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Smoke - Surly Brewing Company


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669 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 669
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 12.17%

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: 669 | Reviews: 263 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Weli


4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Dark chocolate colored pint with thin off white lacing, ok head retention

S-Campfire! Nice smokey aroma reminiscent of cooking over a wood fire in the fall, hints of toasted malt and cacao

T-Wow doesn't disappoint! Sweet and smokey like cherry wood smoked bacon, big malty flavor of chocolate and dark Munich malt

M-Full bodied, mild carbonation, lingering smokiness

O-Excellent smoked beer, very complex and a delight to taste, yet altogether very drinkable and balanced,would gladly have another. Don't know how true this beer is to the Baltic porter style, I think its really in its own category or should be in some specialty hybrid category of smoked beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2013 14:10:30 | More by Weli
Photo of King_KongDCO93


3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle.

A: dark motor oil with an off white head.

S: lots of smoked aroma

T: has a nice dark roasted malt and smoke flavor. also has a good balance of coffee/cocoa. This beer taste more like a imperial stout but actually a lager. wow. The smoke flavor really comes on as you continue drinking....growing more potent.

M: wet and moist with some bitterness

O: good take on a Baltic Porter wow

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 23:40:11 | More by King_KongDCO93
Photo of DovaliHops


4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown...almost black (amber when held up to light)... almost clear. Large tan head that goes down quickly. Scent is VERY smokey. Nice chocolate aroma with some mellow charcoal and burnt malt. Nice smoked meat aroma. Taste is coffee at first, then the smoke comes in. This beer tastes like a more rich, chocolatey Schlenkerla. VERY tasty. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a great finish. Drinkability is VERY high, especially for 8.20%! Overall, one of the best smoked beers I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 08:08:27 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of jimmah120


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, no date, served in a mason jar

look is s dark brown/amber, finger of head fades to a frothy tan film. smell is charred beef jerky(not strong), dark fruit, robust dark malts. taste is all char and meat up front, finishes sweet and fruity. the medium feel is sublime: milky, smooth, lingers on the tongue.

very interesting and deep flavor. boozy, and feels it. I hold surly to a high standard and this didn't disappoint

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 05:12:04 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Gushue3


3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Dark brown/black in color that is somewhat transparent. Medium sized head with moderate retention and not much lacing.

S As advertised. Tons of smoke with a roast and subtle chocolate as well but the smoke dominates.

T Follows the nose. Smoke is there from front to back along with with some roasty coffee and bakers chocolate. Slightly acrid roast/smoke which was too much for me.

M Medium feel with medium to lighter carbonation.

O Not a bad porter. I'm assuming drinking it fresh would be much more enjoyable for me. Smoke was over the top for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 18:39:13 | More by Gushue3
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- big smoke aroma (big surprise!), roast, slight coffee

T- big burnt coffee and smoke, chocolate, has some tannic notes as well and bitter pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Fairly light and easy drinking.

O- good smoke beer. Fairly one dimension but you do get some roast, chocolate, etc from the porter as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 21:00:51 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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 brewskifan55


3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter; Thanks, Cliff!

A: Blackish brown with a light head that dissipates quickly. Modest lacing.

S: Chocolate, smoky, anise, coffee.

T: A nice lager/smoke blend. Robust. Chocolate and coffee come through in equal proportion. Slight bitter finish.

M: Medium with medium carbonation. Semi-chewy.

O: An interesting combo of lager and stout. An all-day sipper.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2012 18:01:09 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Duff27


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thin short lasting head on a dark brown body. Minimal lacing.

Strong smoke/peaty aromas.

Highly drinkable for such strong smoke flavor.

Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Pairs well with ghost pepper cheese, I think. If they sold this in 4 pack cans...that would be awesome!!! Thanks Elliott.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 16:21:51 | More by Duff27
Photo of ehammond1

3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, stig!

Dark brown with a small dark brown head which leaves irregular cling down the glass.

Aroma of smoke, slight meat character, mild roast, and some vanilla sweetness combine nicely.

The flavor is well-balanced, especially for a smoked beer. Often, I feel the smoke is far to dominant in beers like this, but this has enough roast, malt, and sweetness present to balance everything out. Smoke-forward, without dominating.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation.

A very nice beer that made Elaine's home-made pulled pork sandwiches even better!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 16:16:32 | More by ehammond1
Photo of zeledonia


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bottled in the fall of 2011. Tasted 9 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours very dark brown, almost black. As it's pouring, it looks thinner than I'd expect. About one finger of deep mocha-tan head.

Smell is like a campfire after it's burned out. Charred wood, light wispy wood-smoke. Yes, it's nice smoke, but I really can't smell anything else in it.

Taste is a lot fuller than the smell, with more coming through than just the smoke. More porter richness, and that porter is complemented well by the smoke. Feels more like partially-burned wood, rather than just the char leftovers. Here, the smoke is integrated well, rather than being the only element.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy. Moderate carbonation.

It's called Smoke, so I expected that, but I was hoping for more, especially from the smell. A woody smoke, not meaty or salty. Want more porter, though. More richness, or more sweetness, or more of something other than smoke. An interesting beer, but not one I'll feel compelled to drink all that often.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 17:03:45 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brown. Almost black. Tiny light tan collar. Almost no head to speak of even after a rather vigorous pour.

Smell: Huge smoked malts. Almost borders on bacon levels of smoke. Some char and burnt malts as well. Deeply roasted. Some coffee and chocolate notes. Sweet and roasty. Smoked like whoa.

Taste: Smoked. Bacon bits. Mild earthy hops. Some coffee and chocolate. Cocoa powder. Dry maltiness. Incredible smokiness. Burnt, charred. Roasty sweet. As it warms the flavors begin to meld. Smokiness plays well with the sweeter malt base. Minimal hopping. So meaty. It's confusing my brain.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slightly below average carbonation.

Overall: I don't remember this being so smoky. Regardless, it's tasty. Surly crafts some aggressive, yet drinkable stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 02:18:00 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of yamar68


3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 to Surly coffee mug, 2011 vintage:

Pours a near pitch black with two fingers of light brown head that lasts a few minutes before receding to a collar that produces some average lacing.

Still a shit load of smoke on the nose. Not nearly is faded as I'd imagined. A bit of dark fruit and woody character as well.

While the nose is still pretty beefy, the smoke has faded considerably on the tongue which is what I was hoping for. various brown ale qualities have surfaced to balance out the aggressive barbecue profile.

Overall, an extremely unique beer. Not my favorite beer from Surly but it definitely showcases their creative potential.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2012 01:25:33 | More by yamar68
Photo of vandemonian


3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surly Smoke is a smoky dark beer. It's malty and smoky. There isn't much else happening here.

A: Black colour and a 5 mm head that fades. 4

S: Nice smoky smell. Duh. 4

T: Malty with some earthiness. There is also a lot of smoke in the aroma. 3.5.

M: Foamy 4

O: 3.5

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2012 02:51:00 | More by vandemonian
Photo of Humulus85


4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750mL into my Darkness snifter. 2011 vintage

Pours a motor oil black, with a nice two finger dark khaki head. Decent retention with very little lacing.

Smells of deep dark malts, peat, smoke, mesquite and alcohol in that order. The smoke smell is much stronger when the beer is cold.

Taste follows the nose. Wonderful Baltic Porter flavors upfront with a hefty, but not overpowering, smokey peat notes. Layers of sweet robust malts, dark fruits, toffee, hints of cocoa and coffee. The peat malts really round things out and add a dimension that is very intriguing. Moderate amount of alcohol in the finish.

Medium to heavy in body, and honestly lighter than I had expected it to be. Smooth and creamy in texture, with balanced but slightly sweet finish. Medium to low carbonation. Surprisingly drinkable.

Overall this was a beer that grew on me as I sipped. I think I started this one out too warm and the smoke flavors were a bit much. As it warmed up it really mellowed out and everything blended together. Todd from Surly really knows what he is doing and keeps putting out style defying and expertly crafted beers. Recommended to any fan of dark, malty beers, or any BA looking to try something one-of-a-kind. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 03:29:00 | More by Humulus85
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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 brystmar


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Arguably my least favorite styles brewed by one of my favorite breweries. Smell tells me I won't like this beer: tons of smoke, a little roasty, more smoke. And I don't like smoked beers...

Fortunately the taste isn't smoke-forward. Mildly smokey, but tons of roast and malt are at the forefront. Thin-ish body still works given the lower carbonation. I really like this.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 01:10:27 | More by brystmar
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with half a finger of tan head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of smoked malts up front with dark fruits like plums and raisins. There are black licorice notes as well.

T: Similar to the aroma, lots of smoked malts at first reminiscent of bacon and BBQ. There are dark fruits as well with black licorice.

M: Medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is pleasantly (and relatively) light in body with enough carbonation to accentuate the smoke characters well.

O: A tasty beer overall with an odd, but tasty, mix of flavors and aromas. Really enjoyable and super smokey.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 01:04:28 | More by n2185
Photo of zaphodchak


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thin light brown head. Opaque dark brown body.

Deep, smoky nose with a bit of soy sauce. Kinda gouda-ish, a bit Swiss.

Woody and a tad bitter with the same soy from the nose, rich, and some of the dry cheese (is that a thing?) character.

Thinnish mouthfeel but not bad.

Nice smokey baltic porter, big flavor and powerful body.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 01:17:21 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of Tilley4


4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure who I got this bottle from but I've had it for a little while... Pouring it into a CBS snifter this evening...

Wow, the smoked meat aromas coming off of this are intense to say the least... Not overdone though, just really intense... almost like walking into a smokehouse with bacon and ham everywhere... There's also quite a bit of campfire to this as well... an earthy quality to the smoke brings to mind sitting around a campfire on a chilly autumn evening with the sun slowly setting...

A plethora of flavor sensations on the palate... The smoke, of course, but I'm also getting this tobacco/leather thing here... as well as some chocolate but just a little... This is a delicious Baltic Porter for sure... It's intense, a touch boozy... thick enough on the palate to hold up... a sipper though, for sure...

This is one terrific beer...The aromas were heavenly and this was a real pleasure to drink... A very good effort from Surly...

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 01:43:08 | More by Tilley4
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer jet black with big notes of bacon, smoke and charcoal. It would be excellent with BBQ. For a baltic porter some of the nuance of the style is lost in the smoke, but it's still super smooth and drinkable. The aftertaste is a slightly bitter chocolate. Very drinkable beer, but something is slightly off in the follow through.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 01:46:29 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of msubulldog25


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with a well-detailed screen printed label and a thick coating of silvery wax atop. After a near-bloody mishap with the utility knife, the cap was revealed and removed with a hiss. Poured to a pint glass. Received in trade from rudylaw several months back; it's been cellared ever since.

A: Deep darkness, a heavy chocolate brown with a ruby tint at the edges. Closer inspection shows a scattering of speedy bubbles. Head is short despite a strong pour, cresting at maybe half a finger. The sandy-tan cream on top is nice-looking, but ebbs pretty quickly, holding as a thin crescent with a smear of film. A few flecks of lace.

S: Not the boldest Baltic in terms of its fruity esters and cocoa malts, but it's robust enough. A beer called 'Smoke' had better include some of its namesake; fortunately it does well. A sweeter charcoal and mesquite kind of scent, not too pungent, drapes over those malts. It's subtly meaty, or gamey... even a touch peppery. Nice.

T: Rich cocoa/fudge, semi-sweet. A vague mineral tang, slightly chalky. Blackberry jam and an earthy blueberry, too. Woody beginnings lead to ashy ember finishes. In the middle is a light char that teases my taste buds into believing a juicy pulled pork sandwich or seasoned brisket is next on the menu. Light-handed smokiness is nearly perfect here.

M: Medium body, excellent mouthfeel, wonderfully creamy and dense. Carbonation is there, but it's so well refined that there barely seems to be a prickle. A very fine grainy coating and sticky malt but these serve to let flavors linger on the palate in a way that doesn't detract whatsoever. Alcohol is 8.2%? Could have fooled me...

O: Pretty much as good as I'd hoped for. Surly brews some damn terrific beers and this is no exception. I've had Baltics with lots of sweetness or loads of spice, but never one so savory. And I'll be savoring memories of this for a while. Its complexities (and subtleties) make it a joy to sip and one I'd very much like to have again. Thanks, Anthony!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 06:02:09 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of mdaschaf


4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to mnbearsfan for this one! Been looking forward to trying it for a while.

A: Pours dark with a small bubbly head, decent retention eventually reducing to a ring of foamy bubbles on top. Sporadic lacing.

S: Some chocolate and roasted malt, a nice amount of dark fruit - plum and some cherry. The smoky aroma is faint coming through as a hint of bacon.

T: A little bit of sweet roasty malt upfront mixed in some chocolate and a little bit of oak. Some more of the plum and raisins come out as it warms with a touch of licorice. The smoke is very complimentary, not overpowering at all like it is in many smoke beers.

M: A little bigger than medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Great level of smoke.

O: Very impressed. Very drinkable, no sign of the abv at all. Perfect level of smoke.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 01:51:24 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer in a trade with chewyrx08. Thanks Mike!

vintage 2010.

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with a 1 finger tall whitish/tan colored head. Drops to a moderate cap full of large bubbles. Decent lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: This baltic porter smells delightful. Chocolate and roasty malts with a nice balance of smokiness. The smoke smells mildly meaty like bacon, charcoal, and a campfire.

Taste: Its starts off like a solid baltic porter and finishes smokey! Great balance between the baltic porter and the smokiness; it tastes similiar to the nose. Mild chocolate sweetness from the malts to start things off. Little bit of roast and black licorice. A little bit of woody and earthy note probably from the oak barrel and hops. The smoke comes in about mid palate and blends nicely with the malty profile of this beer. The smoke is a little bacony and also has a nice charred quality to it. The finish is very balanced with mild milk chocolate and smoke notes lingering pleasantly. This beer start to show some fruitiness as it warms to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: medium boided beer with moderate carbonation. Really smooth and drinkable at over 8%; not a hint of booze. Carbonation is right where you would want it for this beer. The beer is mildly creamy and it has a mild dry finish.

Overall: Surly makes fantastic dark beers. Surly Four is my favorite beer from this brewery and Surly Smoke is not far behind it. This beer is also probably the best baltic porter and the best smoked beer that I have ever drank! Bravo Surly; you guys nailed this beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 01:43:30 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of warnerry


4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Batch into a snifter

A - Pours very deep brown/black with two fingers of light brown head. Head has decent retention, leaving some lacing behind.

S - Wow. Smoke is right. Very smoky aroma with a nice oak presence. Hard to get much more than smoked malt and peat. Faint bacon aroma.

T - While the smell was good, the taste is much more complex and enjoyable. Yes, smoke and wood still play a large part, but there is much more here, including chocolate, raisin and faint plum, even a small amount of sweetness. Finish is quite smoky.

M - Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy, with the smoke/char and a nice earthy dryness on the finish.

O - I'm always a little leery of smoked beers, and the smell had me a bit concerned that this would be one dimensional, but the flavors here are wonderful and balanced. Excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 01:18:34 | More by warnerry
Smoke from Surly Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.