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Bonfire - Imperial Porter - Napa Smith Brewery

Bonfire - Imperial PorterBonfire - Imperial Porter

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

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.73%


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)
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 56 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by TheSixthRing:
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 02:41:31 | More by TheSixthRing
More User Reviews:
Photo of MattHarr
MattHarr

Tennessee

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

02-10-2014 04:19:42 | More by MattHarr
Photo of moochmonster
moochmonster

Tennessee

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

02-10-2014 04:18:33 | More by moochmonster
Photo of galen0624
galen0624

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

02-05-2014 04:31:57 | More by galen0624
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer itself is brown-black colored with no real head at all. The smell is red wine , dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, alcohol. Taste is roasty malts,dark fruits, red wine, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, caramel. mouthfeel - alc present a little too much, aftertaste is alcohol. Body too thin for a porter. Woudnt buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 03:02:39 | More by ISmith87
Photo of YoudownwithABV
YoudownwithABV

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

12-30-2013 03:27:33 | More by YoudownwithABV
Photo of videofrog
videofrog

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

12-06-2013 02:19:22 | More by videofrog
Photo of HerdNo1
HerdNo1

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2013 01:17:49 | More by HerdNo1
Photo of Johnny_Duck
Johnny_Duck

Tennessee

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

09-30-2013 12:43:01 | More by Johnny_Duck
Photo of JMBSH
JMBSH

Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

09-28-2013 22:23:22 | More by JMBSH
Photo of zacky_U
zacky_U

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

09-19-2013 20:25:15 | More by zacky_U
Photo of MarvinSnyder
MarvinSnyder

West Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 fl.oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a small head that stays strong throughout. Lacing is sporadic at best.

Smell: On the nose expect roasted malt, coffee, molasses, caramel, and chocolate. There is also a distinct, albeit subtle hop presence.

Taste: The same as the nose. The hop presence really helps provide a good balance in this beer. The alcohol comes forward, but for me is never a nuisance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth over the palate with a sweet finish. Medium-bodied.

Overall: I liked this beer. A beer of the month selection. The first beer I have tried from this California brewery.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 17:24:13 | More by MarvinSnyder
Photo of DruC4
DruC4

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

07-23-2013 04:47:56 | More by DruC4
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Nabbed this'n at Wine Expo in Santa Monica. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded pry-off cap acquired for $2.39 USD and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; Napa Smith has turned out some decent brews and it sounds appealing. Label identifies it as an "Imperial Porter" so I'm reviewing as such. 8.0% ABV confirmed per the label.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Nice creaminess. Decent frothiness. Soft smooth complexion. Retention is above average, about 3 minutes. Even consistent lacing as the head recedes.

Body colour is an opaque dark black; not quite a jet black but dark. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's appealing, if standard fare for the style. No overt flaws are obvious. Not unique or special.

Sm: Caramel, vanilla, chocolate malt, marshmallow, sticky sweet dark malts. I also get some toffee and biscuit notes redolent more of an old ale or wee heavy than a porter. In any case, it's surprisingly appealing. Not getting any hops, yeast, or alcohol from the aroma. Slightly toasty. A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

T: Dark fruits, with some prune and maybe date. Raisin. Vague dark grape notes. Caramel, toffee. Some toasted malt. Sweet dark malts and chocolate malts form the simple body. No real hop profile is noticeable. Duration, intensity, and depth of flavour are all average for the style. Singed pecan. Caramelized walnut. Toffee. Biscuit. A bit of alcohol does creep in. I don't get any yeast character. Balance is okay. Average complexity and subtlety, though there's not much going on here compared to other Imperial Porters. I like it in a general sense, but it's nothing to write home about. I'd love a roasty character.

The nutty notes are a definite highlight.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lightly creamy. A bit syrupy. Sticky. Chewy. Unrefreshing, but approachable. Decent presence on the palate. Strange thickness isn't uniform; inconsistent. Not oily, harsh, or gushed. Facilitates delivery of the flavours, but it's not custom-tailored to them. Pretty run of the mill. Not unique or special.

Dr: Drinkable but pedestrian. The aroma promised a lot more than the taste delivered. I wouldn't trifle with this again, especially at its high price point for the quality. A middling effort from Napa Smith. I wouldn't recommend it to friends or get another.

C

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 23:54:14 | More by kojevergas
Photo of jmathis
jmathis

Florida

3/5  rDev -15.7%

06-30-2013 19:22:34 | More by jmathis
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

06-20-2013 19:01:26 | More by ste5venla
Photo of hoffa0922
hoffa0922

West Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

05-23-2013 00:40:49 | More by hoffa0922
Photo of hackmann
hackmann

Michigan

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: black body with no head and a spot here or there on the lacing

Aroma: lightly boozy, some roasted malts, I was expecting some coffee or chocolate

Flavors: medium roast coffee with a touch of alcohol coming through and a bit of licorice

Mouthfeel: a little flat, not much on the carbonation, little medicinal like on the aftertaste,

To the Point: rather boring Porter, I am really disappointed I was looking forward to trying this Imperial Porter. I would never buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 03:15:42 | More by hackmann
Photo of golf4collet
golf4collet

West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

04-05-2013 00:00:30 | More by golf4collet
Photo of WallingBrew
WallingBrew

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

04-01-2013 01:50:36 | More by WallingBrew
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, caramel, and slight cocoa aromas. Taste is much the same with a char flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp but almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smell and mouthfeel each leave something to be desired for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 03:46:40 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of GTB
GTB

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

03-09-2013 04:23:02 | More by GTB
Photo of CaptMaelstrom
CaptMaelstrom

Tennessee

2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Jet black, no transparency or color. Very minimal head, no lacing.

S: Lots of alcohol, a little bit of the black patent malt comes through, licorice aroma, and a slight caramel smell.

T: I was expecting way more chocolate/caramel/toffee notes, as advertised. I got a lot of alcohol, char, licorice. The hop bitterness is there and helps to mitigate the alcohol/char flavor, but not enough.

M: Smooth and milky, but the bite from the unconcealed alcohol is a bit too jarring to really appreciate this aspect.

O: Despite really having wanted to enjoy this, I couldn't. Maybe I got a bad bottle from a bad batch? If it had more chocolate/toffee/coffee/caramel flavors, as advertised, I wouldn't give it such a low score.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 23:36:54 | More by CaptMaelstrom
Photo of Huffs
Huffs

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 03:21:09 | More by Huffs
Photo of Snodman
Snodman

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

02-11-2013 01:30:40 | More by Snodman
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Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.