zebra (1775) - Illinois, USA - FEB 17, 2013
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
on tap @ fischman, so a little west of pulaski. far from intense, but a nice pure smoke. rating #10!
tmoreau (3703) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. serving to a Czech-pils glass at Lunar Brewing Co., displaying a bright & clear, amber/brown hue, with a modest layer of light tan head foam, and dots & dashes of lacing. The aroma was roasty, with some woodiness, herbal hints, and smooth but mild malt. The flavor continued these notes, adding moderate to low hop bitterness, a touch of peat, mild smokiness, a hint of leather, and a touch of tart astringency toward the finish. A calm but sessionable brew, somewhere between a smoked Brown or Scottish Ale.
DrnkMcDermott (3003) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pint mug at the Wrigleyville pub. The menu describes this as a "Grodziski" style of beer. Dark reddish brown pour with a nice thick head. Smoked malt in the nose, a bit of wood smoke among the usual cheese rind. Taste has lots of thick malt to hold up the smoke. Invites obvious comparisons to a Bamberg bier, but also reminds me of a peaty Scotch ale. Also some phenol, which would be par for a smoked beer. Very substantial for a beer with "regular" alcohol count.
chanokokoro (138) - Illinois, USA - DEC 9, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Enjoyed at the Beer Bistro in the West Loop, Chicago IL. Served in a Goose Island branded chalice.
Served with a two finger fluffy off-white head. The body is amber with dark brown hues. The head retention is excellent and a bunch of splotchy lacing coats the inside of the glass. The nose is a combination of rich toffee, light peppery spice and mild accents of smoky, charred oak. Quite complex, caramel and nutty toffee upfront and through the midpalate, joined by rye, peppercorn, and caraway that tingles the tongue. Finishes semi-dry with light smoke and continued rye and caraway spiciness. Lighter side of medium body with adequate, but gentle carbonation. Slick with malty smoothness. Highly drinkable. This beer was really impressive. The complexities are subtle, abundant, and expertly balanced. The result of the creativity that went into Casimir exceeded my expectations. A true pleasure to drink.
TheAlum (6942) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 27, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft on tap at Bavarian Lodge (Lisle, IL). Glad to finally try this. Pours a rich deep darker brownish hue, good haze, some lighter brown glowing edges. A frothy tannish head atop laces well, remains a mellow layer overall. Darker rich hues, some copper brown edges glow a touch, but dark rich body. Aromas are a rich woody smoke, smoked breads and growing campfire meats, ham, touches of ask, roasty wood and oak, gentle earth. Touches of carmelized malts, biscuits, and gentle fruit, reddish. Initial is medium bodied, a touch more full on the palate than expected, putting some carmelized malts and earthy woody smoke elements firmly in the focus. Campfire meats, gentle florals and spice, toasty and carmelized malts, some biscuity and wheat bread malty qualities. A bit more dry and spicy as we push through the middle, offering rye spicy caraway, gentle florals. Some thicker rye, bread, and biscuits give a darker slant. Mellow campfire meats are pleasant, with earth, roast, and gentle ashy woody, smoked wood, and oak. Gentle spice, some almost chocolate or darker brown malt qualities. A bit dry, lingering smoke, kiss of floral, waft of fruit. Pretty well put together. I’d prefer more smoke personally, less spice and dryness and a more crisp lighter body. But overall, it’s a solid offering. Gentle toast, dryness, spice, and mellow dark fruit in the middle. Richer rye and darker malts, smoked wood, and gentle campfire presence overall. The nose left a little to be desired from the Smokehead, especially as it warms. Perhaps I got too used to it, but the smoke falls out a little too far for me. Still, as I mentioned a nice beer.
NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 20, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at Whole Foods. Technically a variant of Gratzer. Pours a deep brown with thin offwhite head. The nose is big and smokey, lots of oak and spice notes. Campfire and pumpernickel. Faint floral/herbal hop as well. On tasting, moderate bitterness with some cocoa and sweetness to go with the carraway notes. Distinctly smoky and nice. The more I have the better it gets. Smokey and balanced. Faint char notes as well. Solid beer.
andyhwcinc (1845) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Enjoyed on tap at the mega Whole Foods in Chicago, IL while running some errands and getting some lunch. Appearance is a coffee like darkish brown with a very thin white rim. Aroma of smoked malt, bit of wheat, not overtly smoked but definitely dominates the aroma. Taste has a touch of spice with a light wheat flavor, notes of light chocolate and smoke. Definitely leaves a raw feeling in the back of my throat. Pretty decent smoked ale.
kaser (5640) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 10, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Murphy and sons. Poured with half the glass head that took forever to go away. Very dark unexpectantly. Smells like a sweet stout. Leather and malty taste. Smokey. Not bad, better than I thought it would be. Bacon aftertaste.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 8, 2012
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clean and clear cherry-red/amber pour with moderate white head that disappears quickly. Medium smoky nose with touches of sweet, moderately roasted maltiness. Flavors are likewise moderately smoky (pairs well with BBQ) and sweet malt bottom. The smoke is pretty well in check here (making it a nice introduction to smoked beer newbies) but really well done...certainly enough to satisfy the afficiandos of the Bamberg region beers. A fine example of the Franconian regional beers and another great entry from the GI brewers. Nicely brewed!
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 18, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2012 On tap at beer bistro north. Fairly new I believe... Pours a semi-transparent mahogany hue and topped with a silky but thin just off-white head... Aroma are a meshing combination of husky dark grains, almost seems like a touch of roast, semi-sweet at most but smooth, that finishes off with a medium degree of smokiness. Smooth and not overly amplified on the smoke front. Toast unless warmth of the malts grows after warming... Flavors are more of the same with toasted husky grains with a mild touch of smoke. Finishes off a bit sweeter than I would have liked. Smooth bodied, just shy of medium weight, with not too lively a level of carbonation which bodes well for it. Generally nice but a bit more of a smoke profile would be more to my liking.