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Pleasantville Smoked Porter - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pleasantville Smoked PorterPleasantville Smoked Porter

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247 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 247
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 8.21%
Wants: 26
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Billolick on 02-12-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GbVDave
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our most recent trade! Growler filled at 5pm 3/13/10.

A: Pours a shade of dark brown so close to black, but not quite. Some ruby highlights at the bottom and edges when held to the light. Capping this is a marshmallow-y, dark khaki, three finger head that clings for dear life and leaves some sticky lace behind.

S: Surprisingly, not a huge smokey nose with this one. Heavily roasted malt combines nicely with some dark chocolate, fudge, and coffee. Also detected the aroma of fresh baked brownies.

T: See above. Some campfire smoke makes an appearance early in the game along with the aforementioned dark chocolate, coffee, and fudge. Also along for the ride is a hint of cherry and/or lemon.

M: Suprisingly smooth. That's not to say that there isn't a bit of that Porter-ish bitter tang in there (there is!) but along with the prickle, there's a wonderful smoothness that coats the tongue and hangs around for ages.

D: I don't care if this doesn't fit some archaic english definition of "sessionable" but dammit, I could spend a day with this beer. Thanks go out to Joe for hooking a brother up!

Photo of barknee
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one fabulous smoked brew done right! Total Rauchbier in disguise. Plenty of smoked malt, though not overly assertive, proudly proclaims the style. Unlike many American "smoked" beers, no expense was spared in the prep of this one. Crisp, slightly sweet but lacking the cloying syrupy accompaniment that many other related products have. Absolutely delicious, refreshing and very Germanic, this is a valiant effort in every way!

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Captain Lawrence brewery in Pleasantville, N.Y.

A: Poured a very dark brown, near black, with a thin, sudsy head of tan foam. Had great viscosity and left some clingy white lace.

S: Smells of roasted black malt and coal, with hints of carob and smoked pine. Light herbal hopping and licorice kick around in the background.

T: Has a nice roasted malt flavor with a bitter caramel sweetness. Had a burnt sugar and coffee flavor to go along with a slightly smoky, cocoa taste also. Finish is sweet and a little clingy with some strong herbal hops to wash it away.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and leaves a slight oily slicl on the palate.

D: A slightly stronger porter, both in ABV and malt flavor, but steady drinking and pretty smooth. It would be a tough pair unless you had some smoked meats or fish to go with it. Then again, it's a fine brew to just sip on its own.

Photo of knight84
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black w/copper highlights. Two fingers of dark frothy khakhi head that dissipates fairly quickly.
N: roasted smokey malts, coffee, smells really sweet and creamy. Some dark fruits: currants, raisins. There is a slight woody character to it as well.
T: lots of roasted malts, coffee, smokey wood, candied sugar, very robust on the palate, develops some wood flavors, there is a nice hop bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malts. Tastes like an imp porter.
M: very strong for a porter, lots of carbonation, it is strong in mf for a porter but still doesn't approach a stout. 
O: very drinkable, one of the better porters I've had, the complexity is great, I wish this were available in MI.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle-n-Hum in NYC.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and just a hint of smoke. As it warms the smokiness increases just a bit and hints of earthy hops waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells though a bit more intense. Roasted and chocolate malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by a decent amount of smokiness. The smokiness fades just before a solidly bitter ending. As with the smell hints of earthy and leafy hops make an appearance once the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was a bit let down by this beer - a good porter but an average smoked porter. Still, I have to say it's worth a shot.

Photo of Gmann
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color, only slightly brown around the edges. Nice dense khaki colored head that left a wall of lacing as it dissipated. Very stout like. The aroma is of roasted malt and mocha, some wet smoldering wood. Not an intense smoke aroma but noticable. All around good aroma. The taste starts off with a nice roasted malt which is quickly followed by a solid smoke presense, some charred beef, light coffee and finishes with a lemony/tea like tart character. Very nice range of flavors. The feel is on the thinner side like a traditional porter, not as big as other smoked porters. The carbonation is very soft, fairly sweet throughout but does finish with that tea like twang. A very good combination of roasted malt and smoke flavors. This porter bring boths to the table without feeling very heavy. Very enjoyable and worth seeking out.

Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a growler purchased at the brewery. Into a traditional pint glass.

Appearance: A dark and nearly opaque body with a mocha-colored head. Lacing's thick and sticks rather well to the glass.

Smell: Good smoke here. A lot of smoked porters, at least that I've had, tend to bury the smoke flavor, but here there's good dark malt flavors mixed with the smoke. A bit of roasted chocolate and earth. A bit of fruit esters. Mild coffee.

Taste: A good initial burst of woodsmoke, followed by dark roasted malts, a bit of coffee and chocolate sweetness, and some mild complimentary fruit esters.

Mouthfeel: Kind of odd, as it seems like a bigger-bodied brew, but there's still a little slickness and a slightly watery nature too it, though it doesn't detract too much.

Drinkability: A solid smoked porter, one that's not too much to have a few of them in this upcoming winter season. Check it out if you can.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pint from the growler. Coming straight down the middle of the glass with no tilt, this beer produces only a small cap of a head. It's been in the growler over a week, and they pour them straight from the tap, so this is expected. It still looks very nice. Black, with some brown at the corners. Light tan head, not much lace.

The aroma is pretty delicate, and if they just called this Pleasantville Porter you might not know it used smoke malts. But I do know there is smoked malts, and when I looked for it in the nose, I did find it. It's bacon-like, but pretty faint. The aromas that are more clear are chocolate frosting, and a slight fruitiness. Good, gentle porter aroma.

The smoke is more noticeable in the flavor of the beer, but it's still very slight. I think if this beer was paired with smoked meats you would pick up on it more easily...and I think that's what they were going for. No more talk about smoke because that is not what this beer is all about. The main flavors are a chocolate milk type sweetness. Very little bit of roast and very little bitterness comes through, but only on the finish.

The mouthfeel is what stands out most in this beer. When reviewing the flavor, I wrote "smooth" first because this impression came first to any of the flavors after the first sip. It has a very gentle carbonation, partly designed and partly from sitting in a growler for a while. This beer is very drinkable, and is probably one of maybe two beers from Captain Lawrence that I would like all for myself, the other being the brown ale. The one pint went very quickly.

Photo of boatshoes
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Blind Tiger (my girlfriend picked this joint for her birthday dinner, I'm a lucky man!). Nice place, but I'll have to review that for a later date.

Appearance- Comes out in a pint glass pitch black with about a half finger of off white, very smooth looking head. Looks like a very solid porter, leaves a touch of lacing as I drink as well.

Smell- Mmm, lots of bitter chocolate and burnt coffee coming through in the nose. Strongly backed up by roasted malt. Very nice nose and all the flavors I like in a nice porter coming through strongly.

Taste- Bitter chocolate and roasted malt huge in the flavor profile. Accented by a subtle smokiness as well. Just a touch of coffee as well. Very easy drinking with a big flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Carbonation very appropriate and the mouthfeel is silky smooth coming off the tap. Goes down really easy and if it hadn't been for the extensive tap list, I might have had another.

Overall, really easy drinking and flavorful porter. Give it a shot if you get the chance.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery into a small glass throughout the day.

Sloppy brown out of the jug, almost black in the glass, looks like a porter to me. Just a bit of light escaping the liquid. A creamy light brown/tan foam stood a inch in height on top of the sea of dark brown. A medium build with some thickness towards the middle, lasts a while too. Sporadic lace that does not cling well.

A well balanced scent comes forth showing off roasted coffee beans and some mild chocolate. Pleasantville is on par so far. Under the morning scent comes in roasted malt with just a touch of peat and smoke. The smoke is light which bodes well for me as it's not my favorite scent to dig on. A little bit of vanilla cream is in the distance running alongside a slight hop aroma from the earth.

Fresh ground coffee with some sweet chocolate pieces mixed in seem to be winning the roost. This pair is joined by a heaping of roasted and smoked malts although the smoked seems to be a bit understated, don't get me wrong it's there but it's hiding behind that chocolate. Some nuttiness going on here. Along with the malt structure some grain hides in the middle. This smoked porter finishes with a small hop infraction giving off the slightest hint that it's there.

PSP holds a slick feel with a medium build. Sweet and slightly smokey. This went down all to easy at least for me with the light smoke. The alcohol is not there at all and the carb gives off a nice crisp blast although light, I think it works perfect. The mouth on this shows me why the smoke from the oak series is so tasty with how this beer can absorb the different flavors from the barrels. The coffee seems to be staying with me for a while.

A growler of PSP a day will keep onix1agr at bay, there is no reason why I couldn't kill a growler of this to the head, it would not even put me to bed, a low ABV and a few tasty treats, tells me pleasantville smoked porter can't be beat, Grab some while you can, before the rest of the porter is holed up, to make a new different blend.

Photo of david18
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I avoided this beer recently because it's warm but I knew i'd try it because I love this brewery. Man was this a great beer! Really good toasty flavor and aroma, like the Sierra Nevada porter and stout. Really strong toast that is not so overwhelming that it tastes heavy. And with the 6.4 alcohol by volume i can polish off a few and still walk home. I think I have a new winter session beer to compliment the Captain Lawrence Freshchester pale ale in summer.


This beer was at Amsterdam Ale House again and I think I loved it just as much this time. Perfect balance of smoke, malt, roastiness, hops and alcohol.

Photo of Nickls
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Half-finger of creamy rich tan head with just OK retention. Deep mahogany nearing on black in color

S - Light roastiness, but didn't pick up the smoke; dark fruit aromas as well

T - Light roasted malt; sweetness; dark fruits/plum flavors. Would have like a bit more roast/toast to cut through the sweetness

M - Lighter verging on thin; not bad; soft carbonation

D - Good, but a little bit cloying in the sweetness; but certainly not difficult or boring

Overall, a nice porter, but I think I would reach for a lot of others before revisiting. Definitely worth a look.

Photo of koopa
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, New Jersey.

DISCLAIMER: This beer tends to vary a decent amount with the smoke from batch to batch in my opinion. (unless keg age is coming into play but I doubt that) This review is of a batch that had a real nice smoke presence.

Appearance: Dark brown with mocha crown. Nice retention and lacing. This looks just how a porter should IMHO.

Smell: Great smoke note strength. A force to be reckoned with but not one that will over power!

Taste: Smoked malt heaven meets molasses and dark fruit forming a luscious concoction!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and silky.

Drinkability: I see no reason why I'd have problems downing a few.

Straight 4.5's for another CL winner! I tried a flight of CL brews while at the bar that day and thought that this one was the best for its style by far.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Miniscule bubbles at the head, black oil like appearance - my friends stared at it defiantly

Smell : Smokey and toasted essence of great brew

Taste - Starts with the smokey wooden flavor. Continues with healthy malt undertones, and completes with a great aftertaste. I couldnt help but insist a few people taste it with me.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth, not too thick - possibly more carbonation could help, but I couldnt complain

Drinkability - I could drink these all night long. I had three and would have had more had I not been so full. I would have skipped my dinner to have another

Photo of Richardberg
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pint glass from the Irish pub. Dark amber, small head with fine bubbles that last and are equally brown (stark contrast to the cream colored head from their guiness pours).

S: pretty faint. (at least in part due to greasy/smoky surroundings). What's there is nicely balanced roast malt, alcohol, and florals.

T: great mix of traditional porter flavors, smoky overtones, and a bit of extra kick. Well rounded from start to finish.

M: smooth smooth smooth.

D: another? Yes please. All night, until the mostly-hidden alky caught up with me anyway.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a growler of this with some homies over the weekend, from notes 3.17.10.

Pours black with some deep ruby highlights at the edges. great lacing and filmy retention despite being poured into a straight pint glass.

I smelled chocolate as I poured my pint which was both surprising and appealing. Smoke is subtle and in balance, very nice. A general charred malt note is in check as well. The taste is in line and very well balanced as well. Not too much roasted malt bitterness and not overly sweet or sugary either. There is some residual sugar here but it's overlooked with the chocolate, malts and smoke combining to please the palate.

Pretty low level of carbonation is fitting for this low-medium bodied brew. Maybe a little on the thin side, but that helps the drinkability factor. If you're looking for a really smoky beer, this is not the one. But if you're not the hugest fan of smoked beers (like me) and want something you could have a pint or three of, try and pick up a growler of this.

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown hue with a 1/2 finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured burnt grains and a delicate charcoal aroma.

The taste consisted of an upfront bittersweet chocolate with and nice lingering smokiness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a savory smoked porter. Complex flavors.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/14/08. On tap at the brewery. Pours a dark brown/black with a pretty dark tan head. Aroma and flavor strongly of smoke (of course), coffee, roast. I thought it was a good smoked porter, although to be honest, it's not my favorite style. 7/5/7/4/13 (3.6/5)

Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Mile Square in Hoboken...
Pours a deep-black, ebony hue with a creamy, reddish, tan head...
Smoked malts evident in the nose and on the tongue... Hints of dehydrated fruits, slight chocolate and raisins...
The smoked essence wasn't as powerful as I was anticipating, yet it was still a delectable, rather easily-drinkable brew...
Not bad...
Worth a try...

Photo of hopdog
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Poured a dark, dark brown color iwth a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of lighter smoke, roast, and chocolate. The smoke was not overpowering and added a nice spin on the aroma. Tastes of chocolate, roast, vanilla creme, and a trace of smoke. Body on the thin side.

Notes from 4/6/07

Photo of sleazo
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a jet black with light brown highlights. The minimal cream head is small but lingers.

S_A light smoky ash and charred malt dominate.

D_On dry side of things. The smokyness plays well with the roasted malts and is not overpowering but perfectly complimentary. A pleasing earthy hop bitterness works as well.

M_Medium bodied with a pleasing soft carbonation.

D_An excellent overall porter. The smoke is not a huge component but manages to incorporate into the overall package quite nicely. My preference would be for more smoke, but it is still very good.

Photo of erosier
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep drown, almost black color with a tall and medium bodied tan colored head that laces a bit down the glass.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, some less dark but smokey malts, some coffee, chocolate, and a bit of a hop bitterness at the end.
T: Tastes of deep roasted and then some lighter but smokey malts, some chocolate, a hint of coffee, and then a slight hop bitterness at the end.
M: Very smooth, warming, not as thick or as smokey as I thought it was going to be.
D: Very drinkable beer.

Photo of doho95fu
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery.

A - Dark brown and you can see the thinness of the beer. Slight head even poured roughly.

S - Smoke, coffee and some cocoa. The smoke smell was not overwhelming.

T - Really good. Not a style I usually head towards but the flavor of this one is gentler. A roasted flavor, some amoke and even some fruit.

M - Thin and more carbonated than I would have thought.

Highly drinkable for the style.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ontap at Jimmy's No. 43 into a nonic imperial.

A--Purplish black. Had a Young's double chocolate stout before this and is definitely more raisiny in the body. Short, quick half finger head that dies off without a trace of skim.

S--Some deep almost Cabernet winish notes along with a trace and whiff of both roast and smoke. Like slightly burnt bread at the end of the first good sniffs.

T--A nice sock of parched, Cubano tobacco leaf as you fill out into more caramel malts and a nice floral hops to round things out toward the end. Really nice almost phenolic character that helps balance the, again, red grape immediately followed by the licking a cigar on your tongue. The hops clean you out so another sip is a welcome endeavor rather than an obstacle.

BTW, as this puppy warms it opens up both in the nose and in the mouth to reveal, to riff on the Capt. Larry naming theme, black gold. There's deep resonance of almost woody textures at work, as well as more chocolate than at first, cooler sips, so you get something like an experience of drinking great Merlot over a campfire.

M--Really nice, actually. For all the dry puckering action you get from peatbog like flavors this ride remains smooth and supple. But then again I like Islay scotch.

D--No complaints for being such a unique taste. Could definitely follow this up and would go great with autumnal or wintry fare.

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a white head that becomes a swirl. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of meaty smoke, vinuous notes, wood and something medicinal.

The taste is of chocolate with vinuous (red grapes) notes. It's smoky in a meaty way. Sweet with a balancing deep smokiness and an earthy bitterness. There's a touch of warming alcohol in the finish.

It's on the fuller side of medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smokiness clings to the palate.

The smokiness is well-done - featured but not overwhelming or too masking. There's a certain astringency slowing it done a bit, but it's an interesting "sipper".

Pleasantville Smoked Porter from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.