Ernest (6598) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 17, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting. Body is
dark brown to black (not opaque), bottle conditioned. Aroma is
moderately malty (roasted grain, dark chocolate), with a strong note of
smoke. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Light to
medium body, watery texture, lively carbonation. Pretty good, but on the
simple/straightforward side (which would probably explain its strong
showing at GABF...this plays it real safe). Rather watery and thin,
though, which hurts the mouthfeel.
JCW (1276) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 7, 2005
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Well made smoked porter. Dark brown color, opaque with a moderate tan head. Aroma is malty sweet carmel and chocolate with a moderate dose of smoke. Sometimes smoke can over welm me but this didn’t, I thought it was pleasant. Body slighty sticky. Slightly sweet finish.
Murphy (1759) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 2, 2005
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark ruby brown. Not much aroma. Taste is subdued until finish when a dark burnt smokiness comes in. So it was nice, but could really use some taste up front.
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JAN 31, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 15, 2007 This one was a little hyped up at the store due to the GABF medal for smoked beers...honestly, I think they made a mistake. I’ll judge this beer on two fronts: as a porter and as a smoked beer. First, solely on porter characteristics this beer is fairly weak. It’s not BAD, mind you, but it’s probably the easiest drinking porter I’ve ever tasted and lacks a lot of the heavier flavors that a lot of good porters have. As a smoked beer, the smoke flavors are VERY minute. They really can’t hold a candle to Aecht Schlenkerla or other smoked beers. Again, I liked this beer, but I don’t think it’s a standout among the styles it represents.
csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - JAN 26, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 19, 2009 22oz bottle. 52°. NB Worthy glass. Poured dark chocolate brown, alomst black with an initially good sized (1/2") head that was quick to depart leaving a ring around the glass. Nose is smoked ham with underlying wiffs of roasted malt and hints of chocolate covered citrus peels. Taste is smoked ham with sweet, roasted malt. There is a slight taste of mocha. There is a good underlying sweetness that seems to offset the smoke flavor. The finish is sweet and smokey. Mouthfeel is pretty decent. This is my first smoked beer, so I write this without a solid base of knowledge on the subject. I think that the beer captures the smoke flavor, but it seems like the porter is just not able to keep up with it. This is a solid beer and after I rate the Stones Smoked Porter and the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen, I’ll take a look back at this and adjust my score, if warranted.
Additional notes. Since this is available locally in six packs, at an affordable price, it tends to be the smoked beer I reach for most often. Looking back on my rating, I think I described the beer well, but I have more of an appreciation for the style now. This beer has a wonderful smoke aroma and flavor and is well balanced with the sweet porter lurking underneath. (3.2 to 3.7)
Frank (3270) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 24, 2005
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
I gotta say. I definitely have a strange relationship with assertively smoked beer. On one hand, I do enjoy the smoked flavor. On the other, I have a slight tendency to make me want to retch after a few sips. So it’s beer that tastes good but is highly undrinkable. You could see how this would lead me to have some difficulty rating the stuff.
This pours a nice, deep brown color with almost no head even when initially poured. The nose, if you couldn’t guess by my preamble to this rating, is a strong salty smokiness. Once you become acclimated to it, you can sense a decent chocolaty porter underneath. Still, this comes across to me as more smoked than it is porter. And it’s major flaw is just that. It has the smoke to satisfy those who enjoy that flavor but very little porter for those who like beer. The flavor doesn’t offer any surprises aside from a touch of hop flavor and the mouthfeel is somewhat lifeless but not unpleasant. Definitely a smoked beer I can drink a whole glass of so it’s got that going for it.
If you’re interested in cooking, try adding a litle bit of this to a hardy stew. Quite tasty.
erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JAN 18, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A deep brown w/ a lightly tanned head. Hugely smoky in the nose. Med. bodied. This tastes like liking a BBQ. Over the top smokiness w/ a hint of chocolate. Not much else. This would be great for marinating.
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - JAN 16, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle....I’m not a smoked beer freak, but this one had a dominant fried bacon nose that was yummy. The beer let down easier than that, revealing a lightish porter with some smoke highlights. Mellow yet robust if that makes any sense, I thought it was a good porter, with a nice smokey presence. I’m all for it, certainly didn’t bull me over like some smoked beers can, but it was still bold. I think it struck a nice balance.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JAN 13, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
The world needs more rauchbiers and, while not exceptional, this is a welcome entry. From a bomber, it pours a deep brown color with red highlights and a slender tan head. It’s got a nice smokey aroma (more bacon than sausage), but it’s missing the malts that the smoke should be enhancing. A bit watery in the mouth, but besides the smoke, it still had some malt sweetness, hints of chocolate and some woodiness. I’d have it again.
mikeben (355) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JAN 11, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2007 I never really had a smoked beer and I liked it. Wierd as hell but the Guiness meets hickory fams was right up my alley. BBQ’s should stock this stuff. Anyway it tasted like food and that is not a bad thing at all. Unique to me.