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Smoke - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
SmokeSmoke

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

704 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 704
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 339
Gots: 220 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-05-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 704 | Reviews: 266 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel, with a signficant and controlled smokey taste, with the porter complexty behind it.Great smoked, although not as bold tasting a baltic porter as I would expect. The beer is really a cross between the two. Smoke aroma.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 17:07:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

02-26-2013 01:56:32 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt and maybe some caramel and cocoa notes. Taste is of smoked malt up front with some dark fruits and cocoa powder on the finish. A smoky, roasted bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good smoked baltic porter from Surly. The smoke aroma is somewhat dominant but the smoke flavors compliment the other tastes in the beer very well.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 06:34:23 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

01-12-2012 12:56:43 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to chewy08rx for this bottle.

Pours a dark amber-brown with a nice off white head. The nose is really quite smoky, although it doesn't go so far that it's overpowering. A bit meat. Roasted malt and some dark fruits and chocolate underneath. Quite complex. Taste is a bit less so, as there is some general chocolate and roast below the heavy smoke character, but the smoke is definitely stealing the show. All the smoke and meaty flavors bring a nice mouthfeel, and this drinks quite well, especially comparing it against similar beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 11:42:51 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"We cross our bridges when we come to them, and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered."

--Tom Stoppard

Awesome label. Ridiculously tenacious wax. Charred coffee bean brown with superslim edges of ruby and burnt orange. The khaki colored crown is fizzilicious and featureless, but still manages to hang around for minutes after the pour. The glass is spotless.

The amount of smoke in the nose is just right. It doesn't dominate to the extent that it covers up the base beer, nor is it shoved so far into the background that it's merely an afterthought. So far, slightly more rauchbier than Baltic porter.

Even though Surly Smoke has seen better (read: fresher) days, it's still a humdinger of a lager that explodes on the palate with each upending of the glass. If the body/mouthfeel didn't drag it down so much, the next highest taste score would have been a slam dunk. It's pretty easy to imagine what this beast would have been like right after the release.

The flavor profile is surprisingly black malty, like a smoke-saturated Imperial schwarzbier. Black licorice is prominent, along with high cacao dark chocolate, bitter black tea leaves and a few campfire's worth of sweet wood smoke. The boys at Surly don't do anything halfway.

Age has taken a massive bite out of the body, which is too damn bad. It has also played havoc with the carbonation, which is harsh and stinging early, then close to absent late, without passing through the proverbial sweet spot.

I'm glad to have had this opportunity to taste Smoke (thanks feloniousmonk), even if it's clearly not the beer that it once was. I would be even more glad to have the chance to taste it fresh and on-tap. Here's hoping that wish comes true sometime in the next several years.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 21:41:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with faint ruby highlights; the head fritters away like a soda leaving no trace

Smell: Smoked chocolate, licorice and dark fruit

Taste: Dark fruit, licorice and chocolate provide the initial elements, with the smoke and molasses aspects developing by mid-palate; rather fruity, after the swallow, though the smoke builds in intensity through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; low carbonation

Drinkability: For whatever reason, my bottle lacked carbonation; still a fine example of a creatively brewed beer by the folks at Surly

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 01:10:16 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an exceptionally good beer that was on my elusive list of things to track down, I had all but given up hope when growler sales were stopped, but go figure the day they are someone offers me a trade! Hell yeah. 64oz growler at cellar temp, this one was poured into multiple pint glasses and consumed on 01.11.2009.

The pour was very big. Deep, Dark brown in color with no light coming through this one at all. A rich tan head of three inches came up over the top of the glass and took a few moments to settle down, meanwhile some very nice lacing was developing on the sides and the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was beautiful. Rich, dark fruit notes. Lots of prunes and plum smells coming off of this, with roasted malts, and a nice smoke smell. Not your huge campfire peat, this was massively complex with hints of bourbon like alcohol bouncing around in here as well. The flavor, well was outstanding. I really cannot explain how good this came off for the style. Rich roasted malts, hints of chocolate, dark fruits, hints of alcohol and a wonderful smoke flavor that came through perfectly in the finish. Smooth, mellow feel, with a nice full bodied and well carbonated texture. This was a big beer, there was no hiding that, however it was a superb sipper, just perfectly well balanced and enormously smooth, I sipped on this one all day long and loved every second of it.

Overall I cannot say enough good things about this one, it was one of the best Baltic Porters I have ever had and tasted more complex then just about anything else in the category. This is a must get that it looks like you will have to go to MN to go get now.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 01:09:24 | More by mikesgroove
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nmann08

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

11-25-2011 03:10:46 | More by nmann08
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you are like me, you're always a bit weary about the quality of the smoke content and its intensity. Well, my friends, this is one well put together Smoked Lager.

Painted deep and dark brown, the beer shows nearly complete opaqueness. A dainty lightly tanned head forms on the beer, settles to a sheet and holds firm. Slim on both lacing and legging.

Aromas, surprisingly are of toasted malts and chocolate. Aided just a bit by light coffee, nutty, and woodsy notes, the smoke settles right into the mix in a quite nonchalant kinda way.

Flavors are decidedly sweet and complexly malted. Toasty, bready notes remind me a bit of Dopplebocks. Caramels and kettle caramelization make the beer very rich and variant. The smoke flavor comes across more like a mild campfire flavor rather than the harsher Rauchbiers. Interestingly a fruity grape, plumb, and date flavor comes through but this might be because of the dark grains used as much as an ester character.

Malty and rich up front, the beer fades nicely into a smooth and velvety finish. Despite the 8.2%, the beer never gets dry, alcoholic, bitter, or fusal- a testement to the well lagered practice.

This is a much better beer for which I gave credit before tasting. It shows that a beer can display great smoke character without dominating the glass. Delicious!

Thanks tdg!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 04:13:06 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

01-15-2012 03:06:57 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Chris. But boo to Surly for making some of the most impenetrable wax I've ever come across.

A: The pour is pretty much black with a very small mocha colored head.

S: The roasted malts are really the first thing to hit me, but the smoke is not too far behind. There seems to be a bit of a lactose or vanilla thing going on, too. Some nice chocolate aroma is also present.

T: Lots and lots of roasted malts here. A good chocolate and coffee flavor along with just a bit of bitterness. The smoke is quite pronounced as you might expect.

M: The body is medium with quite a low level of carbonation.

D: Despite being pretty smokey, I actually thought this was good and had enough other flavors going on.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 18:11:50 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-01-2012 22:21:24 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a near black body with a bubbly, ecru head on top, though this dies out fairly quickly.

Smell: The aroma is smelling of moderately roasted grains, shaved chocolate, a teaspoon of ground coffee, and ripe dark fruits, though it's superseded by a scent of quality smoked meats.

Taste: Upfront roastiness with a marked sweetness, moreso than I'd expected. Additional toastiness. Handful of chocolate sprinkles tossed with a handful of Bacon Bits. Small splash of mild-mannered coffee. Fruit compote comprised of plums and Medjool dates. It's brimming with clean smokiness, though it's never overpowering or overbearing. Slight charred bitterness. Soft, smoke-accented finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Fairly creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This one was very easy to down. What else can you say? It's a good Baltic Porter brimming with smooth smokiness.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 15:11:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

01-13-2012 03:26:21 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-04-2012 01:50:13 | More by Texasfan549
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spycow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

01-12-2013 00:13:43 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

06-27-2014 23:49:51 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

09-08-2013 04:15:57 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Very big ups to tdg for this mucho-anticipatado bottle!

The prospect of a smoked baltic porter --> I need new pants. Let's do this shit! It pours an opaque scorched brown with a small amount of tan foam on top. The nose comprises charcoal-smoked ham, roasted malts, molasses, and brown sugar. The salivation has begun in earnest. The taste holds notes of sweet syrup, molasses, brown sugar, spruce, and caramel up front, leading a healthy puff of light smoke. The flavors may not necessarily stand on an equal footing with the smell, but they do come very close. And, besides, it's still pretty damn tasty regardless. The body is a hefty medium, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a rich, oily feel (and I mean that in a good way). I am very pleased, indeed, to have been able to try this beast. Now I've gotta find a way to get more...

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 03:36:30 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. tulip.

Color was the darkest shade of brown, nearly black. A ring of crimson highlight was visible at the very edge, once the foam had settled. Tight, compact head of khaki foam that left spotty lacing.

Slight sweetness in the nose, some yeast esters producing a vague cloviness, without much smokiness.

Flavors of smoked malt, some chocolate, fairly subdued. It has a slight lactic feel to it, but not especially creamy, just enough to make it medium-bodied. Clean feeling with a residual taste of hop bitterness and char.

Overall good, easy to drink, could use more smoke aroma and flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2008 19:58:13 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a three finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very smoky like a campfire. Couldn't smell much else, but that's fine the beer is named "Smoke".

T - It delivered smoky flavor but not nearly as strong as the aroma. It actually had some sweet chocolate flavors with some toffee, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - I'm amazed at how they made such a strong smoky aroma but a milder smoke taste. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 22:45:51 | More by zeff80
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-17-2011 05:26:32 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was an extra from kbutler1. Thanks! Black with a light tan head that recedes to a full collar.

Smoke, dark malt and rubber aroma backed by a bit of chocolate and oak. Sweetness and smoke are pretty restrained. The rubbery character becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, which detracts from an otherwise nice smell.

Toasty dark malt, smoke, light roast and astringent rubber. Smoke is well integrated, present at a subtle level. Medium-light body with a good level of carbonation. Finishes with smoke, rubber, roasted malt. The body is spot on but the rubbery flavor is very detracting.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 23:13:43 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

11-14-2011 22:22:49 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
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Smoke from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 704 ratings.