We've reached the 1/4 of the way mark on my "Twelve Beers of Christmas" journey with something dark from Smuttynose. Founded in 1994 after Peter Egelston acquired the assets of the former Frank Jones Brewing Company at a bankruptcy auction, Smuttynose has a solid presence on the east coast and can often be found on draft. Note that distribution doesn't go farther west than Wisconsin, though.
Behind door #3: Smuttynose Robust Porter, 6.2% alc., 12 oz. bottle
C: Black with a caramel colored head
N: Dark roast malt and notable hop oil aromas with a lovely burnt wood note
P: Thinner on entry than expected but with plenty of roasted malt and espresso bean bitterness
F: Pleasantly bitter with lingering roasted malt notes
In conclusion: A perfectly drinkable porter with classic grain notes and some nicely balanced bitterness