I dropped by the Legacy Liquor Store this evening with the intention of picking up some rum for my eggnog. Not only did I pick up some rum (Flor de Cana Anejo 5 Years – yum!) but several bottles of seasonal craft beer. With my CAMRA membership, I get a discount on my craft beer purchases, so it was way too tempting and I caved.

Tonight after our eggnog we cracked open the St. Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter, a collaboration beer between Winnipeg’s oldest brewery Fort Garry Brewing Company and Surrey’s Russell Brewing. Turns out these are sister breweries (Fort Garry and Russell amalgamated in 2007).

St. Nick's Oaked Spiced Porter

So what’s it like?

Dark and bitter, almost espresso like upon the first sips, but the subsequent sips lose the espresso and turn into subtle oaked spice. It’s subtle to the point of being non-existent, although it’s certainly there in the aroma once it warms up. I mean, this isn’t a vanilla-laden winter ale, it’s a porter; this is to be expected.

Out of curiosity, I asked the boyfriend…

“What do you think of the beer?”

“It’s full, heavy, and sudsy. Yeah, I like it. Definitely tastes dark. Chocolate notes. A little bit of coffee there, too.”

“Yeah, I tasted espresso upon the first few sips, but the latter few, I don’t taste it at all.”

“Not so much?”

“No.”

“If I told you the name was St. Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter, would you believe me?

“Oh yeah, because they’ll say anything on a beer bottle these days… but I don’t know if I caught that much spice. Maybe I should try it again.”

“Here, try it again.”

“Okay.”

*sip*

“It’s creamy, it’s got ‘mouth appeal’ as they say.”

“But spice?”

“It’s just a hint of bitterness, but spice? Not so much.”

So there you go folks. St. Nick’s Oaked Spiced Porter, brought to you by Winnipeg’s oldest brewery and Surrey’s finest. Big on bitter, short on spice, but it’s in a snazzy Santa bottle, so it’s festive nonetheless.

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