroma is mainly malts. Taste has lots of coffee and roasted malt flavors, with not a lot of hops. Reminds me a lot of Kona's Pipeline Porter. Very little bitterness. Medium bodied with a smooth mouth feel, very sessionable.

It's a very solid beer and I like it. However, other than being a porter, I don't really get the winter seasonal aspect of HumBug'r because it didn't really offer anything unusual (which is something I look for in a winter seasonal).

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 04:40:28 | More by notsoprobeer
Photo of vkv822


3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a deep, dark brown bordering on black. There are very nice ruby highlights when held to the light. It has a thick foamy tan head that leaves awesome lacing.

The aroma is of roasty malts with some faint chocolaty malts and nuttiness as well.

The taste follows the nose very well, though the chocolate malts are much less distinguished. The main emphasis is on the roasted and nutty malts.

The mouthfeel is fairly average bodied for the style, with decent carbonation.

While this was nothing too spectacular I found it a well done porter, especially at the low price.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 05:00:31 | More by vkv822
Photo of mk3


3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my first review so have pity on me

I'm drinking one as i write this from an average pint glass.;

It looks like a porter, almost black with a kind of reddish hue.

Not a strong aroma, more of a chocolate, coffee, than coffee, chocolate. not as bitter as I usually like in porter. Like an earlier post, it has more of a stout flavor, not unpleasant though.

It's 8 bucks a 6-pack here(which is cheap for Utah) and it's a good, drinkable beer that I will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 04:40:06 | More by mk3
Photo of katybee


3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly translucent cola-brown, with tan 1/4" head which quickly dissipated, true to the porter type, but without any other really distinguishable character. Lightly hoppy on the tongue, and just a little "guinness sourness"; then some malt flavor on the breath out and more as the beer warmed up. Light to medium bodied; a little too thin, I thought. Granted there was a nice balance of hops to malt,a little bready and a little bitter and no residual aftertaste, but for a specialty porter I expected more flavor and body. There was no real dimension to this beer, nothing to remember except that it was highly drinkable and went quickly and easily, due to the moderate ABV. Bah humbug!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 08:51:12 | More by katybee
Photo of Gobzilla


4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a very dark brown with brown highlights that had a very thin head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma had nuttiness, coffee, slightly milky with roasty character. It has big coffee bean notes to it. The taste was chocolatey alongside coffee, roasty, and lacto milky accents. The brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slight astringent, roasty, and creamy finish. drank real good and was digging the coffee bean qualities it had.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 05:30:40 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of bishopgary


3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown with slight amber tones. Develops a slight head that quickly fades.

S: Pretty mild in this category, not too intense. However there is some chocolate, and slight roast malt aromas.

T: Some mocha, hints of burnt coffee. Pretty light on the malt, could be heavier. Not too sweet, finishes slightly bitter.

M: Lighter in body than I would expect. Nice carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable, worth the price paid. If you are looking for something on the dark side without heaviness. The overall mildness of this makes it pair well with a wider variety of foods.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 02:18:09 | More by bishopgary
Photo of Wasatch


3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy/fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is malty, chocolately, slightly sweet. Medium body. Drinkable, a tasty brew, surprised me.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 20:01:23 | More by Wasatch
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MacTarnahan's Winter Humbug'r Ale from Portland Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.