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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

99 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.45%
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: 99 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hannaho
5/5  rDev +40.4%

hannaho, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Heffy
4.97/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Third time I have had this wonderful brew. I have traveled all over the world and when I run across a Napa Smith all is good. I rated this beer a few weeks ago with all 5's. This still stands except someone dosen't believe in a perfect score. (then whey score?) somehow the write up got lost. Here's #2

Every time I taste a Bonfire, I go back to England with the local pubs magnificent beer and wonderful food. The total experience from beginning to end is wonderful. Smooth flavors that vary with the atmosphere and the foods one is also tasting. Smoky nutty fragrances with a smooth finish that sweetens rather than drys the pallet.

The flavors, texture, and appearance bring an undeniable pleasure that everyone should experience at least three times in their life time!

Heffy, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of thrash420
4.78/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Napa Smith Brewery - Bonfire - Imperial Porter

smell - smells heavily of dark roasted malts with hints of fruit and spices

taste - mild taste, you can taste the malts more than the hops, would go very well with a european chocolate bar I presume. i expected a stronger taste at 8%, but im not complaining it makes it easier to drink more! my wife considered it having a taste similar to wine and mild fruit tastes were brought out. i think its one of the best porters ive experienced, but I still prefer IPA's.

appearance - kept this in the bottle but i can still see a good amount of lacing and head inside the bottle and can tell it is of dark and slight reddish color

mouthfeel - medium carbonation, medium body but sticks to the mouth a bit, quite refreshing

drinkability - goes down easy, would love to enjoy another :)

thrash420, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of TaylorK
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

TaylorK, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of aforbes10
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Woodstock's, which was exciting because i'd only seen the pale ale, amber and wheat in bottles so this must be a current draft-only offering. Poured a dark brown with reddish notes, and a nice soft light brown head. Smelled of mildly roasted malts, vague dark fruits and dark chocolate. Flavor was a nice full roasted malt punch, a little touch of charcoal, dark chocolate, and then a nice grassy hop tang, followed by an encore of the roasty flavors. Very clean and easy to drink. All of the Napa Smith brews are well-crafted to the style, which i like. This one was very, very good and i look forward to seeing it in bottles.

aforbes10, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of DruC4
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

DruC4, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of MisterClean
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from Nugget in Roseville.

A - Pours a deep mahogany hew, with 1 finger of chocolate head, dissipates moderately.

S - Chocolate, smoke, roast coffee, plums, and bitter hops.

T - See above, not much difference.

M - IMO, beer may be over-hopped as the bitterness slightly dominates the malts. Slightly dry too.

D - Good overall. No smell or taste from alcohol.

MisterClean, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong, smoky aroma has a sweet overtone and notes of honey, caramel and molasses. It pours an opaque sable just a flea’s eyebrow above black with a thick and somewhat persistent light tan head that leaves generous lacing. Flavor has smoky, earthy, nutty and coffee notes with hints of unsweet chocolate and licorice. Smooth texture has firm, if not robust, body and a goodly amount of fizz. Let this bonfire warm the cockles of your beer-o-phile heart!

Cyberkedi, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of clickpush
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at City Beer Store in SF for $4.99. Great price for a bomber these days, though two years ago it was much easier to find big beers for that price.

Poured into a pint glass with a dark brown, ruby hued body like the exterior of a horse-chestnut. Plenty of big bubbles throughout the beer and about one finger's worth of head that recedes slowly to nice lacing. Definitely an appetizing looking beer. The aroma is rich with caramel and dark fruits, along with the expected roasty notes of coffee & toast. Flavor is much the same, though not at all sweet. The 8% is masked very nicely and this drinks like a much lighter beer. Flavors of roasted grains, coffee, and chocolate all in a very drinkable beer. Mouth feel is slightly less crisp than I would have liked, being creamy instead, but it is well suited for this beer. I look forward to finding this one on a nitro pour somewhere for something really special.

clickpush, Dec 05, 2008
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 MarvinSnyder
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.

MarvinSnyder, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of MaltAndHopsFC
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

Appearance: pours like a porter, super dark brown/almost black with a beige finger of head, looks pretty good.

Aroma: smells very malty, I get sweet notes of caramel, dark fruit, licorice, cocoa, and roasted malts. Smells like a porter with attitude.

Taste: much like the nose but a tad sweeter. I get a taste of caramel, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, and subtle hints of alcohol burn. Finishes roasty and culminates with a return of the bittersweet chocolate but this time it lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouth Feel: smooth and medium bodied

Overall: Not a bad porter, certainly more assertive than what I am used to. A little too sweet for my liking but the presence of bittersweet chocolate in the taste was enjoyable. At 8% it makes for a good sipping beer on a cold night in front of the television. I wouldn’t seek this out again, but I would enjoy it if I found it on tap somewhere.

MaltAndHopsFC, Jan 07, 2013
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 jduprey007
4/5  rDev +12.4%

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

dtx00, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of cdog707yo
4/5  rDev +12.4%

cdog707yo, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Zorro, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of RyanDouglasWhite
4/5  rDev +12.4%

RyanDouglasWhite, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fortified Porter with deep focus on burnt woods, bittersweet cocoa, and malt richness. Though the beer rivals the strength of stronger stouts, it falls short of it's "imperial" advertising.

Aromas of burnt molasses, dark nuts, French press coffee, cocoa, heavy toast, and mild roast all fill the nose with greater than expected intensity. A very masucline scent with a barley-rich backbone.

Flavors closely follow with a bold blend of black strap molasses and burnt sugar sweetness to start the session. The burnt flavor transitions to synged woods, roasted walnuts, and heavy toast before finishing with a mild ashy taste. Bold roast coffee flavors stop shy of espresso and add to the roasty overlay. Hop bitterness weave into the woody flavors and provide the bitterness to accompany the roast taste in balance.

Rich and lushly textured, the beer retains its structure until very deep in the taste before warming alcohol lightly irritate the throat for a malty-dry finish and light ashy/powdery feel late.

The beer exhibits all of the proportions and flavor of Porters while borrowing some roasty elements from Stouts. Still, the beer is big for a Porter, but not enough to be considered an imperial anything.

BEERchitect, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of amalburg
4/5  rDev +12.4%

amalburg, May 01, 2014
Photo of Jdub983
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Jdub983, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +12.4%

johnhenryconway, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +12.4%

paulish, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of jucifer1818
4/5  rDev +12.4%

jucifer1818, May 31, 2014
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Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.