Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 174 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -2.5%
750ml bottle, courtesy of msulinski (thank you!), into a snifter. Batch 4.
A - Pours a ruby-tinged dark auburn, with a huge three finger head that takes a while to fade. Plenty of lacy rings on the glass as it goes down.
S - Vine, grapes, and barrel are upfront. Some smoke, leather, chocolate, and hints of burnt sugar are more in the background.
T - The vinous quality of the grapes is pretty strong. More chocolate than I expected, and sweeter too. The smoke doesn't quite make itself known until it warms, and then it pretty much dominates the finish, in a good way. Hard to say that it's from a pinot barrel; more like an indistinct wine barrel.
M - Silky, almost to the point of feeling oily. It's pretty light-bodied, which doesn't quite jive with my expectations of the style.
O - This is a solid offering -- my girlfriend agreed with me that it's an unusual taste but very nice. I've heard that the new imperial version isn't as good, which is a shame. If this was more readily available, I'd probably grab a couple more. As it is, I'd just like to find another bottle of this for a special occasion down the road.
06-26-2011 03:40:31 | More by djmichaelk
3.75/5 rDev -6.9%
25.4oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, batch 4.
This bottle was a slow gusher, my first, and I had a bowl at the ready after reading some previous reviews. Slight overflow was not a problem, as I began pouring and it ceased. The beer is a standard but handsome one; dark with a garnet hue at the bottom and medium brown foam with great retention.
Ribbons of wood smoke hang out with tart berry, red wine, and port. The aroma would not give away any type of infection had I not known of some such issues before hand. A bit of dry cocoa is evident.
Initially upon sipping Porter characteristics show up; chocolate and roast. Berry and cherry-like tartness intensifies the further in I go and the smoke is always in the background, coffee too. Nothing screams red wine, but when you know it's obviously a part of the whole.
Mouthfeel isn't overly affected by the excess of carbonation. The body feels thinned out but not fizzy.
Here is a beer that I feel could be excellent. I don't think it was meant to be sour, and honestly I feel that at the level it's at it adds to the beer more than subtracts. The base beer needs a bit more oomph, to be a more expressive Porter. It's close, Captain.
05-15-2011 18:27:51 | More by brewerburgundy
3.38/5 rDev -16.1%
Batch #4, acquired from jkane101 courtesy of BA March Madness 2010, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains a strong essence of wine barrel aging, which means mostly tart fruit, along with some roasted malts and hints of coffee and hops.
T: The taste starts out in much the same way the smell does with tart grapes, but unlike with the smell it quickly fades and allows in some smokiness. Then some flavors of coffee and chocolate creep in. The male character is hearty and there’s a very mild but complementary hops presence providing some balance. The after-taste is likewise tart.
M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, high carbonation (It even says so on the bottle “Highly Carbonated” and it erupted when I popped the cap making a huge mess on my computer table.), finish is slightly sticky.
O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, not the best representation of style as the barrel-aging doesn’t seem to do much for the beer overall other than add an out-of-the-ordinary flavor to it, it’s not a bad beer but it doesn’t seem to have benefited from the barrel-aging enough to make it worth the effort that was put into it.
05-09-2011 04:20:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.55/5 rDev -11.9%
Appearance: A gusher, as expected, that pours a chocolate fudge color with a massive head; some shards of lace stick to the chalice
Smell: Vinous, tart aroma of green apples and red wine grapes
Taste: Tart and fruity, up front, with a green apple and grape flavor, with a vinegary element that grows through mid-palate and into the finish
Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation
Overall: No porter and no smoke...but I kind of expected that as the infection has taken its toll over the years
04-10-2011 23:04:39 | More by brentk56
2.68/5 rDev -33.5%
750ml Batch 3 bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Thanks to Jay for sharing this one.
A: We opened this up over the sink to be on the safe side, but it showed no inclination to gush whatsoever. Could this somehow be an exception to the rampant infection issues besetting this beer? Do you believe in miracles? It pours a black body with a finger of coarse tan foam. Decent retention and light lacing. Nice enough.
S: The jury's still out on miracles, as this one is most assuredly infected. Very infected, but kind of nice. Sweet + sour cherries; tannic, vinous astringency; and some background malt. I like it, but it's clearly wrong.
T: Sour fruit, tannic bitterness, and nothing else. Not as good as the smell.
M: Aaaiieee, swords are stabbing my tongue! This is so overcarbonated it's literally painful; just terrible. Where was all this pressure when it was opened and poured?
O: This was my first experience with a SftO offering, and it was less than stellar. I'm a huge Captain Lawrence fan, and infected Golden Delicious was one of my favorite beers of last year, but not every infection can be so felicitous. This beer lost all of its original character, and it was replaced by less than enjoyable acidity and astringency. On the plus side, this wasn't even that terrible, and it was my only drainpour of the night. That's fine by me.
03-22-2011 03:00:49 | More by woosterbill
3.78/5 rDev -6.2%
b.4 From Shogo as part of a trade, thanks much.
Heeding the warnings from the giant additional label, this was kept darn cold and still in the back of the fridge for a couple months before opening. Without much effort at all the head spilled to 3" over 2.5" of brew.
Almost smells like cherrys mixed with kalamata olives. Once the head settles (still nearly 1/2") this is much more sour/wine and the smoke is present.
WEIRD taste. I'm not getting much by way of 'smoke' in it at all, but there are numerous sour/fruit flavors overlapping and the middle/end is all malt. The sour and lots of carbonation make this much lighter than any other porter I've had (smoked or otherwise). The taste is 'good' just 'not what I want in a porter'.
very bubbly on the tounge. After waiting quite a while to enjoy this, I must say I'm not really. It is more confusing than exciting; more mashed than mixed.
If 'drinkability' still existed I would rate this a 2/2.5. The sour doesn't enhance the base porter.
03-17-2011 01:18:04 | More by CooperEllis
District of Columbia
4.35/5 rDev +7.9%
Thanks to Mac for this one. From tasting on 3/3/11.
A: Very nice look, dark brown to black with good lacing and head retention. Head is tan colored. Nice.
S: Very tart cherrylike smell with crystal malt porter buried beneath it. Oak is very present and pungent wine grape (fermented) aromas persist. Roasted malt is there but isnt quite as strong as I'd like.
T: Lot more roasted and PEAT malt taste, which is very nice. The brett is there with citrus to peach notes as well as the prevailing oak. Chocolate in there too. Nice.
M: Very carbonated but it works with the sour tinge of this.
D: A nice beer, interesting and unique.
03-06-2011 00:20:29 | More by Dreadnaught33
4.43/5 rDev +9.9%
Thanks Cuzco for hooking me up with this bottle. The beer was served in a goblet. The beer was chilled for over 2 weeks. So it was plenty cold upon opening a major geyser of beer went on my counter. Oh No! A quick recovery and the was served split with my wife.
Appearance: The body of the beer is black with ruby highlights. The head is a thick 2 fingers high dark brown. Major lacing marks the beers passage from my glass.
Smell: A ghost of roasted malt and chocolate are hidden under a very nice vanilla oak, smoke, tart and lactic grape, mixed berries. As the beer warms up the aromas from the barrel really opens wide. This beer must be allowed to warm up to shine. A most excellent smelling beer.
Taste: The beer leads with funky lactic tannin forward wine. I am not a big wine drinker but this definitely adds to the beer. The beer bears alot in common with a sour brown ale. The port wine barrels are a dominate force. Nice tart fruit tones are present. A bit of roast smoke and chocolate nibs are under lying the beer. Improves alot as the beer warms up.
Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is light carbonation is well played. A Nice beer to linger over and relish. May not be every beer or wine drinkers thing. Very welll done!
12-31-2010 16:28:35 | More by nlmartin
3.15/5 rDev -21.8%
Batch 4. Looks good, balanced mouthfeel-not too thick or thin as a porter should be. I have not tried any of the other versions of smoke from the oak so tough to say but I feel like the wine barrel isn't the way to go with this one. Aroma is misleading-get the smokiness, vanilla, and grape notes. But taste doesn't follow through. The acidity from the barrel throws the whole thing off. Our tasting group moved onto the next beer and never finished the bottle.
12-05-2010 18:11:32 | More by crosamich
4.55/5 rDev +12.9%
Pours jet black with a fluffy tan head. In the aroma, sweet wine, hints of oak and roast, and as it warms up a hint of smoke comes out. In the taste, tart raspberries, dry and oaky red wine, and a slight presence of smoke. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry to sweet red wine like aftertaste. Very wine like, but not as smokey as expected, but fantastic nonetheless.
12-04-2010 18:45:40 | More by OWSLEY069
3.58/5 rDev -11.2%
Batch 4 750 ml bottle into several glasses. Thanks to Stakem for generously busting this one out during a tasting.
Pours black with a finger of rich light mocha colored head. This retains with about a ½ finger of smooth froth that hangs a robust cascade of patchy foamy lacing up on the sides of the glass. Wow, I'm definitely getting that vinous character here in the nose which blends in with some vanilla sweetness and oaky wood character to impart a flavorful tannic tartness to this. Not souring at all but this maintains a steady tart feel throughout. The base Porter sits underneath with some notes of sugary cocoa and smoky roast. Very wine heavy overall though.
The taste is similar to the aroma with of LOT of that wine barrel being present with notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and woody dryness but I will say that this is definitely coming off as more souring than it did in the nose. Almost lactic feeling in spots. Once again, the Porter characteristics are relegated to the background, with some chocolate and roast being barely detectable underneath. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy soft texture to the carbonation but this is mostly overall woody and tannic feeling with a slick dryness that permeates the feel.
Just way to much wine barrel and not enough Porter here and while I could see some liking this, I'm not a wine guy, so my enjoyment of this was overall limited to a degree. This was decent though in the small quantity that I took in and I'm glad that there were a few people to share the bottle with.
11-30-2010 15:41:25 | More by Kegatron
4.13/5 rDev +2.5%
A- black, no light going through this thing, a tan head that just wont go away, the bottle had head coming out of it tell we were below half way in the bottle.
S- This beer is baffling to me. It smells like a iambic. Very fruity sweet. I am guessing this is from the wine barrel.
T- Starts with the sweet iambic taste even just like the smell. It is a dry beer again traits from the wine barrel. then goes into a light roasted malt .
M- Bubbly like champagne and then a dry sense like wine
D- I just dont know what to think about this beer. everything about it makes no sense to me and yet I love it. Def worth getting your hands on if you can get to it.
11-20-2010 20:06:16 | More by BeerShirts
4.2/5 rDev +4.2%
Review from notes taken on 11/12/10.
Batch #4 poured into a small snifter appears a dark brown color with a bit of clarity around the edges. A creamy khaki head appears more than a finger strong and retains nicely with uneven patches across the top of the brew and patchy lacing clinging to the glass.
The aroma is tangy and lightly funky with both a vinous and citrus aspect. There is a light backing of chocolate malt present that provides a mild sweetness to the nose. However, the main composition of the aroma of this brew is the lactic quality which includes a vinous touch. Once the brew comes up to temperature, more of the barrel aging quality starts to come out. Instead of just smelling vinous, it opens up to include a light sweet smelling vanilla character.
The taste includes a lactic sourness that has a light young green yeastiness. At times the dark grain flavors try to come through with some chocolate notes but it is very faint and gets completely trumped by the sourness that is lactic and enjoyably tangy. Some of the alcohol warmth is noted and the chocolate malt flavor finally comes through in the finish. Once this brew reaches warmer temperatures, a light vanilla flavor from the oak aging opens up.
This brew is quite drinkable. It was a pleasant contrast to see this labeled as a porter and look like a porter but be a very wild experience in the flavor and the nose. This is medium to light in the feel with a high level of carbonation. It is prickly on the tongue and comes across as somewhat dry from a combination of the lactic sourness mixed with a light oaked flavor that resides in the mouth.
11-20-2010 19:04:23 | More by stakem
4.47/5 rDev +10.9%
Batch 4. Big thanks to Beandip for this bottle. Cheers Adam!
Deep mahogany bordering on black body. Super carbonated beer produces a nearly excessive amount of head. Very reminiscent of a Jolly Pumpkin pour. Massive brown sugar colored head slowly works its way back leaving a slim cap sitting atop for the duration. Slight sticky lacing clings though the majority is washed away after a few drinks.
The aroma resembles more of an Oude Bruin than a Smoked Porter, this is not too surprising with the wine barrels involved. Strong tartness and deep berry fruitiness. As the beer warms the more traditional porter smells come to life. The smoke is light though stronger roastiness and cocoa are noted. At the perfect temperature the blend of tart fruit and roasted malt deliver one of the more intriguing bouquets I have ever come across.
The aroma givens a pretty clear indication of what is to come across the tongue. The tart berry and wine qualities are more dominate towards the front of the palate. Roasted malt and chocolate flavors develop as the beer moves toward the midpalate. Oakiness and vanilla flavors manage to bring the flavor together. The smoke is rather subtle though grows stronger with warmth.
Medium bodied big porter sits lighter on the tongue than other porter I would dare call robust. The carbonation lightens the body allowing the beer to glide smoothly across the tongue. Deep flavors attach themselves to the palate making for a long finish.
Outstanding beer. Thanks to Beandip again for providing me with this opportunity. The combination of flavors and the contrast of them on the palate makes for a beer experience like no other. This is a beer I could not blames someone for hoarding. Smoke from the Oak Wine is delivers a finely crafted beverage which makes beer geeks salivate and believers out of the un-initiated.
10-26-2010 00:03:07 | More by kzoobrew
4.45/5 rDev +10.4%
Thanks for SMason for hooking this up in a trade.
A: Pours extremely dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges, capped by three fingers of rocky beige head. Retention is very good as it settles ever so slowly, leaving moderate lacing down the glass.
S: Sour character up front with citrusy lactic acid and tart cherries, followed by tannins, dark grapes/vinous notes, dark fruits - more cherries and grapes, along with blackberries, oak and vanilla, and roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee near the backend.
T: Starts out with lactic acidity and a good citrus character, followed by some tart green apples. The wine character shows up strong on the mid-palate with some light oak, moderate tannins and lots of dark grapes. The base porter character shows through near the end with roasted malts and some slightly bitter chocolate, before moving into a finish with a burst of sour and some charred malts.
M: Medium bodied with high carbonation, a little thin but not damagingly so.
D: Extremely drinkable for a sour, very well balanced and quite an interesting brew.
10-23-2010 04:45:42 | More by Xul
3.65/5 rDev -9.4%
Batch 4 poured into my trusty Capt. Lawrence pint glass.
A- Due to my overzealous pour I ended up with a glass of massive dark tan head. Pretty quickly it died down to a disc of head that stuck around until the very end. The beer itself is completely opaque black with red/brown highlights.
S- Sourness, wine, dark fruits, some malty notes. The wine takes center stage here.
T- Nice mild sour start with a mellow roasted malt and faint smoke finish. Lots of winey dark fruit, sour cherries, bittersweet chocolate, dark malt, and just a hint of smoke on the end. The sourness and late chocolate notes work really well together.
M- The pour made it look thicker than it is as well as a nice lingering "chewiness", but this is definitely on the lighter side. Not quite medium bodied. Some prickly carbonation, but mostly smooth. Lingering acidic dryness.
D- One to share. I drank the whole bottle myself over the course of a rainy evening, but it was almost too much. I really liked the sourness a lot and I didn't find it "funky" like some other reviewers. The wine flavors seem to be the main thing going on here, but it is still nicely balanced by the malts.
10-18-2010 07:44:43 | More by misinformed
4.35/5 rDev +7.9%
Big thanks goes out to gn0sis for this bottle. 750ml Batch No. 4. Into my Delirium Tremens Tulip.
A: Pours a very dark brown, light brown head about half an inch thick that sticks around very nicely, lots of sticky clumps of lacing. For the most part this beer is opaque. Great color and great head retention. Nice.
S: So much going on in the nose of this beer, wow, lactic sourness, tart cherries, grape skins, tannins similar to red wine, lots of oak and vanilla, some chocolate and burnt malts way underneath. One of the more interesting beers I've smelt in a while.
T: Like the nose, an incredible amount of things going on here. Initially there is a fairly noticeable amount of sourness going on here, tart cherries, lead way into some chocolate, roasted malt, and a definite bitter black patent/roasted malt like profile, I guess charred would be the best descriptor. Definitely some funk in there. The wine barrel aging really shines at the end of this beer, dry red wine is nice. Very nice flavors.
M: Incredibly dry, and tart, not much in the way of booze. The carbonation on this beer is intense, much like the warning sticker says on the bottle. As it hits your tongue it gets even stronger and more prickly.
D: I'm glad my girlfriend is helping me to share this. Everything is pretty intense in this beer, and it isn't something I'd like to drink a lot of. However this 750ml bottle will share nicely. Very glad to try this beer, as it is a fantastic beer showcasing a lot of American Wild Ale traits with the underlying porter flavors. Nice beer, and highly recommended.
10-13-2010 02:36:07 | More by pokesbeerdude
3.35/5 rDev -16.9%
A really big want for quite a while, finally fulfilled by boatshoes. Batch 4 poured into a snifter.
A- I didnt take heed to the "Highly Carbonated" warning sticker and opened it unprepared for the gushing that ensued. My lesson was getting beer all over my computer desk.
Once everything was cleaned up and gotten under control I was left with a really solid looking glass of beer. The beer is a bottomless shade of black. Its strangely black because the body doesnt appear to be very thick. The head, naturally, is huge and a pale sand color. It fades down but stays at a dense lily pad of foam. No real lacing.
S- After the gushing incident all my expectations were thrown out, or so I thought.
The smell is more along the lines of a sour ale. The wine barreling had intense effects. Very acidic and tannic smelling. There is even a little bit of funk. Big smells of red wine, old oak and red grapes. The porter isnt totally lost, however. There are faint suggestions of it in the manifestation of a smooth chocolate covered raisin aroma.
T- The first sip was really a shock. Tart, dry, acidic, tannic red wine. Funky old oak barrels, vinegar and grapes and under ripe berries. The portery flavors really only show on the end and through the aftertaste with a little flash of chocolate.
M- The "Highly Carbonated" warning seems more and more necessary. Its like having one of those 4th of July sparklers in your mouth. The carbonation expands like canned insulating foam.
D- I wish I had help with this one.
I'm very glad to be drinking this. Ive wanted to try it ever since I heard about it, but this beer isnt want I was expecting. It took my expectations and turned them on their head.
10-12-2010 03:13:29 | More by MbpBugeye
3.95/5 rDev -2%
Thanks to witbier for this bottle from Batch 4. Sure as the label warned, this one was a gusher.
A: The porter is a full syrupy brown color, concentrated to the point of blackness. The carbonation lends over four fingers of off-white head that are slow to recede.
S: The nose is a conflicting mixture of smoked, roasted malts and tannic red wine. And you know what? There's just enough of a funky sour aroma running through the ale. Very interesting.
T: The red wine barrel leaves the porter bone dry. More funk follows, further drying the taste out. The porter, a bold chewy ale on its own, has disappeared behind the barrel. The red wine presence is bold, a strong flavor that meshes well. The contrast of the sourness of the chocolate that emerges late in each sip is the lynchpin. It's how the differing flavors don't get along that makes the porter enjoyable. A tannic finish is a good way to go.
M: The mouthfeel stresses the dryness of the wine barrel with a small dose of funk. Porter flavors are slow to emerge, giving the barrel the primetime spotlight.
D: Under 7%, incredibly complex and a touch funky. What more do you need? The wine barrel is not my preferred vessel but the tartness is very enjoyable.
10-10-2010 18:58:43 | More by akorsak
4.28/5 rDev +6.2%
Pours a dark chestnut brown with a light tan head. Nose brings forward a hit of acidity atop some dark roast, berries, oak, and a touch of vanilla. Taste brings up the afidity a tiny notch. It is not dominant, but makes its presence known. Oak and roasted malt are also there with a bit of chocolate. Feel is a bit lighter than I would expect. Drinks quite well. Fairly unique.
10-06-2010 22:26:11 | More by Thorpe429
3.4/5 rDev -15.6%
Poured into a pint glass. Batch 4. This one had overcarbonation issues. After being in the fridge for several hours, this still gushed as I released pressure. Put it in the freezer for 1/2 an hour and got the bottle open and poured with minimal loss.
4.0 A: Deep brown nearly black color. Nearly three fingers of light brown dense frothy head. Retention isn't that great, but lots of lacing.
4.0 S: The merlot is super strong and is probably the most prominent aroma. Lots of oak and some acidity accompanies the vinous character. From the porter, the smoke comes through strongest, while much of the rest is lost behind the wine. However, you can tell the porter adds some depth though most of the flavors are hard to pick out.
3.0 T: Though the nose is mainly red wine, the taste is an equivalent mix of wine and porter. Unfortunately, the flavors don't mesh well. Vinous grape doesn't seem to complement the roasty components of the porter. The barrel comes through pretty well again. Lots of oak and some vanilla. Roastiness of the porter as well as toffee and some dark crystal malt come through.
3.5 M: Medium body. Initally way too much carbonation, but good moderate amount after letting most of it dissipate. Decently creamy, but could be a bit smoother. Some tannins in there.
3.5 D: Though I was most excited about this SFTO, I'm sure it is the worst. The wine barrels didn't work for Deschutes Jubel and it didn't work for this one as well. I still will eventually seek out the other ones. I will say that this does get a bit better as you get through the bottle though.
10-03-2010 02:35:34 | More by DavoleBomb
4/5 rDev -0.7%
Pours a very dark, ruddy brown color, with a moderately stable medium brown head. Big vinuous aromas here, tart and funky, with a bit of smoke. On the palate, this one was tart and bretty, with notes of red grapes, oak, pinot noir, roasted malt and smoke. Better than the bourbon, and one I'd like to try again sometime.
09-23-2010 22:49:16 | More by emmasdad
3.93/5 rDev -2.5%
Big thanks to ShogoKawada for sharing the Captain Lawrence love. Batch 4. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.
Toffee-tinged seal brown body, opaque but cut through with surging lines of microbubbles feeding the rocky yet dense three fingers of fawn foam. Heavy sticky lacing clings like scum on the surface of consommé.
Heavily vinuous estery aromatics suggest substantial oxidation at first whiff. Grape skins and light roast malt show up faintly in the background.
Sour and smokey palate entry with hints of ancient balsamic vinegar, pomegranate, pipe tobacco, cherry pits, and Irish Coffee. Mild citrus and earth from hops contribute a vague bitterness leading to a tart tannic finish. Thoroughly unique, though the barrel notes overwhelm the roast malt base (which come out a bit more as the ale warms). On flavor alone, in some ways, this reminds me more of a sangria than a beer!
Effervescent (though not explosively carbonated as the warning label suggested!), creamy, lightly astringent, and not quite medium-bodied.
Surprisingly drinkable, though if you aren't keen on sours, you should know this this has about as much in common with an Oud Bruin than an American Porter...
09-22-2010 00:37:05 | More by augustgarage
3.53/5 rDev -12.4%
Cl sfto wine batch 3
A: dark, dark brown, reddish hues in direct light. Nice fluffy head off of gushers.
S: sweet malt, some vinous notes, a little note of sour tinge, probably from the wine barrel.
T: big flavor profile, dark sweet malts and big vinous flavor. The time in the barrel really ups the complexity.
M: highly carbed, gushed a little, medium to full bodied.
D: a sipper for me, just too flavorful to drink a lot, split 4 ways. Enjoyable though.
09-21-2010 14:34:40 | More by BTPete
4.22/5 rDev +4.7%
A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a nice dierty white head(sts)
S: Cherries, tart, Pinot and wood
T: Tart with an affront of wood and Earthiness. Tart cherries, acidic
M: Well carbonated, lighter booze but it was sharp on the booze bite at times
D: Really good. my first from CL and I liked it.
09-21-2010 01:52:32 | More by barleywinefiend
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.