Philip (436) - Illinois, USA - AUG 11, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Great Taste 2008. One of the better smoke beers I’ve had, reminding me a bit of Stone’s take on the Smoked Porter (although this was smokier), and the HummelBrau Raucherator, although this had more body/mouthfeel. Notes of chocolate and dark toffee blend with vanilla for a smooth and smokey finish and a surprising amount of SALT! (I’ve never had a beer I would call "saline," but this fits the profile) Would pair well with a number of grilled foods.
steelcitybrew (430) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a jet black with little or no head. Aroma is smoky sausage and hoppy sweetness. Taste is smokey caramel, toffee and just goodness. Palate is good balaced. Good finish. Overall a pretty great beer.
TreborWhip (393) - Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 15, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle shared with my son, Keith, poured a black body with medium tan head. Smokey aroma with wood/oak. Flavors of roasted malts, black licorice, and smoke. Nice.
GODiSSOUTHERN (388) - Virginia, USA - OCT 18, 2012
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This one is a smoke bomb. Nice sweetness, but for my taste way too much smoke and really thick. Tastes like a campfire. Good in a small portion.
crowderm (382) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - OCT 26, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich black pour with a generous tan head. Smells like burnt wood, smoked ham, and chocolate. The flavor is earthy, with a pronounced, but very manageable meaty smokiness. Also nice chocolate, wood, and bitter-sweet malt notes. Awesome palate - thick, and full, matches the beer perfectly. I wouldn’t mind seeing a palate like this on bender. Really good beer.
LamarBurton (376) - California, USA - NOV 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2011 From a bottle, last beer I had as a bachelor. I am a sucker for smoked beers, and Surly does this one right. Nose is smoke and burnt malt . Good smoke profile without being harsh or biting. Lots of big malt in the mouth, very smooth, though the smoke prevents it from being "creamy". Really solid beer...also great out of the brite tank at DDay, though the smoke was not as pronounced.
mikeben (355) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - JAN 31, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I would really say this is more of a porter then a smoked beer. I tasted some roasted flavor but not really anything too smokey.It rather sweet which I personally like. I could taste some coffee in there.
mpersinger (354) - , California, USA - JUN 8, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks once more to KenW (via another ratebeerian to whom my hat is also removed). This Surly pours like cola; smells like barbeque. This densely textured dark lager has well-integrated smoke, but it bites in the finish. Loses carbonation fast, a bit one dimensional and messy.
bconley (352) - Fern Park, Florida, USA - FEB 11, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Growler thanks to Beerlando. Dark brown pour. Smokey malts, not nearly as smokey as I’d expect it to be. Tastes like a sweet, smoked ham. Very cool smooth feel to it. Quality meat.....quality beverage.
kosko20 (350) - Hopewell Junction, New York, USA - OCT 26, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: OCT 29, 2008 Too much going on in this beer for me to fully enjoy it. A good beer tho, dark brown pour, tan head and fades immediately. Aromas of smoked and roasted malts. Flavors of the same with some alcohol presence. Sweet and thick.
Rerate for Cask version aged on cedar oak.
Much cleaner, oak rounds out the alcohol presence and mellows the brew. Cask is always better.