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Stone Smoked Porter
Written by Tom
Last Friday when I sampled and reviewed this beer, the week seemed to drag on longer than it needed to. After a night of dinner and bowling with some friends, I came home and simply wanted to unwind. In keeping with a tradition I started 2 years ago of having a post-work week brew (every payday Friday) I pulled out this interesting concoction. The only other smoked beer I had tried prior to this was Rogue’s Smoke Ale. It was painfully hard to finish as I’d liken it to drinking straight up bacon grease. That however, was a Rauchbier (native style to Germany) and I was sure this Smoked Porter would be entirely different.
Thankfully it was! Right from the start it helped burn off my work week woes. Some quick thoughts that came to mind were, “this beer is very soothing, smooth, night cap worthy, and the warm smoky aspect fought off the lingering cold night.” I poured it into my snifter in order to capture the smoky aromas and it did so almost like a thick Stout. It has a wonderful dark brown-garnet color with a fluffy and creamy tan head.
Upon my first sniff I thought I was in a humidor. It smelled like a fresh cigar, toasted and charred wood, and the remnants of fire. While this was the initial aroma I received, it was supported by a very rich and deeply burned grain aspect that carried hints of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla. In both the taste and smell the smokiness gave off the impression that this beer had been oak aged which I enjoyed thoroughly. There was a minor display of hops in the aroma as the higher alpha acid hops Columbus and Mt. Hood where used.
The taste was rather sweet at first, but then mellowed out respectfully into a dark malty brew that resembled an English-style Porter with a little complexity due to the smoked malts. The finish had a peaty aspect to it like that found in Scotch whiskey and with an ABV of 5.9% it is very drinkable (finished a bomber and wanted more). It had a malty body, chocolaty middle, and a coffee bitterness in the aftertaste that lasted for a while.
Grade: B+Stone Smoked Porter,