JoeMcPhee (9517) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 24, 2007
Tap at Barcade. Pale amber beer with a white head. Lovely soft smoky aroma over a soft munich/caramel malt base. The smoke is well-balanced by sweet malts. There is also a light blackberry fruitiness in the flavour that seems a bit strange, but not unpleasant. The hops are quite subtle, but they serve to balance the combination of sweet fruit, smoke and berries. This is a quaffable, tasty pint from Sierra Nevada. fordest (2470) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - MAR 19, 2007
Deep orange color from the draft ale at San Diego Brewing company. Couldn’t get much aromas out of it. Some maltiness touches of spice, kinda like a marzen. Flavors were much better. Smokey and malty. Not too much hops which is a departure for SN. Not bad. RAYBOY01 (2010) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 18, 2007
Dark amber hue with a thin head. The nose was very muted (Thank god, though sampled at the same bar as frankenkitty, I did not find the same sour egg gassiness...He who smelt it, dealt it; he who detected it, ejected it; he who sensed it, dispensed it, Joe) Very tame smokiness, really just a hint, and the flavors were more in the area of lightly roasted caramel malts. The body was very thin and watery. This was more than a bit of a disappointment for me. Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 27, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 22, 2008 Tap at Boston Sunset Grill. Cloudy amber body topped with a small off-white head. Moderately smoked on the nose. The malts have a maple taste and its smokiness adds a smoked-ham flavour with some roasted nuts and dry tree branches. Sweetness level is low which I like with that type of beer. Taste is somewhat restrained and obviously far from the intensity of a Schlenkerla. This really is a session Smoked and a pretty good one at that. Makes me glad to be a beer lover. Hey, at least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits. SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 25, 2007
On draught at O’Briens. Arrived a clear burnt caramel color with a very small head, but lots of nice bubble streams rising through the class. Aroma is not surprisingly smokey, but features some caramel maltiness and citrus notes as well. Smokey sweet and hoppy brew in the flavor, sorta like a SN Harvest Ale over the campfire. The sweetness emerges as it warms, bringing toasty and toffee malts with a nice smokiness and a bright citrus and floral hop character in the finish. Medium body and tingly carbonation. Nice, out of the box brew from SN.
ClarkVV (6839) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 23, 2007
Draught pint at Sunset Grill on 2/10/07frankenkitty (2012) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2007
Ruddy auburn with beige-tan hues and a medium-beige head that is small but well-retained, providing minor lacing. Well-conditioned and showing a high clarity with moderate carbonation.
Dry woodsmoke in the nose only incorporates a bit of salty/meatiness. Unfortunately, crystal malt hardness is very apparent lending that "iced tea and hard candy" sort of note that always seems too dry when used to the point where you can smell it. This keeps it quite dry and actually distracts from the smokiness through the middle. Light breadiness and a some sweet pale maltiness lends a light vanilla cream note that almost succeeds in warding off the crystal maltiness. Smoke returns, lightly, on the finish, with light phenols of clove, black pepper and some light band-aids. Medium to medium-high strength of aroma that definitely improves vastly with warming. The sweeter malts emerge and fend off the hard crystal malts, while the smokiness seems to grow stronger as well. No alcohol noted.
Wet/slippery texture with a prominent hardness thanks to the crystal malts, that slowly eases up and allows light pale malt sweetness in to the picture. Smokiness arrives quietly and with an almost scratchy, wooden dryness. Strong breadiness fights with the sweetness and a moderate amount of acidity begins to build. The smoke isn’t overdone (can you really overdo smokiness? haha), that’s for sure and definitely is of the more dry, less full variety. Low to moderately-low carbonation somewhat helps to concentrate the sweetness and offset some of the oily/wetness. Hickory-like woodsmoke, with lots of fruitiness, lingers on quite nicely. No alcohol noted. Hops are earthy and lightly grassy at times, leading to some pleasant, additional complexity. Tastefully done, as always, from SN, but I wish they’d cut out the crystal malt.
Served a caramely-amber in color with a scant skin of ecru above. Aromas start extremely muted. Yes... weak smoky malts with light sulfurus, farty notes. And the sulfur gets worse as it opens up. I’d imagine it would smell like this if you were downwind of hell. It was a chore to keep holding my breath as I drank. Anyway, I can taste more of the smoke than I could smell... and the charcoal-roasted maltiness is more bitter than sweet. But I can also taste some eggy notes on the roof of my mouth. Light alcohol in the finish. As far as Rauchbiers go, this one is not so good.
Vac (2445) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 17, 2007
<font size=-4>Contrary to the availability notice in the commercial description, I had this on draught at the Fat Tuesday Celebration, 2007 at <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/illinois/blue-i Tree Inn, Blue Island, IL 60406</font>
This brew pours with a crystal clear amber body topped by a thin to medium thick, white head with little lacing. It’s slightly sweet and malty with a peaty, smoke note, and a slight underlying hop note. Meidum bodied, slightly dry yet smooth. pint16 (4) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 13, 2007 does not count
On tap at O’Briens. Beautiful copper hue with a faint head retention. A beer like this incorporates the smell and taste simultaneously. Alcohol is low but the warming factor is high. The essence of being around a campfire without the smoke in your face.
Tastes of hickory and a well seasoned char. The finish is not going to fade for a while, so enjoy. DrD (61) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - FEB 11, 2007
Though lacking body and mouthfeel, this rauch has a wonderfully genuine smake flavor (some smokiness tastes more "real" than others--and faux smoke notes are one of my top turnoffs when it comes to beer). The lingering...lingering....lingering aftertaste was also surprisingly nice--as it lacked that touch of malt vinegar that so often mars otherwise exceptional smoked beers. (Tap, BrewKettle, 2/10/07)