It’s time to get ready for Christmas. For me, that means tasting Christmas/holiday beers.

And while I hate to be a Scrooge, the sampling was a bit disappointing.

I went to RSVP on Forest Avenue and bought two each of St. Nick Porter from Andrew’s Brewing Co. in Lincolnville, Shipyard’s Prelude and Gritty McDuff’s Christmas Ale. I already had on hand Old Fezziwig and Holiday Porter from Samuel Adams. Son-in-law Christian, my wife, Nancy, and I tried them with the Patriots/Colts in the background.

All five beers were quite dark, with the two porters being the darkest and Prelude being just a bit lighter than the others. Andrew’s St. Nick Porter was highly carbonated, the Prelude and Holiday Porter had little head, while Christmas Ale and Old Fezziwig were in the middle.

I tried the St. Nick Porter first because I don’t remember having it in the past — although I have had and enjoyed other Andrew’s beers. The hops dominated in aroma and flavor, and it didn’t have the malty sweetness or body that I expect from a porter, especially one tied to the holidays.

Next we went to the Prelude, which had a crisp, clean aroma and a nice sweetness at the front. The literature on Shipyard’s website describes the finish as hoppy, but Christian and I both found a little bit of sourness that threw us some.

We liked Gritty’s Christmas Ale better. It was slightly sweet and smooth, and it was well-balanced. But it didn’t have the extra body and flavor I expect from a Christmas ale. This was Nancy’s favorite.

The Samuel Adams Holiday Porter was Christian’s favorite. It had more body than the others, and good flavor.

We tasted Old Fezziwig last. It probably does not belong in this tasting because it is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sort of like Pumpkinhead from Shipyard, you either like it or hate it. And this is one of the few spiced beers that I actually like.

In past years, Christian and I had a deal when buying the Samuel Adams holiday pack. He would save Fezziwig for me, and I would save Cranberry Lambic for him. I can’t stand it, and he likes it.

This year, Samuel Adams replaced the Cranberry Lambic in the six-pack with a Chocolate Bock. Christian and I are going to have to come to a new arrangement.

As a note, I didn’t see Sebago’s Slick Nick at RSVP. Christian said he had it on draft earlier this year and liked it. And I liked it in previous years.

MORRIS FARM in Wiscasset is holding a home brewer’s workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The cost is $15 for Morris Farm members and $20 for others. The event is open to beginners and experienced brewers, and the group will make a batch of beer.

People who have a home-brewed beer of their own are asked to bring it to share and discuss. To register, call 882-4080 or e-mail [email protected]

IN JULY, I reported on the Boston Beer Co.’s Beer Lovers Choice competition between a Belgian-style IPA and an American rye.

Well, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that my choice, the American rye, won with 63 percent of the vote. Renamed Revolutionary Rye, it is expected to be available in January as part of 12-packs called American Originals, including two bottles each of Revolutionary Rye, Boston Lager, Noble Pils, Scotch Ale, Irish Red Ale and White Ale.

Staff Writer Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:

[email protected]