Going to Craft Beer Cellar is always so risky for me. I don’t get to go there often, so when I do go, I tend to blow my monthly beer budget in one visit. They have such a wide variety of craft beers, and they have local things that never even make it down to my area, take for example this bottle of Swanny Boy Porter. I had never heard of The Tap, based out of Haverhill, MA, but apparently they’ve been around since 2003. The beer is made with maple syrup from Ben’s Sugar Shack in Temple, NH, so I liked that it was locally made, with one of our local products that Northern New England prides themselves on. Plus, maple syrup in the winter always brings back memories of these:
The beer poured deep brown in typical porter fashion. It was nearly opaque, with a smooth tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left a thin layer and some lacing on the glass.
The nose was full of toasted caramel, with a roasted, coffee-like smell. The faint maple notes showed through as the beer began to warm up, but it wasn’t too overpowering.
As the bottle said, this beer is “Just a lil’ bit sweet” so if your looking for a sensory maple overload, this isn’t the beer for you. The maple flavoring is very subtle, it enhances the existing flavors, rather than being the focal point of the beer. The mouthfeel is slick, with a lot of carbonation. The beer itself is pretty thin.
There’s beer starts and finishes sweet, with a lot of light roasted caramel malts in the middle. The syrup is noticeable at the beginning and end, but not overwhelmingly so. It finishes really dry with a toasty taste. Throughout the whole experience I found that flavor-wise stays truer to a traditional porter. This is a good choice for someone who isn’t into heavy dark beers, or overly sweetened maple beers.