Mistletoe | Howard Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Howard Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
2014 Vintage 7.50% ABV
2013 Vintage 6.50% ABV

Added by Bung on 04-06-2013

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Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 40
Photo of WoodBrew
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A friend brought a bottle up from NC to try over New Years.....it was a 2015 vintage. It poured an opaque black with no head and no lace. The scent was raspberry all the way. The taste however was dominated by apple/white wine like flare. The mouthfeel was pour as I think there was a bit to much carbonation and made the body lighter than I would prefer in a porter. Overall it was decent....quite a lot going on. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of joe1510
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz Wax Capped Bomber

2014 Edition

Porter brewed with raspberries, aged in apple brandy barrels.

Big Wil sent this my way last Christmas. Thanks, dude! Howard Brewing's Mistletoe porter is inky black. A little chestnut brown shows through when lit from the top but even that is a stretch. A velvety mocha head comes along easily on the pour with carbonation bubbles bolstering the chunky ring around the glass. Thin drink lines get left behind after each gulp. This is what a hefty porter should look like!

Raspberries, a little tart but straight from the vine are what pops from the glass upfront. A soft, even oakiness highlights the drink with a whisper of booziness. The roast is moderate at best and brings along notes of dark chocolate, heavy on the cocoa which makes the overall smell like that of a raspberry truffle. The raspberry rounds into a fuller, juicer note with some time in the glass. Appetizing to say the least.

The flavor follows the nose closely. It's all even handed and well done, even with all the components. The raspberries are both slightly tart and fully ripe and run from the front to back. The damp oak lends a nice even depth, while the moderate roast brings with it those dark chocolate notes I mentioned and a dash of coffee. The finish is raspberry and cocoa powder in a very well balanced, enjoyable way.

The body is a little on the thin side, but I have a feeling that's from me waiting on this one like a jackass. It sits a touch below moderate in weight with lively carbonation that keeps this porter on the move. The roast component dries up the finish at a nice pace and leaves me salivating for more. I have to say, the thinner body makes this beer incredibly easy to drink.

This is a delicious beer from the folks in Lenoir, NC. It's good to see a winter release that's not spiced beyond recognition but still contains memories of Christmas. Boxes of chocolate are always sitting around and there's always those delicious raspberry filled ones you have to dig for. This is a very well rounded, even handed porter. It's perfectly balanced and incredibly easy to drink. Thanks again, Wil!

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Photo of Griffin2
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2012 bomber I to a tasting glass.

L- pored a dark brown
S - lots of raspberries
T- Very nice stout with raspberry
F - Minimal carbonation
O - we had a 2012 and a 2014. The 2012 was a much nicer stout. There was a nice raspberry taste with the 2012. The 2014 seemed to be missing the raspberry.

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola brown with a half finger beige head atop.Aromas of the lactic raspberries along with a tinge of oak and coffee.Roasted notes turn into mild fruity raspberries and a hint of the apple brandy toasted oak barrels,some mild sourness in the finish.Quite a bit of stuff going on in the is beer between the different fruits,oak,and roast,unique in a good way.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle #657, 2014. Poured in a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a short lived, wispy, cream colored head. Aromas of tart raspberries and apple forward, with a distinct brandy kick, and subtle bittersweet chocolate undertones. Very rich and sweet. Flavors are heavily roasted forward, with a blend of dark coffee and chocolate supporting sugary sweet raspberries. The brandy barrels seem to bow out of the flavor profiles entirely. Big bodied, but completely dry and balanced, with a raspberry sweet and tart, chocolatey aftertaste. The finish has a candy-like linger on a dry, slick body. Tasty brew.

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Photo of aleckpa
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks fantastic. Then, it's kind of downhill. This isn't a bad beer, but not something to search all over for. It smells sweet from the raspberries and you do get some of the brandy and apple. However, raspberries is dominant. Not much oak, but really smoky finish. Mouthfeel is real thin.

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Photo of mverity
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a watery black with thin tan head. Medium collar. Head faded fast, some wisps remained. Aroma is hugely raspberry, some roasted malt depth. Thin body, medium carbonation; sticky mouthfeel. Taste is faintly tart, earthy malt, and a touch of berry at the end.

 263 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 bottling (7.5% ABV)

Appearance: A very enticing pour (suitable to the name), leaving a nice bubbly tan head perched atop the fudge brown liquid; streaky lacing is left behind

Smell: Raspberry jam forward, with roast and chocolate tones underneath; subtle oak from the barrel

Taste: As in the aroma, the raspberry flavor asserts itself at first, though it is not as sweet as I was anticipating from the smell; roasty tones and chocolate malt fill out the middle, with the oak and a hint of brandy bringing up the rear

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Howard has amped up the ABV this year and it has really helped the beer; a nice effort that would be further benefited if the barrel flavor was a bit more assertive

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Photo of Bung
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Brewed with raspberry and aged in Carriage House apple brandy barrels." 2012.
Dark used oil colored looking pour. Thin layer of tan to dark tan head.

Aroma, quite a bit of raspberry dominates. Just a little dark chocolate and toasted malt behind.

Taste, Some raspberry up front. Turns to much nicer roast malt and layered chocolates. Heavy cocoa and just a little fruit in the fairly dry finish.

Body is not the most robust, but it is just a regular porter. Still the weakest part. A little thin and more watery. Drinks quite easily though, the raspberry is not overpowering.

Not sure what the barrel did, but it's a nice porter effort. Like most other barrel aged smaller beers, it never seems to impart much. Reminds me a bit of some things Wedge or Assclown have done.

 785 characters

Mistletoe from Howard Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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