Plain glossy black. No head was present when served on any of my orders? I'm sure, perhaps at point of pour there may have been, but I saw none. A glare of oily residue coats the glass while flecks and specks of lace frantically stick about the surface.
Heavy, dark, aroma of deep dark fruity tanged fig, raisin, with a nice rounded black malt sweetness. Crisp and fresh smelling at first wiff. Only slight smoked ascents at first but it grows with a delicate and gradual nudge as it warms. Creating more smoked bacon tendencies as it goes as does a bit more roasted deepness.
Wonderfully broad deep flavors. Clean, invitingly deep, lasting flavors of all sorts of malts with caramel smoothness, black malt sweetness, roasted malt dryness, and smoked malt tangyness. Mildly figgy and raisin paste make for a nice quick tang of a dark fruity nature upfront. The smoked meat flavors are a near perfect match as it is never overpowering in any fashion. Its just a mild yet fulfillingly rich and well blended tone all across the palate. Notes of burnt rubarb pie, black cracked pepper, cocoa, and vanilla create nice little additional things among the smokey realm of its character. Lots of subtle layers and melding flavors in this one. A smoked crockpot of malts if you will. Nice!
Body is smooth, clean, and partially silky with a well handled tang of dark fruit and smoke. Tends to get slippery real quick as its medium body isn't a thick monster of malt. Its quite casual and leads you easily into a lull of drinkin ease and great flavors.
The drinkability is outstanding! Ahhh, but here is where I think that term "Smoke" came from other then the obvious use of smoked malts. As its the ABV that renders itself like smoke from a fire smoldering in your head. It builds slowly at first, filling your head gradually with smoke, eventually, and before you know it your head is a blaze of swimming glee from the ABV. Wow, one sneaky fuckin beer! Watch out for this one, be sure to drink water to help slow the smoke. Whew...
(notes: December, 2007)
Black as it gets, with a roasty tanned head. Looks absolutely perfect for the style.
Smoked malt from Bamberg in this, and it wafts out slyly, but confidently. There’s bacon down there, but I get salmon as well....mmm, smokey!
Taste: mmm, a beautiful mix of the roasted chocolate malts, the deep, dark fruits, like raisin and plum, but so smooth. The smoke aspect is just sliding along in the flavor, not a dominant aspect at all, but it hangs in there and never lets you forget it. The strength is sneaky, too, you don’t get hit on the head, but it creeps up on you, and invades your mind with stealth. Delicious stuff, and so easy to drink, though you have to pace it...too strong for sessioning! But you want to, you really really want to!
I have to wonder if other American brewed "Imperial Porters" are as faithful to the style and actually made as a lager, as Todd did here. How do you get this dark and this deep, with a lager? But it's a wise choice, as the flavor is there aplenty, and the mouthfeel is so smooth, so clean, so sumptuous, as well. This is one of my favorite styles, though the smoked porter variety isn't, exactly. So glad that the smoke is not intrusive, and merely in the end, a side characteristic, ...maybe the oak aging aided in the mellowing of the flavors? Whatever, it really came together in Smoke!
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