TheGrandMaster (2335) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 18, 2007
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle out of The GrandMaster’s homecoming box (courtesy of yalnikim). Quite a lively pour, a beautiful ruby brown with a bubbly yellowish head. What an aroma! Smoked malt, woody with hints of toffee. Quite a lot of effervescense and sweetness in the mouth at first, finally giving way to a fuller mouthfeel and smoked cheese and smokey flavours, with burry and resiny hops. Brilliant - this is why I drink beer.
beer4eternity (216) - Tauranga, NEW ZEALAND - FEB 12, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
330ml bottle thanks to Sue. Described well by Ernest and others, with the addition of strong medicine and leather aromas. To me this beer is astonishing, it has the wow factor in every regard, aromas are amazing, that Manuka smoke brings on so many good memories, it looks great in a tulip glass, the taste is delicious, the palate is wonderful. On my favourites list.
DuffMan (9542) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 3, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, fresh from the brewery (thanks to my amazing wife) on the first day of release for this season-- which happens to be Canada Day! OH YEAH! Let’s celebrate with a Smokin’ Bishop! Pours a beautiful deep copper with a thick soapy orange-tinted head that leaves clingy lace. Very enticing smoky wood aroma, not ashy, not really campfire either. Once your sniffer can get past the smokiness, there is some nice sweet malt under there with a hint of fruit. The smoke character is the most noticable flavour note also, but again, after spending some time with this brew the complexity becomes apparent: sweetly toasty, some burnt sugar, almond nuttiness, subtle beguiling fruit. The finish is nice and bitter, with a mild licorice-aniseed spiciness. Mouthfeel is soft, body is medium-heavy, alcohol is completely hidden. Truly outstanding! Happy Canada Day! Incidentally, this year’s batch has an ABV of 7%.
TAR (2676) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - AUG 19, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rusty chestnut. Everlasting dollop of lathery foam clings to the glass with each sip. Intriguing, brilliantly nuanced nose of treacle, soft peaty smoke, cookie, hazelnut, Band-Aid, Turkish figs, fruitcake, barnyard. Phenolic and lightly medicinal, as well. Snug, pillowy, meringue-like carbonation. Leathery flavors accompany an irony, wild-yeast derived twang amid softening whispers of figs, hazelnut and distinct smoke. Shimmering splash of tropical fruit succulence enlivens the ensuing toasted coconut laced with vanilla bean and fluffy nougat. Dry twinge of cookie malt deftly anchors itself amongst the slippery fruitiness as it provides satiating depth and quaffablity as well as an artfully placed sharpness. Staggeringly deep though equally delicate malt is chock full of mouth-enveloping smoke and dextrins, and captivating textures and flavors akin to almond skin and sugar cookie continue to unravel thanks to the pristine extraction. Late sweep of savory tobacco and spicy cedar adorns the ripe plummy esters and perpetual tropical fruit juiciness. Finishes cleanly attenuated yet throughly satiating with fat, multilayered maltiness and a nonintrusive nip of well-measured sugars. A real oddball this is, and I say that with wholehearted praise. There’s enough rustic allure here for a small bottle to capture your attention for a couple hours. At least it did mine. Fascinating stuff.
Ernest (7322) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, off-white to light brown, mostly lasting.
Body is hazy medium to dark amber, unfiltered.
Aroma is moderately malty (toasted bread, cookie, caramel), lightly to moderately hoppy (flowers, apricot), moderately yeasty (horseblanket), with notes of smoked meat, earth/peat, manure, wet hay, dried mango, alcohol.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, watery/velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
Remarkably good. Extremely rustic (horsey/farmy) and plenty aggressive in the smoke department too...really evokes a campfire on the farm...kinda like a cross between Smokey George and Schlenkerla but fruitier than either...wonderful to sniff. Excellent flavor balance with succulent, juicy malt...both quaffable and sippable. Quite clean too. A touch more alcohol burn than one might expect at 7%, but not bad. The only sad part is the price...$6.50 for 33cL. That aside, it’s pretty hard not to love it (if you love rustic stuff and smoked lagers, that is...it has Mike and Jeff written all over it).
ngeunit1 (1555) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 7, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A - Pours a very hazy amber-copper color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.
S - Aroma is full of smoke and oak with some sweet caramel and bready malts, vanilla, and tobacco.
T - Starts off with some sweet caramel and bready malts with some vanilla and tobacco. Through the middle, lots of smoke comes through with some oak. The finish is a mix of smoke, oak, vanilla, bacon, cured meats, tobacco, and some sweet bready malts.
M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a smokey and lightly sweet finish.
D - Very drinkable. Big smoke character, but in a really great way. Very tasty.
NachlamSie (3277) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 5, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
bottle from GBX, shared with Tronraner. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a small white head. Not sure what manuka is, but it evidently makes for some fine malt smokin’. The smoke is prominent, meaty, and ashy. I was surprised at how it becomes even more intense in the flavor. The finish is particularly ashy in a good way. Smoked meat is up front with the bock qualities staying tasteful and in the background. This is truly delicious.
mmather (180) - Colorado, USA - APR 15, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful bronze color. Nice smokey and malty aroma. Awesome smoke flavor and balance with the bock portion of the beer. Harsher than amberg smoke yet milder than peat or some of the other hardwood smoke yet unique smoke character. A beautiful and unique smoked brew.
rajendra82 (1048) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - FEB 26, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
The sienna colored body was quite cloudy, with a small head despite a vigorous and fizzy carbonation upon pour. The smell of smoke hit me immediately upon pouring, and holing it up to the nose revealed the aroma quite clearly. The smoke seemed to mask other odors, but one in a while I could detect some raisins and toffee. The taste was dominated by smoke, as expected, but the other flavors like tart cherry, raisin, and brown sugar were also evident. The beer felt a little thin for a bock, but the smoky finish lingered on. A good beer to try, if you a smoked malt fan, but does not stray too far from the Bamberg formula.
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 22, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12oz bottle: pours a clear deep bronze with a stringy-lacing white head. Has a lightly sweet toasty malty nose with lots of fresh smoke. Starts with a good fullness and malty sweetness with a touch of light fruits and lots of smoky complexity before a slightly drier bittersweet finish. Very true to style and enjoyable.