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: 81
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
Reviews by TheycallmeTim:
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into an Ommegang chalice--just because...

A--Black all the way to the bottom body, huge off-white eggshell 4 finger creamy head. Incredible lacing and retention.

S--Spicy, old apple--like an apple studded with cloves and left on the counter for a day. Maybe a little bit of bitter dark chocolate. Definite cloying sweet booziness.

T--Initial sweet apple sock, warms to boozy middle, then mainly tobacco smoke at the dead center. Apple skin finish. Bright and buoyant bitterness at the finish.

M&D--Quite bubbly, works well to lighten the beer, I think. Drinkability? Well, you're only gonna want one, and if you're me, you don't even want the whole bottle. It's too sweet for that. But as an after dinner treat or with a cigar? Man, this is money. Direct, big, and brassy, a nice cold weather drink for sitting in upholstered leather.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from the source last weekend. Pours pretty darn near black, under an all star head, huge, slow to shrink, turnig to a merainge cap, and finally to a very thick, stay forever film. Stringy and spotted lace. The nose reveals tart apple, burnt grains, wood, smoke, vanilla, brandy.
Flavorful, complex and bold. Notes of the expected tart apple, more wood/smoke, and I get brandy/rum in the finish. Intense stuff, that can only get better with some aging to perhaps let things gel together, mellow and soften out the edges a bit. World class sipper, night capper, after dinner brew. Note to self: would be great with apple pie after Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A porter a minority taken down in strength of taste by the apple brandy, with lends a mild but still significant secondary taste.This agrees with the tasting notes of the brewery. The acidity is high, making it difficult to finish a 750 ml. by myself,sharing recommended. Neither my favorite nor my least liked of the entire Smoke from The Oak series, and certainly very good porter.

Photo of mikey711
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at the release, the following day and this past weekend finally while taking notes.

A: Big puffy brownish/tan head. It was a murky brown in color. Lacing was excellent.

S: Smokiness is present as are some sour apple notes. A slight bit of woodiness is present as well.

T: It tastes very much like a green apple. Very nice balance of sweetness and sour with some nice woody tannins. The porter provides a little more sweetness.

M: Smooth and creamy. Nothing harsh tasting at all.

D: Unfortunately I have shared this beer each time that I have had it and I always end up wanting more. Excellent beer

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 mykie73
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Shane (hophead84) for sending this one.

L) When I opened the bottle, it gushed just a bit. When poured, it took about 10 minutes for the head to go down. Once settled, it was quite beautiful.

S) chocolate, roast, coffee, vanilla, and yes....apples. nice snell.

T) The beer took a while to grow on me but it certainly did. The roastines of the smell really comes out in the taste. nice sweet apple notes with a nice malty backbone. not overly bitter or too sweet. quite enjoyable.

f) finishes dry which is nice. very full bodied for a porter which is enjoyable. great mouthful...quite thick for a porter...maybe a little too thick for style but i will not mark down for that. the score goes down just a bit for it being a little too carbonated.

d) took me two hours to finish. A nice sipper.

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 mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The kindness /of the BA community gets this one in my hands with the quickness. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 9/23/2009.

Pour was the typical huge Captain Lawrence pour. Dark as night with a towering three inches of foam coming up and over the top. Majestic looking I have to say. Rich tan lacing coming all the way down the sides of the glass and just immensly thick. I lean in for a smell and rich woody notes and light fruit coming up very quickly. Quite complex and just what I was looking for. Light touches of smoke, and molasses as well as a nice brown sugar all make this one quite sweet and subtle. Each sip brings more and more of the barrel forward. Incredible. Rich apple and a vanilla combine seemlessly into a rich creation that is playing off perfectly. Sweet notes of sugar are now blending with a light peat flavor and a really well done hint of chocolate. Very well carbonated and not overly heavy it balances all the flavor wonderfuly and the alcohol is soo well hidden I had finished off the bottle before I knew where I was!

Overall this was as solid as they come and next to the wine barrel my favorite in the series. I would do this one again any day.

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 largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this from Dyan last week. Thanks!

Black in the glass with slight translucency. A gentle pour left me with a head three fingers high - this one's a bit overcarbonated. The head ultimately settles to a crown, leaving webs of lace in its wake.

Apples come through strongly in the aroma, tart green apples in particular. There's some roastiness, some chocolate and a hint of smoke. There's a bit of heat from the barrel as well. This has a slight bacterial sourness and funk to it, which was unexpected but adds an interesting dimension to the beer.

The taste is semi-sweet, apple-infused and slightly hot. Roastiness and lactic sourness are about even on the palate. The body is medium-light, carbonation quite high - a bit too high for this style of beer. It gets better with a bit of swirling. The finish is tart, fruity, dry and vinous with some lingering heat from the barrel. Pretty interesting stuff, I'm liking this trend of aging beers in apple brandy barrels. This could turn into something very interesting if the bacterial character develops.

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 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 weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to josh for sharing this.
Appears a murky dark brown with a dark tan head that never fades. It settles into a thick, battery head. Scattered bits of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cherries, cocoa, caramel, toffee, and mocha. It reminds me of Oerbier Reserve.
Taste is of the aromas with a wine like flavor with vanilla, and oak flavors pulling through.
Mouthfeel is sweet up front with tart and chewy caramel flavors.

Photo of GbVDave
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for nabbing this at the release and sending it in one of our trades!

batch no. 1

A: Pours a deep, dark, coffee brown/black. Residing on top is the most amazing three fingers of dark khaki brown head that I think I've ever seen. Retention was incredible in that it never completely recedes. Multiple gobs, splatters, and tendrils of lace were left to coat the glass.

S: I've never had the opportunity to try the Smoked Porter base for this series (hint, hint, Joe!) but I think I can detect it in there. Green apple tartness, smoked porter, bakers chocolate, caramel apples, and fresh baked apple pie from Cherry Point Market (south of Silver Lake, MI).

T: Continues along the same delicious lines as the Smell. Everything in the aroma is present but in different quantities. The tangy, tart, and unripened apple flavor is front and center while the smoke, chocolate, and baked goods of the smell are in the background...yet all still there.

M: Tangy and acidic to a certain extent. Tart and pretty dry. Our mouths kept waiting for a sweetness that never arrived.

D: Excellent! Maybe for batch two, Scott could dial up the sweetness and dial back the tartness and deliver a different version of this fantastic beer!

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 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 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 KeefD
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with dark red highlights, nice t an foam, decent lacing. Aroma has a little bit of sourness going on, apple, some light smoke, but less than I was expecting. Taste was right on par. The apple brandy barrel flavor was an interesting twist on this style. Apple was in the forefront, lightly sour, some roasty notes coming through on the end. It was a bit overcarbonated for me, but a few swirls of the glass fixed that. Very interesting brew and was glad I had the chance to try it. Huge thanks to Knifestyles for throwing this one in as an extra in a trade.

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

Thanks to a couple folks for trading bottles of this fantastic brew to me.

Pours opaque black with massive over-the-top tan head that settles nicely to a 2 mm froth like A&W root beer. Smells and tastes quite interesting - smoke, oak, tart apples, some underlying hints of chocolate, slightly sweet...even though I'm not providing many descriptors, this is a complex and layered beer. Perfect for a crisp autumn evening. Body is medium and carbonation is massive. Highly drinkable brew. Reminds me just a bit of HOTD Matt with the smoky apple brandy qualities. Very unique, and highly recommended.

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

Generously provided and shared with Dyan the other night. I almost forgot I had written a review for this beer (we sampled rather a goodly number of beers on this particular evening).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is just incredible, consisting of brandy, green apples, chocolate, bandaide, and a hint of sour. There's some underlying smokiness as well, but it's pretty well dialed down and/or dominated by all the other aromas in this beer. Given the impressive aroma in this beer, I have to say I was just a bit disappointed by how it tasted. At least at this stage in its life, it tasted more like a roasty brown ale, intermixed with some green apple flavor. It really doesn't taste much like a porter at all right now, though it's still pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and drinkability is OK. At this point, however, it was bit of a chore drinking down the entire glass.

This is still a very good beer, but based on previous experiences, I really hoped for so much more. It is very young, so maybe it just needs a bit more time to round off the edges.

Photo of LennyV
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black into my over sized wine glass. Crazy thick creamy brown 3 finger head after a gentle pour.

Smells of sweet brandy and alcohol. The smell made me nervous that the apple brandy will overpower the taste.

Tastes of sweetness and apples intialy then a breaf hint of brandy and alcohol and then finishes sweet.

feels soft and velvety in the mouth...carbonated perfectly.

This brew is a great sipper, something to be enjoyed slowly with some nice conversation

Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the BA-themed SMBDC meeting. Batch 1. Review from notes.

A: Dark brown in color with a very respectable head for the amount I poured. Head also stayed around until the very end of my pour, something I really enjoy seeing. Laced nicely considering it was in a small Val Dieu glass.

S: Tart apples front and center. Nice roasted apples follows with caramel bitterness. Not really picking up much straight smoke, more subtle toasted tones.

T: Crisp young apples. Fortunately I'm one of those people who enjoys eating all the unripened apples when I go apple-picking. This is almost so tart and tangy that you want to pucker. That toasty caramel bitterness comes in at the end to stop you from looking like you just finished doing shots of tequila.

M: Lots of acid. Again, it almost feels like you are sucking on a Warhead (everyone remembers those right? Maybe I'm too young). You're left with that same dry palate at the end; great if you've got something to eat or drink, but not so pleasant to just hang around with.

D: I think I understand why certain foods stay foods and drinks stay drinks. While I definitely enjoyed this quite a bit while I drank it, looking back I'm left with the same kind of disdain I felt after trying one of those "milk & cereal bars" awhile back. I can definitely see how you could drink a few of these in a row, they almost force you too by how dry the finish is.

Note: Don't tell anyone...but this was my first Captain Lawrence experience. I wish I knew what the standard smoked porter tasted like before it got fertilized by the apple brandy barrel.

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.

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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.