mpbro (132) - Stanford, California, USA - DEC 21, 2002
UPDATED: JAN 14, 2003 14Jan2003 Update: After some prodding (from the brewer, no less), I
decided to clarify this rating. The beer is not
bitter by absolute standards, but it is (in my opinion)
over-bittered in the sense that it overwhelms the unique and
subtle flavors present in the beer. Re-rate ASAP.
(20Dec2002--22oz bottle) Reading the commercial description, the smokiness of this 'smoked porter' is indeed subtle.
Unfortunately, the hop bitterness of this beer is anything BUT subtle.
In what seems to be a recurring theme from this brewer, excessive bitterness undermines what would otherwise be a unique and wonderful beer.
The beer is totally opaque. Its head is lumpy, rust-colored, fine-textured, very lacy, and provides a nicely persistent effervescence to the beer.
The aroma is surprisingly mild; a little smoky, with some malt and alcohol.
Flavor: starts bitter, ends bitter, bitter in the middle. In the midst of the bitterness, I did actually taste wonderful smokiness and tasty roasted malt.
The beer has perfect mouthfeel. 'Hop heads' love this, but I think you can make a pretty convincing argument that the level of bitterness in this beer detracts from its overall quality. IndyBeerSnob (132) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAR 19, 2012
Pours black. Sweet apetizing aroma. Taste is heavy smoke and dark malt. Little to mild sweetness notes come through during initial taste. Body is heavy and flemmy. Lots of smokiness though is this guys redeeming quality. steeleliver (131) - Minnesota, USA - FEB 14, 2012
UPDATED: APR 15, 2012 Pitch black color. Couldn’t see light through it, just how I like it. Smoked flavor was present but not overwhelming. Accenting the smooth palate. Caramel chocolate smoothness with a masked alcohol content. ZiggyG (131) - Gladstone, Oregon, USA - JUN 11, 2007
Bottle. Pours very dark brown, very little light gets through this brew. A short thick nutty brown head takes a long while to dissipate. This beer smells like deeply roasted malts, and lots of them. There is a hint of smoke but it is well mixed with the roasted smell. The taste is a bit coffee and chocolate with the smoke coming through a bit more as the beer warms. This is a very enjoyable brew. gameface23 (131) - Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 19, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2008 Bottle that was a few month’s past it’s enjoy by date. It poured black with a tan head that was gone within 2 minutes. It smelled like someone lit a campfire in the distance. I could really taste the smokiness.
Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - MAY 5, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 11, 2011 Bomber from BevMo Long Beach.
Aroma is full of smoky dark malt with a touch of roasted chocolate at the end. Pours a dark black with a solid off white foam head which lingers and leaves a bubbly lacing. Taste is smoke, coffee, and chocolate with a nice bitter finish courtesy of the hops. Solid carbonation and body to this porter. Overall an amazing porter with a great smoky character. jpfrog (130) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2003
Dark, dark brown, bordering on black. Light looks red coming through. Tan creamy head that surprisingly doesn't last long. Thick lace on sides of glass that takes a minute to form. Smells of oak woodchips. Tastes like a chocolate malt. Thick, but not syrupy, almost chewy. An excellent porter. davidCC (130) - New York, USA - DEC 20, 2004
Thick smoky porter with a dark black color has a littly bit of a brown color when held up to light. Small amount of brown tan head but it lasts. Flavor is very smokey and very flavorful. Aesir (130) - Tustin, California, USA - AUG 25, 2002
Initially sweet and a little ghosty, that fades into a dry slightly smokey finish. This is a superb beer. A little more smoke flavor would be good, but it's hard to complain. scottyshades (130) - Parkland, Florida, Florida, USA - SEP 20, 2012
On-tap a while back
A: Pours a rich mahogany color with a fluffy brown cap. Kind of opaque. Retention is pretty good
S: I was expecting more smoke, but nicely balanced - only a hint. I pick up on hops and a big dose of chocolate before the smoke. Big time roast, coffee, and caramel
T: Mellow beer. Still not a whole lot of smoke, more chocolaty and hoppy than anything. Balanced. Caramel and an underlying bitterness, nice depth
MF/O: Lighter body than I expected, bitterness lingers with chocolate. Overall, pretty drinkable stuff right here