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RATINGS: 458   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 50   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A smoked Baltic Porter. Aged in oak barrels for several months.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
pepsican (1447) - @ $13.99, Iowa, USA - DEC 22, 2007
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 didn’t overpower the coffee or malty sweet flavor. Finished creamy with a slight alcohol bite. Annoyingly drinkable since I don’t have a keg or two of this. Hopefully they bottle/can this soon.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
joebrew (608) - Farewell Minny; Hello Puyallup, Washington, USA - DEC 21, 2007
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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (4475) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - DEC 21, 2007
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 doesn’t 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.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2007
Served very cold in a tulip-like goblet at Muddy Pig: Plain glossy black. No head was present when served on any of my orders? I’m sure, perhaps at point of pour there may have been, but I saw none. A glare of oily residue coats the glass while flecks and specks of lace frantically stick about the surface. Heavy, dark, aroma of deep dark fruity tanged fig, raisin, with a nice rounded black malt sweetness. Crisp and fresh smelling at first wiff. Only slight smoked ascents at first but it grows with a delicate and gradual nudge as it warms. Creating more smoked bacon tendencies as it goes as does a bit more roasted deepness. Wonderfully broad deep flavors. Clean, invitingly deep, lasting flavors of all sorts of malts with caramel smoothness, black malt sweetness, roasted malt dryness, and smoked malt tangyness. Mildly figgy and raisin paste make for a nice quick tang of a dark fruity nature upfront. The smoked meat flavors are a near perfect match as it is never overpowering in any fashion. Its just a mild yet fulfillingly rich and well blended tone all across the palate. Notes of burnt rubarb pie, black cracked pepper, cocoa, and vanilla create nice little additional things among the smokey realm of its character. Lots of subtle layers and melding flavors in this one. A smoked crockpot of malts if you will. Nice! Body is smooth, clean, and partially silky with a well handled tang of dark fruit and smoke. Tends to get slippery real quick as its medium body isn’t a thick monster of malt. Its quite casual and leads you easily into a lull of drinkin ease and great flavors. The drinkability is outstanding! Ahhh, but here is where I think that term "Smoke" came from other then the obvious use of smoked malts. As its the ABV that renders itself like smoke from a fire smoldering in your head. It builds slowly at first, filling your head gradually with smoke, eventually, and before you know it your head is a blaze of swimming glee from the ABV. Wow, one sneaky fuckin beer! Watch out for this one, be sure to drink water to help slow the smoke. Whew...

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Aroma was slightly more roasted malt then smoke, little tidbits of smoke could be detected,but with Todd’s usally ballsy approach,this seemed a little light,that being said it was a great raosted aromataste was chocolately,slight roasted coffeeand again light hints of smoke in the aftertaste,next batch tell the mallster to keep it on the beechwood a little longer. Still a great brew

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - DEC 16, 2007
Tap Cafe 28 served teasingly in a Darkness Goblet. Saturday night before the Darkness bottle release- I toast all the people driving from other states and preparing to spend the night outside the brewery. I am in awe. The aroma of Smoke is...well Smoke. Appearance is also tantalizingly similar to Darness- Solid black with a large cocoa head. The taste is pleasing milk chocolate and liquor. Mouthfeel is as silky as it gets. Without significant hop taste (unique for Surly) you really get a view of their craft expertise in how flawless the mouthfeel is. The smoke is by no means overwhelming but adds a dimension of interest to a baltic porter that would have been wonderful without it. The alcohol is surreptitious - its there but its not...kinda like smoke. "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist." (Usual Suspects).

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ketchepillar (1088) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 16, 2007
On tap at brewery. Aroma: Strong smoked ham, a bit of fruitiness. Taste: pretty strong of smoked ham, dark dried fruits. Nice finish.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
On tap at the Blue Nile. First off... I am not a huge fan of smoked beers, nor am I big on porters, thus smoked porters generally aren’t big for me. But leave it to Todd and the crew... Enticing aroma of lightly smoked moist wood. A hint of maple bacon. Nuanced smoke. Earthy with a touch of peat. Quite a lot of oak. Pours pitch black with a thin khaki head. Quite nice on the tongue. The smoke doesn’t overpower the beer. Lightly charred wood, smoky malt, leather, burnt vanilla, bitter chocolate and dried coffee grounds. Rich and creamy. Full bodied. Finishes with a touch of earthy and smoky malt. By far the most nuanced smoked beer I’ve tasted. The smoked malt doesn’t overpower the flavor and aroma, rather it enhances the beer. Nicely done!

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
WisconsinBeer (705) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
Dark viscous used motor oil color with a thick grimy head. Aroma is surprisingly light for a smoked beer. Smoke flavor is not overwhelming, but plays a nice complimentary roll. Medium bodied. Well done, as a lot of rauch beers seem to be heavy on smoke and light on body, which doesn’t describe this beer at all. Thanks to Omar for breaking this out on tap during Darkness Day 12-15-07!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
islay (1135) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
5 or 6 oz. pour, on tap at Mackenzie in Minneapolis. Consumed on 12-14-07. Coffee, chocolate, and plum scents from the malt. Sweet tobacco, leather, and black cherry, and curry scents from the smoke. Vanilla from the oak. Pronounced underlying sweetness in the aroma. Bitter smell that probably derives from the dark malts, but perhaps some may come from hops. The aroma is pleasant, but I wish it were stronger, especially the smoke component. The smell really isn’t all that smoky. Pours a dark brown, almost black with a mahogany hue. Almost no head. Coffee bitterness is the primary initial taste. Some cigarette (as opposed to cigar) tobacco, but not much. Seems to be somewhat hoppy, but that may be an illusion from the dark malts, smoke, and oak. Sweet tobacco and sugar flavors emerge eventually. Alcohol not fully masked. Medium body. Soft and lively in the palate; typical Surly texture. Oak Aged Smoke is good, but, as a big fan of both Surly and smoked beers, I was hoping for more.


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