Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - DEC 13, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003-Opaque black with a reddish-brown hue on the edges. Head disappeared quickly. Aroma is smokey with hints of chocolate. Taste is pretty much the same. I also taste a little bit of molasses. A very well balanced beer. Nice carbonation and good mouthfeel. Definately top notch.
Syd (921) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003 Vintage, bottle pours black and thick. I held it up to a lamp; I saw no light. There was very little head. The aroma was sweet and smoky. The flavor is very nice. Yes, there is the smoky finish, but it is a pleasant culinary smoke, like that of fine smoked salmon. The palate is quite rich and smooth. Overall, this porter puts me at so many fire rings I been around with so many friends in the past. Very good, very nice, I need to order more.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - DEC 1, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 31, 2005 In my opinion, a perfect beer for the style. Pours a wonderful ash colored head. Smoke flavor without being TOO smoky. I’d like to see them make a smoked beer without it being a porter. Just a great brew.
flutetokill (523) - Fresno, California, USA - NOV 30, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2003: Opaque black color with a small tan head. Strong smoked wood aroma with a hint of sweet dark fruit. Bittersweet chocolate, sweet dark fruit, and strong smoked wood flavors. Very nice smooth, creamy palate with just the right amount of carbonation.
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - NOV 29, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002: Near black with mahogany highlights. A medium tan head. Strong smoke aroma with soy, chocolate, roast and raisin in the background. Medium creamy palate with light carbonation, very smooth. Huge semisweet smoke flavor with hints of dark fruit, chocolate and soy. A long smoke filled finish. I really enjoyed this one, but it is not something I could drink often. It was more of a novelty than anything else. Thanks to Slikwily for this one!
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - NOV 28, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black with a medium tan head. No lacing. Huge smoke aroma, just like a Rauchbier. Reminds me of the Aecht Schlenkerla brews. Also has some good roasted malt aroma. Flavor is complex, smoked malts, roasted sweet malts and subtle chocolate and coffee flavors. Smooth body and overall a nice brew. Way more smoky than Stone's smoked porter. Nice brew! Thanks CaptainCougar!
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A good dark pour, with a roasty and, of course, smokey aroma. The smoke is stonger in the flavor, in an almost unbalanced way. Flavor finishes initially sweet, quickly followed by a good hop rush. A wonderful beer, and one that will mellow and improve.
bb (6860) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 26, 2003
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. 2003. dark (not quite black) body with a cocoa colored head that disapates quickly. Aroma isn't as strong as I'd thought. Faint roastiness with a hint of chocolate. The flavor is a fantastic smokey/chocolate/cofee/caramel/creaminess that tingles the tongue. The smoke doesn't overpower, but blends very well (the high alcohol content helps and makes it's presense known). Very smooth and drinkable. Very good beer.
TChrome (1425) - Bedford, Texas, USA - NOV 24, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Excellent roasty/smokey aroma, along with some light chocolate/molasses greet the nostrils. Appearance is equally delightful, very dark brown with a very fluffy light brown head that is fully retained. There will be significant lacing to accompany this experience. Flavor is initially very smokey and there is heavy smoke throughout, however there are other elements at play here as well. There are some hop flavors in the middle, then the smokiness takes over in the finish again. Very enjoyable.
FlacoAlto (3809) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 21, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2004 Vintage 2003, Sampled June 2004
This is not nearly as smoky in the aroma as the 1998 that I just sampled. It is much fuller and thicker on the palate as well. It is still quite smoky, but here there is a lot of beer to back up and balances the smokiness. This is a nice full beer that is quite rounded. I must admit that this is much more enjoyable when fresh. As my palate gets adjusted, I get notes of a sweet malt profile that comes to the forefront. The finish of this beer dries out considerably because of the pervasive smoke character.
Vintage 2002, Sampled November 20, 2003
This beer is one those few, rarely in a life time, mind expanding beers for me. When I first tried this elixir I was blown away, I was changed forever, and it ultimately lead me to the smoked beer paradise of Bamberg. This beer will always have a place in my beer sodden soul.
Pours a deep dark brown (mostly a black), when roused it produced a dense thick head. The smoked aroma is immediately apparent as I pour from the bottle to the glass. There is an aroma of chocolate hidden beneath the smoke. As I push my lips through the creamy head I get to the elixir beneath. It is nice & smooth, with definite notes of chocolate and a nice just perceptible pleasing sweetness. the smoke flavor is not as strong in this slightly aged sample as I remember in fresh versions. Fairly muted roast character in this porter, the predominant dark malt flavor is of chocolate malt. The smoke permeates this beer, and it helps to add to a perceived smoothness and a roundness to this beer. A very well integrated flavor. this is a classic beer that all beer enthusiasts need to sample at least once.
Vintage 1998, Sampled June 2004
A very smoky aroma wafts from my glass. This is just intensely aromatic. The taste reminds me of smoked salmon (sans any fishy component of course). Any signs of oxidation are clearly not evident, which makes sense as smoke is a good anti-oxidant. This is much lighter on the palate than when it is fresh. There is a smooth malty character in the background that is dry and meaty. The smooth smoke phenolics are dominating in this beer from start to finish.