Imperial Smoked Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Smoked PorterImperial Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 55
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 5.69%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flexabull on 01-20-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 37 | Hads: 55
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: excellent head and decent lacing on a jet black body.

S: chocolate, licorice, dark fruit mostly red grapes and cherry. Nothing all that smokey about the aroma though.

T: smokiness is more prevalent and well applied mostly in the finish with accompanied wood notes. Chocolate, roasted malts and some dark fruits upfront.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this was a vintage keg from 2009 I think so te smokiness may be lessened or changed in this one. Not very porter like although the flavoring is nice, just not memorable. (546 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Brewvival 2012

Poured a dark black with a dense khaki head. Aromas of sweet malt, chocolate, and a touch of mild smoke. Taste is definitely smokier then the nose suggests, lots of bacon, with more roasted malt and chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium-full body and good carbonation. A nice beer, overall. I'd like to see a bottle of this. (369 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass.

A: Served a very dark raisin brown with almost no head. Spotty lace.
S: Sweeter than I was expecting with slightly fruity notes. The smoke is light but noticeable and unoffensive. It's more of a sweet roasted, woody smokiness than it is a raunchy char or burnt smell.
T: Again, sweet flavor with caramel, vinous red grapes and raisins coming through. The finish is where the smoke comes in, and again it is light and woody tasting. The aftertaste is smokey and lingering as well. Not super complex overall, but very clean and good.
M: Medium body, very creamy and soft carbonation with a full soft body.
O: A great porter that was smooth and extremely easy to drink. It maybe could have used a bit more smoke, but what was there was integrated very well. (770 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Revolution. Pours a dark brown with a small light tan head that settles to a ring and leaves light lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee, and light smoked meat. The taste has a bit of initial sweetness with some coffee roastiness and a light smokiness. The finish has a little bitterness and a lingering, drying smokiness. Light body. Medium carbonation. Not quite as smoky as I was expecting. (425 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful deep dark chocolate brown with a lightish brown head

S: Gentle roast complemented by a wonderful hop aroma that is very behind the scenes

T: Easily one of the top porters I've had. Flavor is in line with beautiful piny, grassy hops that mingle just right with the lovely roast and chocolate with a tender smokiness at the finish

M: Light, smooth and wonderfully creamy as it rolls along the tongue. No alcohol presence at all.

O: Another amazing offer by Sierra Nevada. Though i wouldn't consider it an imperial it is still a tasty brew.  Only offered at the brewery though i highly recommend picking this up if your in Chico.  (654 characters)

Photo of williamjbauer
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Ruby brown with 1 finger ecru head with minimal lacing and moderate head retention.

S - Caramel, chocolate, light roasted, no smoke

T - Very chocolaty sweet with light caramel and roasted coffee and a little hops bitterness and alcohol, but not quite as bold as I would expect out of an Imperial porter.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation

O - A pretty good imperial porter but nothing mind blowing. I'd get it if I was in the mood for this style (487 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had from a cask at Lord Hobo- poured a black color with a tan colored one and a half finger head. Great retention and minimal streaks of lacing.

Smells of course very smoky- a conurbation of backyard BBQ and sweet malt.

Tastes very smoky, sweet and peppery. That about sums it up.

Mouthfeel is very different. I've never had a cask ale before- it is very smooth and velvety. No carbonation at all. Very drinkable however. (424 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the beer I had at the Sierra Nevada beer dinner at Kickbacks. 2009 version, no hints of oxidation. balanced smoke. big body porter. Was a great night. Had amazingly paired food with one of my all time favorite breweries. I would love to have this beer again as well as others from the night. (307 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Farmhouse Tap and Grill.

Pours a pitch black color with a brown head into my glass.

The aroma is bursting with a mix of roasted and smoked malt.

Taste is full of chewy smoked malt that co-exists with roasted malt.

Slight coffee aftertaste. Otherwise, smoky and chewy. Not much else to note.

An interesting take on the style. Can't say it's the best but if it's SN, it's usually worth trying at least once. (434 characters)

Photo of CaraAndMike
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Three Penny in Montpelier Vt, this Sierra '09 brew has done nothing but improve and evolve with age (tasted in Nov '10).

Blackstrap molasses color, smokey sweet aroma, slightly sharp chicory sweet taste with effervescent kick, slight bitterness on the initial finish with a lingering mellow smokiness for minutes after. Slight lack of head, but it's been sitting in the can for over 1 year.

A perfect smoked porter, with the emphasis on the porter rather than the smoke. (487 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours clear ruby brown with a nice lasting ecru head. Smells like an Irish Car Bomb tastes. Light roast, cream, caramel. Barely any smoke. Tastes like a mediocre porter, nothing close to an 'imperial smoked' porter. Expected sour mash black malt with some acidity but also a watery chocolate sweetness. Not getting any smoke here. Too thin in body, carbonation is low but that's not a problem. I made a mistake when ordering; I asked for a Sam Adams Imperial Smoked Porter and when confronted by a puzzled bartender, quickly corrected myself. But upon drinking it, this really tastes more like Sam Adams made it. Watery, thinnish, aromas and flavors aren't really all there. Had higher hopes for this one. (738 characters)

Photo of tattooedtolley
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask at Pizza Port, Carlsbad. Was super excited to see it, as here in VA we don't see these special SN brews. Pitch black, not a ton of head but left great lacing, easy on the carb and super huge on the smoke. I'd have to say it was a bit too smokey for me, or maybe it was just the type of smoke it was. It was almost a grill smoke, like a liquid smoke flavor. It wasn't off putting necessarily but it took a few sips to get my head around it. (456 characters)

Photo of donniecuffs
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Taken from notes on a napkin from a promo at the Ginger Man in NYC a few months back.) Jet black, tan head that laced extremely well. As one would expect, the nose is dominated by smoke and roasted malt, with a subtle malt sweetness, near-chocolate. The taste was a whirlwind of smoke/roast at first, then a sweet malt dissolve, punctuated finally with a dry finish and smokey aftertaste. The body was creamy, but not overly done; a little lighter than one would expect for a porter. Given the mix between the flavor complexity and the medium body, I could've drank these all night. (583 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ 1702. Color is jet black, head is thin and tan, leaving a fomay ring behind. The first whiff yields a strong smokey scent. Very nice. Subsequent inhalations show that it smells quite sweet also, with a chocolate malt intensity.

The taste is not as smoke dominant as expected, although the smoke is still quite present. It is more outweighed by the sweetness of the malt, which is heavy, but thankfully I didn't find find it to be too cloying. The mouthfeel is suprisingly smooth and light for a strong dark brew. It almost feels like it is on nitrogen though it's not. It goes down easily and is not chewy.

A nice and drinkable Porter, although I didn't find anything too impressive or unique about it. It wasn't really for me though as it was more on the sweet chocolate side. The smokiness was decent, but I would have preferred it to be some what drier and more roasty. Worth a try... (900 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bold, orange-highlighted coffee/cola brown with a thin, spotty head. Massively nutty aroma, packed with roasted peanut butter, walnut brownies, and Nuttella - very inviting. Not terribly smoky (more roasty), just a mild edge of charcoal that also lends a hint of toasted marshmallow. Plenty of coffee notes as well - this is just about perfect, exactly what I want in the style. Tastes less complex and rich than it smells, but it's still tasty, with nuances of licorice and toast under a sheet of nutty, roasty mocha goodness. Not a lot of smoke going on, but enough to make an impression. There is a firm poke of spicy/citric hops, but this is decidedly a malty brew. A bit syrupy, but that's to be expected from cask. Strangely, there is not a hint of alcohol in this beer - which makes this dangerously drinkable, but still, not exactly a lawnmower beer! (858 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler purchased at Ardleys, NY's Deciccio market, pours near black, long lasting dense dark mocha head and strandulets and fine spots of sticky lace. Moderate smoke in the nose, then lucious notes of darker chocolate, darker malts, vanilla on the taste receptors. Thick, smooth and almost milk shakelike. Full of flavor and interest. Definatly would go for this one again if givin the chance. (401 characters)

Photo of TheBCrew
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet on tap at Pizza Plant. Pours a thick black with mahogany around the edges when held up to the light. Thin brown head with moderate lacing. Smoke aromas mixed with a burnt roastiness and hints of coffee. Taste to match, with an assertive sweetness from the malty backbone and a balanced finish. Rather thick complex beer to be enjoyed slowly to allow the flavors and aromas to present themselves. (414 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 1702, March 2009
This arrives from the tap with a solid one finger thick, nicely browned, dark tan colored head that is quite nice for a tap beer. The beer is a dark color, approaching black that shows some clear ruby highlights around the edges of my glass. The aroma has a nice smokiness to it that is just what I was looking for. There is a touch of roast character here as well that adds a nice edge to the nose and a bit of coffee aromatics come out after a bit of time.

My first sip sees me noticing the roast flavors up front; notes of roasted grain and coffee like notes add some acidity, but then a solid smoky back-note comes into play here. This has a rich, malt-driven mouthfeel that provides a velvety texture that coats and envelopes the palate. The only downside it that a roasted edge adds a bit of sharp, burnt, acrid, acid character towards the finish that tends to cut into the lushness towards the finish. The roast character is still soft enough though that it does not overwhelm things overall. In fact, as the beer warms it starts to lose that acrid sharpness quite a bit. A really nice, significant chocolate like flavor starts to come out at this time that just adds to the richness of this beer and pairs really quite nicely with the nice smokiness.

While I like a lot of smoke in a beer, I like that this beer only has enough to contribute significantly, but still play a equal / supporting role to the rest of this beers character. This was done quite nicely, and I am especially enjoying this beer after it has warmed up and softened up a bit. (1,583 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger yesterday.

This beer pours a gorgeous black with a dark brown head capping it. Reddish brown highlights are visible only towards the end of my glass, as the head retention is great, and the lacework is pretty too.On the nose, this beer is great. Rather clean smoke aromas, with some mild meaty character, along with dark chocolate and coffee. On the palate, these flavors are replicated, with the smoke bookending the great coffee and chocolate flavors. This medium bodied beer finishes bitter and smoked, with soft carbonation. Very drinkable, I thoroughly enjoyed my glass. (602 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mr. Goodbar. Opaque black with off-white head.Lots of georgious lace. Smoke aroma, yes this is what I want. Creamy smoke flavour yet balanced with bitterness. Some chocolate and mollasses. Above average mouthfeel. Superior good drinking porter. (254 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub, and a pleasant surprise it was. Much better than I expected, and quite well crafted. Poured a very dark brown with some ruby highlights and with a nice head that fades to a thin cap and leaves some excellent lacing. Smells lightly toasty and roasty, but lacks some depth of aroma. Tastes very nice. Rich and smokey with dark fruit, charred malt, roasted grain, black licorice, caraway, and toffee in the main body. Nicely restrained sweetness and a nice lingering citrus and pine bitterness on the finish. Very well integrated with the smoke restrained enough to accent everything instead of dominating. Pretty big in the mouth, and with just enough bitterness to refresh. Quite nice. (724 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at cole's in buffalo ny. it was served in a pint glass, appears to be opaque black with maybe a little bit of a brown rubiness showing through the light. very creamy silky looking head (may have even been a nitrotap, not sure, didnt ask) with amazing retention and lots of good lacing.

the smell was roasty, dark fruits, and maybe a touch of hops.

nice roasted malty taste, with a little bit of hops in the finish, nice thick chewy body, minimal carbonation, great beer, i really wish they would start putting these beers in bottles. (551 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the South Loop Binny's bar this afternoon.

12oz pour into a Ommegang (sp?) gobblet.

A: Pours thick and dark out of the tap with a supple half an inch of sandy brown head that lingers thoughout the session leaving behind some wonderful lacing.

S: In a word, wonderful. Thick and smokey, notes of chocolate, coffee, earthy hops and smoke smoke smoke. A complexity of aromas that cannot be accuratly described in words.

T/MF: First thing I notice is the rich, filling and slightly abbrasive mouthfeel on this beast. Super chewy, lingering bitterness both hoppy and malty, and begs to be sipped again. Flavors are at once straight forward and complex. Hits you on the nose with wonderful smokey goodness then on subsequent sips develops a nice coffee, chocolate and smokey bitterness. Hops do well to establish themselves here and provide a wonderful counterpoint to what could become an overly sweet beer. Things remain pleasently dry and smokey thoughout but with an undercurrent of malt and hop complexity that leaves you wanting more and more.

D: Sitting at the bar with views of downtown Chicago and sipping on a big beer in the middle of the afternoon, it's hard to argue what could be better. A wonderful sipper that begs to be examined over and over again. (1,284 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Binny's South Loop in Chicago.

Poured opaque black with a thick, frothy brown head, which held great retention. Great lacing as well. Aromas were smoky, molasses, and roasted malts. Mouth-feel was thick and very smooth. Coats the palate very well. Flavors were roasted and slightly burnt malts, smoky but not overly, with hints of chocolate and fruit. This was all well balanced with a slight hop bitterness that coupled with the bitterness from the roasted malts - alcohol was well concealed. I really enjoyed this rarity from Sierra Nevada. Definitely worth the try if you can find it. (607 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a pint of this at the Brickskeller (they actually had one of the beers on their menu! Blasphemy!) and was happy I did. Pitch black brew with a deep tan head and a ton of lacing. Nose is fruity and floral both, nice hops and roasted malt. This was a really tasty one, huge roasted malt flavors and dried fruit all over the place. Body was phenomenal, with exceptional carbonation. Really enjoyed this one - would definitely pick one up again.

Brickskeller/$6.50/16 oz (476 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Imperial Smoked Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.