Imperial Smoked Porter - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
3.2/5 rDev -21.2%
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.
01-14-2010 09:38:40 | More by illidurit
3.68/5 rDev -9.4%
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.
12-11-2009 05:20:57 | More by tattooedtolley
4.55/5 rDev +12.1%
(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.
10-02-2009 05:27:21 | More by donniecuffs
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
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...
08-13-2009 04:17:24 | More by bennetj17
United Kingdom (England)
3.93/5 rDev -3.2%
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!
07-04-2009 08:47:08 | More by soulgrowl
4.33/5 rDev +6.7%
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.
05-22-2009 02:19:46 | More by Billolick
4.22/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
05-18-2009 14:12:54 | More by TheBCrew
4/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
05-12-2009 03:32:54 | More by Gueuzedude
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
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.
04-28-2009 04:31:19 | More by DefenCorps
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
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.
04-26-2009 03:46:57 | More by Sammy
4.15/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
04-19-2009 16:51:29 | More by Georgiabeer
3.83/5 rDev -5.7%
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.
04-19-2009 05:21:40 | More by dogfishandi
4.3/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
04-03-2009 21:00:02 | More by bluemoonswoon
4.3/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
03-27-2009 04:06:26 | More by barnzy78
District of Columbia
4.38/5 rDev +7.9%
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.
03-17-2009 00:43:59 | More by soupyman10
4.05/5 rDev -0.2%
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.
03-09-2009 04:16:52 | More by BretSikkink
3.93/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
02-28-2009 17:55:48 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.43/5 rDev +9.1%
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.
02-14-2009 01:08:44 | More by bigbelcher
4.28/5 rDev +5.4%
Pours a rich opaque sable with a fine-bubbled light tan head. Rich aroma is smoky and has an undertone of fine roast coffee. Mouth-filling flavor is smoky and has a strong coffee undertone, as well as hints of toffee and licorice. Texture is pleasingly smooth and lively, leaving a roast coffee finish.
02-13-2009 17:08:05 | More by Cyberkedi
4.05/5 rDev -0.2%
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!
02-12-2009 22:47:49 | More by NJpadreFan
4/5 rDev -1.5%
Growler from Big Z. Pours black with a small chocolate colored head. Aroma of light smoke, smoked meats, rich roasted malt, and some bitter chocolate and toffee. Flavor is sweet smoked meats with roasted malt in the background. Slightly sweet, but very rich too. Nice bodied. Ok, it's not my favorite smoked, but it's pretty damn good.
02-11-2009 23:08:46 | More by LilBeerDoctor
4.1/5 rDev +1%
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!
02-11-2009 22:33:40 | More by Deuane
3.88/5 rDev -4.4%
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.
02-08-2009 04:15:38 | More by Gmann
4.05/5 rDev -0.2%
4oz sample on tap at a SN tasting.
L - black color with a short beige head.
S - roasted coffee beans and cocoa aroma.
T - roasty taste, esspresso coffee taste on the finish.
F - medium bodied and smooth.
D - I enjoyed this sample but held back on buying a growler of it.
02-07-2009 23:41:38 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
4/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
02-07-2009 17:49:46 | More by glid02
Imperial Smoked Porter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.