AceOfHearts (1375) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUN 2, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I hadn’t heard of this before trying it in Stone’s tasting room, and of all their brews, I like it second only to their Russian Imperial. I’m a bit surprised it’s not rated higher. Very dark color, nice tan head. Smoky coffe smell, and the same impressively smooth-but-not-overpowering feel and flavor that you get out of the R.I.S. Very nice mouthfeel, too. The guy behind the bar in Stone’s tasting room told me that he sometimes has this and chocolate doughnuts for breakfast. Now THAT’s a breakfast of champions!
beerstop (173) - Roanoke, Virginia, USA - MAY 31, 2002
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
omhper (19233) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAY 20, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Really dark brown. Hints of licorice and smoke in the aroma. Medium bodied, somewhat roasty, slightly malt sweet with bitter finish. Only a hint ofg smoke, I would have expected this beer to be more aggresive, but it is rather well balanced.
jcalbi (378) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 14, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Near black in appearance with a mocha colored and somewhat frothy head. Good hop presence but not enough smoke in the beer. I think my perspective has been clouded on the whole smoke flavor due to the Aecht Sclenkerla line of rauchbiers. Irregardless it is still quite an impressive porter.
VA Homebrewer (525) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - MAY 13, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
An interestingly complex porter with heavy roasted malt flavors and aromas, good hop presence, smoke up front and a bit of dark fruit (plums and possibly dates) lurking in the background. Deep, dark ruby to mahogony color with an off-white and moderate head. Quite unique and quite enjoyable.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - MAY 4, 2002
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2008 first a word on the packaging: 22 ounces is where it’s at: gives a drinker time to get acquainted with his/her beverage. painted labels, however, aren’t too collectable, alas. this black refreshment glows with a reddish warmth, like the alluring umber shadows of a rembrandt. beige head does what it’s supposed to: sit there quietly and not wander off too soon. ’big’ beer aroma, ample even for the hard-of-smelling: a rum raisin effect, hops out front. as for the ’smoked’ issue: this porter sat upwind or in the non-smoking section, ’cause other than some cocoa bean bitterness and toasted malt, it’s no smokier than an electric car (okay, i had a heller schlenkerla last night). but who cares what it’s called. it’s got a grand flavor, sweet, full and with a hop finish that snaps like a nasty parrot. hey, maybe they should be in 32 oz. bottles!
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 2, 2002
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Maybe my bottle was old, but this beer lacked any flavor, and it didn’t seem quite smoked to me. I will stick to Stones other brews.
VENOM (941) - Connecticut, USA - APR 29, 2002
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Opaque dark mahogany. Creamy and sticky tan head. Light carbonation. Roasted and black malt aroma. Medium bodied, lightly airy. Nicely malted with black and roasted caramel notes and bittersweet chocolate. Earthy and fairly dry with a wisp of smokiness, more like a burnt flavor than a ’true’ fennel stuffed sausage smoked flavor. Satisfying regardless. Lightly hopped. Bittersweet and light acidic black malt finish. Lingering roasted and lightly woody aftertaste. A solid porter, smoked or not. Thanks Trap.
Kathy (241) - Washington DC, USA - APR 29, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Just for transparency’s sake, I have to start out by saying that I can’t stand smoked beer. That said, I was shocked to find that I really enjoyed this one. The aroma is coffee, not smoke, and the flavor has coffee and chocolate. It isn’t really until the finish that you catch the hint of smoke, which is all very well balanced with a touch of hoppy bitterness. It is a remarkably stately beer, with every flavor balancing with something else just behind, which makes it almost like Beethoven -- sometimes shockingly stark, but always balanced out. I would seek this beer out again.
argo0 (11349) - Washington DC, USA - APR 29, 2002
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Damn this is a good beer! Coffee and chocolate aroma is very appealing. The taste is a combination of both those flavors, together with a hint of smokiness and medium bitterness. The result is something sublime. Relatively small head atop a black body. Incidentally, I would classify this beer as a robust porter, as the smokiness is not a major player in the flavor.