Mayflower Porter Does It Right

Mayflower Porter (5.5% ABV bottle)- English Porter- Mayflower Brewing Co., MA

mfportersmall1I’m always glad to pick up a beer from a local brewery to help support the cause and craft of local brewers and artisans, but I’m downright ecstatic when it’s a local beer that’s this damn good.

Mayflower Porter pours out a lovely black-brown with a respectable tan head that dissipates to a thin covering with a little lacing. The nose isn’t too powerful, but it is pleasant with a bit of raisin and general roasted malt smokiness. The first sip reveals a great body as it spreads across the tongue. Not too thick and not too thin; it’s just right. Goldilocks would dig it. Mayflower Porter tastes like a porter should with lots of roasted nuttiness up front, some malt sweetness, and a slightly dry finish. There’s some hop and coffee-like bitterness around the edges that is thankfully not overwhelming in the least. Combined with sharp carbonation the mild bitters maintain a solid balance to the beer. Even after a few Mayflower Porters you don’t find an unpleasant build up of after taste that you would expect from a dark beer. There’s no acrid bitterness and no sweet malt slickness. Throw all that together with the reasonable 5.5% ABV and you have a beer that could take you from the beginning through to the end of the night with no regrets.

This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink. What blows me away about Mayflower Porter is its simplicity. There’s plenty going on with the flavors of this beer yet they never bombard you, are heavy handed, or out of balance. That’s exactly what an English porter is supposed to be. If you are tired of imperial or Baltic porters and would like something easy-going and basic pick up some Mayflower Porter and drink the hell out of it.

Cheers! -John


Jan/Feb Quick Hits

Lack of Internet at home combined with the seasonal upswing at work have left me little time to update with any length or depth. I still wanted to get some beers up so here’s some brief notes on brews that passed my way lately.  

Export Ale (5.1% ABV bottle)- American Pale Ale- Shipyard Brewing Co., ME
Grade: C-
     I’ve had this beer before. Many times. It’s a chameleon. If it’s the first beer I have in a session, no food, just straight to it, it tastes OK. Not a lot to write home about, except for a bit of butteriness underneath its general beer taste that is intriguing an yet a little off putting. No real hops bitterness. If I drink it after something else or after I’ve eaten, it tastes a bit sour like sweat. Basically unpleasant. And yet I still drink it.

Long Trail Hibernator (6.0% ABV bottle)- Scottish Ale- Long Trail Brewing Company, VT
Grade: C+
     Drinkable, but not exactly enticing. Though it is pretty when poured; a nice ruby-tinged brown. Taste is fairly middling. I don’t see myself grabbing this from the store again when it shows up next winter, but if someone handed me one I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it.

Mayflower Pale Ale (? ABV draft)- American Pale Ale- Mayflower Brewing Company, MA
Grade: C+
     Mayflower is a new brewery to MA so I figured I’d have a got at it. Yep, it’s a pale ale. Not bad, but not great either. We’ll see what else this brewery can bring to the table in the future. Hopefully something with a bit more presence.

Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady Ale (5% draft)- Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)- Stoudt’s Brewing Co., PA
Grade: B-
     I’m not real familiar with ESBs, but this Scarlet Lady didn’t strike me as anything all that fancy. Kind of a standard micro brew ale. Not overly hopped, but not completely bland either. A beer to drink without having to think about it.

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel (5.3% ABV bottle)- Dunkelweizen- Brauerei Weihenstephan, GER
Grade: A+
     As if a hefe couldn’t get any better, it’s dunkel (dark) cousin has a touch more malt than the traditional making one of my favorite styles of beer even more drinkable. Love this stuff. Highly recommended!