Bonfire - Imperial Porter - Napa Smith Brewery
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
3.28/5 rDev -8.1%
I've had this bottle for a while and decided it was time to give it a go...
The first thing I get out of the nose is hops... Hmmm... they are rather overpowering as well... I might get a hint of chocolate here or there but mostly I'm getting earthy floral hops... Not unpleasant, just....surprising...
Slight hints of dark roasted malts are quickly and powerfully overtaken by a burst of faded floral hoppiness that muddle everything up for me and leave me scratching my head... Both elements are pleasing but there's something about them together that I'm not getting...
Just an ok brew to me... I'm glad I tried this one but I don't think I will be going for this one again.
05-25-2012 03:16:43 | More by Tilley4
3.33/5 rDev -6.7%
Napa Smith is showing up in SoCal...or I've never taken notice of this brewery. 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:
Black like ink, whispy french vanilla colored head, thick, retaining itself well, yes. The nose gives me a little bit of clean hops, but where's my dark malt? I can smell molasses, and not much else from the malt. Call the nose okay.
The front half of my tongue doesn't get much, the back half gets very intense flavor. It's not the most well-made beer around, but it's doable. Black licorice, big hits of molasses, grape, and charred flavors. Plenty of hops as the beer dries. I'd say that this beer *just* hits the target. It feels fine in the mouth. Medium in volume.
Ummm, it's not bad. It's respectable.
03-24-2010 04:53:33 | More by DoubleJ
3.33/5 rDev -6.7%
Appearance> Tootsie roll brown, medium liveliness, absolutely not a trace of head, zero lacing. Not too exciting thus far, but with a name like Bonfire, I know it's got to be something I'll like.
Smell> There's the bonfire! Roasty toasty malts. A bit of a sweet nose that is unfortunately covered by alcohol. The smoky aroma FORTUNATELY masks this.
Taste>Immediately ashy. Almost like sour mash at the first sip. Big body malt comes in, but soon departs leaving behind a huge burnt hang.
Mouf> decent. Nothing to write home about.
Drinkable?> Average. I've had better porters, but I wouldn't throw this back in your face if you bought me a pint.
03-04-2010 03:03:54 | More by 1759Girl
3.35/5 rDev -6.2%
Bomber, Pours brown/black with a frothy tan head. Rich chocolate over dark roast malt for aroma. Hmm, Imperial Porter?
I see many good ratings for this beer, But I'm not getting it. This tastes like a mild Brown Ale, Flavor is decent, but not an Imperial Porter in my opinion. Sweet flavor with light roasted malt, caramel and dark fruits. Very light body, Finished sweet. I don't know, maybe I got a flat bottle? With such a good rating (on all beer sites) I should try it again....$5.99, It would be worth it.
09-29-2010 00:18:54 | More by beergod1
3.4/5 rDev -4.8%
Very dark with a reddish cast in the New Belgium snifter. Decent head and carbonation. Fairly heavy body but not viscous. Raisins and mince meat pie in the nose.
Distinct taste of milk chocolate. Quite rich and more on the sweet side. Reminds me of a milk stout with a deeper, darker, fruitier flavor. Dark caramel and pomegranate. A touch of something rusty and a hint the band-aid taste. Some bitterness in the aftertaste. Not especially drinkable
From the 22 oz bottle.
06-30-2012 06:28:28 | More by mactrail
3.43/5 rDev -3.9%
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.
03-20-2013 03:46:40 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.45/5 rDev -3.4%
Bottle, home. Not bad but fairly boring for a big porter. Deep ruby with a head that puffs up and fades relatively quickly, leaving no lacing. Aroma is plums, apricots, apples, chocolate, very mild roast and some alcohol - it's pretty good, leaning toward the fruity malt side of things without entirely leaving the chocolate/roast out. Flavor is sweet and fairly boring. There's none of the ashy flavors of most good porters or the rich fruitiness of others. It's just kind of a mild sweetness with a bit of hops in the finish. Feel is good enough. This is a fine beer and not a bad price, but it's just another relatively boring beer from Napa Smith.
03-30-2010 07:32:46 | More by popery
3.48/5 rDev -2.5%
Served in a tall glass at some restaurant in Oakland. Pretty sure it’s from a bottle. Reviewed from notes.
A: Served a near black color with a dense dark brown head that held great retention. Streaky lacing was left down the glass.
S: I get sweet notes of toffee and caramel. The nose is also very roasted and toasted smelling.
T: Flavors of marshmallows, toasted grains, and toasted oatmeal stick out with a touch of caramel, vinous grapes and a little bit of wood. The finish is sweet and I get notes of brown sugar and slight chocolate.
M: Full body, soft full carbonation, and a fullish mouthfeel that isn’t as thick as a stout.
O: A solid porter overall that went well with my meal. It lacks a bit of depth though, and I thought it was on the sweet side. A good drinking beer overall though.
02-16-2012 00:15:35 | More by scottfrie
3.5/5 rDev -2%
Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: pours a very deep brown bordering on black with just under a finger of fine milk chocolate colored head that dissipates pretty rapidly, leaves no carbonation
S: pretty nice black coffee malts, very deep and pretty strong
T: begins with the strong coffee malts which linger pretty much all the way through the sip, ends with just the slightest hint of tobacco which i have also seen in other strong porters
M: smooth, silky, gentle carbonation
O: drinks nice enough, appearance was off for what i had hoped but for a brewery ive never heard of it was a pretty decent brew, i could drink it again, would like to find it on tap to see a difference
02-16-2012 02:14:35 | More by BigPlay1824
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
3.53/5 rDev -1.1%
Poured from a 22 oz bottle into snifter.
Pours a deep & dark brown color with a small & bubbly 1 finger deep head. Virtually no lacing left on glass.
Some sweet malts, toasted aromas, smoky, coffee, chocolate, faint bitterness.
Tastes like the aroma suggests, along with some hop bitterness, sweet caramel, plum, and fig.
Smooth, medium bodied, low carbonation, somewhat thin.
Easy to drink, the 8% is nicely hidden.
Somewhat of a miss for me, not bad by any means. Just nothing grabs me here.
03-21-2009 00:32:52 | More by bbothen
3.58/5 rDev +0.3%
22 oz. into a snifter
P: Very dark brown with a milk chocolatey head of frothy foam that showed decent retention. Formed a thick collar on the surface while leaving behind an unimpressive amount of lacing for an Imperial Porter.
A: Smells of lightly roasted malts, molasses, chocolate, coffee, and a puff of smoke. The aroma could use some more depth and punch to it, but it's not bad even if it is a little boring.
T: Very sweet from the jump with flavors of milk chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and molasses. Hop bitterness teams up with slight acidity from the roasted malts to add some balance, while the chocolate turns more bittersweet as it progresses as well. I pick up just a hint of dark fruits toward the finish, which features a nice citric hop kick on the way out.
M: Bonfire is a medium-light bodied beer that feels kind of thin and watery in spots. There is a little creaminess to it when it's room temperature, but it's got some work to do if it wants to be called an Imperial.
Notes: While the flavors could be more rounded and the profile could use some depth, this is still a pretty good beer. But when combined with the wimpy mouthfeel it seems to come off like a strong American Porter instead of an Imperial one. Not bad for the price, though.
01-31-2010 20:09:06 | More by sweetbrew82
3.68/5 rDev +3.1%
Had this on-tap at Toronado in San Francisco. Pours pitch black with a very tan head. Smells slightly vinous with a touch of dark fruit, roastiness, and a touch of bitter espresso. Tastes smooth, a little sweet up front, followed by tangy dark fruit, some sherry-like notes, and a light touch of bitter chocolate. Very smooth in the mouth. Not bad, but the sherry note is a little overdone and distracts a bi from the rest of the flavors.
08-25-2009 17:47:09 | More by Georgiabeer
3.68/5 rDev +3.1%
Poured a dark brown with brown highlights that had a half finger of head a left good lacing sticking to the glass. The nose did have a touch of a bonfire but was really light. It was more sweet with chocolate and malts but did have slight molasses, cocoa, and hop notes. Bonfire was a bit more sweet than and hoppy with chocolatey accents alongside hops which I was not really expecting from a porter. The brew was medium body with a good amount of carbonation that had a sweet, silky, and slight hop bitter finish. It drank really well but I not too excited to try to seek this beer out again. I still have to try to taste more beers from this brewery to make a final judgement on the quality.
09-10-2010 06:17:42 | More by Gobzilla
Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.