Being a beer reviewer, a variety pack can be the best thing to drink a lot of beer for not a lot of money. Fortunately, Plymouth's Mayflower Brewing Company sold one featuring four different brews, and it's now a matter of tasting them and sharing the tastes and observations with readers. After sampling the IPA and the Pale Ale, it was now time to leave the ale family and go for the darker side: the Porter. After a bit of disappointment with the pale ale, I was hoping that the typically chocolatey, full-bodied brew would be a good use of Mayflower's unique hop and malt blends.
Sure enough, Mayflower hits it right on the head.
The porter, as mentioned above, is a dark beer that pours out charcoal black, and is a style that's usually enjoyed during the cold months due to its heavy body and palate. Moreover, the musty aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a slight hint of toffee are more reminiscent of Christmas than a hot day in June. Mayflower's Porter hits these flavor profiles brilliantly, thanks to the use of its chocolate malt along with the Glacier hops that are used in the IPA, which provide a good bitter complement to the chocolate and coffee aromas.
What makes this a surprisingly good beer was the relative lightness in the taste. While still maintaining the chocolate and coffee notes, it didn't sit as heavy as other porters might, which makes it very light and drinkable even in June. This is difficult to do while still maintaining the unique qualities of a porter, but Mayflower succeeds here. It will never be a summertime go-to, largely because it's difficult to not imagine a snowstorm and a wood fire when drinking a porter, but it's light enough to be enjoyed year-round, yet flavorful enough to keep going back for more.