Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version) - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.13/5 rDev +3.8%
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.
Serving type: bottle
07-26-2011 23:45:00 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
3.84/5 rDev -3.5%
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.
Serving type: bottle
07-29-2014 00:53:47 | More by Alieniloquium
4.04/5 rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY
A: The beer is very close to being jet black in color—slight traces of reddish brown are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin light tan head that died down and left a large patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of iodine and smoke are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts and smoke, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is deceptively drinkable for clocking in at 12% abv as little if any traces of alcohol are perceptible in the taste.
Serving type: on-tap
03-03-2014 01:34:37 | More by metter98
Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Imperial Version) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.