JoeMcPhee (8166) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 24, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at Barcade. Pale amber beer with a white head. Lovely soft smoky aroma over a soft munich/caramel malt base. The smoke is well-balanced by sweet malts. There is also a light blackberry fruitiness in the flavour that seems a bit strange, but not unpleasant. The hops are quite subtle, but they serve to balance the combination of sweet fruit, smoke and berries. This is a quaffable, tasty pint from Sierra Nevada.
Rastacouere (6107) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 6, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft at the Blind Tiger. No head covers this cloudy amber body. Well focused if a bit too light aroma propose gentle cookie, bready, nutty flavours with obvious soily peaty smokiness procuring cask wood and campfire notes. As it warms up, every sip procures new fruit suggestions, ranging from leathery, mushroomy apricots to juicy peaches. Very good stuff, Iíd only wish the body would be a bit more full and confident, less thin and oily, but this remains most satisfying, well done!
Glouglouburp (5929) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 27, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2008 Tap at Boston Sunset Grill. Cloudy amber body topped with a small off-white head. Moderately smoked on the nose. The malts have a maple taste and its smokiness adds a smoked-ham flavour with some roasted nuts and dry tree branches. Sweetness level is low which I like with that type of beer. Taste is somewhat restrained and obviously far from the intensity of a Schlenkerla. This really is a session Smoked and a pretty good one at that. Makes me glad to be a beer lover. Hey, at least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits.
Cornfield (5326) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - APR 12, 2007
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
The bodyís caramel colored and spots a thin off-white head. Very little smoke in the nose, mainly some grainy malt with a touch of sourness. Thin drink with some caramel and a quick passing of smoke. Disappointing.
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notalush (4581) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 16, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught at Blind Tiger, NY - lighter in flavor than some other rauchs Iíve had, but that made for a much more subtle smoke flavor, which is good for me (a lot of rauchs taste a bit baconesque to me) - not overhopped as I expected from this brewery - quite malty (caramel malt mostly) - actually much better than I was expecting.
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 24, 2005
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Mild smoke, mint and cookie dough in the aroma. Clear amber-copper coloured body is topped by a low, off white head that recedes to a very slight ring. Strong, biscuity, round malt character with assertive but nicely balanced smoked malt character. Underlying fruity esters add depth and dimension. Medium body with fairly lively effervescence. Sampled on tap the Blind Tiger in NYC with Olivier_MTL and Rastacouere.
ClarkVV (3742) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 23, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draught pint at Sunset Grill on 2/10/07
Ruddy auburn with beige-tan hues and a medium-beige head that is small but well-retained, providing minor lacing. Well-conditioned and showing a high clarity with moderate carbonation.
Dry woodsmoke in the nose only incorporates a bit of salty/meatiness. Unfortunately, crystal malt hardness is very apparent lending that "iced tea and hard candy" sort of note that always seems too dry when used to the point where you can smell it. This keeps it quite dry and actually distracts from the smokiness through the middle. Light breadiness and a some sweet pale maltiness lends a light vanilla cream note that almost succeeds in warding off the crystal maltiness. Smoke returns, lightly, on the finish, with light phenols of clove, black pepper and some light band-aids. Medium to medium-high strength of aroma that definitely improves vastly with warming. The sweeter malts emerge and fend off the hard crystal malts, while the smokiness seems to grow stronger as well. No alcohol noted.
Wet/slippery texture with a prominent hardness thanks to the crystal malts, that slowly eases up and allows light pale malt sweetness in to the picture. Smokiness arrives quietly and with an almost scratchy, wooden dryness. Strong breadiness fights with the sweetness and a moderate amount of acidity begins to build. The smoke isnít overdone (can you really overdo smokiness? haha), thatís for sure and definitely is of the more dry, less full variety. Low to moderately-low carbonation somewhat helps to concentrate the sweetness and offset some of the oily/wetness. Hickory-like woodsmoke, with lots of fruitiness, lingers on quite nicely. No alcohol noted. Hops are earthy and lightly grassy at times, leading to some pleasant, additional complexity. Tastefully done, as always, from SN, but I wish theyíd cut out the crystal malt.
puzzl (3231) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 20, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at Blind Tiger. Murky brown pour with nice lacing. Aroma is slight roast, chocolate, a touch of smoke... more the smoke youíd smell from a campfire than a traditional peat smoke or the whole bacon thing you usually get in smoked beers. There is more of the peat in the flavor, with slight sweetness. Very lethargic. Fruitiness comes out as the beer warms.
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap @ Blind Tiger. One of my favorite styles and this stuff didnít dissapoint. Kind of a light copper color with a thin veil of a head. Burnt white ash aroma and light smoky taste. Mellow light apricot flavor. Lightly sweet and balanced really well. Iíd really love to see this stuff again.
DarkElf (3013) - La Jolla, California, USA - SEP 23, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
(Draft: Sierra Nevada 2005 Beer Festival at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena, CA) This will be my final beer of this festival, and Iíve saved what Iím hoping will be the best for last. As with the others, it looks beautiful in my small Chimay glass, boasting that tall, creamy, tan head with the excellent retention and supreme curtain-like lacing. Dark amber in color, and again, itís crystal clear. Things really get interesting with the nose. As expected, itís very smoky, like sitting around a camp fire, but thereís also a good bit of spiciness I tend to associate with Belgian ales. Oddly enough, with as smoky as the beer smells, the initial flavor is pretty light on the smoke. But as we near the finish, the smokiness starts to build on the palate and then hangs on. Still, itís not a beat you over the head kind of smokiness, but more subtle. Moderate maltiness also doesnít become apparent on the front end either. Rather, the beer starts a bit nutty and gently hoppy like an English Bitter, but as Iíve noted, that is short lived. Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth on the palate, and that smoky finish is just wonderful. I made the right decision by finishing with the Rauch Beer. This is really nice, and for those that donít like smack you up smokiness, this shows how this style can be executed without being overbearing.