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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

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.41%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | 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: 96 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tavernjef:
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +10.6%

Typical porter brown pour capped with a modest tan foam about a pinky finger high not lasting long before tending to a thin collar ring and the lacing is etched about the glass with some ink blot sheeting.

Nice clean and darkly malty aroma with some tootsie roll chocolate and toffee breezed with a bit of smokey maple. It's not a huge nose, but what's there is clean and appetizing.

Taste is a near mirror display of the nose with a clean, smooth tone of chocolate malt over the top while some slight touches of toffee, maple, dates, raisin, and smokey puffs about it in the finish. Which has a subtle little finish of the smokey stuff dancing lightly with a leftover tangy smooth dark malt tone.

Smooth, semi creamy and firm, lighter medium body. For being labaled as an Imperial porter, the body doesn't come close to that which it is labeled. A bit to quick and thin where it needs to be lengthy and thicker. "That's what she said."

Overall, a smooth little subtle porter with some nice things going for it. And for the price per the bomber,$5.69 Cellars Roseville, its worth getting.

09-23-2011 23:13:12 | More by tavernjef
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.9/5  rDev +9.2%

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

02-25-2012 02:50:12 | More by Billolick
Photo of JupiterJesus
JupiterJesus

California

3.93/5  rDev +10.1%

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.

04-13-2012 23:58:35 | More by JupiterJesus
Photo of mj001jk
mj001jk

California

4/5  rDev +12%

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.

01-23-2009 23:32:32 | More by mj001jk
Photo of jmbraxton
jmbraxton

Alabama

4/5  rDev +12%

08-19-2012 00:44:45 | More by jmbraxton
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.79/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

02-12-2012 00:25:37 | More by chinchill
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

2.75/5  rDev -23%

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

California

3.13/5  rDev -12.3%

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.

03-06-2013 02:41:31 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of HerdNo1
HerdNo1

West Virginia

2.8/5  rDev -21.6%

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.

10-31-2013 01:17:49 | More by HerdNo1
Photo of DruC4
DruC4

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +19%

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

California

3.23/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

01-12-2010 06:44:25 | More by HalfFull
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

2.45/5  rDev -31.4%

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.

11-28-2009 06:58:01 | More by GRG1313
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jduprey007

Michigan

4/5  rDev +12%

07-28-2012 13:50:57 | More by jduprey007
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dtx00

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +12%

11-28-2011 19:00:22 | More by dtx00
Photo of hannaho
hannaho

Washington

5/5  rDev +40.1%

01-03-2012 16:41:03 | More by hannaho
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

12-23-2009 13:54:00 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.53/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

10-16-2012 02:10:10 | More by metter98
Photo of endincolorado
endincolorado

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

03-24-2010 03:35:19 | More by endincolorado
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Fitzpat4

California

3.75/5  rDev +5%

07-16-2014 21:26:06 | More by Fitzpat4
Photo of cdog707yo
cdog707yo

California

4/5  rDev +12%

07-14-2014 21:16:15 | More by cdog707yo
Photo of JamnesCameron
JamnesCameron

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

02-03-2011 04:01:02 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +11.5%

Fall release so it's aged over 6 months.

A - Color looks good for a porter yet the head depletes rather quickly giving me no lace and calm waters.

S - Smell is of mild faded citrus hops, tough of ashy malts and a filler of cocoa like chocolate malts.

T - Quite good actually and still good warm. Like others said at this point is roast then some sweet chocolate malts and a finish of citrus hops. It works rather well providing little chalky yeast yet I kind of wanted more smoke from this "bonfire"

M - Medium to thick and quick slick on the tongue.

Overall - I like this beer. It provides a sweet malt body with a slightly drying finish and a good bit of hops. If I see it again I might buy it since the price was good at just over 2 bucks.

06-20-2012 05:13:00 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4/5  rDev +12%

Clear dark brown colored beer with a small brown colored head. This beer has ruby highlights when held up to the light and is one of the lighter colored examples of the style.

Smells very malty indeed. Malt syrup, vanilla and toffee are the strong scents. Slighter berry and chocolate smell with a faint coffee and smoke scent. But there can be no doubt this is a malty smelling beer.

Starts out mildly sweet with a strong bitter coca powder flavor and subtle bitter bite. The taste pretty much stays the same all the way through bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel is medium not a thick porter.

Not a bad beer at all. What you are getting here is basically a semi-bitter chocolate beer.

11-08-2009 23:49:18 | More by Zorro
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pandow

Michigan

3/5  rDev -16%

07-22-2012 01:29:57 | More by pandow
Photo of writingjesse
writingjesse

Maine

2.75/5  rDev -23%

06-01-2014 03:14:58 | More by writingjesse
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Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.