Ernest (7518) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 3, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly lasting. Body is medium brown. Aroma is moderately malty (toasted dark bread, roasted nuts, cookie), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), with a strong note of savory smoke (meat and wood), other note of maple syrup. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, moderately bitter. Medium body, watery/creamy texture, lively carbonation.
Finally an American brewery has made a Schlenkerla clone, and itís about damned time. The smoky aroma is absolutely on par with the iconic Bamberg beers, unlike most American renditions that wimp out and deliver only 10%-50% of the smoked richness. A couple days ago a fellow at the RR bar heard me order one of these and followed form after he was done with his Americanized barrel aged Secale..."whoa, damn, thatís smoky!" Indeed it is. And yet other delightful aromas shine through, which is sometimes missing from Schlenkerla samples. Mind you, this ainít Gaenstaller level Rauchbier here...itís a little watery and easy-going and a touch too sweet, and it doesnít have the insane aromatic depth of Andyís version, but Iím pretty sure this is the best smoked beer made in the US.
3fourths (9296) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 24, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2016 From bottle itís clear burnt amber with a sustained off-white head. Rich, woody smoked malt character with sea salt, gravlox, and honey-ham angles. Layers of dusty bread crustiness, caramelized sugar, maple syrup, calcium, sulfur, pie crust. Itís medium bodied, rich and scrumptious while also crisp and airy, making drinkability extremely high. Stunning flavor balance and ingredient expression. Iím trying not to go too crazy about it, but they really have captured the essence of Franconia here, smoke character, malt, fermentation, balance.
bytemesis (7611) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - NOV 15, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours hazy hazel, medium off white creamy head, good lacing. Aroma is beechwood smoke, campfires, hints of bacon. Flavor is light sweet, light bitter, medium smoke, just tickles the edges of meatiness. Malty base, caramel, dark breads. Medium body. Tasty.
Sledutah (7242) - Utah, USA - SEP 29, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
500ml bottle from the brewery
Pours clear dark mahogany with a small beige head, some lacing. Aroma is smokey, ham and caramel. Flavor of toasted malts, smoked ham, chocolate with a ashy, dry finish