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

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

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

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

Added by Reidrover on 10-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 44
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.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Photo of pdxtomct
2.73/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

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Photo of robmorris31
2.27/5  rDev -35.3%
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.

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Photo of twelveinches
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Sargully
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of timtwoface
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.

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Photo of kagent777
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +14%

Photo of corylew
3.27/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of jkdrummer
3.26/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
2.64/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Photo of katybee
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
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!

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.07/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of bishopgary
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation leaving a dirty jead

S: Coffee, roasted malts and hints of chocolate

T: Light cocoa, mainly roasted malts, coffee, vanilla hints in there

M: Needs more malt, sordove think for a porter, lighter booze

D: Not a bad beer at all but not one I would go back to

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Photo of grittybrews
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured black with a finger of quick-receding mocha head. Mild roasty malt aroma of semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of coffee with some floral hops.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy, slightly thin mouthfeel. Flavor impact didn't measure up to the aroma, with mild roasted coffee and cocoa with no trace of sweetness. Hops really emerge on the finish, much more so than hinted at in the aroma.

Easy-drinking, but not much flavor impact.

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Photo of irishevans
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from a six pack my wonderful girlfriend brought home.

A- Not much head to speak of, even with an aggressive pour,it only foams up to a finger thick than fades to a skim on top of the liquid. medium tan/beige in color. the body is an extremely dark root beer brown, and lets very little light through, almost black with no lamp, but there is something about it where you know it's brown.

N- toasted berad noted and some roasted malts and slight toffee or caramel scent. tiny bit of a coffee and sourdough kind of a smell. faint floral hop smell if that is what I pick up on, not at all strong though.

T- a bit sour and bitter. roasted malt in the background and some fruity esters. much more herbsl hop taste than nose would lead you to believe, comes out in the taste early on too. not more than style calls for, or even on the heavy side for yankee porter, but more than the nose would have you think. has the tiniest bit of smoke on the finish along with the toffee taste.

M- a bit on the thin side for it's style. good if you live in the tropics, or desert, but I just like my porters with a bit more viscosity. still had a nice carbonation level and a lovely bitter/sour twang to it. again however; too thin.

D- For starters i like when a brewery makes dark styles for winter beer. rather than just another hop bomb IPA. also this one ssessions well, and I love the sour twang. over all geed brew.

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Photo of Elimination
3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For some reason I missed last years release...

Look is typical pitch black with an alright sized mocha head.

Smell is very light coffee chocolate and a tad bit of hops

Taste is the same but the cocoa and chocolate sort of stands out a bit. Almost like a carbonated chocolate milk.... Here is also a Metal taste to it at the end that really brings this down.

Mouthfeel is a nice lightness for a porter

Drink is a bit above sub par but be use I'm only craving a porter today.

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MacTarnahan's Winter Humbug'r Ale from Portland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 65 ratings