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 isn’t 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 (766) - 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 Woolley’s. 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.
bookman10 (747) - 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 isn’t your thing, try something else. It worked for me. Had a draft with a burger at St. Paul’s Happy Gnome. Little to no head. Some chocolate and sweet undertones there (hard to tell under the smoke). Not quite sure it’s worth the expense (I really wish Surly would get serious about bottling this and Darkness in larger quantities so they wouldn’t 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 I’d been saving for a year and I have to say, it tasted pretty awful. Don’t know that this is a beer that will age well, at least based on this example (still have another year-old bottle to try).
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 isn’t too intense, but is still quite prominent. Pretty solid.
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 doesn’t feel thin at all. Guessing 7.5 or 8%. Guess we will never know. Amazing brew!
bsp77 (724) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 6, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.
Appearance: Extremely dark brown without much head and very spotty lacing.
Aroma: Smoked malts, oak, molasses, raisins, vanilla and licorice. Impressive for a lager, which tend to be mild in the scent department.
Taste: Oak and smoke is very predominant, with nice rounded semi-sweet malts of molasses, plum, licorice and figs. Ends with a touch of spicy and bitter hops, which co-mingle nicely with the smoke.
Palate: Low carbonation, smooth and creamy lager body that is somewhat full bodied.
Overall: Very nice balance between a Baltic Porter, Rauchbier and Oak-Aged beer. Delicious and very easy to drink, belaying its 8.2% abv.
WisconsinBeer (716) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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!
bluemooner (657) - East Bethel, Minnesota, USA - FEB 4, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2012 Bottle. Pours a dark brown, almost black with ruby legs and a medium, foamy, tan head and some lacing. Aroma is caramel malt, raisins, plums, and some woody smokiness. Several layers of flavor noted: caramel malt with chocolate, molasses, and brown sugar; sweet dark fruit including plums, dates, figs, raisins, and berries; and some nice but not overpowering smokiness with oak and meatiness, almost bacon flavors. Medium body with good carbonation and some alcohol noticeable but fitting. Great brew all around.