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

Not Rated.
Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

95 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 95
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 82
Gots: 7 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: gregc on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 65
Photo of Amalak
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Version 2010.

A. It is straight black ,with a good brown head that leaves some lacing. Totally black.

S. Very strong alcohol mixed with a malty grape scent.

T/M. It has a very smokey taste. It has a fairly strong alcohol taste--full bodied. Very big flavor. Some tobacco. A thick malt taste. Some dark fruit.

O. It is very thick and rich. Perfect for a 10 oz. pour, but wouldn't want much more. A bit over bearing, but complex.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Says batch 1 on the bottle. I think I got this from corby112 back in 2009 or so - thanks man!

It's a bit of a gusher. Opaque dark brown with massive tan head that subsides to a sticky matt. Plenty of lace.

Smells like sour, moderately smoky fresh apples and brandy barrels.Nothing too suprising apart from an unexpectedly fresh appleiness. Some oxidization, but not in a bad way. A sweet malty element ties everything together, and it smells pretty nice overall.

Tastes like dark malt and apples, with an underlying, restrained, smooth smokiness, some well integrated barrel, and some moderate acidity. Good complexity an depth, augmented by some graceful oxidization. Fairly long, tart finish. Nice richness to the texture, and still refreshingly juicy from the tartness and fresh apple. A very nice and tasty interesting aged beer.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 1 Bottle received in trade from alpinebryant, thanks for the opportunity!
This eventually became a dark brown/black liquid after the tan head that filled most of the glass subsided. Yup another disappointing infected and over-carbonated beer from Captain Lawrence.
Smells of tart fruit, funk, a hint of alcohol, a bit or earth and ash. Very little if any porter left in there. The flavor is actually a little better than the SFTO's from the previous two nights, theres a hint of porter left in the flavor. A little bit of roast and chocolate with a lot of tart cherries and lemon and strangely still a hint of alcohol burn. Medium body with an asinine level of carbonation and a tart ashy mouthfeel. On the plus side I hear they have gotten better at barrel aging these days.

Photo of brystmar
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1 shared by Denise, thanks!

Murky, ugly brown pour with way too much carbonation. Head erupts from the body spewing tiny bubbles in every direction. Smells a little like Rosso aged in brandy barrels. Some smoke and a very dry strain of yeast stand out in the aroma.

I let the carbonation run its course before continuing, and that was a wise choice. Body is actually pretty hefty and creamy once the bubbles died down. Dark apple cider flavors meet dry porter roast; minimally smokey. Sweetness in the middle carries through to the back end, leaving a pleasant apple aftertaste in my throat. A decent blend of ingredients, though it's nothing special.

While this is significantly better than the newer imperial versions, it cannot touch the b4 wine barrel variant from 2010.

Photo of jlindros
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a SMBDC Stout tasting thanks to Amy and Michael, but don't remember who brought this one.

Almost no head, dark cocoa brown color.

nose has light smoke, apple tree wood smoke, burnt, light heat, smoked sharp cheese like, light roast, hint of bitter chocolate.

Taste has chewy malts, oats, creamy chocolate, light roast, cocoa, bitter earthy bark wood taste, apple wood, smoke, light campfire, light bitter roast and dark choc, caramel, etc.

Mouth is creamy malty, med bodied, light carb.

Overall unimpressed, maybe the age has decayed it a bit, but not great, a bit too crazy smoky, malts are lacking, overall a bit light.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to wedgie9 for sharing this bottle!

Batch 1. After the wine version, my mind is much more open to strange things from this series. This one pours a dark black-brown topped by plenty o' dark-ish tan foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, light roasted malts, light molasses, red apple skin, very light chocolate powder, sour apple, and sour cherry. The taste holds notes of black cherry, white vinegar, light whiskey, green apple, light chocolate, light roasted malts, very light molasses, light brown sugar, and oak. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda sticky finish. Overall, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the wine version: The same kind of sour/smoked porter combination from that version is here as well, but the sourness was more brusque, more in-your-face, and more o'erpowering vis-a-vis the porter. This bottle was more of a gusher than the other (which had a warning sticker on it, no less!), so perhaps some further infection had set in, but I feel this is immaterial, as things probably would have been just as strange regardless. Still not a necessarily bad beer, just one that I can't see drinking much of again in the future (given the chance, of course). I am, though, glad I got to try it.

Photo of mdfb79
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 06/04/11 notes. Shared this one with a few friends. Big thanks to dmeadows for sending me this one; thanks Dennis, huge want! Batch 1, poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with a brownish tint when held up to the light, moderate carbonation evident, and two fingers of fluffy light tan head. Looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of apples and fruit, though a bit sour, roasted malts, very light smokey malts in the background. based on the sour dark fruits, I'm afraid this one might be infected, though I still enjoy the nose quite a bit.

t - Tastes of sour dark fruits, bretty, roasted malts, smoke, sour apples, lactic notes. Definitely infected, and a huge step down from the nose, though still not awful.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a bit disappointing due to the infection. I actually still liked this one compared to some other infected porters and stouts I've had, but would love to have it again the way it was intended to be drank.

Photo of womencantsail
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby. Bottle from Batch 1.

A: The pour is amber in color, and surprisingly not as explosively carbonated as some of the other Smoke from the Oak beers I've had.

S: Definitely get a smokey aroma in the background and throughout the sniff. Some light tartness and fruitiness to the beer and quite a bit of brandy aroma.

T: The tartness is a bit more pronounced on the palate. Light fruit notes of green apples and pears, maybe some lemon zest. Apple brandy is in full effect and maybe makes this a bit too boozy. The smoke is omnipresent, but not overpowering.

M: Medium in body with a rather high carbonation.

O: Hard to evaluate this beer. I like what the tartness adds to it, but it's still not all that successful.

Photo of Phelps
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Batch 1, poured from a chilled bottle shared by tlay10.

Popped off the bottle, the cap rolled off the counter and to the ground. As I bent to pick it up, I heard excited shouts from Tyler behind me. I look up in horror to see the beer pouring all over the counter like a foamy volcano. We manage to salvage most of it, however, pouring my bit into a tulip glass.

There's about two fingers of cardboard-colored foam topping this cola-colored brew. It's dark, but not encompassing; some maroon highlights are visible at the edges. The foamy head recedes slowly, becoming a thick top layer that lingers for a long while. Some thick, jagged streaks of lace decorate the glass.

The nose is all sour brett and sweet cola. Some searching reveals the porter underneath -- I get brown sugar, maple, a bit of dark chocolate.

Before the swallow, the beer feigns tartness. It seems like it's be very sweet and sour as it rolls over the tongue. Once it's down the throat, however, the porter flavors emerge: chocolate, light roast coffee, cola, vinous oak and sweet marshmallow. Very light smokiness.

The infection seems to have decimated the body. This is a fizzy, watery mess. It's like drinking soda.

The bottle exploded and there's a distinct sour character -- both telltale signs of infection. But I don't have a ton of experience with apple brandy, so I'm not entirely sure this isn't how the beer was intended. If it is, Captain Lawrence created some nice flavors but needs to work on the balance and mouthfeel. If it isn't, it's too bad and I'll have to try this beer again someday.

Photo of scootny
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hugh tan head of ridiculous proportions. Super retention and a ton of clingy lace and foam. Smell is full of oak and vanilla. Good amount of cherries and a whiff of brandy. Some smokey porter notes as well. Taste follows the nose. Brandy is subsumed into the brew in a way that enhances the whole. A delicate sweetness with a mocha/choco note. There is a tart wine like aspect to the finish that shifts to a a sour bitterness as the hops show up. Finish is dry with bit of brandy and fusel alcohol notes. Firm acidity. Feel is smoothly carbonated with a medium weight and quenching feel. A sippper but a high quality winter or fall beverage.

11/14/13
Cracked a cellared bottle tonight just cause I can. Wow! Smoother and richer. Carbonation starts out on steroids as I omitted the freezer because the temperature was just perfect for right now drinking. As a consequence I got a gusher but I caught it in time and pulled a save. Anyway this brew has integrated beautifully. The richer feel is complimented by an increase in the chocolate while bringing out the apple and oak. Brandy which was well integrated to start has mellowed subtly to a perfect place and is a catalyst for the excellence of the porter backbone. Great balance between the sour and dry happiness. Oak and smoke are right there. This was smooth to start out with a low alcohol heat but the cellaring has brought out a superb integration that makes me almost regret opening this without company to share in the glory of this brew. Feel is the other area where it has really improved. Carbonation is velvety. Weight is lightly thickish. Just a touch of syrupy stickiness that is quite satisfying at this time of year. swallow is smooth and easy making this is super drinkable. As score now it would go like this: A 4.50, S 4.0, T 4.50, MF 4.75, O 4.5

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a large, billowing off white head with very nice retention. Great lacing as well. Clingy on the sides of my tulip. Nose is a bit smoky with some light, tart fruit and a bit of booze. Mild roast. Taste is similar with a light tartness and some heat. Feel is over-carbonated, offsetting some of the flavor. A bit of booze as well. Drinks well and is pretty tasty. I hope to make the release of the sampler pack they're doing.

Photo of mothman
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into old guardian snifter.

Pours a huge layer of fluffy tan head. Fades down leaving some thick lacing. Color is fairly black. Too much head for a porter.

Aroma: Reminds me a lot of the wine version. Some sourness, oak, chocolate and caramel showing. Fairly roasty. The oak and apple brandy is fairly subtle.

Taste: Wow, this one is a bit too smoky/roasted. It has a bit more of the apple brandy showing with some sweetness, but it still has a sourness to it. Chocolate and caramel malt base behind the roasted malts. I like the barrels on this one better than the wine.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and a bit fizzy. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation for a porter. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, the sour/tartness really makes this porter odd. It is very roasty/smokey. It is somewhat enjoyable, just weird. I think the SftO Series is just an odd series overall. Somewhat drinkable.

Photo of kbutler1
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Opens with a pretty good "pop". Talk about head when this thing is poured. I think I got about an inch of beer and 4 inches of head! Pours a deep brown color with the aformentioned big fluffy tan head. Smokey, earthy, and oaky smelling. The first sip yields a tart flavor that is kind of a surprised followed by a smokey oak taste. Pretty well carbonated but after it settles it doesn't really effect the taste. Medium mouthfeel. Good lace left on the glass as the head settles. Slight brandy booze flavor becomes evident as it warms. Wish it wasn't so carbonated but otherwise a pretty decent beer.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All four variants of Smoke From The Oak served side by side at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks to Pete, Chris, and Brad for supplying the bottles. Review is from notes.

This beer is a dark brown color. It has a decent sized head that fades quickly leaving very little lacing. Aromas are smoke, oak (go figure), fruit (not necessarily distinguishable as apples or apple brandy) and liquor. The flavor is pretty nice. Everyone pretty much agreed that this was the best of the four bottles. The beer was sour, but not overly so. There is some noticeable heat in the finish. Although, I would drink this again, I wasn't especially impressed by any of the Smoke From The Oak lineup.

Photo of RustyDiamond
2.54/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 1
Pretty carbonated pour into a snifter. Fizzy manilla folder creamy yellow head. Aromas of Brett, green apple, cinnamon, apple cider, nutmeg, fudge brownie. Fizzy on the tongue, spicy and stingy. Really carbonated...hits the tongue and bubbles.

Drain pour...infected. Tried really hard too.

Photo of jrallen34
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into my Rochefort glass...Dark brown with TONS of carbonation, at least four fingers of light tan head. Good retention, really really great lacing. Full bodied...The aroma is super sweet apples but a nice tartness to it, wasn't expecting tartness. No porter notes of smoke or coffee, domainted by the apple brandy aging...Taste is also not at all like a porter, almost like a heavy wild ale. Super funky but smooth throughout, I guess the porter really balances it out. Slightly sweet but in tart way. Very unique and tasty...Feel is robust, very carbonated and bubbly, super easy to drink.

This is a totally unique and easy to drink beer, love it.

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At a recently tasting, all four variants of this beer were tasted side by side. I was personally surprised at the consistency of the results.

Beer is brown to black with a brown head that falls away and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass.

Aroma is really strong with liquor. More smoke in this one as well.

The beer's body seems slightly thinner, slightly cleaner, finishes much nicer than the others. The liquor in the body seems to highlight the other flavors more than the wine or the rum had. A very nice, highly drinkable but ultimately slightly hot variant.

Photo of Murchmac
1.76/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I hear stories about this being infected about it not being infected. Im reviewing this with the mindset the brewery wanted this beer to be a sour. If i'm wrong then i'm wrong.

smells of apples, tastes of a sour porter, like the New Glarus Unplugged English Porter but way more sour. You can taste the dark malts coming through this beer, but the sourness is not pleasureable.

Would not recommend.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy brown color ale with a super huge dirty brown color head with great retention and super good lacing. Aroma of funky yeast ester with some rich apple brandy notes is quite interesting. Taste is also a very nice mix between some light funky notes with light Brett touch with some subtle tart notes that are mix with some rich sweet malt with light vinous apple brandy notes in the finish. Very complex and somewhat far from the original porter recipe. Body is quite full with limited filtration and great carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Nicely done and outside of the standard brewing norms with some great complexity which makes me say that I can't even pick-up all of the complexity.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.64/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with JayOh. Thanks Tim!

A: Pours a dark brown body. I want to check out the edges and see if it's translucent, but the head -- 3 fingers of huge, fluffy bubbles -- lasts forever. It collapses in sections and is easily stirred up by a gentle second pour. I was told this is infected, so I wasn't surprised to see this.

S: Tart dark fruit and a touch of brett. It smells like a nice wild ale, without much smoke or any of the other porter elements coming through. I do get a nice whiff of green apple.

T: Tart dark fruits, toast, and a hint of green apple. Chocolate as it warms, and oak in the finish. I also get a light element of smoke.

M: It's dry and has a light booziness to it. Feels a bit thin, and the flavor is short of medium bodied. High carbonation (too high).

D: Finishing the bottle alone is a chore. It's an interesting beer, but it's really only worth it for the novelty.

Photo of sproser
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I received this beer, batch 1, from mikey711 in "The I have always wanted to start an LIF LIF." Shared with pochman and served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

a: Holy head, Batman! This bottle is a gusher and we quickly poured the beer into the glass. After the five-finger high light tan head began to settle it left several rings of lace around the glass. It took awhile for it to settle but still looks great.

The color is dark brown and looks thin. You might think it was a glass of cola if it weren't for its head.

s: The smell is slightly boozy and is very fruity. This definitely does not smell like a porter. It has a nice yeast smell to it; maybe even a touch of Brett. All smokiness from the base is gone. I wouldn't even think it was a smoked porter if it weren't for the label.

t: Very, very tart. It hits you hard and I love it. I still don't get a taste of the smoke, which I don't mind at all. After a few sips I can finally taste the roastiness.

m: Carbonated and thin.

d: I love it and am savoring this bottle.

I'm glad I was able to share it with pochman. Overall, I think this is a great beer and I wish it was readily available in my area.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Surprise, surprise (not) this beer pours with an excessive carbonation that produces a four finger thick, lightly browned head that lingers for a long time and leaves some light lacing as it slowly subsides. The beer is a deep brown color that shows some flashes of bright ruby color around the edges when held up to the light. The beer smells quite fruity, with a definite brandy note, there is a touch of spiciness that makes me think of cinnamon in some ways. There is also a touch of mustiness here, that almost leans towards a light funky cheesiness or a funky mushroom type note. If you really dig through the fruitiness there is a rich, toasted malt character in the finish; toasted whole grain bread notes, a touch of acidic roast malt, and maybe just a touch of smoke (but this is really hard to notice). The nose is actually pretty decent, it sort of reminds me of a really funky batch of crushed grapes that is in the middle of being fermented by a cheese and wine culture.

Tart tasting and quite dry, this is coupled with a toasted grain and a lingering light musty mushroom character. The excessive carbonation definitely contributes to an initial harshness, but luckily I can manually dissipate the excess carbonation. There is a light smokiness that also lingers in the finish along with a bitter / acrid roasted malt character. There is a touch more malt fullness than one might expect from a beer that is as dry as this is; the light acidity (which is definitely not just from the dark grain) tends to make this taste drier than it actually is. An at times biting roast character is noticeable here and can be a bit too jarring sometimes especially when you consider the light acidity. The fruitiness of the nose is not nearly as apparent in the flavor, unfortunately.

As the beer warms up it picks up a very light sweetness that lightly accentuates a dry chocolate note as well as boosting a very subtle smoked malt character. The middle and finish also begins to pick up some brandy like fruitiness, though just a touch.

This is definitely my second favorite of this series (behind the wine); it isn't nearly as funky, and in fact could actually work with a bit more funk if it had a more boosted fruit character like the Wine-Barrel one does. A bit more fruitiness would really help this be much more balanced, though this still achieves a balance that most of the other SFTO don't come close to achieving. Definitely an enjoyable beer, but it is showing hints of being great, but definitely isn't quite there yet.

Photo of seniorcleaver
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour brought on lots of fluffy tan head on top of a dark beer with glints of amber when held up to the light. the smell is first of sour cherries then caramel apples. the taste has a lot going on, first thing I tasted was sour and a small hint of smoke followed by a hint of caramel apple. there is also a nice roast malt character in this beer. For sure this is a tasty beer, but not something i could drink all night. overall this is a well crafted beer and something I would like to try in one of their other barrels as well.

Photo of tpd975
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jdubfl for this one.

A: Pours a chestnut brown with a small brownish white head. No retention or lace.

S: Sour aroma. Lots of oak, booze, vanilla, and hints of dark fruit.

T: Light chocolate with hints of dark fruit. Lightly soured with the wood from the barrel standing out. Subtle vanilla, and booze.

M: Medium in body sort of biting carbonation that turns sort of dry.

D: Just Okay. Not a great beer, but my favorite of the series.

Photo of WeaponTheyFear
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a big light brown bubbly head. Head quickly dissipates and leaves behind some adequate lacing.

S- Roasted malts/smokiness immediately come to mind followed but a wonderful sour apple aroma and candied sugar. Very inviting.

T- Not as impressive as the smell. The smoked malts are at the forefront which leads way to some roasted malt flavors and a slight sour apple undertone. The finish is much like CL regular smoked porter only there is a well perceived alcohol presence, especially considering it is only 7%.

D- Well carbonated, a little too much for my liking because of the style and the fact it is a barrel aged beer. The ABV makes it a sipper and I've had much more drinkable beers with bigger ABVs but I will chalk that up to the fact it has been in a barrel.

Overall- A good beer but not nearly as good as when I had it fresh. I wish I reviewed that one as it was my favorite in the SFtO series and just an amazing beer. I was actually hoping that the beer would become more sour but as with most BA beers the barrel flavors subsided and the true beer came out and while CL smoked porter is not a bad beer, it is not what I wanted to find in this beer. Recommended if/when batch 2 comes out and while not as bad as the last 2 reviews I wasn't overly impressed this time around.

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