River Brew Review: MacTarnahan’s Winter HumBug’r

So winter steelheading….. yeah.

Logan with a Big Winter Hen

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 don’t find winter steelhead off of every dock ready to eat a sloppily presented bass popper. You don’t find winter steelhead in every run hungrily gobbling pheasant tails and prince nymphs. In fact, if my experience is any guide, you don’t find winter steelhead at all!

I am sitting here on a Monday night, reliving the last five fishing trips where I didn’t catch a dag blamed thing and wondering if I am really cutout to be a steelheader. Luckily for me there’s a single MacTarnahan’s Winter HumBug’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 HumBug’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 HumBug’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 wouldn’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 don’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.

Beer Stats:

Abv%: 5.3%
IBU: 27
Brewery Location: Portland, OR

5 out of a Six Pack Scale ©

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