HogTownHarry (6375) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - AUG 16, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle (750ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, mds and tupalev - my bottle. REALLY looking forward to this one. Poured near opaque black, with a large, lasting creamy/rocky light speckled brown head, a dull sheen to it like pancake batter (5-). Wonderful smell - roast bacon, campfire, dry herbal hops, dark roast malt, smooth, lightly lactic. The taste is very big - hides the 10.5% - again campfires, charred oak, almost coffee bean level roast malt, damned fine, long complex finish. Thick body, all that smoke and roast makes it even lightly acidic, long malty and somewhat bitter finish. DAMN this is a fine beer - top marks!
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 8, 2007
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
From a 750mL Bottle, 2006 Vintage. Courtesy of footy. Bottle opens with a tremendous crack. Careful pouring reveals a dark black color with transparent edges of root beer brown and a tall head of fizzy charred tan. Smokey nose with an almost greasy burned pork fat aroma. Perfumey smoked maplewood coals grilling a pork tenderloin while a skillet of dark chocolate mole sauce simmers nearby. A pot of dark percolator coffee bubbles next door and the campground dinner is ready to be served. Medium bodied, highly carbonated mouthfeel. The bubbles scrub vigorously on the tongue, but the weight and size of the fizz is light enough to be soft, yet not quite creamy. Some sweet dark chocolate syrup greets the tongue first, softened with a hint of vanilla bean. This, of course, is buried beneath a layer of damp, smoldering aspen bark. Hints of earthy black peppercorn shells and toasted coconut husks. Dark chocolate roast coffee; not overly bitter or astringent, but plenty dry. Finishes dry and charred, a bit overly so, with a lingering smack of sizzling pine resins. Very intense smoke flavor with great complexity right away - I find the smoke and dark malt complexities to get lost behind the hops in the dry finish, though. The body is also slightly overcarbonated and not as supple as I’d like it to be. In spite of this, the flavors and nose are most pleasing overall. Thanks, Rudy!
scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - AUG 7, 2007
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
06 Bottle - Dense black, creamy light tan head. Intense nose of crispy fried bacon, burning wood, and ashy cocoa. Room temp brings about soft grapefruit and herbal-like tones. Monster smokiness up front slowly fades into earthy, choco-coffee flavors. Rounds out with very nice dose of grapefruit hoppiness. Warming ABV without a doubt. Medium bodied, soft carbonation, dry, smoked bitter finish. A fantastic smoke beer in my book......not that I have written one...
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 7, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very well carbonated, even when poured carefully into my tulip glass it still produces a four-finger thick, brown tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is a slightly murky, opaque, dark brown color. The aroma screams smoke, as even as I pour this beer I can smell the smoke influence. Ahhhh, the aroma reminds me of my clothes after a night sitting around a campfire; man I love that smell. Honestly, I am not sure that I can smell anything else but the smoke character; but still I am quite happy to sniff away at this beer for quite some time before I take my first sip.
This beer is fairly well carbonated, but the body is thick enough that it is really hard to tell that. Malty, with a complex sweetness up front; notes of chocolate and slightly burnt caramel. This beer is clearly dominated by the smoke character; it does not start to take hold until the beer starts to slide down the throat, but once it does it becomes, by far, the most noticeable thing here. If you like smoked beers (and yes, I certainly do), then this will be right up your alley. The smoke flavors provide some spiciness to this beer that mixes in the finish with notes of roast malt, bitter black coffee notes and a certain roast grain astringency. It is hard to describe, but the smoke character is quite complex here; the smoke adds a sort of sweetness here, some spicy, sometimes hot phenolics in the finish, as well as an inviting, campfire component. This last is the most noticeable note (though I have the hardest time describing what it is) and is perhaps similar to the smoke flavor a heavily smoked hunk of meat might pick up.
While the Porter character does not hit you over the head, it definitely is a huge part of the flavor profile, it really allows the smoke character to come through quite well without totally dominating this brew. You will definitely have to be a smoke lover to like this brew though as this beer is just over the top smoky, though not quite one dimensional. The is very enjoyable & I even wish I had an extra cases of this lying around as this would be a great beer to incorporate into food recipes; and it will definitely age quite gracefully for many years to come.
thomaspwrs (11) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 6, 2007
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml corked bottle served at room temperature; vintage 2006 - bottle conditioned. Poured black with a rich foamy head. Aroma was a pleasant powerful woody smoke. Flavor was slightly bitter. Alcohol was definitely present but the huge smoke balanced it nicely. Mouthfeel was good with a strong carbonation tingle that lasted throughout the glass. I loved this beer.
thedm (5668) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - AUG 4, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This 2006 corked & caged bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a extremely large sized head of finely sized brown colored bubbles that were mostly lasting and left behind a opaque dark brown colored body. The strong aroma was smoky and dark malt. The mouth feel was tingly at the start and at the finish. The flavor contained notes of dark malt and smoky. Delicious and one I would certainly buy again.
drewbeerme (3916) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 4, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml. thanks to holdenn for sharing this bad boy. pours black with small white head. nose is extremely meaty and smokey. flavor is smoked meats and toffee. alc well hidden. very very tasty. mouth feel a tad thin. the best left hand has done so far for sure.
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - JUL 31, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
C&C 750. Black with a beige head. Nice, smoky flavor a bit of burnt malt. Woody smoke finish. Easily the most drinkable of the style I’ve had. Excellent, albeit a tad pricey.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JUL 25, 2007
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2006 Bottle: The body is a very dark brown with a modest yet sustained tan head that does some slippery lacing. Fine rauchbier aroma of peat smoke and Virginia ham over some chocolate and roasted malts. (Honest. The combination works.) The high alcohol level is a bit of a distraction in the flavor, my preference being for a more sessionable smoked beer. Still, the smoke and chocolatey roasted malts are smoothly blended along with a woody, earthy hop bitterness. The finish is dry and full of smoke. Not too shabby.
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 21, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle and served in my Stone IRS snifter: A deep brown hue with an initial huge frothy beige head and outstanding lace. The aroma is pure bliss with a proper amount of smoked and peated malts, chocolate and sweet malts, hint of espresso, and even a dose of grassy/herbal hops. The taste is smoky for sure but I think the balance of nutty and mocha malt and a surprisingly noticeable piney hop bitterness kept this beer very drinkable. The finish is ashy dry and even a bit woody. The mouth feel is dry as mentioned, soft carbonation and little note of alcohol. Dangerously drinkable indeed. A wonderful expression of the style that I thought for sure was underrated until I logged onto the beer itself...