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Smoke - Surly Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

676 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 676
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 12.2%

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)
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Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 263 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 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 UCLABrewN84


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 BuckeyeNation


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 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
Photo of womencantsail


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 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 BEERchitect


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 Thorpe429


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 ChainGangGuy


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 TMoney2591


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 feloniousmonk


4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap, (at the Blue Nile) in a Big Ass Tripel Karmeliet glass, why the hell not...
Black as it gets, with a roasty tanned head. Looks absolutely perfect for the style.

Smoked malt from Bamberg in this, and it wafts out slyly, but confidently. There’s bacon down there, but I get salmon as well....mmm, smokey!

Taste: mmm, a beautiful mix of the roasted chocolate malts, the deep, dark fruits, like raisin and plum, but so smooth. The smoke aspect is just sliding along in the flavor, not a dominant aspect at all, but it hangs in there and never lets you forget it. The strength is sneaky, too, you don’t get hit on the head, but it creeps up on you, and invades your mind with stealth. Delicious stuff, and so easy to drink, though you have to pace it...too strong for sessioning! But you want to, you really really want to!

I have to wonder if other American brewed "Imperial Porters" are as faithful to the style and actually made as a lager, as Todd did here. How do you get this dark and this deep, with a lager? But it's a wise choice, as the flavor is there aplenty, and the mouthfeel is so smooth, so clean, so sumptuous, as well. This is one of my favorite styles, though the smoked porter variety isn't, exactly. So glad that the smoke is not intrusive, and merely in the end, a side characteristic, ...maybe the oak aging aided in the mellowing of the flavors? Whatever, it really came together in Smoke!

Really magnificent! This needs to go in bombers and blow some minds out there! Til that happens, I'm happy to drink it down on tap right here! Ahhh!!!

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2007 07:07:56 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet at Sheffield's on St. Patty's Day.

A - Half finger of mocha foam that dissipates and leaves a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Pitch black, with a hint of brown at the edges. Pretty typical of a high-gravity porter.

S - Hickory, smoke, peat, oakiness, roasted malts, caramel, campfire, and a bit of nuttiness. Great example of the style - although I'm wondering why this is listed as a Baltic Porter and not a Smoked Beer, as it has a lot in common with the Smokestack Heritage Porter.

T - Much more wood and oakiness, and still plenty of smoke. Not nearly as sweet, with the caramel showing up right at the tip of the tongue. Tons of lingering wood flavor at the top of the palate. Not as nice tasting as it smells unfortunately.

M - Superb. Mild carbonation, with a nice little tingle that complements the smokiness. Medium body with great residual stickiness. Creamy and smooth to drink.

D - As far as smoked beers go this is pretty easy drinking. Well hidden ABV. The taste gets palate fatiguing after a while, and I can't imagine wanting more than a glass or two.

Another fine Surly brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2009 02:08:11 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from brewerburgundy courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2011. Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains smoked malts, chocolate, some dark fruit, some coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bitter-sweet flavors of dark chocolate and black coffee that are quickly followed by a hearty roasted malt character and a good amount of smokiness. There’s also some background flavor of dark fruit. The hops presence is mild but complementary and provides a good balance. The after-taste is smoky and bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a very good smoked beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 01:30:10 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


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 drabmuh


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #2400, Yay! Sorry liver. At the time of this review, this is the #3 Baltic Porter, fitting that a landmark review is a top 5 beer for me. Served in a 2008 Darkness glass (thank you Lunch) because I don't have a Surly glass unfortunately other than this one.

Beer is black, thin lazy pointless head, tan bubbles, breaks immediately, low retention, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is smoky, peaty, a little malty. Sweet.

Sweet, smooth, mild smoke, a little dry, very nice. Maybe I'm warming to the whole smoke beer thing but this one is really nice. I like it. Great finish. I would have this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 03:34:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80


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 jlindros


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

THanks to ShogoKawada for cracking this one at the Central NE BA Meetup, '09 vintage.

Pours a light creamy but darker head that fades almost instantly, with a super dark almost pitch black complexion.

Nose is smoked malts, smoked meats and cheeses, tons of smoke, campfire like, but with all the smoke it's nice, not overboard, a bit of minerality and dark malts, some light crisp lager aromas under that.

Taste is creamy porter like to start, light and crisp though, some smoke, much less than the nose thankfully, smoked meats again, light campfire, woody esthers as well, chalky, some chewy malts, dark creamy malts, a bit of roast and minerality. Under that is a nice crisp lager like flavor too.

Mouth is medium to a bit heavier bodied, creamy, and lower but decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, no real booze effect, just a very slight hint of warming booze, smooth and creamy, a bit dry.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 02:13:26 | More by jlindros
Photo of tempest


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Nile (How's it going Al?)

I feel like with a Surly, I have to start by being wary of the hype. Sure, everyone will say this beer rocks, but I have to make up my own mind.

I was a little disappointed by the lack of head, but there are more important things. The smell doesn't tell me much of what's to come, I just get faint chocolate-lager aroma like you'd get from a good black beer or a baltic along with a touch of maple syrup.

That said, my first sips were enigmatic. What the heck am I getting here. The fog cleared, however, as my chalice warmed. There's an unmistakable sweet-porkchop and bacon taste backed up by a big smooth roasted cocoa flavor. The dark grains linger long into the aftertaste, making me wonder if I should just sit and enjoy or go for another sip. The lager yeast also makes an appearance with a standard, but balanced doppelbock-like taste of silky black licorice.

This is a thinking (wo)man's beer. Plenty to ponder and more to enjoy. Go find some before it's gone.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2007 01:52:57 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/25/11 notes. Shared this with a few friends. Bottle from the original release, served in a tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smoke, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, toasted malts.

t - Tastes of smoke, roasted malts, toasted malts, sweet chocolate, cream and vanilla.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink.

d - Overall this is a very good smoked Baltic Porter. I don't think smoked beers or Baltic Porters in general blow my mind, but this is a very good one. Great mouthfeel, and glad I have anough bottle of it.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 01:22:04 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown glass bottle with silver wax over a standard pressure cap acquired in Minneapolis and served into a Guinness stem-goblet glass in me parents’ gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado during my annual Christmas tasting. Reviewed live. 2012 vintage. Expectations are very high given the brewery. 8.2% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a baltic porter because the label identifies it as such.

Served cold – straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it’s poured.

Pours an one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Smooth even consistency. Soft complexion. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 5+ minutes.

Body colour is an opaque dark solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it’s an appealing appearance for the style. I’m really looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Heavy smoke character. Dark malts. Smoked malts. Caramel. Light ash. None of the smoked meat or pork notes of a rauchbier are here. Smoke is dominant, true to its epithet.

No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable. No spice.

A pleasant if somewhat chaotic aroma of moderate to high strength.

T: Smoke is very well integrated into the dark malt base. The smoked malts really shine here. There's no harshness, but there is some ashen character. Good depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Caramel. Faint cocoa/chocolate. Nice complexity, but there's room for improvement. It's certainly well balanced; the smoke doesn't overwhelm the other notes, which is impressive and hard to accomplish. A nuanced build, but not an intricate one. It's quite cohesive, but not quite gestalt.

No hop character or yeast character comes through. Alcohol presence is quite timid.

It's one hell of a lager. Very approachable for a smokey beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit ashy/rough in brief patches. It has a light coarseness which helps coax out the smoke a bit more. Unrefreshing. Good presence on the palate. Quite approachable. Good body.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: A very drinkable brew for the high ABV. If you fancy you some smoke, this is a good brew to try. Surly continues to deliver quality beers. I could kill this bottle alone with ease. Very likable stuff. I'd definitely get it again. I'm not sure if the smoke faded with age, but there's plenty of smokey character here even after a year.

Low B+

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 01:17:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of corby112


4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 1000! Thanks a lot to traviserickson for sending this one to me in a recent trade.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even a trace of lighter color when held to a light source. Two finger frothy mocha colored head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Roasty aroma that isn't is smokey as I expected with lots of dark malt notes. Hints of vlbitter dark chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, coffee bean, burnt toast and subtle spice. There is still a good bit of smokey aromas traditionally associated with smoked/rauchbiers. Hints of charcoal, campfire, ash etc. But again, there is a lot going on making it less one dimensional. Different and comex but not as intensely smokey as I prefer in the nose.

Chewy, viscous medium body that again, is only slightly smokey. Very well balanced with lots of luscious chocolate malt goodness. Slightly spivey possibly with anise as well as some hops to comiment the roasty/smokey notes. Hints of deep roasted coffee bean, bittersweet dark chocolate, burnt toast and toffee. As in the aroma, the smokiness isn't as intense as expected. Only subtle hints of vampire, butane, bacon, charcoal, BBQ, etc. integrated into the flavor. Very complex, excellently balanced and the high ABV is pretty well masked, making this beer ery quaffable. I really enjoyed this beer but didn't find it as smokey as I expected or hoped for. Highly recommend but I would warn the smokeheads out there that this beer isn't that intense in that regard.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 00:56:16 | More by corby112
Photo of stakem


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

Thanks to CaptinRedBeard for hosting the Oktoberfest party and having this available for us to try. I've got to try this brew a couple of times care of Corey and this is the first time I've scratched down a few notes.

The brew appears dark brown in color that is nearing black. When held to the light, lighter brown coloration and a bit of clarity is noted. A creamy tan head appears a finger strong. As the cap slowly fades, a spotty webbing of lacing coats the entire wall of the glass.

The smell of this new is pleasantly smoky with a touch of caramel and chocolate malt sweetness. Some herbal hops are present that gives an earthy element to the nose. At times the smoked quality seems Pete'd but it isn't over-done. The light tinge of minerals mixed with chocolate is the only indication of the underlying base Baltic porter.

The taste of the brew is pleasantly smoked overtop of a chocolate grain base. A fair amount of bitterness comes from the roast of the grain coupled with herbal and earthy hop inclusion. There is a light touch of fruity alcohol that is the first indication of the 8+% abv. The alcohol gets a little spicy and warming as the brew comes up to temperature.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Very easy drinking with a well rounded base of flavoring. The alcohol is perfectly integrated in this brew which makes it dangerously drinkable. The finish is fairly crisp with a lingering smoked and chocolate aspect. A very fine example that is quite enjoyable. I wouldn't mind having a couple bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 14:09:43 | More by stakem
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark red, appears black away from the light, very thick and chunky tan head forms and settles down to a big ring around the glass, some lace spots stick all over.

Smell is great, very heavy and malty, big caramel/toffee, lightly smokey, lightly roasty, some chocolate milk, raisin and licorice, a touch of alcohol, a bit of dark fruit, really nice aroma.

Taste is great too, some chocolate milk up front, nice touch of creaminess, alcohol, heavy raisin, lightly smokey, brown sugar, biscuit, nice roasty middle, a touch of booze but well hidden, balanced finish thats lightly sweet, huge flavour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, silky smooth, a bit of warmth going down. A great beer, thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 15:56:08 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Inky black. Soft looking creamy brown head. A full sheet of lace is laid down as I drink. The aroma is quite subtle. Smoke is subtle. There are nice roasty and chocolatey malt tones as well. But reserved as a whole. On the palate, there's a bit of that phenolic smokey stuff going on. Bacony in nature. Nice roasted bitterness. The phenolic (slightly medicinal) nature is a little strong for my personal taste. But it adds some character. The beer is medium bodied. Slightly alcoholic. Flaccid feel. Not particularily creamy or velvety. O.K. though. This beer reminds me of my own smoked porter, which garnered 2nd overall at the NHC this year. And as with mine, I feel that this is merely good...not great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2007 19:25:54 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks Paul! Review from notes.

A: This beer appears a very dark brown, almost black. There is virtually no head or lace at all.

S: Whoa - the aroma is extremely smoky. I guess this is what they were going for.

T: This tastes much more like a rauch bier than a Baltic Porter, incidentally. While there are some nice flavors here, the body is just too thin to support the complexities of this beer.

M: There is very little carbonation, and a generally flat feel.

D: I'm glad I tried it, but I can get an Aecht Schlenkerla rauch bier that tastes better for way less trouble.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 01:29:34 | More by Huhzubendah
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Smoke from Surly Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.