Cornfield (5570) - 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 (2280) - 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 (1487) - @ $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 (4841) - 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.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - DEC 20, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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? Iím 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 isnít 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...
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 16, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma was slightly more roasted malt then smoke, little tidbits of smoke could be detected,but with Toddís 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
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - DEC 16, 2007
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
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 didnít exist." (Usual Suspects).
ketchepillar (1172) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 16, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at brewery. Aroma: Strong smoked ham, a bit of fruitiness. Taste: pretty strong of smoked ham, dark dried fruits. Nice finish.