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Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version) - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version)Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

119 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 63
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: aerozeppl on 12-19-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled in '10. From the gift pack with the Rum and Wine barrel aged versions, both of which I've drank and reviewed over the past year.

Sidenote: Let it not be said that Captain Lawrence tries to stiff its customers out of beer, as this bottle was filled to about an inch from the cap.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a thick ring of lacing. Pours dark brown / black and leaves big swatches and spots of lacing everywhere. Looks like both of the other versions, ie excellent.

Smell: Lots of soft vanilla oak, smoked malt, and some apple. Booze and pine quickly emerge. Nutty.

Beautiful and balanced aroma. Probably the best smelling of the three, actually.

Taste: Smooth feel and flavor up front, oaky and malty with a healthy cutting bitterness, leading to an apple and smoke finish with a giant alcohol heat in the chest. Heat and aftertaste last a long time.

Smoked malt is much more subdued in this beer than in the regular Imperial Smoked Porter or the other imperial Smoke from the Oak beers. While this provides a great balance up front, there's unfortunately some unpleasant solvent / cheap whiskey flavor around the finish. This beer wears its ABV on its sleeve much moreso than the other two.

At the same time, the long, delicious apple / smoke interplay aftertaste and powerful heat make this beer a rewarding sipper. Also, the beautiful, balanced character of the smell steadily emerges in the beginning and middle of each sip, oak-forward, nutty, boozy, with some brandy notes to make things more interesting. The finish alternates between campfire and cheap whiskey.

Surpassed by the almost-perfect flavor of the rum barrel aged version, this beer tastes simultaneously better and worse than the wine version. Up front, more is going on, more balance is achieved, and the flavors work better together. In back, there's surprising flaws that are not present in either of the other barrel versions, nor in the original Imperial Smoked Porter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very creamy, but welcomely punched up by the carbonation and bitterness.

Overall: The apple acidity, nuttiness, and deep overall flavor make this a very enjoyable beer, but all told I think it's the weakest of the three. To put it another way, I would pay $60+ for 3 bottles of the imperial rum barrel aged Smoke from the Oak, but if they were all apple brandy I'd have to take a pass.

Another giant American beer that hits very high heights, but can't avoid some notable flaws. Still, the apple brandy influence is, if nothing else, very interesting, and the base beer is so good that it would be hard to really mess this up. Mildly recommended to any beer drinker, highly recommended to fans of Captain Lawrence's Imperial Smoked Porter, since in the end I believe the experiment yields enough unique flavor to make trying it worthwhile.

Pahn, Jul 27, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled in '10, this one has been in my "cellar"/closet for about 10 months.

Pours black, dark tan head, staying and staying at about the 1/4 inch level. Going quite slowly to a well developed thicker blotchy film, thick collar and nice amounts of strands and bits of sticky lacing.

A sniff reveals brandy, wood, vanilla, honey.

Super complex and tasty brew, with notes of the aformentioned brandy, wood, vanilla, honey, plus fruity jam...

I truly enjoyed every ounce if this offering from the good Captain.

Fine creation in brewing.

Billolick, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
5/5  rDev +25.9%

dogfishandi, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010, I think?)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, whartontallboy!

(Aged for 1+ year)

A big, thick, black stout. This pours without a lot of visible carbonation even after a fairly aggressive pour. It leaves the glass coated with an oily sheen.

The aroma is certainly smoke-forward with almost a pork-like character to it. There's a good amount of barrel character and a touch of vanilla once you can find something other than smoke. Per the style, it's very nice, though I'm not the biggest fan of smoked beers.

A very well integrated smoked/barreled beer. There's roasted malt character to be found underneath the smoke, wood, and slight boozy sweetness. Well rounded, moderately bitter, and very drinkable.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

This beer is so big, expressive, and flavorful on its own, I think it would hold up nicely against some big assertive foods: funky cheeses, barbeque, or sweet chocolates.

ehammond1, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +0.8%

SPRichard, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Corey – thanks! Side-by-side with the wine and rum versions.

Pours black with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with large amounts of boozy green apple aromas. Also present are slight amounts of smokiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though note as robust. Moderately roasted malts up front are joined quickly by sweet and boozy green apples. Midway through the apple flavors fade a bit, allowing some smokiness to shine through and carry on to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, as I have with most beers aged on apple brandy. My second favorite, slightly edged out by the rum barrel version. A nice combination and a beer that is well worth a shot.

glid02, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

acurtis, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Griffith, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of StephRai
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

StephRai, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photekut, May 19, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Gonzoillini, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Nice khaki head with a thick collar and nice surface wisps.

Smell - Smoky, but not too intense. Sweet smelling. Chocolate. Lots of vanilla. Some oak. I get some brandy, but I don't think I'd peg it as apple.

Taste - Chocolate. Smoke. Sweet fudgy chocolate comes back after the smoke. Oak. Sweet brandy flavor. Woody finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Pretty sweet and kinda boozy. A little sluggish.

Overall - Nice all around. I appreciate that the smoke isn't overwrought.

Alieniloquium, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Ralphs66, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Gmann
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a big dense tan head that settled into a solid cap.

The aroma primarily is of smoke. Nice charred wood, peat, and meaty aromas. Just beautiful smoke aromas. There is also a hint of sweetness, though you can't really tell what it is. I imagine it is from the apple brandy, its a bit vinous. Also a hint of sour oak.

The smoke is definitely not as strong as the aroma but is still there. The taste starts off with a solid roasted malt and caramel base. This is followed by the sweet brandy flavor with hints of red delious apples. The smoke follows through in the end bring some charred wood, soy, and peat flavors. Just a real nice transition of flavors.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Great balance on the palate between the sweet and the smoke. A hint of ABV belly burn but really not much and it finishes slightly sticky.

Great smoked porter. Perhaps not as smokey on the flavor as I expected but such great balance between the barrel aging and the smoke.

Gmann, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of scootny
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brown black brew with a light brown frothy head. Some lace here and there with nice amount of retention. Smell is sweet with notes of chocolate, coconut, cherries, molasses and caramel. Good amount of smoke and oak. An undercurrent of dark fruits and light coffee. Vanilla wafts through atop a wave of mild apple brandy. Some light earthiness. Yumm. Taste is much like the nose with a larger oak and brandy presence. Some lovely dry tartness as the alcohol cuts in toward the finish adding a sweetness as well to a crisp dry somewhat astringent finish. Dry oak and cherries linger along with burnt caramel and charcoal. Feel is lighter that you would expect but still a beer with some girth to it. Nice smooth carbonation helps to keep it from sticking as this beer has a light syrupiness to it. Goes down well and while a sipper it is definitely easy to sip fast. Just a perfect beer for this chilly spring night.

scootny, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.4%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(750ml bottle courtesy of Cuzco!). Pours a nice black color with a thin espresso head. Its a really nice picture. Aroma is savory smoke, beef jerky, faint, but sweet apples. The smoke is so powerful, but the fruit does peek its head out in a very pleasant way. Taste is sweet; much sweeter than I expected. I recall trying the other two versions and I thought they were harsh (but good). The smoke is there for sure, but the apple brandy has really started to emerge. Medium bodied and a slick texture. Finish is smooth except for the alcohol bite. This has been my favorite of the imperial SFTO beers, but a revisit of the other two is now something I’m very interested in.

trappistlover, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of Riggsenater
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Riggsenater, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of waddellc2
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

waddellc2, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

hoppymcgee, May 14, 2012
Photo of thudean
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

thudean, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

EgadBananas, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel. Batch 1, from notes.

Interesting hue here on the head. It's purple, with a light bit of tan, guess it's picking up that real nice hazy reddish brown body. Bit of a pour from the bottom of the bottle so it's got some yeast cloudy character, but it's still quite attractive on first glance.

For a barrel age, it doesn't come off particularly oaky for a bouquet. But the nose provides a mild bitter chocolate and sour berry tinge, almost crabapple sense, but it gets into under-ripe raspberry or some red berry, with some slight funk. Solid.

Palate is a strange mix of wet and creamy texture. A very light body for a barrel aged brew, with a mild sour bit of tart kick, and mellow milk bitter chocolate and sour cherries. The feel does provide even with the lightness a real good creamy texture surprisingly, the feel seems to be the best part. It's almost contradictory to how the flavors come out on the palate. I don't get much smoke off of this either.

Overall though, kind of mellow, simple, and alright. It's ok but I can't get a sense of style for what this is either.

smakawhat, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of tfidler
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

tfidler, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler procured from Nathaniel Square Corner Store. Imperial smoked porter aged in apple brandy barrels- sounds tasty! Let's go.

Pours very dark. Foamy, mocha-colored head forms, then dissipates into a very oily film on top of the beer. Very good, sticky lacing.

Smells like apple brandy, chocolate, and vanilla.

The taste is similar, with added oak, mild smokiness and char, roasted malts, caramel, and boozy fusels. The alcohol presence keeps the taste from achieving perfection, but it's pretty damn close, really.

Slighlty thinner body and mouthfeel than I would've expected. The thin mouthfeel allows the alcohol to make a stronger presence that I'd ultimately want. Still, for a porter, pretty thick mouthfeel nonetheless.

Probably the best brew I've had from Captain Lawrence. Would love to try the rum version.

GreesyFizeek, Dec 09, 2013
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Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.