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

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

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very good

95 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 95
Gots: 3 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 05-25-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scootny
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1

Thick head that recedes gently leaving good lacing. An opaque brown with no visible carbonation.

Smell is bourbon, sour cherries, and vanilla

Taste is sour cherries, oak, vanilla and coffee. Dry tart finish with light graham crackers. A good amount of bourbon throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium weight with a touch of chewyness. Lively carbonation.

A good sipper, maybe a very good one to warm the nights with.

From tasting notes 6/18/2008

Photo of wisrarebeer
1.55/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Batch 2.

A: near opaque, too dark for a porter, very nice rocky head
S: sour, acetic acid nose, where's the roasted malt and bourbon?
T: extremely sour, aged way too long in the barrel, beer doesn't have the guts to overpower the sourness
M: like gargling with vinegar
D: way off base with sourness

I was holding this for the holidays and was extremely disappointed. I'd give it another shot but based on the other reviews that mention the sour/tart character it appears that it's just aged way too long for the body of the porter.

Note: tried the rum version the day after this tasting and the beer was very, very good. It's obvious the bourbon aging was way too long.

Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 3. Viggo cracked this one. Thanks! Batch 1.
This one poured with a giant, fluffy, dark tan head that left a lot of clumpy lace on the glass as it quickly fell. The beer was very dark with garnet highlights. The aroma was vinous and tart with a lot of berry and wood notes, some malt and a bit of chocolate. Smoke was more prominent in the flavour, combining nicely with a dark grain/porter base beer. Again, it was a bit vinous and had a light tartness in addition to a bit of booze. Medium to full bodied with average carbonation, mild tannins and a good texture overall. Very well done, highly drinkable with a mild alcohol presence.

Photo of grub
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 3: Barleywines and Others. Viggo threw this one in. thanks eric!

750ml bottle. batch 1. sampled nov 29/08.

pours deep brown with a big fluffy brown head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is wild. lemon. touch of malt vinegar. bread and biscuit. light alcohol. bit of coffee. dark chocolate. light alcohol. caramel. bit of smoke.

taste is good. big smokey character. dark chocolate. bit of coffee. touch of sourness that comes across more baltic than i thought from the aroma. touch of caramel sweetness. big bready malt. light biscuit. cracker. dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level. medium body. fairly dry finish.

drinkability is great. nicely balanced. the sourness was unexpected, but it worked.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown in color with a nice inch of tan head. Smell is sour. A porter that is bourbon barrel aged that smells sour. Sure enough even more sour notes in the taste. There are very faint bourbon oak and vanilla notes in the taste. Not what I was expecting but still Im enjoying it quite a bit. Decent mouthfeel. This is a weird animal but Im digging it. Now the question is was the sour notes by design or by accident.

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Graciously brought to the BA gathering at Bailey's last night by BA Skortis. Talk about a generous donation...

The beer pours a hazy dark brown color with good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose, this is just wild stuff. Amazing just how different this version is from the rum barrel version. This beer is very, very smokey, but with a wild, sour, almost sauerkraut aroma. The oak aging in this beer has imparted so much flavor and aroma, it's hard to believe this is supposed to be a porter I'm drinking. As crazy as this beer smells, it's evern wilder on the palate. Interwoven with the sour smoke, I also get some wine flavor. How weird is that? The beer has a light, smokey mouthfeel and is fairly soft on the palate. As for drinkability, I'm not sure how to score this beer. The sour smoke was a bit too over the top for me, making this beer interesting to drink, but not in large quantities. It's both fascinating and a bit off putting at the same time.

An impressive beer. Not like anything I have ever sampled before. It's not for everyone, but still is something I would recommend, just so people can see what this is like.

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark. Very dark. Almost stout-like. A nice blackish/brown color with a thick, pillowy head of foam. This one had the appearance of a gusher when I cracked it, but never hit that point of explosion.

S: Some tartness from the oak, hints of bourbon, and a pinch of chocolate.

T: Has a nice acidic/sour flavor, no doubt from the oak throughout. Bourbon is mild, with hints of vanilla, and almost a sherry-like quality coming through. Truly, it's delicious. A great balance of porter and sourness.

M: Smooth, with good carbonation. Goes down easy.

D: This is a great brew. I definitely enjoyed it and I could easily drink this regularly. Curious to see how the other SFTO brews match up.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 2.

A: Exceptionally dark for a porter. Only a hint of brown around the edges. A quarter finger of tannish head. Good lacing.

S: A nice big bourbon nose. Tons of sweetness. Raisins. Quite a bit of dark fruit as well. A tiny bit of funk in the back. Vanilla is in the back. The barrel is fairly well blended.

T: Nice sweet bourbon flavor. Tons of wood and vanilla. A nice sweetness throughout. The nice thing is a hint of tartness towards the back. A telltale sign of the funk eating this beer away. A slight hint of chocolate in there as well. Upon further review as it warmed this is pretty funky and tart. Not Russian River tart but definitely tart.

M: Well carbonated but not overly so. Medium body. A little bit silky.

D: Exceptional. I think I like the wine barrel a little bit more but damn this is good. Totally different than any other bourbon barrel beer I have ever had. I think this will continue to develop nicely and hope the funk gets stronger with time. Perfect after dinner beer on a cold night.

Photo of Douglas88
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle thanks to John a few months ago. Batch no.1. Pours out a beautiful picture; a huge creamy beige head sits atop a pure black colored body. Nice! The aroma is full of bourbon notes, some sour and lightly roasted aspects too. Well, the flavor was also surprisingly full of a slightly sour taste which sort of mixed with the bourbon barrel flavor in a nice way. Not too much of a roasted malt presence, and only a slight sour cherry. Quite smooth, and fairly thin mouthfeel. Very interesting and enjoyable; more like a sour whiskey with some slight porter flavors thrown in.

Photo of hopdog
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared courtesy of Josh. Batch 1.

Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, wood, bourbon, roast, chocolate, and coconuts. Tastes of bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, roast, and wood. The bourbon was done nicely. Not over powering. Once again, I'm a sucker for Bourbon Barrel Aging.

Notes from 10/26/07

Photo of soccerman7
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 2007 batch one release I have been sitting on. Not a gusher like others have had.

Nice tan head about 1/2 inch. Really complex nose. Smoke, bourbon, dark cherry sour notes. The taste was excellent. Really nice with the bourbon not over powering. Fruit notes were interesting with Brett character. The finish was a bit dry and oaky from the barrel. Overall a great brew from the captain.

Photo of waltonc
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 2007 Batch 1 Bottle of this at Blind Tiger Alehouse tonight. Dark brown to black with crazy carbonation and head (though bottle didn't overflow). My experience is similar to other reviewers. I was expecting a heavier, deep roasted, bourbon tasting porter. But the most prominent note is the sour brett/cherries/apple which is very strong in the smell and taste. Pretty good. The smoky oak was also fairly prominent, as well as some roasted malts. mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great big thanks to an outstanding trader, DrDogbeer, for giving me the chance to try this one!

750 mL bottle, batch 1

Pours a deep brown, basically black, with some faint burnt sienna highlights on the edges. Dark khaki foam climbs pretty fully, even with a gentle pour, leaving a nicely formed and decently lasting soft cap of froth, slapping patches of lace down the sides of the glass with each swirl.

Nose is not overwhelmingly strong, and yet what's there is quite sturdy. Vinous character comes through over faint dark roasty malt, blending plenty of oak with a mild smoky spice. Bourbon adds a nice mellow richness that gives slight depth to the overall aroma.

This wasn't at all what I expected, so I had to go back and check the label on the bottle just to make sure I actually opened the one marked "bourbon barrel," and not "wine barrel." The slight tartness and firm oaky character of this beer cause one to pause momentarily at how infrequently bourbon barrel aged beers come out with such delicate complexity. Some of my favorites resemble more bourbon than beer, yet this one is different, but alas, I digress... Slight porter notes begin on the palate, with hints of burnt grains yielding into an airy wood smokiness that mingles nicely with old oak flavor. Hints of tobacco and tart fruits fade into brighter new oak notes and a hanging smoky bourbon aftertaste. It has a lot of the deep leather, tobacco, and overripe berry quality of a heavily oaked Napa cabernet, but with the added mellow complexity of bourbon, all without being too strong.

The lighter medium body comes across as somewhat creamy with the full foamy carbonation bubbling with each sip. A nice clean feel, very nicely complimenting the flavor.

I have to admit the taste wasn't at all what I expected, especially for a porter claiming to be aged in bourbon barrels. Instead of a deep, rich, heavy, boozy dark beer, what I got was a rather complex beer, constructed with a unique CL yeast profile and some highly oaked but nicely balanced flavor. Smoke is also mild, only faintly detectable as a compliment to the beer and not as a stand out feature. The more of this I drink, the more complex and enjoyable I'm finding it. Very nicely done.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up this lovely Batch One bottle sometime last year and have kept it cellared ever since. I decided to open her up tonight, really just on a whim, as I wanted something a bit different. 750ml bottle was served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. Consumed 08/19/2008.

What an absolutly beautiful pour, adn I have rarely seen better. Rich, thick, paque brwon notes were just a wonder to behind. Full head of at least three inches capped off the top and took what seemed like forever to settle down to a reasonable level. Once it did it left behind soo much side glass lace it was utterly obnoxious. Seriously one of the best I have ever seen.

The aroma was amazingly complex once it warmed up. Rich notes of sour cherries, light caramel, some molasses and a touch of bourbon, very light though on the bourbon. Lots of almost Brett like sourness though. THe flavor brought the game though. Huge note of sour cherry, tart was the understatement. Some light sugary notes, and the bourbon you had to go searching for, though it was there. Luscious mouthfeel with a carbonation profile that was second to none. One of the easist drinking big beers you are going to find, hands down.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed by this one. One of the best I have had in quite some time, i would have no issue in seeking this one out again. I do have to admit, I am a bit partial to the wine barrel, but still, a top notch beer here for sure.

Photo of gregc
4.83/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch one bottle, poured into a clear solo cup...just moved all we had around.

Poured a dark cola like color, with a huge foamy light brown/reddish head. Head leaves lots of lacing in the cup.

Smell is beautiful and super complex...bourbon to start out, sour cherries, vanilla, smoke, red wine, dark chocolate and coffee grinds.

The flavor is also hugely complex...cola flavors, as well as, bourbon, red wine, vanilla, sour cherries (almost brett like)and it finishes with a nice chocolate note.

This beer is super think feeling in the mouth...its a little over carbonated, but very smooth and goes down nicely, hardly any alcohol burn.

all out of batch 1, can't wait to get the batch 2 of the bourbon...this is definitly my favorite in the series, with the rum in second and the wine bringing up the rear...

Photo of BeerTruth
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rciesla hooked me up with this one, thank you sir.

750 ml. bottle poured into a snifter.

I needed to make room in my fridge for the Cuvee de Castleton I picked up today. So why not crack open the last in the Smoke from the Oak series that I need to review.

Pours a dark cola black with a fluffy tan one finger head that falls to a thin layer of foam whcih lasts throughout. A solid layer of stick remains on the sides of the glass making this a very enticing looking beer. Smell begins with smokey malts and rich/dark chocolate. French roast coffee grinds and a hazelnut sweetness in the nose as well. Underneath all of those dark aromas are sour scents consisting of white grapes and Granny Smitth apples. The bourbon is there, but subtle and soft. Taste starts off with a good amount of charred wood and smokey chocolate malts. A bitter hop sting, sweet vanilla, and some caramel emerge midway on the tongue. The silky smooth bourbon appears towards the end within the balanced sweet and smokey aftertaste. Medium body with a prickly feel in the mouth due to a strong carbonation. The abv with this one has to be up there because after the first glass I'm starting to feel pretty good although I have no problem putting this porter down. Let this baby warm up and truly enjoy all that it has to offer.

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to mcallister for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a tulip a very nice brownish color, very nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing (one huge pond in the middle of the glass. The nose is malty, bourbon, slight smokey, and sweet. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice notes of bourbon, nice little smokyness here and there, with some sweetness (vanilla). Full body, there is a nice creamy body to this brew, I like. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, highly recommended. Thanks Mike.

Photo of flexabull
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle couresy of guinnessdoc, thanks again!

This one is batch #1, I believe it is from the fall of '07.

Pours a dark brown color with a sizable off white head.

Aromas are quite sour. Vinegar like, with some cider and faint apple notes.

Taste is slightly smoky, oak like, bitter, and somewhat sour. There is a little cola like flavor, bourbon, , bright fruits, tart, crisp and biting on the finish. Very interesting and complex beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A bit prickly, full, and fairly highly carbonated.

Drinkability is good. This beer is a bit of a head scratcher. Very intersting and unique. Not at all what I expected. I was think dark porter and bourbon flavors, but what I got was more of a funky sour dark ale. Well worth a try, but not really something that I could have more than a couple of glasses of. But with that said, I'm glad I got to try this, and I'd be happy to try it again some other time.

Photo of turbine2475
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to joe1510 for this brew:

A - Pours a nice opaque black with a spongy tan head that disipated quickly into nothingness with a spotty lace.

S - Lots of sour scents. Vanilla, some mild coffee, cherries, and a bit of mocha.

T - Less sour. Cherries, vanilla, some chocolate and coffee, and bourbony grain.

M - Bit watery for a porter, but fitting of the brew. Higher then normal carbonation.

D - Good beer, but not what I thought it would be. There was not much smoke or oak. Beer arrived to me seeping so i would like to try another bottle to make sure I'm giving it a fair review.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding for style. Another smooth creamy full mouthfeel,great drinking sipper from this brewer. Dark colour, agreeable aroma. Reasonable 6.4% ABV. The Smoke, the bourbon, is moderated. Well balanced though not complex. Tart aftertaste.Found at Oak Tree Supersaver last fall.

Photo of RickSawyer
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a one finger tan head that falls to splotchy islands. Smell is chocolate, red apple, a bit of vanilla oak. Very complex. Taste is almost a merlot-porter. Some sour notes from the wood, taste very brett a -esque. Chocolate drizzled raspberries, a bit astringent. Mouthfeel is very winey. Impressivly awesome!

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Scootny for this brew! Pored into my chimay goblet. Pours a dark brown-black with a very thin head. Smells are aboundant! roasted malts, but then taken over by the BOURBON! Holy cow, as it warms it smells like a Jack Daniels straight up. Taste is much of the same. I get a nice smokey porter flavor, but then it is overwhelmed by the bourbon flavor. Definitely not a bad thing, though. It gets sweeter as it warms, almost like a bourbon and coke. I dont know if this is due to the aging. Pretty slick mouthfeel. This one bottle is a bit much for one person at one sitting in my opinion, but a tasty beer and something that seems to push the envelope.

Photo of Lupe
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark brown, almost black, with deep reddish hues. Nice sized tan head sticks around for a while before dropping to a thin sheet. Some sheets of lace are left behind.

Nice bourbon and vanilla, and a healthy dose of vinegar dominate the aroma. Roasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruit lay in the background.

Starts with nice a bourbon and vanilla character with some charred woodiness. Strong sourness comes next - very tangy and overpowering. Notes of chocolate, roast, fruit, and a touch of spice round things out. Not sure if all the sourness was intentional, but it was just a too strong and dominated what is a very nice and easy drinking Porter. Finishes bone dry upfront yet with a cloying sourness at the back & top of the mouth. I was really into this beer with the first sip, but that sourness just kept building and really sticks to the back out the tongue.

Medium-light in body, dry and spicy from tartness on the tongue. Alcohol is well hidden and the bourbon adds just the right amount of flavor. Not overly woody or liquor-like. The sourness though is too much for me and really takes away from the drinkability. Got through half the 750ml bottle and had to bail.

I love CL's Nor'Easter and enjoyed the Rum Barrel version. This one just fell short. Perfect if you want a bourbon barrel aged American Wild Ale, but not a BA Porter. Perhaps a bad bottle, but judging from the other reviews, I'm just not digging this.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

Batch 1:

It pours a near pitch black with some reddish hues and a 2 finger head of billowy tannish foam. Nice lacing. Very good head retention.

The smell has notes of bourbon and a strong sour nose that reminds me of a american wild ale. I also get a little vanilla. Not exactly what I was expecting, or was I?

The taste has some bourbon, some vanilla, some good woodiness, a touch of chocolate, and strong sour notes. The sour, imo, is just a tad too strong here and does seem to dominate but it certainly is, for me, an easy drinking Porter. I can't say that I detect much of the smoke....some day, I would love to try the version that isn't barrel aged just to see how it compares.

The mouthfeel is medium-light, the carbonation is fairly robust, and it finishes with a nice taste of that bourbon. Like I said before, it's easy drinking so I'd guess the abv would be in the ~6%abv range.

All in all, I like this offering from Captain Lawrence, as I did the rum barrel aged version. Very interesting flavours and pretty darned palate pleasing.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours basically pitch black. Flavor is vanilla, perfume, bourbon, and wood - in that order. A bit bright, but very well done. Nice feel and easily drinkable. Gotta love those vanilla tones. A very nice production I have wanted to try for a long time, but finally got around to.

Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.