drunkenpolack (319) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 2, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Smoke pours pitch black for the most part. Barely any head is poured at all. Whatever pours is quickly gone to what you see in the picture to the right.
With the smell you really donít get the full effect of this beer. Itís really not until you get to the taste that you really understand why this is called Smoke. The smell is light on smokiness, roasted malt, chocolate, and oak. Really nice.
But when you take your first sip, you are really greeted by the smoke. Smoke and burnt malt attacks the palette. But then the beer takes a turn. Itís like a two step process. Attack the palette with a barrage of smoke, then turn around and give us a really nice mixture of coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, alcohol, etc. The ending of this beer is just fantastic. Like I said, its a tale of two beers here.
Love the mouthfeel. Smooth, creamy, and just thick enough.
boamr (309) - Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 11, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours black with a small off white head. Has a smoky smell to it. Taste is of smoked malt and a little chocolate.
evanlarkin (307) - Northfield, Minnesota, USA - OCT 4, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Ported from BA.
Iíve had this from bottles and on tap a few times, but I just happened to open a bottle now, so Iím basing this review on it.
Pretty much black. If I hold it up to my light nothing gets through it. Creamy/fizzy off-white head, about 2 fingers. It settles after a minute or two, leaving some lacy spikes.
I can tell why itís called smoke. It smells a lot like that smoked tea, lapsang souchong (sp?). Behind that are hints of raisin and dark chocolate.
More raisiny than the smell had me expecting, topped by a dried plum taste. The smoke flavor is loud and clear, but it feels more like a smell than a taste. It floats off of your tongue. Licorice is predominant in the aftertaste.
Thick, not quite chewy, with some alcohol vapors coming off of your tongue. Not highly carbonated, and very smooth. Goes down like smoky silk.
Pretty good. I can polish off one of the 750ml bottles in a sitting and be pretty happy. I donít know if Iíd be likely to get it at a bar, but I really like it as kind of a "staying in for the night" kind of drink.
tedovertu (283) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2009 Interesting brew. Pours dark brown almost black with a small tan head that quickly dissipates. Very smokey on the back end and meaty of the front. Another winner from Surly. A little watery but the oiliness makes up for it a little bit. Really wish they would get their coffee bender into cans.
Sean9689 (271) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 17, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I originally had this at Darkness Day but wanted to wait a bit until I could sit down and review it properly. This time, it was on at Sheffieldís. Poured into snifter.
A - Black, thin head, no lacing and no retention. Just a glass full of black liquid...not saying that itís a bad thing.
S - Smoke, dark fruity sweetness, black liquorice.
T - Similar to the nose. A good amount of smoke notes (I recall a lot more smoke notes at Darkness Day), subtle sweetness, a dark chocolate bitter finish.
M - Medium bodied, smooth, rich, dry finish.
D - Easy to drink, no real hint of alcohol. Another winner by Surly.
FURLYSURIOUS (263) - Orono, Minnesota, USA - JUL 24, 2012
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured from 750 to Surly coffee mug, 2011 vintage:
Pours a near pitch black with two fingers of light brown head that lasts a few minutes before receding to a collar that produces some average lacing.
Still a shit load of smoke on the nose. Not nearly is faded as Iíd imagined. A bit of dark fruit and woody character as well.
While the nose is still pretty beefy, the smoke has faded considerably on the tongue which is what I was hoping for. various brown ale qualities have surfaced to balance out the aggressive barbecue profile.
Overall, an extremely unique beer. Not my favorite beer from Surly but it definitely showcases their creative potential.
Sikash (240) - North Carolina, USA - APR 25, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a bomber into tullip glass. Pours a dark dark brown color with a light tan head which leaves great lacing. Aroma is dry of chocolate, roasted malt, smoke. Flavor is a nice caramel, smoke, roasted malt and sweet. With a lingering sweet alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is full and carbonation is above average. This is an absolutely delicious beer.
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).
bucs572000 (237) - Minnesota, USA - JUL 30, 2011
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This beer has amazing taste, the color is mouth watering and the smell is also.
thejoeshow (232) - Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA - JAN 26, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft. pours a black/brown color with a tan head that has moderate retention but very nice lacing. Smells like....bacon. Seriously, it smells like bacon. Nice large smoke smell with a touch of sweet malt. Flavor is very smooth and easy, smoke mixed with chocolate malt. It is thin and easy on the palate. Very easy going down. The smoke flavor is just right, not too in your face like a lot of smoke beers. I could have couple of these no problem. Well done.