12/1/17: Rusty Rail Brewing Company's Snow Flyer Hazelnut Chocolate Porter

2:56 PM

December first. Officially the Christmas season. By now, at least if you've been around these parts for long enough, you know that my Christmas season starts the week of Thanksgiving. But, December first is the time I can start making Christmas posts here guilt-free (not that I feel guilty about my previous post, though).


But, before I get into Rusty Rail's Snow Flyer (which is our bottle today) I want to tell you that net neutrality is still in jeopardy. If you're reading this then you are enjoying the benefits of a neutral internet. The FCC wants to do away with this--please go to battleforthenet.com to read up on the issue and learn how you can tell the FCC to leave the internet alone.

Rusty Rail Brewing Company (click that link to hit up its website) was founded in Mifflinburg, PA in 2013. From a small, parking lot batch of beer to a full-fledged, 15 barrel brewhouse, the brewery's grown over the last few years. While Rusty Rail's beer is available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio (at least), the brewery remains true to its roots, proudly serving Mifflinburg approachable, delicious beer.

Snow Flyer, a silver medalist at the 2017 Best of Craft Beer Awards, looks like it'll be a star offering from the brewery. It's page on Rusty Rail's website states that it has a modest 5.5% ABV and that it's brewed with seven malts, hazelnut extract, and cacao nibs. My bottle gives a bit of history on the porter's namesake: Virgil D. White created a Snow Flyer kit for Ford's Model T in the early 1900s, making winter travel easy for folks needing to get out into the country.

From the brew's bouquet I'm getting deep coffee notes. The hazelnut and chocolate are there, in turn, giving the dark, roasty quality of the porter's aroma some light sweetness. The whole affair reminds me of the coffee that Christmas crooners pair with pumpkin pie at Farmer Gray's birthday bash. Unfortunately, the aroma didn't do much for Purrl. She gave it three brief whiffs before jumping away.


The flavor each swig brings packs a wallop. It's dark and deep, just like the bouquet. It's all coffee with a finish of chocolate--it'd pair perfectly with a bleak midwinter's early sundown. After finishing my pull and setting the bottle down I find notes of hazelnut lurking in my mouth curiously. On their own.

Snow Flyer is a sharp porter. It has bite while being incredibly full-bodied. Rusty Rail really brought their A game to this whole thing.

One of my favorite things about winter is driving country roads at night. Yeah, I know, if you're not careful driving those country roads at night, they can be dangerous. But, then again, everything can be dangerous if you're not careful.

I like wintry country roads at night most when snow's falling. I like seeing the flakes dance in front of my headlights. I like seeing a fresh, untrod snow covering the dark road ahead. I like dropping my speed and taking my time to really enjoy the drive.

Rides like that are exactly what Rusty Rail's Snow Flyer H.C. Porter remind me of. This is the perfect beer to enjoy as we break into those bleak winter nights. I'm giving it an easy 9.5/10. It's one you'll definitely want to track down and try.

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