So winter steelheadingâ€¦.. yeah.
I began my fly-fishing career with bass and panfish in the Northeast then followed that up with the plentiful trout of the western slope of Colorado. Now I live in Oregon, an official Northwest transplant, and I am trying to catch the winter steelheading bug. I have to work at it. You donâ€™t find winter steelhead off of every dock ready to eat a sloppily presented bass popper. You donâ€™t find winter steelhead in every run hungrily gobbling pheasant tails and prince nymphs. In fact, if my experience is any guide, you donâ€™t find winter steelhead at all!
I am sitting here on a Monday night, reliving the last five fishing trips where I didnâ€™t catch a dag blamed thing and wondering if I am really cutout to be a steelheader. Luckily for me there’s a single MacTarnahanâ€™s Winter HumBugâ€™r in the back of the fridge. In a perfect world I would have reviewed this beer before, or during the holidays, but I kept pouring it down and putting it off, and now I am reviewing the best winter seasonal just in time for spring.
The HumBugâ€™r is a filling, delicious dark winter seasonal that provides the only high point in an evening of steelhead-induced self doubt. Wrapped in the dark delicious carmelly taste of the HumBugâ€™r I find I am able to convince myself to get back out there and try again. At least one more time!
Appearance: Very dark. If you hold it up in front of a really bright light you can tell that it has a clear brownish red color, but it is so dark it is hard to tell. The head is thick and creamy with good retention — looks almost like the foam on a root beer float, but tighter.
Smell: Clean and sweet. A very malty aroma with maybe a hint of caramel
Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweet and delicious. Slightly bitter aftertaste. I like darks and I like browns and this beer hits my tastebuds just right. It is a definite winter beer, I wouldnâ€™t feel like crushing a bunch of these after exercise, but in front of the fire or when ruminating about your lack of steelheading skills this beer is perfect.
Overall: I like it. I generally donâ€™t like winter seasonals since most breweries fill them with spices, potpourri and other holiday cheer. This beer is a nice, sweet, heavy, dark beer that tastes delicious and goes down smooth.
Brewery Location: Portland, OR