NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 16, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Courtesy of Secret Santa.
The aroma is dominated by liquid smoke. Deep black in color with two finger thick mocha head. Fore is meat and wood smoke flavors, but toward the end there is a a bit of chocolate malt porter sweetness before the smoked flavors get ramped back up again.
Iíll be honest I donít appreciate the style, but there is definitely a very nice little flavor progression here and you seem to get different aftertatstes based on how large a sip you take. A very large sip leaves a more porterish aftertaste while a small leaves more smoked flavors. Itís a very interesting beer.
Gorbalev (2927) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 16, 2005
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle shared with Hogtown Harry, Jerc, Blankboy, and GregClow; courtesy of Harry. 2004 bottle. A huge thanks to Harry for sharing this - easily my most sought after beer, ever since I saw that episode of The Thirsty Traveler a few years ago. Very strong smoked aroma - not artificial, not campfire - almost sea-like. Smoked salmon, thatís it. Sweetness in the background. Amazing. Dark dark deep brown, small frothy beige head. Wonderful porter taste - all smoke at first, this gives way to a thick sweet porter with lingering burnt notes that mix in with the smoke perfectly. Some roast in the background as well. Very little hops present. Long lingering smoked salmon finish. The best smoked beer I have ever had while I appreciate how it doesnít stray from its porter roots - this would be a solid beer even without the smoke. As is, one of my favourites - I had massive expectations and it exceeded them. Thanks again Harry, or should I say Santa, I donít want anything else for Christmas now! P.S. Jerc, your opinion is wrong :)
jercraigs (7894) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 16, 2005
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: AUG 14, 2010 2010-06-30. Black with a big foamy beige head. 4+ Flavour is fairly bitter and lesss smoky then I recallit being, allowing the roasty malt to come out more as a result, more bitter as well. 7+ Mild aroam of roast and dark malt with smoky accents. 6+ Smooth average to medium bodied palate. Decent, more drinkable than the smokier versions I have sampled. Smoke and coffee notes intensify as it warms up, to the detriment of my own enjoyment of it. 7+/5/7/3/14 On tap at Alderwood Bistro, Sequim
July 2007. 2006 Vintage Bottle courtesy of Mabelís parents. Black body with a foamy tan head that fades fast. Very strong aroma of smoke, like a fire pit that has held repeated fires, or the lingering camp fire aroma that clings to clothing after a weekend camping trip. Smokey flavour is far too over the top for my liking, and is paired with a surprising amount of bitterness. Light hints of chocolaty malt are desperate for more recognition but held down by the dominant boorish smoke. Average to medium palate (3+) Very much not for me. 6-7/3+/5/3/12
December 2005. Bottle, 2004 Vintage. Very dark brown, almost black body. Moderate creamy tan head. Massively smokey aroma is fairly complex compared to the simplicity of some other smoke beers. Smoke in the flavour is not necessarily intense, but is pervasive and dominant, with mildly acrid acidity underlying, and some very distant malt and chocolate making subtle overtures indicating their wish to be invited to the party. Sadly they are firmly but politely rebuffed by the smokey bouncer at the door. Palate is a touch light actually. Nice beer that is not for me. The smoke really dominates despite protests to the contrary. Thanks to Harry for crossing this long awaited brew off my list.
HogTownHarry (6108) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - DEC 15, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2005 Bottle (650ml - 2004). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jerc, tupalev - courtesy of yours truly. Poured almost black, oily, nice sized lasting creamy light brown head, very pancake batter. Aroma - smoke! - bacon, hickory, burning peat, almost salty - thereís hops and coffee and leafiness, but this is all about the smoke, although it gets a nice semi-sweet chocolate milk character as it warms. Lovely balanced smoke and hop flavour - yes, thereís hops here, but itís a milder reality of the promise from the nose. Mouthfeel is pretty full bodied, finishes smoothly bitter. I really liked this one once the smoke started to behave itself.
Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 13, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2006 From a 22 oz bottle. Darker than midnight with a thick and lasting tan head. Great lacing throughout. Fantastic smokey meat aroma that almost covers up a wonderful porter aroma underneath. I pick up just the slightest hint of coffee underneath. Very nice taste to this one. Smoked meat flavor with a tangy and dry finish. Smooth mouthfeel with just enough bubbles to keep my tongue entertained with every sip. I was always worried that I would never get a chance to try this beer. This is an amazing beer, something I could drink on a weekly basis. I wanted to break into a rendition of "Sweet Child O Mine" and dedicate it to this beer.
JensenTaster (1719) - DENMARK - DEC 13, 2005
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
(on bottle at CPH Yeha05)Has been looking for this sucker for some years now. Fat fishy-smoke, like being there at the campfire by the lake, yourself. Odd combination of a really smooth head with a watery feel. Slightly sour/fresh zing to it. Nicely hopped, yet a edgy malt too. What Iīm trying to say, must be: it has a godd balance. Seriously easy drinkable.
jcr (2210) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - DEC 11, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Solid aroma of smoky malts ó earthy and woody with hints of leather. The flavor is also robust with smoke and roasted malts hinting at a meaty flavor with a bit of sweetness, perhaps caramel, in the background. Dry, slightly bitter finish. Medium body. Clean and smooth with a slight stickiness that hangs around. Nicely done.
SwedeDog (364) - Windsor, Connecticut, USA - DEC 11, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2005 bottle from SecretSanta. This is one Iíve been seeking for a while. Open this bad boy up and watch itís beautiful pour, dark as Point Barrow in January with a nice set of antlers on top. At first, the aroma of smoke was in the background as the coffee and chocolate rushed to the fore. As it warmed, the smell of smoke and wood really took over. Same can be said with the flavor. First sip was something extraordinary, chocolate, roasted malts, even a little vanilla and faint hops. The smoke started to creep in after a third of a bottle. By the end of the glass, the smoke was overwhelming and really detracted from what should be an excellent beer, and I couldnít get the taste and aroma of smoked cheese out of my mind. The beginning is good, the end ... not so much.
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 11, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Heavily smoked aroma, cocoa and malts abound. Very full-flavored porter, nicely balanced. The only smoked porter I can honestly say I quite enjoy. The smokiness doesnít taste artificial or "oily". Nice.
notalush (4872) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 11, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pretty opaque pour, with a thick ring of tan lacing - very prominent smoke in the aroma, earthy notes, chocolate - a very meaty porter - smoke flavors donít overpower like in many other smoked beers, but rather, they intertwine with vanilla and cocoa, a bit of black cherry, oak, some caramel malt? - finishes quite dry, just some lingering wood and smoke - drinking this beer makes me feel like Iím camping in the depths of the alaskan wilderness, hunched over a roaring fire.