douglas88 (5782) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 1, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 ounce bottle from Suttree, thanks man. I didn’t expect much from this, but it is actually a really good beer. Pours a beautiful dark brown with shades of red into my Chimay glass, a large medium white head. A sweet malty nose, smoke, roasted malts. The flavor is interesting; a rich woody smoke, but not anywhere near dominating or meaty, cherry flavors are everywhere, how cherry wood could impart this I have no idea. Roasted malts, sweet and earthy. More of a nice Stout with some smoke and nice dark cherry. This is a quality beer, I’m getting more!
decaturstevo (4851) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - JAN 28, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown pour almost black with tan head and lace. Ashy, smoky, roasted malt aroma. Roasted malt, coffee, a hint of abv. Medium/full bodied with good carbonation.
muenster (345) - Sevierville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 9, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, thanks to NachlamSie! Pours almost black with brown around the edges. Aroma is intensely meaty, lots of bacon and liquid smoke, along side more common porter elements. Flavor is great, enough smoke to rise to the forefront of the flavor, but not overpowering the roasty chocolate malts. Finishes very meaty. The mouthfeel is incredible, just as robust as most porters. A perfect synthesis of the smoked and porter styles.
NachlamSie (2721) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JAN 7, 2010
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 27, 2010 12 oz. bottle from Midtown. I have had three bottles of Sue now. I was incredibly blown away every time. See, my beef with smoked beers is they are never smoky and full bodied enough. The Schlenkerla line could probably not be any smokier, but their palate and malt flavor is nothing remarkable. The Smokejumper has a huge flavor and palate, but the smokiness is not nearly massive. Alaskan Smoked Porter, the benchmark for smoked ales, cuts the difference with a smooth and flavorful offering. What a little brewery in good old Tennessee has somehow managed to do is answer my smoked beer prayers. Sue is monstrously smoky and very full bodied. This style really loans itself to sitting out on a cold winter night and pairing with a cigar. Sue actually has the testicles to do such a thing. So much smoke in the aroma. It’s a complex and fruity smoke. I’ve used cherry wood a few times for barbeque and we’ve got a textbook example of its goodness reflected in this beer. Very subtle sweet hints highlight the sturdy earthy malts while piles of meat tantalize my nose. The mouthfeel is firm and slick. The smoke is anything but subtle in the flavor. This could be one of the smokiest beers I’ve had. Somehow the bacon fat flavor I love in the style is reflected here even with the use of cherry wood rather than beech. A bittersweet fruit presence blends with a bold malt foundation of dark chocolate and coffee. I am just completely blown away right now. Not only is this arguably the best smoked beer I’ve ever had, it’s also the cheapest of any reasonable quality: $6.99/ 4 pack. This is a true divine experience.
[February 6, 2010]
Bottle. This is a grossly underrated beer. What else could you want from a smoked beer? seriously. What does someone need to do to make a smoked beer better than this? The pour is attractive with its near black body and small tan head. The aroma. . .ah, that delightful smoky bouquet of meat, campfire, cherry, coffee. This just screams barbeque. The mouthfeel is dense and is an excellent vessel for all the smoky goodness to tantalize my palate. Up front I find ashy, pure smoke flavors, then some coffee and chocolate flavors I relate to a solid porter. The finish lingers with chewy smoked meats and bacon fat with a residual cherry quality that is basically identical to the flavor I get from my own barbequeing forays involving cherry wood. Absolutely stellar ale from Yazoo and it’s sad it goes so under-appreciated.
[March 6, 2010]
Bottle. What an underrated brew. This beer is seriously delicious. It is holding up impeccably nearly three months later. Very heavy smoke is still delightfully potent in the aroma with solid meat, campfire and those subtle fruity tones with a chocolate twist. Mouthfeel is smooth and the flavor is meaty, smoky, and fruity. Lots and lots of delicious smoked character is in this robust ale. Start to finish this is about the smoke and meat flavor with a round and complex finish with hints at earth, chocolate and fruit. More breweries should attempt to make ales as richly smoky as this. What an underappreciated beer.
[September 27, 2010]
Bought a bunch more SUE of the 3rd week of August, 2010 batch. I am so happy to once again have this in my grasp. I’ve had a couple bottles in the weeks since my purchase and I’m currently sipping a room temperature serving. Yeah, yeah I didn’t have any in the fridge and I really wanted one. It doesn’t strike me to be as smoky as I recall, though it is still strong in that department. That could be attributed to the higher than optimal serving temperature. I get a lot more malt flavor now with tons of dark chocolate and coffee notes. The finish is ashy and has a delightful meaty quality. I will rerate some of this batch in the future when it’s closer to cellar temp.
BeerHawk (1810) - Huntsville, Alabama, USA - JAN 3, 2010
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft sample at the 13th Annual Knoxville Brewer’s Jam. Black in the glass with an off-white head that settles to a ring. Malt and smoke aroma. The flavor stands out a lot more with smoke, roasted malts, and milk chocolate. Medium to full body with a smoke and milk chocolate aftertaste.
ScottyP (425) - Brentwood, Tennessee, USA - JAN 2, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark brown with beige head. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, smoke, hint of caramel. Great smoky, creamy taste with a nice bitter finish. Definitely an improvement over the earlier batch I had a Music City Brewfest.
Suttree (5013) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 1, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very dark brown, thin beige head. Smells like breakfast, if your breakfast consists of coffee and bacon or sausage or some other sort of smoked meat. Almost perfect palate - rich, but no too rich, very smooth, but assertive enough to make its presence known. Flavor is a nice mix of coffee and smoke. I like my smoked beers to be , you know, smokey, and this certainly fits the bill. In fact, if someone out there wants to send me an Alaskan Smoked Porter (what I consider the benchmark for this style) I would be happy to sample them back to back. Thanks to NachlamSie for the trade!
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 31, 2009
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Updated Rating based on first bottled version I guess Linus has changed the recipe since the inaugural batch. Now this beer has more body and more intensity. The body is just right, not too thin or too thick. I really like smoked cherry malt, as it’s very complex by adding smoke AND wood notes (cedar) to the dark roasted malts. I think it’s save to say that this is in the same league with some of my favorite smoked beers. I think Yazoo has nailed this, and can now focus on making me a West Coast style Double IPA (or a barleywine). I have the perfect name for it- "Smitty". They can take the same label, make it blue, and change the font. Linus- that is your assignment because I know you are reading this.
First Ratingdraft at MCBF. Pours dark brown with a tan head. Nice aroma of dark hardwood mulch, cherry, and ale esters. Lighter side of medium bodied with average carbonation. Flavor of black patent malts, peat, liquid smoke, and dark berries. Slight acidity on the finish, with notes of green apple and ash. Alcohol well hidden. Overall, not too shabby. Not too heavy on the smoke traits and the cherry wood has some interesting complexities. However, I personally thought it could use more body, as it had a perceived thinness in the middle. I compare all smoked porters to Stone or Alaskan Brewing, and this is not quite as good or well-rounded as those. 8-4-7-3-14
MmmcKay (1051) - Brentwood, Tennessee, USA - DEC 28, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2010 Sue is an exceptionally balanced smoked porter that any beer lover should experience. It pours a deep, dark brown with a lacing tan foam. Aromas are of smoke, roasted grains, malts, barley, and chocolate with just enough hops for balance. The rich flavors burst of cherry, cedar, roasted malt, and more smoke. Yazoo has been tinkering with this recipe for some time now. With their first bottling, they seem to have really hit the nail on the head.
2nd bottle. OK I just rated this and had another bottle. Sad to say that there seems to be a lot of bottle variation with this beer. 2nd bottle from another case was not nearly the stand out that the first was. Oops. Thought Yazoo had figured things out. May be not....
3rd bottle and beyond....While the 2nd bottle I tasted was not up to the first. Every tasting past the 2nd has easily been exceptional. Bumping my score back up again after bringing it down. Permanently as well.
knights97 (104) - Tennessee, USA - DEC 24, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 8, 2013 The sue is pitch black in body, small head with a good, smoked aroma to it while the beer give a nice smoke, caramel mixed in with chocolate malts, it’s well balanced but the smoke flavor is a bit overpowering. good beer and taste better when it warms up a bit