Today my workmate picked out Boggart Brewery's Christmas Rum Porter 6.6%. I picked this up at the Micro Bar in Manchester, which is of course run by Boggart brewery. They frequently have their excellent rum porter on and, though I can almost guarantee pre-tasting that this will be the same beer shoved in a bigger bottle and with the word “Christmas” stuck on top, I’m still looking forward to enjoying that beer from bottles for the first time.
Big and bold, the nose is actually a tame syrupy effort missing the big alcohol impact of the rum in the original but really straining the sugar cane into the scent. The taste starts off rather weak. There isn’t that immediate impact that the original gives you with a sweet dry fruit flavour that this is missing. OK, I’ll stop comparing it to the original and judge it as a distant entity. It drinks like a typical sweet porter and I’m enjoying it enough to work through the huge 750ml bottle. But the aftertaste is so saccharine. Double the malt and double the rum has just created a big tub of candy. In fact, it’s watermelon. I’ve had a few American watermelon flavoured sweets recently and that flavour lasts with you for days, and I’m getting it here. Wonka sweets finest Watermelon beer. Is it watermelon? I’m sure it is. That famous Christmas seasoning. Watermelon. This beer is Christmas in a glass, if you spend your Christmas’ stranded on a desert Caribbean island and are an atheist whose only understanding of Christmas is that Santa Claus told some shepherds about Frosty being born in a stable next to some Spruce trees. It’s not bad. It’s not great. It's not the same as the original. It’s watermelon.
Enjoy with: Chris de Burgh’s A Spaceman Came Travelling, because this beer is the biggest misinterpretation of the Christmas story since that song.