Smoked Porter - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 14 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +3.3%
Another unannounced surprise at the pub, another cult-favorite style as yet untried (to my experience) at this establishment.
Appearance: complete darkness, black in totality, with a nice, creamy brown head, that lasts long, and leaves lace as the glass empties.
Aroma is mild and subtle at first, showing light, subdued cocoa and coffee, with the smoke character slyly entering the frame, but never being a large factor.
On the tastebuds, though, a different story, for the smoke comes in first and foremost, mingles well with the coffe and chocolate, making for a very complex and flavorful experience in the mouth. Very silky smooth, even irresistible, downable indeed, but with plenty going on. Body feels a bit thin, after a while, but mouthfeel is creamy and the taste is rewarding, so I don't hold that against it. Nice, longish finish.
I enjoyed this all the way down. I'm betting it won't be around much this time, so I'll have to stop back for more. That's how they getcha!
A little research shows that this beer has been around before, and has a name, "Sparnfarkel", which the current brewer blames on a former, and claims it has "something to do with Germans roasting pigs." More research shows nothing conclusive. I think it's a joke, and a silly one, the best kind.
08-27-2004 00:33:53 | More by feloniousmonk
United Kingdom (Wales)
4.1/5 rDev -2.6%
Poured into a pint glass.
Pours 1/2 finger of dark tan head. Good retention leaving minimal splattered lace. Color is a deep cocoa brown, basically black.
Aroma: Big smokey and roasted malt aroma. Chocolate. Nice fresh earthy hops to balance it out well.
Taste: Town Hall has done it again. A smoked beer that seems to flow well. Nice roasted/smokey flavor, chocolate malts, cocoa, earthy hops again.
Mouthfeel: Roasty and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Decent amount of carbonation. Ends with an obvious smokey aftertaste.
Overall, I am really enjoying this beer. I really like it competes with Surly Smoke (Smoke wise, as I realize they are different styles). It is well balanced and is simply incredibly drinkable. I am impressed.
09-30-2009 19:07:08 | More by mothman
4.15/5 rDev -1.4%
On-tap at the brewpub: Exceptional dark brown nearly black color, thick and rich body, finger high cap of dark ivory thats puffy and whipped smooth with some bumpyness emerging as it settles slowly, very slowly in fact, to a substantial skim and thick collar, good lacing sticks in thick webbings.
Aroma is rich and oaty sweet with a smokey charred vanilla bean dashed with semi sweet dry chocolate.
Flavors are of a charred lightly smokey malt oaty-like sweetness with a nice blend of vanilla bean within. Finish brings in some darker chocolate notes then what the smell hinted to, but is very nice with an all emcompassing smooth rich flavor and subtle dryness leaving small vanilla hints and an ever so slight smokey charred puff across the palate. Mild overall but has a fairly inticing character that insues.
Feel is very smooth and slick, slides right down with an overall mild tone thats easy to take in. Body is just shy of medium for a porter but its actual character allows for a smoother transition in its drinkability. A nice mix of vanilla, chocolate and charred smokey flavors with a sweet side to it.
09-03-2004 18:04:15 | More by tavernjef
4.1/5 rDev -2.6%
Pours black in color without much head on it. Nose is nice smoke with some meats and some chocolate malts underneath. taste is similar. Starts off with some mocha chocolates that move on to a nice touch of smoke. Really well balanced between the two flavors without one dominating the other. Another winner from TH. recommended!
04-20-2012 01:50:36 | More by birchstick
4.3/5 rDev +2.1%
On tap at the brewpub...
Coffee black, whew, black as black can get. Head is down to a greyish skim in 40 seconds. Fairly simple horizontal rings for lacing. Lightly malty aroma, a hint of definite wood smoke. Smoke plays well in the flavor, integrates very seemlessly, almost as if its dovetailed from top to bottom. Oily and coffeeish, hint of bourbon, nice ashy finish that lingers far into the aftertaste. Medium full body, about right. I looked for a little more sweetness to balance a style like this, and its more apparent at the end of the pint.
10-10-2004 18:52:01 | More by ADR
4.47/5 rDev +6.2%
pours out of the growler a jet black colour with a thick beige head. ample lacing. lots of chocolate and toffee/coffee aromas...with roasted malts and an ashen undertone....oh this smells delicious! upon tasting...first and foremost is the wide and variable interplay between smoke and roasted dark malts...they intermingle quite nicely and present a intro to the usual porter charateristics of sweet chocolate and some caramel and toffee notes. this is a delicious brew. there is a slight hop bitterness that compliments the bitterness from the burnt malts, too. smoke flavours ebb and flow...a pinch of alcohol is detectable in the finish. the mouthfeel is thick, rich and somewhat oily....and one can guess the body is quite full and satisfying. lingering sweetness....and ashy aftertaste. yummy stuff.
another round of thanks to feloniousmonk for another fine growler of town hall brew!
10-12-2004 00:29:07 | More by budgood1
4.43/5 rDev +5.2%
Has a beautiful dark black color with streaks of ruby showing through when held to the light. Has a tan, foamy, 1 finger head which leaves a nice lace. Smells of smoke, wood, and caramel malt. The brewery uses cherry wood which gives this beer a nice aroma and flavor. The taste is just like the aroma. This beer has a wonderful smokiness, but is also smooth and a pleasure to drink, with nice carbonation. I love smoked porters, and this is a good one.
08-31-2009 00:08:50 | More by hardy008
3.2/5 rDev -24%
Serving glass: Poured from tap into pint glass.
Appearance: Very dark red that appears black with thin head and no lacing.
Smell: Smoky (obviously) - peat, vanilla and something I can't quite identify. There is something off-putting but I am still intrigued so that counts for something.
Taste: Smoke dominates to the point that I can't really identify true malt or hop characteristics. Now, this is not necessarily bad, but there is a problem. Is it the peat? No, that is quite nice. Is it the wood and vanilla? No, that is quite nice as well. Is that band aids I taste? I believe so, and that is the problem, and is also what was off with the smell. Still tastes fairly good, but now I can't get past band aids.
Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat smooth but a little thin.
Drinkability: Well, it is interesting, but I have had much better Smoked Porters. Glad I tried and I kind of enjoyed it, but I don't want to have it again. However, I am wondering if the band aid taste is usually there, as others seems to love this beer. Maybe I got an off-batch, but the other reviews were from 2004, so who knows?
08-28-2009 03:02:16 | More by bsp77
4.18/5 rDev -0.7%
Ran up to the brewpub for a few beers when the little lady was working late. They still had the Smoked Porter on and I tried it at The Great Taste of the Midwest. I thought it was basically ashtray water at the time but as I drink this entire glass I have changed my mind. The apple wood has definitely mellowed over the past 2 weeks. Drank from a generic pint glass.
Appearance- Pours a dark ass brownish red with a beautiful two fingered light brown head. The cap recedes quickly leaving a fair amount of sticky lacing and a thick luscious collar.
Smell- Smells exactly like fresh hickory smoked beef jerky. The smoke is intense and very tobacco like. Think wet ashtray (in the nose only still). Maybe a bit of chocolate as well but that's a stretch. This thing is smoke through and through.
Taste- Like the nose a smoked meat side shows as this is the smokiest beer I've ever tasted. Gosh damn, so meaty and manly! This beer makes me wanna fight! Tobacco and leather are strong as well and I'm 90% sure the brewer spit his plug of Red Man in the fermenter. Finish is smoky and smooth with a bit of wet tobacco and testosterone.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin with a soft bit of carbonation and a badass chuck Norris feel.
Drinkability- So I'm sure my review didn't sound like a shining endorsement but damn this is a tasty brew. The Cherry Wood really adds a bold intensity that I've yet to experience in a brew. I can actually feel my chest hair growing right now. Awesome stuff!
08-28-2009 20:48:07 | More by younger35
4.38/5 rDev +4%
My first beer in my unsuccessful quest to become Town Hall's mayor for the month. Served in a standard pint glass.
The color is extremely dark brown, close to midnight black. I was expecting a darker head, but this one is a light tan color...interesting.
You can smell the smoke in this beer before it is even set on your table by the server. I could smell the smokey character from about 5 feet away. It's hard to get anything beyond the smoke because it is so overpowering (but hardly unpleasant), but I get light malt, chocolate and tobacco.
The taste does not disappoint. I couldn't tell if they poured an entire bottle of liquid smoke, or the brewery just ashed his Columbian cigar in my beer, but whatever they did, it works. Completely and utterly overpowering smoke character is obviously supposed to be the focal point of this beer, and it does an excellent job of doing it.
The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected. I sometimes wonder what the base porter is like in this beer, since it is so hidden. Drinkability is great, since it's so tasty I finished this in a brisk fifteen minutes.
A great example of an American Smoked Porter. If you want a Rauchbier type smoked beer, this isn't really it. You can definitely tell this is American made and influenced, but thats ok I love it just the same.
09-05-2009 07:10:34 | More by Mistofminn
4.13/5 rDev -1.9%
Appearance is all thickness, thick cream drifts of brown cappuccino topping and thick blackness of body. Definitely sexy. Nose was excellent: fresh vanilla bean and vanilla extract, or even more so--sweet coffee ice cream--all with a light fruit overlay.
The sweet coffee cream--the kind that's rich enough to shingle off the scoop as you eat it--dominates the flavor in the mouth. The further it warmed (It was not served cool at all) the more sweet it got, until I was convinced the taste had more like a lightly toasted coffee in a dulce de leche ice cream. This smoked porter (which I'm positive was called "smokey porter" when I was in Minneapolis in August) was not smokey at all--very low-key there. The flavor was not up front at all, a delicate brew. Some chewy, mild hops are felt in the aftertaste, not bitter and only slightly dry. A roasted feel in the aftertaste jumped in more and more as it warmed.
This was a dang good brew, had on-cask at the Town Hall in Minneapolis.
10-28-2004 04:21:47 | More by donnebaby
4.35/5 rDev +3.3%
pours black with large brownish tan head. good retention. lots of lacing.
aroma is dry chocolate/vanilla. pleasant but faint.
taste is exceptional. strong smokey flavor with slight chocholate and slight vanilla or caramel flavors. not as sweet or as full/thick as the oatmeal stout.
pitcher went fast
10-06-2004 07:02:33 | More by jwilli7122
Smoked Porter from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 14 ratings.