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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

173 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 173
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 110
Gots: 10 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Enhanced with Brettanomyces

(Beer added by: Billolick on 03-18-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AltBock


4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with a label of an fiery oak barrel marked "CL" and sitting on a few twigs. Somebody please put that fire out! I want to drink the sweet nectar inside without getting burned. To the left of the barrel is Captain's address and the mandatory US information. To the right of the barrel is a hefty paragraph, a hand numbered batch number of #2, and the brewmaster's signature. The paragraph talks about about the good 'ol days when beer was put into oak barrels. My bottle was a gusher, so I'm guessing a few more might be like this one. When I popped the cap, I got a bottled version of Old Faithful.

Appearance: I wanted to pour this beer into a special glass, so I poured what was left of the bottle into a Corsendonk Tulip. For some reason, I didn't think a wine barrel aged Porter would pour a solid coal black color, but it did. It wasn't thick as oil or as dark as it, but it was only two shades down from that. That's still pretty damn dark. Believe me, I held it up to the light to see if light could flow through it and after about a few seconds, rays of light just said "to hell with it." Since this beer was a gusher, it had a self rising 2 inch+ creamy head of foam. The color of this tall head of foam was a light tan color. It was almost a light mocha color too. The head was somewhere between those two colors. This head sure took it's sweet time to recede. When it finally receded, it left behind a small tan/mocha film and a colossal amount of sticky streaks of lace. With the the beer's immense black color and the huge head of foam, how could I not like it?

Smell: The aroma of beer was wine barrel first and Porter second. The wine barrel made the Porter ride in the bitch seat. The wine barrel side of the aroma was pleasantly sour. I'm not talking about a full time Flanders Red sour aroma, but it seemed like this aroma wanted to be sour like a Flanders Red. Over on the side side was some sour red raspberries, sour cherries, sour green grapes, plenty of charred oak, and even some sour red grapes. The sour red grapes was more likely the wine coming through. The wine barrel did not let the oak go where ever it wanted. It restricted the oak, but it let its buddy the red grapes go where it wanted to. Swirl the beer around and you'll know what I mean. After the sourness dies down, now is the time for the Porter to come in. It wasn't a dark roasted Porter, but more of a sweet roasted Porter. There wasn't much to the Porter side. The only things I got from the Porter side was a little bit of sweet roasted malts and a subtle touch of dark chocolate. Now only did the wine barrel make the Porter ride in the bitch seat, but it also slapped it around. It smelled like the Porter was afraid to come out.

Taste: Like the kick ass aroma, the taste was wine barrel first and Porter dead last. I knew there was going to be wine characteristics in this beer, but I didn't think it would make this beer almost completely taste like a fine dry red wine. The first part of the taste was dry and lightly sour with sour cherries, sour raspberries, sour red grapes, and a big taste of charred oak. See what I mean by "this beer drinks like a fine dry red wine?" Also in the taste, this is where the charred oak wasn't taking any more crap from the sour fruits and asked for more flavor time. The sour fruits agreed and so they dropped just a touch so that more oak can come in. After the oak said it had enough play time, it let the Porter come in. This time the sour fruits and oak completely kicked out the chocolate and the only thing left was a hint of sweet roasted malts. As the taste moves along, the sour fruits and oak shove the malts out of the way, so that you get both of them one more time around. Talk about being overly aggressive. More Porter flavors would have been nice, but the sour fruits and oak weren't going to have any that. That might mean that would have tone down a little.

Mouthfeel: As you can tell, I didn't care much for the mouthfeel. The aftertaste was nothing but a quick splash of flavors. Since it was just a quick splash, I don't think I got everything that was in there. All I found were a few sour fruits and a ton of charred oak. I'm thinking some more Porter flavors wanted to come out, but the fruits and charred oak didn't want that to happen, so they ended the aftertaste early, so that none of the Porter flavors come out.

Drinkability: It was definitely an interesting beer. I'll give them that one. But I'm thinking it was a little too interesting of a beer. It can happen! It went out of the beer world and into the wine world. The wine barrel kicked out the Porter flavors and almost made this beer taste like a dry red wine. If there was ever a beer that is in between a wine and a beer, this would be the one. If you want to turn somebody into a craft beer drinker into a wine drinker or the other way around, do it with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 20:03:33 | More by AltBock
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 4/24/08. Rating #100!!! Bottle, batch 2. Pours black with a HUGE dark tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of tart sour fruit, red wine. Initial flavor of sour fruit/wine with notes of the porter coming out in the finish (coffee, roast). This is a very unique beer and one of the better ones I've had that has been aged in a wine barrel, so this gets extra points from me for creativity. I enjoyed the beer's sweetness initially, but as I continued to drink it got a little too sweet and almost medicinal. I would have liked to get more of the porter character in the flavor. Still, an interesting beer to try. 8/5/6/4/14 (3.7/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 20:58:11 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 bottle at 58 degrees.

With the cap being quickly snapped off and a Duvel tulip at the ready, only a small amount of beer was spilled. Massively, quickly gushing. Two inches of liquid and the rest of the glass was pure spongy brown foam. A second glass had to be filled in order to keep the bottle from gushing further contents out of the neck.
After five minutes the porous foam receded to a full skim coat on the surface of an opaque brown body. Shredded and smeared lacework abounds.

Aromatics lead off with dark chocolate, vineous wine, smoke, and dark fruits.
Hints of red berries, pineapple, nougat, vanilla, and char follow through.

On the full side of medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel.

An extreme vineousity starts the palate, with dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and smoldering embers.
Red wine with shades of black forest batter, elderberries, tannins, and espresso.

Finishes with lingering red fruits, cocoa, a slight tartness, and a drying afterthought.

Theres definately a growing Brett presence here, with the pineapple in the nose, and tartness in the finish.
No worries as long as I don't lose much from the bottle, because it's so tasty...

Update 9/28/09
Batch 2 as well, from a long chill in the fridge.

A quick, violent gush had me racing to fill four glasses before the gush stopped coming out of the neck of the bottle. Lost about a half a glass on the counter. Obviously the brett is continuing to work.

The beer is basically as the previous one was described but the wine seems a bit faded and theres definately more tartness showing. Far from sour but a hint of tart cherries in the nose is followed by more on the palate.

Finishes with plenty of smokey char and lingering tart fruit.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 00:36:07 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of DefenCorps


4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle received from gregc in a trade. Thanks, Greg! I've been psyched about this beer for a while. Chilled a couple of days and then gently cracked open to release the built-up carbonation. Takes about 15 minutes but I eventually get to decanting half into my wine glass

A: Almost black with dark ruby-red highlights. A massive three-finger thick brown head caps the beer and keeps growing until it finally stops, leaving tons of lacework. Pretty awesome looking

S: The Brett has fermented a lot of the porter out of the nose. Up front is a strong, vinous aroma coupled with a refreshing, funky melange of barnyard and wet leather coupled with oak. The combination is quite fantastic. Behind it all, there is some mild smoke and a hint of chocolate and dried coffee grounds. Not to belabor the point but the red wine character is truly beautiful.

T: On the palate, the wine character dominates up front, coating my mouth with a rich, vinous softness. Brett flavors are present with a moderate funkiness with some barnyard and mildly band-aid like flavors that combine well with the smokiness and moderately burnt malt character from the base porter to create a truly unique. There's a hint of chocolate and coffee as well. Drying and pleasingly tannic on the finish with a combination of wine and bandaid flavors. Very good!

M: This is what I was most scared of after seeing this gush. Thankfully, by the time I got to drinking this, the extra carbonation was lost and all that was left was a soft carbonation that worked well with the surprisingly heavier than expected body of the beer and the palate-coating slickness.

D: I am enjoying this quite a bit. Well done, Scott!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 03:09:36 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of hopdog


4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle acquired in trade with jjpm74 (thanks!). Bottle labeled batch 1.

We did this side by side with a growler of the regular smoked porter. Poured a dark, dark brown color with a larger sized off white head. As soon as I took the cap off, the aromas of red wine hit me. It was strong but not overpowering in a bad way. Aromas of red wine, woody oakiness, chocolate, and vanilla. At times, the wood and wine would alternate as the primary aroma. Tastes of red wine (not as strong as the aroma), vanilla, oak, grapes, and a trace of chocolate. The aging in the barrels completely transformed this beer. The body also became nice and full vs. the thinness of the regular version. Hands down this was 100% better than the regular!

Notes from 4/6/07

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 01:29:03 | More by hopdog
Photo of gford217


3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, batch 2, courtesy of multiple generous traders poured into a tulip.

A: Sure enough, we've got a gusher! Pours dark, dark brown (and full of foam) out of the bottle before settling in to a black in the glass with a huge tan head that lingers forever and leaves blankets of lacing.

S: The red wine and slight funk hit me from across the room as it gushed out. As it settled down, the aromas of the porter, with its roasted malts and dark chocolate, came out a lot more.

T: The initial sour red grape taste dominates everything else. There are faint hints of the porter in the background and a bit of roasted coffee and chocolate in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and uber-carbonated which leaves the palate tingling with the sour red grape taste.

D: This is extremely complex and tasty brew, though I wish the porter came out a tad more in the taste. Nonetheless, original and enjoyable, though not particularly up my alley.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 01:11:08 | More by gford217
Photo of joepais


4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to LittleBreeze for this rare treat. I poured this into my challis from a batch 2 bottle. I am glad I read some reviews so I was prepared for a gusher I didn't lose much. The bottle produces a good few fingers worth of tan head that turned onto a thick lace. The body was a nice ultra dark brown color.

Aromas of funk hit you first then some nice roasted malts, smoke, wine and some wood. Wow tons of stuff going on with this brew.

Truly this is a complex brew in all aspects. The flavors of this brew are extremely weird in a good way it's a smoke porter, roasted malt flavors of coffee and chocolate .then you get the smoke flavors as well as the wine barrel ageing effect.

I drank the bomber watching the Pats today and it drank well but the bomber was quite enough for me in one sitting. Glad I was allowed to try this brew, my first Captain Lawrence. Thanks again LittleBreeze I really appreciate it

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 18:33:32 | More by joepais
Photo of Wasatch


4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to JoeyBeerBelly for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass, very nice black color, a very nice highly carbonated brew, a big gusher, lose some beer, nice fizzy tan head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, big bourbon/wine notes, with some figs, raisins, plums, a nice touch of toffee. The taste is malty, very nice bourbon/wine taste, with some dark fruits/toffee. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden pretty well, tasty. Very drinkable, this is another tasty CL brew, highly recommended, Thanks Joe.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 18:38:06 | More by Wasatch
Photo of t0rin0


3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle that blew up all over the place including my shirt at Dr Bills last tasting.

Appearance was murky and dark. Nice brown head with decent retention.

Smell was wonderful. Wine and porter mixed together perfectly. Oak was very present. Smelled roasty and dry underneath all the wine barrel smells. Very inviting.

Don't know if this was a mistreated bottle but the taste was a real letdown after the smell. All the components of the smell were present in the same proportions but it was all incredibly watered down. I don't get it, what happened here?

Body was medium/light. About right for a porter. Definitely drinkable and a good light beer. Just not at all what I was expecting. This stuff would make a nice air freshener, just leave some glasses of it out on the counter.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 05:17:29 | More by t0rin0
Photo of largadeer


4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I won this in a LIF from softcough. Thanks!

Appearance: I was warned that this was going to be a gusher, and surely enough it was. I found it pretty manageable, however, and didn't lose any beer. The beer itself pours a dark but clear brown with two fingers of tan foam. Head retention is excellent, as expected from a beer with so much carbonation.

Smell: Mild bretty funk and sourness, musty oak, roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate and a hint of dry red wine. There's a lot going on, but it doesn't smell muddled. So far so good.

Taste & mouthfeel: Subtle berry-like sweetness up front, presumably from the wine, followed by oaky tannins and a hint of cacao. Medium-bodied and really damn smooth, though slightly overcarbonated for the style. The finish reveals notes of tobacco and smoke; the only place I could really pick out any distinct smoke flavors, though it's still reserved. Impressive complexity here, but it's all pretty harmonious - this is surprisingly drinkable.

Notes: Incredibly unique stuff in this day and age, I can imagine this being quite similar to the beers people were drinking centuries ago.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 00:56:56 | More by largadeer
Photo of JoeMayo


4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours with a very thick head that laces the glass the whole way down

S- The roastyness of a porter combines with the unusual pairing of red wine. A slight spicy smell is also present

T- Definately roasted barley and definately red wine. The wine barrel adds a distinct spicyness and oak notes, as well as a bright acidity.

M- Effervescent and pleasant

D- Not only is this beer a sipper, its a slow sipper

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 13:17:11 | More by JoeMayo
Photo of tpd975


3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to gregc for sending this one for me to share with the local tasting group.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with hints of brillant red showing thru. It was a gusher and some hit the table but managed to get most in the glass. The head was big and foamy with almost too much retention. Chunky lace was noted.

S: Funky red wine aromas with hints of oak. A touch of chocolate can be detected along with some dark fruit. This one is all about the wine though, red wine.

T: The porter comes thru, but not as big as I had hoped. There were hints of roast and chocolate but they were very mild. Sour red wine is the dominent taste here. Touches of oak can be detected as well. I think the base beer should have been a bit bigger.

M: Medium in body, with prickly carbonation.

D: Good for a glass, but no more. This one was bought to share and it was perfect for that.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 16:31:59 | More by tpd975
Photo of russpowell


3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rciesla, cheers Ryan! This was slightly leaking when I received it today, despite the fact Ryan had wrapped electrical tape around the cap. Maybe it's an altitude deal, seen this before with beers coming from near sea level, plus various plastic bottles of stuff I've brought up to 6,600 feet, this has a #2 in the label, batch#2?

Damn, should've read some reviews, this sucker GUSHES like CRAZY, only got about 8 ozs, shit happens. What a whoosh & what a mess! When this settled down I got mahogany with 4+ fingers of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Sourness, oakyness

T: Slight sourness, vanilla, oakyness, some hints of burgundy up front. Dryness & oakyness dominate as this warms, plus a bit of dark fruit, more vanilla & mustyness& hints of smoke. This doesn't make think American porter, maybe Belgian Porter

MF: Medium bodied with not much carbonation, now that it has dissipated all over my kitchen!

Drinks pretty good despite all the drama, too dry to session on. I have another bottle from Ryan, so I'll adjust my scores if the second bottle shows me something new. I damn sure will open it outside with a pitcher to catch as much beer as feasible!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 04:55:57 | More by russpowell
Photo of jwc215


3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a gusher - went all over - Fortunately most stayed in the bottle, and settled down pretty quickly.

Pours dark brown with a thin (despite the gushing - though I did wait a bit before pouring) tan head. Dots of lacing stick.

The smell is of anise, chocolate, a hint of coffee and wood/oak. Vinuous notes of red wine are in the back and mix in well.

The taste is of red wine (that becomes stronger as it progresses) and some chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla with an oaky dryness. Not as "smoked" as I thought it would/could be. A bit tannic, in a red wine way. Finishes dry.

Mild to medium carbonation, medium to full body.

Nice use of oak (though it could be a bit "smokier") and an interesting selection of wine - which shows. Unique, interesting, though it confirms my feeling that chocolate flavors go better with a porter (or a stout) than with red wine. Although I enjoyed it, it's a one-timer for me most likely. Personally, I prefered the bourbon-barrel version.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 00:56:06 | More by jwc215
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So, I didn't think I'd get a bottle of this and surprise - i got a bottle via trade VFerg. Sufficiently warned that this was a gusher I chilled it quite cold, set up 2 very large glasses and proceeded to pop the cap. A loud pop, a large whisp of smoke a delay and then all hell broke loose. this thing erupted and thankfully I was prepared. I lost a touch of the brew to the sink and counter but managed to get the rest in my glasses. So, beer safely in glass, it's on to the review:

A - almost all foam which slowly gave way to a cloudy brown beer with a sticky brown head.

S - porter meets red wine, rough houses in a barrel and comes back with some brett inspired bruises.

t - wow, this is nice. robust porter notes balanced with and towards a red wine note with a hint of oak and funky brett in the background.

M - bit of a fall here as even with the beer subsiding, this is too over carbonated. smooth, light bodied but tingly distracting for almost the entire rest of the bottle.

d - I'm left thinking of what this could be. It drank decent enough but the over carbonation definitely pulls the score way down IMO.

I applaud the brewers for whatever inspired them to take this leap with this style of beer. unfortunately this beer is hindered by the overcarbonation. I would come back and try this for version 3 but I can't recommend version 2 as I think it will only get more carbonated going forward.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 19:30:13 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of JDV


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by BlackForestCO. Thanks Jake!
Pours dark brownish with a medium tan head that it short lived. Smwll is roasty, sour and lightly funky. Taste is as advertised with a wine like flavor and sourness along with a roasty medium bodied beeriness to go along. Very well balanced and leaning slightly sour. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 18:38:03 | More by JDV
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a very dark brown almost black color with a 2" head that lasts.

Smell: sweet malt, alcohol, and fruit sweetness are all easily detectable with some softer earthiness in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt tones and slightly smokey with some red grape sweetness. A hint of vanilla arrives late along with some soft earthy tones. Alcohol is warming.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start and smooth at the finish. Super long aftertaste as the flavors remain in the mouth for what seems like minutes. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: one bomber bottle is enough for me, but this lasted for almost two hours as my after dinner beer. Wonderful flavors and grows more complex as it warmed. Seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 15:52:09 | More by Gavage
Photo of mcallister


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serious gusher upon opening. Lost at least half the bottle. An average looking porter showing yeasty sidiment at the bottom of the glass and an overly carbonated mocha head that leaves much lacing in its path.

Dark bread notes with sour funky tones, hints of smoke and meat, raspberry puree, brett, and some woodsy notes and hints of white chocolate.

Very very carbonated. This beer needs much time in the bottle to settle down. However it does drink quite nicely. Funky berry notes, with some infection, smokey malts, chocolate, bark, earth, wood, hints of vanilla, and some other dark fruits. The carbonation just really hurts this beer. Will definitely re-review this when I open my other bottle in a couple of years.

Batch 2 by the way. Should probably try my batch 1 soon I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2008 21:08:24 | More by mcallister
Photo of PeprSprYoFace


3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch number 2. Got it in a trade from HimerMan- thanks

First off... What the heck? I lost half of the beer to crazy foaming out of the bottle. I heard this beer foams but wasnt expecting all this. Only got one glass out of the whole 750ml bottle. Poured into a tulip glass. Poured a dark black and kept foaming out of the glass and the head was 3" thick and had to waste alot of beer because of the intense foaming.

Smells of brett with a porter smell in the distant background.

Taste is not what I was expecting again from the discription of what the bottle says and BA says it is an American Porter. Was expecting a porter taste and was hoping for one as well since that is what I was in the mood for. The taste is over powered by bret tartness with very little actual porter taste at all. A little wine flavor as well. Really wish I was drinking a porter right now. No smoke flavor as well as I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel is typical for a sour with a little more creamyness from the porter part I guess.

Drinkability is not high since it is hard for me to drink sour beers.

I really wish Captain Lawrence would warn you of what you are drinking on their bottles before you crack them open. Same thing happened to me when I went to drink a golden delicious. I'm upset that it foamed up so much as well. I don't k ow how many of this companys beers I will want to try since I have had bad experiences with 2 so far. Still have a SFTO Burbon to try and hopefully a better experience with that one.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2008 19:46:39 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of ppoitras


3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 2.

It's a stealth foamer, quietly boiling over after opening, BE VIGILANT! Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 3/4" brown head above the opaque dark brown brew. Thick head lasts and lasts, with dense coating lace. Aroma is dominated by tartness. Taste begins with sweet malts, promptly giving way to the tart fruitiness which reigns the rest of the experience. Some oakiness comes out slightly, but just gets shouted down. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is pretty good, but the tart character is just too much for what this beer should be this time around.

6/1/07 - 5/4/4/4.5/4
750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 1.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 2 1/2" brown head above the opaque dark brown brew. Very dense, frothy head is has incredible staying power, with tons of heavy lace. Aroma is vinous and tart, little to any malt or smoke components noticeable. Taste starts with moderate maltiness, quickly yielding to the wine and oak flavors, which linger through the close, coupled with some light warmth. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is quite nice as well. Just wish the smoke had stayed longer at the party.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2008 01:24:41 | More by ppoitras
Photo of TheBlackMallard


4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2

Poured black with a small tan head into my giant snifter. Waited to make the pour right before it started to gush, I like to live on the edge(that does make me a badass, right?.)

Smell: Mostly of red wine and brett. Mmm, grapes and leather.

Taste: Whatever smoke was originally in this beer is gone. Tart Red Wine, Oak, and a little Brett, but not much. Full Bodied with a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2008 08:02:53 | More by TheBlackMallard
Photo of Lothore


3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into the snifter very quickly as I had heard that this one is a gusher. Pours a deep reddish brown with a huge, creamy, fluffy, brown head which leaves tons of lacing as it goes down.

S- The vinous red wine notes come through strong in the nose. Difficult to distinguish the varietal used but it is certainly potent. Sour, bretty notes fade to a very understated coffee smell.

T- Much different than the nose let on. Lots of coffee all the way through, especially lingering towards the end. Red wine characteristics seem to float on top of the palate and are backed up by deep, rich, chocolaty maltiness.

M- Strangely the carbonation in this one isn't as agressive as you would suspect. Very creamy, medium bodied.

D- Honestly, i'm not the biggest coffee fan and to me, that detracted a bit from the brew. Very interesting offering however i'm just not sure how well everything works together yet. Maybe in a year this one will grow into itself more.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 02:51:27 | More by Lothore
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damnit, damnit, damnit. I read 20 times about the gushing bottles and had been planning on how to best deal with it and then it all slipped my mind as I casually popped the bottle. As it all gushed out, I did the ol' "Doh!" and grabbed another glass to fill. I only lost a wee bit.

Pours pitch black with a tan head that sticks around (surprise). Lots of lacing on the way down as well. Nose is strong with wood tones. Sweet wood tones. Flavor is intense. The wood that's in this is so deep, it's not just proper to say it's wood. This is the living wood that rests well below the bark of the aged trees you might find. Almost a berry tone to it as well. But it's just thick. Almost like the most robust blackberry you could ever find - multiplied by 20. Carbonation is smooth and the liquid is good too. This is very easy to drink, but I am going to say that this could use at least another year to age and mellow. Still pretty nice though. What were the type of barrels used here? Merlot? I can't remember, but that'd be my guess.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 04:03:54 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Phenom

New Jersey

2.85/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Baldycmu for this one.

This beer is super-carbonated. I was forewarned, so I had it extremely well-chilled but it was still impossible to pour without a huge tan head.

Smell: The beer smells fruity, a little like grape juice, and not much else. Not a very appealing smell.

Taste: Tastes more like a grape soda then a beer. Definitely some oak, and finally at the end some alcohol flavor and a little roasted malt comes through. I had high hopes for this, but it just is not working for me. Maybe it needs to be cellared for a while to let the wine flavors mellow? I don't know.

Drinkability: One is more than enough. I guess if I liked it I could keep drinking it...

I commend Captain Lawrence for trying new things, but this seems to miss the mark. Maybe if they brewed several batches in new & old wine barrels, then blended them, the result would be better. But with this beer the wine barrel flavors have taken over the beer rather than enhancing the flavors that should already be there.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 00:25:53 | More by Phenom
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2; Sampled May 2008
I knew this might be a gusher and I still lost a couple ounces to my counter and sing. A soft pour still produces four-fingers of head in my glass plus another two fingers above the rim. The head is a tight, creamed-chocolate, tan color and the beer is a dark-chocolate brown / black color that is quite opaque even when held up to the light. As I pour this brew a nice wine-influenced aroma wafts to my nose. A deeper inspection yields ample Brettanomyces influence with notes of sweat, musty horse-blanket notes, butyric acid and a sharp-yet-light tartness. Underneath the more dominant funkiness is are some porter notes of toasted grain, lightly roasted coffee beans and if you smell the beer in a sideways sort of fashion (figuratively of course) there is a substantial, bright berry like wine character, a touch of jam and some leather and tobacco notes to this beer. The smoked malt aromatics have almost completely been subsumed by the other aromas, but there is perhaps a touch of saltiness here that could be attributed to it.

Lightly sweet tasting up front with a middle that has a nice berry-like wine character to it that just barely makes its presence known. A lot of the carbonation was lost during the initial gushing and in the 5+ minutes it has sat in my glass, it is still well carbonated though and this combines with a fairly light body to make this pretty easy drinking. The funk is a bit more muted in the flavor than in the aroma, but the Brett influence definitely comes out in the finish; musty, light notes of phenolic soaked cotton balls, butyric acid notes, some acidity that accentuates the wine character and a woody mushroom note. This finishes with a mix of fruit-driven wine flavors, and some porter flavors of toasted grain, roasted malts, toasted bread-like flavors and a touch of burnt grain bitterness. The actual oak contribution here is soft; there is some spicy oak character towards the finish, and a touch of tannic character seems to influence the texture, but it remains a supporting cast member here, which I quite like.

My second pour still has an incredible level of carbonation, this makes me realize how velvety the texture of this beer really is. Despite being very well carbonated the beer feels quite smooth and velvet-like all while foaming up as it crosses the tongue; quite an interesting textural experience that I don't believe I have ever experienced in a beer before. I can't taste any smokiness in this brew at all & I wonder if he left the smoke malt out of this brew completely.

This is by far my favorite of the from the oak beers so far. This doesn't have any heavy-handed hard liquor competing with the funkiness that I really found jarring in the other two versions of this I have had. Instead the wine barrel influence works quite well with both the Brettanomyces and the base porter. I really like the fruit notes that the wine barrel aging have added to this beer, it is nothing heavy, but most certainly a welcome addition to up the complexity of this brew. Sans the slight wine influence, this is exactly as I would imagine an old, pre 1900s, unblended, stale porter would have been like (sans the modern malt formulation of course). This is just a great marriage of funkiness & barrel influence with porter. If it wasn't so explosive already I would love to age some more of this. I definitely came into this with a bit of skepticism, but this has delivered and I am quite happy with this brew; this makes me really want to try the Port-Barrel version.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 02:49:20 | More by Gueuzedude
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.