troyc (2473) - Illinois, USA - JAN 24, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
(Tap) Pours a hazy dark brown color with a small amount of a tan colored head. Aroma of deep roasted malts, roasted coffee and smoke. Rich malty taste includes smoke (obviously), caramelized sugars, light whiskey, vanilla, coffee, and dark chocolate. Full bodied, with low carbonation and a light alcoholic finish. Not sure what the ABV of this beer was, but it was scarily drinkable. A fantastic beer!
Stine (1546) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JAN 19, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 19, 2008 Tap at the Blue Nile. Burly black with a skirting skin of off white. Aroma is unusual but not off the map; notes of blueberry and cinnamon accent the body of roast beef and au jus with a light hint of heat. The smoke is subtle and polished, and stays for the most part in that arena of rich beef rather than straying into maple bacon and hickory territory. Flavors has a lot of cold fruitiness and rich sweetness, like caramelized pears and sugar dipped figs let to roast over a bonfire; belgian chocolate in large quantities with fudge, graham crackers, and tart red berries. Light tones of sweet bourbon and vanilla type of spirited heat, soft and complementing. Palate is juicy, dense, and full; finish tends toward a wet, dessert wine type of fruitiness and extends itself lazily. Certainly a Baltic first, and a smoked second, this is a great example of a warming dark ale that effortlessly skirts the frustrating imperial stout-isms of overstretched hops, sugars, and alcohol, while still providing that contemplative strength needed in the dead of winter.
pantanap (3353) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 14, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
tap at Maproom....thanks to whoever posted the thread that this was available....an almost black pour with more of a brownness to the edges. thin and fastly disappearing off-white head....aromas of chocolate malt and more of a smoke/char quality that develops as it warms.....flavors of sweet chocolate malt, a small smoky presence that comes into play that i really didnít get at first.
drewbeerme (3879) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 12, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2009 on tap at maproom. pours dark brown with creamy tan head that didnít quite last till i finished. aroma of dry bakers chocolate, dark fruits, and smoked notes. as it warmed the nose developed a nice dark chocolate and more complex smokey wood character. flavor of dark fruits, chocolate, peaty smoked character to it that also developed nicely as it warmed. i couldnt feel the alcohol at all. this drank really easy. i agree with the listing as this isnít that smokey. iíd love to try this unsmoked though.3.9.
12/29/09, draft at maproom, 09 vintage, pours blk no head, nose of beachwood smoked with mild dark fruit and chocolate. Flavors are sweet raisins, chocolate, roast with smokey undertones. Heavy slick mouthfeel. Damn this would be killer if it wad thinner and less sweet. 3.5
11/4/2007, on tap at FoBAB V: pours black w/ off white head. nose is really smokey, oaky, and chocolaty. flavor is smokey, chcoolate, and dark fruits. nice flavor with an oaky finish. really great stuff. 4.0
Cornfield (5473) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - JAN 11, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I was happily surprized to see this on tap at Lunar Brewing. (Also surprized to not see this listed under the Smoked style.) Its arrival in the Chicago area had been much balyhooed at one location, but one of my fave brewpubs managed to slip it in quietly, offering me a no-limit sampling... which to me means a glass or many.
Served in a snifter, it has a very dark mahogany body with ruby highlights and a creamy tan head, soon reduced to film and bubbles. The aroma has only trace amounts of smoke, mainly being sweet, roasted dark malts with a bit of chocolate and a light woody bitterness. The smoke kicks up in the flavor, and I got a mouthful of Virginia smoked ham along with the malt and chocolate, somehow blending together in a most satisfactory fashion. As it warmed, it developed an underlying dark fruitiness as well. The finish is smokey and meaty with some malty sweetness. Very nice. I love this (Lunar) brewpub, not only brewing fine beers but gutsy enough to have quality guests as well. Chicago area folk who havenít been here yet are chumps!
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Brewing Company, Villa Park, IL<font size=-1>
Earlier Rating: 11/5/2007 Total Score: 4
Had this one on BBB63ís advice. Thanks, Mike. It poured dark brown, nearly black, with a dinkus off-white head. It has a smoothly smokey nose accompanied by some dark malts, a splash of chocolate, almond extract, and oak. Add to the flavor some dark dried fruits, oak, and a bit more smoke. Smooth and creamy to drink. I want more!
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/events-detail.asp?eve of Barrel Aged Beers, Chicago, IL 11/03/2007<font size=-1>
Mrthirstyneck (341) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 10, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
this is good. as stated below, not as smoky as it was originally, (dahmer) while many disagree THIS is a different beer than originally debuted at ABR. the dahmer version WAS NOT OAK AGED! it was much smokieer than the oak aged version. I happen to find both versions delectable. drink this a bit warm and the aroma and flavor really flourish!
Earlier Rating: 10/17/2007 Total Score: 4.4
this stuff is phenomenal beer. might be my new favorite surly once the oak aged stuff cmes out huge smoke flavor and great aroma awesome beer.
ElGaucho (2201) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - DEC 27, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 12, 2008 1/12/08: Re-rate. Draught at Blue Nile, Mnpls. Night and day difference in smoke aspect from my original sampling. Where the version at Chef Paulís was lacking in smoke, this time smoke was very evident. Hints of smoke in the nose. Fully opaque with a tan ring. Caramelly, smoky goodness. An awesome brew; so good that just as I finished it, Surly owner Omar Ansari, walked in to the bar, "forcing" me to have another.
12/27/07: Draught at Chef Paulís Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL. I suppose I really didnít need to go to the tapping of Surly Smoke in the Western suburbs of Chicago on the eve of my moving back to the Twin Cities, where Iím sure itís quite plentiful. Nevertheless, it gave me a chance to sample the good German fare at Chef Paulís as well as see bwkrieger before leaving. Had the Oak Aged version as "Dahmer" at FoBab a couple of months ago and thought it was excellent. This brew too, is outstanding. Lactose in the nose with some hop, but no hint of smoke. Opaque body with a tan head and some lace. This is a sweet beer. Hop is pronounced, or is the distinctive finish from the yeast variety? Almost got a 10 from me in flavor. Sweet and chocolaty. Both my kids liked it. Has some chocolate milk character I guess. A little overly sweet for my tastes, but this is such an exceptional brew that it didnít hinder my enjoyment of it. Again, not sure why they call it "Smoke"; thereís little to no smoke flavor evident. Ar 8, Ap 3, Fl 9, Pal 5, Ov 18
Earlier Rating: 11/9/2007 Total Score: 4.3
FoBaB í07. Billed as Oak Aged Dahmer. One of my favorite beers at the 5th Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-aged Beer held at Goose Island Wrigleyville. Roasted coffee aroma. Fully opaque, black body with a thin tan head. Wonderful brew. Has a hop finish. Smooth, with an oak finish. Subtle nut and oak.
pepsican (1444) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - DEC 22, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap. Pours a dark muddy brown with a thick tan head. Aromas of dark fruit, smoke, malt, and coffee. Taste was similar. The smoke really came through but didnít overpower the coffee or malty sweet flavor. Finished creamy with a slight alcohol bite. Annoyingly drinkable since I donít have a keg or two of this. Hopefully they bottle/can this soon.
joebrew (608) - Farewell Minny; Hello Puyallup, Washington, USA - DEC 21, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Tap at Stubs. Very nice subtle smoke on the nose, but not as recognizable as the former Dahmer. Nice sweet bark roasted malt and a touch of that bacony smoky goodness. THe oak seems to have mellowed the smoke out a little bit, as this is slightly thinner and more subdued. A spectacular beer, but I prefer the original wersion from ABR.
Earlier Rating: 10/8/2007 Total Score: 4.1
Draft ABR 07. POurs a nice ruby tinged dark brown. Nice applewood bacon smokiness on the nose as well as a good dose of sweet almost ripe fruit like malty sweetness. Nice creamy mouthfeel with a good dose of the smoke coming out but pairing well with the chocolate, ripe fruit, and nutty sweetness from the malt. A very nice beer.
JK (4401) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - DEC 21, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Surly could have done a lot more with this. The smoke is very light, but it is there in the aroma and flavor. The flavor is also lightly sweet with a touch of fruit, but this is quite dry for a Baltic porter. I would like it to be a little sweeter. As it is, it seems to fit the Scotch ale style well with the dry malt flavors, some earth, and lack of hops. Smooth palate, very easy to drink.
Earlier Rating: 10/1/2007 Total Score: 3.9
A good beer, not the ABR highlight I was hoping for. This is one of the most lightly hopped beers Surly has brewed, and is more traditional than some of their products in a style that doesnít rely on massive hops for flavor or aroma. But it is still more heavily hopped than any other Baltic porter I have tasted. The aroma does have roasted malt and just a touch of soy sauce. A thick, black beer with some carbonation. Flavor is medium sweet malt, some roasted character, and a hint of red wine. Unusual finish for the style and the hops do show themselves much more at the end.