BBB63 (5601) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - NOV 8, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
FoBAB 2009: Deep brown with ruby highlights topped by a small wispy tan head and okay lace. The aroma has notes of meaty and woody smoke, tobacco, vanilla, roasted malts, plum, fig, and herbal esters. The taste starts meaty smoke (but not too much), sweet malts and light ripened fruit. Chocolate and vanilla before a charred ashy smoke finishes it off. The mouth feel is smooth and rich but a touch thin. Overall a solid brew but left wanting more.
tjthresh (1863) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - NOV 7, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Vwry dark brown with a bit of tan head. Oaky nose with some blunt smoke. The blend of booze and smoke gives this a bit of menrthol character. Its good though. Substantial body. Quite dry.
DalzAle (1842) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - SEP 17, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
ABR 2009. Still hands down one of my favorite smoked brews. Tastes of the original version (peat, coffee, tobacco, etc.) but quite a bit more subdued/mellow. Well done, I hope I can get some more of this again somewhere locally.
tennisjoel (1146) - Rochester, Minnesota, USA - SEP 16, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at Autumn Brew Review ’09. This for me was the highlight of the event. Bourbon was well done (not too strong) where it really melded well with the smoke flavor of the Surly smoke. Bourbon, cherry, vanilla, peat were all detected. Very complex and very good.
Skyview (5087) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - AUG 30, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled during Great Taste of Midwest 2009 in Madison, Wisconsin. Pours a near opaque dark brown colored brew with a tan film top. Aroma of vanilla, a little bourbon and some chocolate malt. Taste is quite smooth, silky with flavors of bourbon, some light cherry, vanilla and toasted dark malt. Finish is semi-sweet, some vanilla and bourbon aftertaste flavor that slowly disappears. Hard to detect the original Surly Smoke profile with the heavy bourbon flavor.
madvike (2372) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 21, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled @ GTMW ’09 - While I haven’t had the regular version of Smoke, I can tell you the bourbon version is lovely. It pours black with a small tan head. Smells of bourbon, raisins, fig, a little smoke and light roast. Alcohol creeps at the end of the whiff. Taste is sweet, with bourbon, toffee, a little alcohol, and a small amount of smoke. Syrupy, medium-bodied, and a great way to end my first GTMW.
sthlm (1255) - Iowa, USA - AUG 17, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
[On tap at GTMW ’09] Pours black with a tiny tan head. Aroma has a lot of coconut, and very deeply roasted (charred) malt. The taste had chocolate, bourbon, alcohol, and some vanilla. No smoke anywhere to be seen. Overall this was ok, but not that great. I found it to be a pretty poor use of the barrels, as they overpowered the base beer, and left a fairly one-dimensional bourbon beer in its place. Would like to try it again in a non-festival setting to see how much that influenced it.
Brigadier (2590) - Northeastern Ohio, Ohio, USA - AUG 12, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at GTMW 2009
My final sample of the afternoon was this star from Surly. Once again they took a great base beer (Smoke) and amped it up with time in a barrel. The end product capped a great festival with yet another world class product. I hope that this makes future appearances at other festivals this year so more people can enjoy a well thought out experiment.
Aroma / Appearance - The ash and hint of smoke mix with the bourbon and oak to form a story of a beer which has spent a long time being prepped for release. The sticky fluid left a solid presence along the sides of the glass.
Flavor / Palate - The creamy mouthfeel was smooth for an almost 10% ABV beer. Despite the heat and array of previous stellar samples this one left a clear mark on the palate. A nice extension of regular Smoke (which I hope is canned at some point) it shows how a barrel aged beer can be done right.
TheAlum (4971) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - AUG 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled at GTMW 2009 (Madison, WI). Pours a pitch black with brown edges pour, opaque with decent tannish head that dies to a film and clings to the glas. Aromas are bourbon, oak, vanilla slight smoked meats malt comes in but is covered with a blanket of barrel. Initial is a bit smokey, meaty, but covered up quckly by the bourbon, vanilla, oak. Boozy, light meat lingers along with bourbon. I would have liked to see the smoke be more prominent, but the idea of this beer was certainly in the right direction, and the meaty smoke clings a bit more further in. A Man’s Man’s beer!
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 9, 2009
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Tap at the great taste. Wow, I was disappointed in this. I usually love Surly’s beer and was hoping for an interesting marriage of bourbon and smokey meatiness. Unfortunately, all I could taste was overpowering bourbon with now a hint of the base beer coming through on this dark brown beer.