Hopper (827) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - APR 8, 2011
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml brown bottle thanks to CLevar. Pours a virtually black in the glass with a nice looking head. The aroma is smokey but really is more meaty than smokey which is nice. Sausage, dark fruits, liquid salami. Damn I think Iím a sucker for smoked beers. The taste again is very meaty, smokey, more dark fruits, figs, maybe even some chocolate. This is liquid meat in a glass.
bp (823) - Queens, New York, USA - DEC 27, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
draft: pours a dark black with a thin tan head, aroma of smoke, bacon, taste is malty, smokey, dry, thin-to-medium body, smokey aftertaste, very nice
Ericular (800) - Minnesota, USA - APR 6, 2013
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap @ Muddy Pig. Looks jet black with decent head and decent lacing. Aroma is campfire and hickory smoked bacon. This is a unique smelling beer. Taste follows suit with heavily roasted malts, some smoke, and overall pretty sweet at first, subsiding to a smoky bitterness that was just slightly too much. I mean, itís what I came for, but in the end it didnít agree with me as much as I hoped it would.
grimreeser (797) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap on darkness day at brewery. Aroma of smoke, some hoppiness comes through. Nice sweetness, bitterness isnít really there. According to one of the Surly guys, the smoke has mellowed nicely since ABR. Nice beer.
Tripplebrew (778) - Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The aroma is light. It is pretty light. Not a typical smoked beer. There are no bacon flavors. Roasted malt, chocolate flavor. A medium bodied beer. There was quite a bit of a thick tan head. The beer was very dark. color of used oil. It was a good beer but I was hoping smoked factor would be a little stronger. overall it is a well balanced beer. Pretty strong too.
Rando7 (776) - Iowa, USA - MAY 19, 2011
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle pours dark brown with frothy tan head. Aroma smoky. Taste roast, malts, caramel, a bit of chocolate and a lot of smoke and barbecue. Palate medium-thick with moderate carbonation. Finish brief and roasty with a little alcohol burn. The porter aspects were not as strong other Baltics, and the smoky aspects dominated a bit much. Glad I got to try it.
Nsanders (737) - St Paul, Minnesota, USA - MAR 12, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at Woolleyís. Deep brown with some tan lacing. Smokey, leather, dried leaves and earthy hops. Taste is dry with light bitterness. Body is lighter with a foamy feel.
mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - JUN 27, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
From a bottle. Pours dark brown to black with a small tan head that quickly fades. Smoke in the aroma along with some chocolate. Flavor is smoky, chocolate, oats, and somewhat sugary. Finish is sweet. Smoke isnít too intense, but is still quite prominent. Pretty solid.
bookman10 (733) - Osseo, Minnesota, USA - DEC 4, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JAN 15, 2013 I enjoyed it. The smoke is quite strong and permeates the beer to a significant degree, so if this isnít your thing, try something else. It worked for me. Had a draft with a burger at St. Paulís Happy Gnome. Little to no head. Some chocolate and sweet undertones there (hard to tell under the smoke). Not quite sure itís worth the expense (I really wish Surly would get serious about bottling this and Darkness in larger quantities so they wouldnít be so hard to find), but was glad to have the opportunity to give it a try. Complemented the burger well.**Update: 1/14/13: Just had a bottle of this that Iíd been saving for a year and I have to say, it tasted pretty awful. Donít know that this is a beer that will age well, at least based on this example (still have another year-old bottle to try).
darkguardian (727) - Florida, USA - JAN 19, 2009
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pour from a growler courtesy Beerlando. Pours dark brown, the nose on this is amazing, smells like smoked bacon, underlying notes of coffee. This is a much better smoke beer than any other I have had, its more like smoked meat, not at all acrid. Lovely notes of chocolate and coffee underneath. This seems like it may be fairly strong in alcohol as it doesnít feel thin at all. Guessing 7.5 or 8%. Guess we will never know. Amazing brew!