Imperial Smoked Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Smoked PorterImperial Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 7.64%
Wants: 13
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by Piason:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
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

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark brown color with a two-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with smoky undertones. Every now and then I'll get whiffs of chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Big hits of roasted malts with a smokiness that comes out midway through the sip. Unsweetened chocolate comes out a bit in the bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. I like the thickness and the carbonation, but it's slightly astringent due to all of the roasted malts.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem downing 20 oz. of this, but I think one is enough.

Overall this was a good representation of a smoked porter. The apparent 7.5% ABV was hidden well, but it certainly wasn't a "storter" that I normally associate with Imperial Porters. Still, if you're a fan of smoky beers be sure to give this one a shot.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada- Imp. Smoked Porter

A- Deep dark brown with a good thick tight bubbled tan head.
S- Smokey oak, ash, BBQ sauce, and cocoa.
T- Thick sweet, slightly tangy, BBQ sauce with a nice creamy chocolate and burnt marshmellow vanilla flavor.
M- Thick with a smokey creamy feel. Slight dry bitter dark chocolate end.

Overall- Very smooth, very creamy, and quite smoky! Hides the alc. well. Worthy of a second and third pint!

Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of Gmann
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a growler which was poured today. Pours the darkest of dark browns with a semi-tight tan colored head that left some sick lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite disappointing, only really pick up some milk stout aromas. A nice rich roasted malt flavor with some smoked peat and wet bark. Not nearly as smokey as the Stone Smoked Porter (on tap) but has a nice balance. From the side to side to SN's regular porter, the ISP is clearly darker and much thicker, less sweet and has the obvious smoke flavor. The feel is thick and very chewy, soft carbonation leads to a silky feel. Very nice porter, quite thick. I would like to see more of a smokey flavor.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of TheBCrew
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of jsanford
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of tattooedtolley
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of soupyman10
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
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

Photo of jdklks
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes from a beer festival (wasn't expecting this one! pleasant surprise of the night)

this beer gets all 4s. "good", but not great. 7.5 abv is what the stat sheet in front of the tap said.

it pours a see-through brown-black with a brown-tan head.

smells of smoke, malt. a wood mixed with coffee smell.

tastes just like it smells, except there is perhaps some chocolate.

it is medium bodied (in relation to the porter/stout category). not really an "imperial" but more like an "extra" porter.

it drinks well, but not too well. could have a few of them, but wouldn't want to overdue the smoky sweetness. not as good as the alaskan smoked porter, about the same or maybe a little better than the stone smoked porter.

Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure how limited this one is, it was new to me at the brewery the other night though.

The bartender said this was 7.5% ABV, I would have never guessed, this went down super easy.

Pours a deep dark brown color with a big rocky tan head.

Aromas were on the lighter side, but still pleasant. Light smoke, oak, cocoa, and light coffee.

Taste is similar to the smells. Light smoke, some wood, oak, and nice porter flavors of bitter bakers chocolate and light espresso coffee. Finish is a little sweet, smokey, and with a hint of hop bitterness. A little lighter flavors for a big porter, but with quite tasty flavors.

Mouthfeel is good, nice full flavors, with well done carbonation.

Drinkability is quite high. This was a very nice smoked porter, not too heavy or overpowering. Just a tasty big porter that went down super easy.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, dark brownish black with a fluffy, medium tan head that held on strong and left nice lace.

S-Light hickory smoke, dark chocolate, lighter coffee notes and ends with a bit of oak astringency. All of this present but light.

T-Much of the same in the taste profile as in the aroma. Noyes of light smoke, bitter dark chocolate, espresso and a bit of oak. Some sweetness creeps in towards the end with an oak/spicy bitterness finishing things off.

M-Medium body with light but long lasting flavours.

D-A well done smoked beer will always score high with me. This one is no exception. Nice, light smokiness combined with plenty of flavours that goes down oh so easy. Nicely done brew by SN that shows they can domore than just make hoppy beers!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of bigbelcher
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a delightful surprise, a deep dark rich porter, with a nice high alcohol burn. Not much smoke in the aroma but it is definently there on the back end. Pours an opaque black color with a nice tan head. Good lacing on the glass. Malty rich with a good hop balance. A lot of smoked beers are hard to drink more than one but I could easily drink down a couple of these.

Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown beer with just a few reddish highlights. Head is pretty nice looking, tanned and tight.

The nose is obviously malty, with some chocolate wafting up between wisps of smoke.

Malt component is just thick enough to make a full-bodied beer. I could use a little more. The body is pretty sweet, with a nice touch of alcohol that's not too in your face. Finish is smoky with a lingering roasted bitterness.

A nice change-up for Sierra Nevada. I love their bigger, more adventurous beers; this is moving that direction. Firm it up a bit and it's a real winner.

Photo of illidurit
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of jethrodium
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

to view more.
Imperial Smoked Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.