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Bonfire - Imperial Porter - Napa Smith Brewery

Not Rated.
Bonfire - Imperial PorterBonfire - Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.17%
Wants: 4
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: clickpush on 12-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Huffs:
Photo of Huffs
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass, developed a short dark tan head which held a short time and had little lacing. Appearance was dark brown to black with the aroma complex and consisting of strong notes of smoke, coffee and chocolate with lesser notes of bread and malt. Taste was very chocolate with toffee and smoke hints and slight dry hop on the back. Mouthfeel was full and creamy with a dry finish.

Huffs, Feb 23, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

t2grogan, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler filled at Top Hops in NYC (great new place, even if it was a tad over priced at $20 for the growler)

Pours darkest of browns, darker tan/mocha head, lasting and lasting, then a thicker film, and heavier blobs and bits of lace.

Nose of darker malts, darker toast and honey goodness. Notes of dark and milk chocolate, some vanilla, some - no make that a lot of chocolate milk shake feel.

Nice stuff - well done and well worth trying

Billolick, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of JupiterJesus
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Porter seems like a misnomer - this is like a slightly roastier American Barleywine. Sweet, dark fruit flavors, sweet, a bit hoppy, sweet, slight chocolate and sweet. Also, sweet.

This is a unique take on porter (slash barleywine?) that could be improved with less sweetness, more roast, more body and lower carbonation. Still good, but it tries to tow the line between drinkable & light and heavy & complex, and doesn't quite achieve either.

JupiterJesus, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of mj001jk
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Toronado, SF.

My notes for this beer are a little thin so I apologize, but the main characteristics that stood out for me was:

A very fresh feeling with nice fruity esters such as pear and quince with light and crisp malts. Hints of coffee, chocolate and tobacco.

I really liked this beer and almost thought it was a schwartz lager before I knew it was an imperial porter. The alcohol is well hidden and it is waaay too easy to drink.

Kudos for another great beer.

mj001jk, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +12.4%

jmbraxton, Aug 19, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

served from a 12 oz bottle

A: very dark brown pour capped with a medium size tan head.

S: clean, not earthy; dark malty aroma with some chocolate and toffee.

Taste: chocolate malt with hints of toffee, roasted nuts and dark fruits. Rather mellow and drinkable for style compared to, for instance, a Thomas Hooker.

M: very nicely smooth; semi-creamy; medium body.

Overall: a bit less aggressive/extreme than some others in this class. This means more drinkable and session-able even thought both the feel and flavor are a tad too boozy.

chinchill, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of ste5venla
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

ste5venla, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours deep, dark cordovan brown with a light tan, razor thin head. Poor retention, leads to a very thin, broken film of microbubbles on top. No lacing.

Smell - Metallic tones around hints of caramel. Slightly sour. Not a very aromatic brew.

Taste - Metallic, earthy and sour character upfront, gives way to moderate notes of caramel and stale coffee mid-taste and into the finish. Ghostly traces of chocolate picked up at the tail end before fading away.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Sharp, bitey edge.

Overall - Not a very good porter, even less impressive considering the 'Imperial' moniker. Drinkable, but very forgettable. With so many other great porters out there, this is one I won't be buying again.

TheSixthRing, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of HerdNo1
2.8/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Just a quickie review. Poured from a bottle into a tulip. An off white head fades quickly and leaves little lacing in the glass. The major problem with this brew hits you with the first deep sniff and that is the sniff of alcohol. Unfortunately, that is precisely what I get in taste as well. The alcohol simply overwhelms the beer. At 8.5%, it really shouldn't be all that noticeable but it is. I compare it to something like several good Imperial Stouts with a.b.v's in excess of 10% but the alcohol is almost completely hidden. Mouthfeel is fairly thin in this beer. Quite honestly, it's nearly impossible to assess the quality of the underlying porter because the alcohol is so noticeable.

I haven't had other imperial porters so I don't know how well other beers of the style stand up to the higher alcohol but this is a disappointment.

HerdNo1, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of DruC4
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

DruC4, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of HalfFull
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice deep brown into a large wine glass. Half an inch of tan foam recedes to a thin film after a few minutes. Deep ruby highlights are offered from this unfamiliar offering from Leucadia Liquor.

Nose is somewhat fruity up front with a bit of milk chocolate, some roasted malts and light notes of dried fruits. Quite clean overall and with a somewhat shallow depth, though pleasant, and yet hoppy through the foam.

Fruit and malt forward on the palate and with a touch of spice. Rather thin in body yet without any notes of alcohol. Simple on the feel without any notable positive or negative factors, though somewhat thin overall for the style. Decent for its ABV but a bit light in character.

HalfFull, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of jason_nwx
3.24/5  rDev -9%

jason_nwx, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
2.45/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark copper/brown with a nice light tan head.

Nose is simple sweet candi sugar and citric cotton candy. Some ripe pear or plums in the nose.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery.

Flavors are sort of clumsy malt with a sour malt/sugar character. No real porter character; no distinguishing character or flavor profile. Not balanced and has a sour malt character to it.

Bit of a grapefruit/pine finish.

GRG1313, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of jduprey007
4/5  rDev +12.4%

jduprey007, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of dtx00
4/5  rDev +12.4%

dtx00, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of hannaho
5/5  rDev +40.4%

hannaho, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one our of the cellar last night. It had come in while I was away and my wife opened up everything and put it there, so I really don't know where it came from, but it was looking good so I grabbed it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/21/2009.
 
Nice pour here with a deep, dark brown color and a nice tan head of maybe two inches on the top. Settled down quickly though and only left behind moderate lacing. Aroma was interesting. Lots of molasses like aromas, hints of caramel, and a boat load of peat and roasted malts. Warming brings out a ton of chocolate now as well. Rich with a hint of a light booziness as well. First sip was rich and warm with roasted malts and chocolate making the most of it. Hints of smoke dotted the finish and a nice, but light vanilla flavor could be picked up as well. My only gripe is that it seemed a bit thin to me. I know it's a porter but I was still a bit underwhelmed with it as it felt a little bit thin to me. Still though decent warming after the first few sips and a nice, but even flavor leaves the tongue as the last drops filter out and the deep smoke and sweet flavors come to the front.
 
Overall this was pretty good I have to admit, nothing earth shattering, but solid and really nicely done. I would not mind trying it again and can only imagine it would translate over well in a barrel.

mikesgroove, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is close to being black in color, but is clear and very dark red in color when viewed against a bright light. It has a moderate amount of visible carbonation and poured with a thin tan head that never quite faded away and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of dark fruits and chocolate are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is relatively sweet and a bit more complex with additional notes of licorice and molasses. No burnt/roasted flavors or bitterness are detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little thin on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: While this is an "imperial" porter, it seems like the extra malts used in this beer could be better balanced with more hops to eliminate the sweetness. The beer isn't that difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of endincolorado
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark brown with a small tan head. Decent lacing.

Moderately toasty aroma. Dry hops balanced by decent, bready malt and some faint cocoa.

Initial sweetness, followed by some fruitiness. Kind of disappointing, especially for an imperial.

Light body- slightly overcarbonated.

A pretty disappointing experience, since I thought there pale ale was pretty darn good.

endincolorado, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of Fitzpat4
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Fitzpat4, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of cdog707yo
4/5  rDev +12.4%

cdog707yo, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of BeccaH
3/5  rDev -15.7%

BeccaH, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an English pint glass.

Pours a deep ruby with a thin wisp of a head. Leaves a thin layer of "almost" foam.

Aromas of a light roasty sourness. Winey, with a slight woodiness. Light chocolate and coffee notes.

First sip is chocolatey, slight woody sourness, and a tannic bitterness. Short finish is roasty and chocolatey with a hint of drying bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium, dry and resiny.

Overall very drinkable, nice complex mixture of flavors. Hides alcohol very well. Could easily mistake this for a session beer.

JamnesCameron, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of jarrett123
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%

jarrett123, Wednesday at 08:25 PM
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Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.