“Originally brewed at the Pizza Port in Solana Beach in November of 1997. As dark as the biggest lump of coal Santa can deliver, this beer has earned a dedicated following and is code named Satan’s Little Hangover by those who have indulged in a holiday like manner from time to time.”
Andrew: Of all the Christmas-style beers we tried that night, this was probably the least Christmas-y of any of them, yet was one of my favorite beers of the night.
Santa’s Little Helper poured thick and dark as night with very little tan colored head. Coffee, malts, caramel and booze oozed from the nose – and at this point I know where we are headed. Port really hit a home run on this Imperial Stout – great flavor profile of malts, coffee and booze and a really surprising, biting bitterness at the end.
Definitely a warm, thick beer and a sipper – don’t be in a hurry if you pour a glass of this.
Ryan: The only thing Christmas-y about this beer is the label. But, in my mind, there’s never a bad time for an imperial stout. So why not add it to the mix!
As you’ll see in Karl’s notes below, Santa’s Little Helper pours pitch black with some intriguing tan ribbons layering the top of this offering. The nose is chalked full of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.
The taste reminds me of the perfect dessert; a chocolate mousse cake and a cup of espresso. Loads of dark, bitter chocolate on the palate along with french roast coffee and espresso. Andrew hit it on the head – this beer is most definitely a sipper.
The booze is also pretty noticeable despite being a mere 9.5% ABV. Wait, what am I saying? How many big, heavy beers have I had wheere 9.5% is light?
Anywho, this is a solid offering from Port and I would gladly recommend picking up a bottle come winter.
Karl: Another non-holiday Santa beer, this Imperial Stout is another one that, quote unquote, pours like f**king motor oil. An appropriate designation, as you’ll see shortly. Santa’s Little Helper pours thick with no head and a thin tan lacing around the sides of the glass. It doesn’t have a huge body but it’s certainly thick enough, and tastes overwhelmingly like coffee and grounds with a very bitter, almost grimace-inducing finish. It’s not an Xmas beer, but it’s decent, if pretty one-note.
The interesting part is this – after the pour, if you peer into the top of the glass, it looks distinctly like an oil slick (Which,unfortunately, we’ve all become more familiar with over the course of the last 3 months).