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Imperial Smoked Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Smoked PorterImperial Smoked Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

52 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 11
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: flexabull on 01-20-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

illidurit, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

acurtis, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 07, 2012
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.

jethrodium, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

kylehay2004, Aug 19, 2012
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.

tattooedtolley, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Robyn
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Robyn, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of Brad007
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Brad007, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

THECPJ, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of jsanford
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

jsanford, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of williamjbauer
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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

williamjbauer, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of dogfishandi
3.83/5  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.

dogfishandi, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Gmann, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of scottfrie
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

scottfrie, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of soulgrowl
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

soulgrowl, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz. pint - $4.75 at Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Black body, not quite opaque, with a lean, beige-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of roasted maltiness mingled with notes of chocolate and industrial-grade smoke.

Taste: Roasty, blackened malts with a charry smoke component and taste of unsweetened chocolate stirred up with licorice root. Nominal sweetness throughout. Small hint of fruit. Negligible but noticeable alcohol presence. Medium-low bitterness builds as you near the drying, smoky, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: SNISP is a bit above medium, both in terms of body and carbonation.

Drinkability: It's likable. Mostly, it's just nice to see Sierra Nevada releasing a new beer that isn't just another pale ale of IPA.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 28, 2009
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.

glid02, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of mfreeman10
4/5  rDev -1.5%

mfreeman10, Feb 21, 2012
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.

jdklks, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -1.5%

brandoman63, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev -1.5%

DoubleSimcoe, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4/5  rDev -1.5%

PaulStoneAnchor, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of funkel81
4/5  rDev -1.5%

funkel81, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Gueuzedude, May 12, 2009
Photo of Piason
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Piason, May 11, 2012
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Imperial Smoked Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.