Posts Tagged ‘WinterFish’

Play Dead Mac

Thursday, November 5th, 2009


The beer that started it all for me was a MacTarnahans Blackwatch. I still remember trying it and falling in love with dark beer. I also remember thinking that it had a dry dusty aftertaste. It wasn’t very surprising that Obsidian Stout quickly took over as my favorite beer not long after. Sadly my initial experience with MacTarnahans was doomed to be repeated over and over. I’d try one of their beers and find it almost likeable, but still every single one had some quality that either killed it, or there was nothing memorable about the beer.

Now enters Humbug’r. I tried this beer back during Salem Beer and Wines winter seasonal tasting. Like most people I found the art an instant turn off, but I’d told myself I’d like it anyway. After all, all the Portland bloggers keep talking about MacTarnahans attempting to reinvent themselves and make better beer. Also, none of the bloggers I’d read had given an overly positive review of it yet so I thought there would be some hope. After all, they’d all said Grifter was either ok, or good. They’d also said the same of Lip Stinger, and both times I thought the beers had failed.

When we did taste Humbug’r there were some initial positive reactions from some people. For the most part though people found it generic. In fact I think that was the exact word Steve described it with. Even when we compared it to another porter on hand we couldn’t find anything that distinguished it. I walked away with Humbug’r filed away in the not worth buying category and just left it at that.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I began seeing positive reviews. I swung by Beervana and seeing the title thought for sure Jeff would call it for what it was. Jeff it turns out gave it a B. I thought a C would be generous, but then I thought “Hey, difference in taste right?” Going through the comments though I saw Bill gave it an A. Now I’m thinking  I must’ve had to much to drink that night, or maybe my sense of taste was off. After all, I ranked WinterFish last. (Then again so did everyone else in the group and that beer’s managed a B on Beeradvocate) Still, several of the other people there thought Humbug’r was average. Apparently two other commenters on Beervana weren’t ecstatic fans of it either.

So what is the verdict? Does MacTarnahans new seasonal make the grade? Is it just personal taste? Or is this what Doc Wort was talking about when he would call Portlands bloggers “Cheerleaders”?

As a side note Humbug’r is a B+ on Beeradvocate with one review, and an overall 3.09 on ratebeer. Reading the ratebeer reviews though there is a 2.4, 2.5, and a 2.7. One of which mirrored our experience with Humbug’r. Cathcacr pretty much summed up my opinion with their review.