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.
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.
Nsanders (789) - 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.
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.
bookman10 (757) - 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).
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.
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!
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 doesnít describe this beer at all. Thanks to Omar for breaking this out on tap during Darkness Day 12-15-07!