Ratman197 (15480) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - DEC 31, 2006
750 ml bottle poured a clear nearly opaque dark brownish black with a large lasting tan head. Aromas of smoke, charcoal and a hint of dark chocolate. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of hardwood smoke, dark chocolate, charcoal, light carmel and a hint of vanilla with a lingering smokey finish. rajendra82 (1106) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - DEC 26, 2006
I have liked almost every smoked beer I have ever sampled, and I had always wondered why more brewers didn’t give the smoked treatment to their one off releases. Almost reading my mind, the newly released corked and caged bomber of Left Hand Smoke Jumper Smoked Imperial Porter appeared on the store shelves of Bullocks in Marietta, Georgia. I uncorked it without bothering to refrigerate it first, and the loud thud and the free forming head inside the bomber made me realize that had it been a few degrees warmer, and I would have had a geyser on my hand. The beer looked opaque black with dark brown highlights when held up against strong light. The large khaki head was impressive when taking into account the double digit ABV. Inhaling the headspace over the beer revealed that the “standard” Imperial Porter aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted grains had been overlaid (or almost overrun) with the wonderful aroma of wood smoke. The taste exhibited an assertive smoke treatment, which went well with the other bold flavors of chocolate, toffee, vanilla, and bitter hops. More a stout than a Porter if you ask me, as there was little to no sourness, and the taste was more bitter than sweet, but take this as an observation and not a complaint. Body was quite chewy, and the alcohol was warming in the belly (as if there was a real fire in here to go along with all the smoke). Note to self, pick up more to cellar. SSSteve (4006) - - DEC 24, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2006 pours black with a huge brown head that lasts forever. aroma of smoke, hops, peaches, and more smoke. nice flavors of chocolate, vanilla, hops, and yes....smoke. the smoke lingers long after the beer is finished. i loved this. Magjayran (1379) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - DEC 16, 2006
This one pour an oily black color with a huge tan head that takes for frickin’ ever to die down. Aroma is intriguing. You get obvious smoke on top of a chocolatey American style Imperial porter scents. The flavor is very much a roasty burnt coffee flavor with hints of chocolate and Blackstrap molasses. I think the smoke flavor is what makes the coffee notes seem burnt. I like this one but I could actually do with more smoke and subdued chocolate hints. luckygirl (1222) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2006
750. Beer is very dark brown, nearly opaque with a large-to-huge, frothy, light brown, diminishing head.<P>
Ernest (7864) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 10, 2006
Camp-fire heavy aroma. It’s malty with a moderate notes of shortbread, toasted grain, light note of caramel; Hoppy with a light note of resin/pine; Light miscellaneous note of underripe banana.<P>
The flavor is heavily sweet, moderately-to-heavily bitter, moderately acidic with a long, moderately bittersweet finish. Lots of campfire in the retros.<P>
The body is full, the texture is velvety and the carbonation is lively.
UPDATED: JAN 5, 2009 Bottle (2008 batch). Head is initially average sized, frothy, brown, mostly lasting. Body is dark brown to black (not opaque, flashlight tested). Aroma is moderately malty (roasted grain, chocolate), lightly hoppy (resin, apricot), with notes of smoke, ash, and vanilla. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter. Medium to full body, creamy/velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately alcoholic. Much improved from the overly-hoppy 2006 batch. Thank you, Left Hand, for letting the malt and smoke shine through this time. Still lacks nuance and finesse in the nose, but overall very rich and satisfying. Good stuff.