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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

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.73%
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)
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GTB
GTB

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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

New York

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

01-29-2013 02:22:08 | More by ksimons
Photo of TaylorK
TaylorK

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

01-07-2013 23:06:59 | More by TaylorK
Photo of MaltAndHopsFC
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 05:22:15 | More by MaltAndHopsFC
Photo of 2neardead
2neardead

California

3/5  rDev -15.7%

12-03-2012 04:40:45 | More by 2neardead
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

11-22-2012 23:15:21 | More by t0rin0
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 02:10:10 | More by metter98
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a pitch black with a nice brown head that dissipates slowly and leaves lacing. Smells of coffee, nuts and light fruit aroma. Tastes of bitter coffee with slight nutty and fruity overtones. Beer has a good level of carbonation for its light/medium body and finishes well. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 02:32:20 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

2.7/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black with barely a hint of a head. A very thin cap is apparent on top of the beer but carbonation is nearly nil.

Smell is kind of odd. Very metallic with some light hints of coffee and dark fruit.

The flavor has dark fruit up front but it is quickly overwhelmed by a strong hop bitterness which seems out of place. Some coffee and dark chocolate are present but dark fruit is the predominant flavor. I little bit of flowery hop bitterness is there but is very faint. Mouthfeel is a little thin with the lack of carbonation.

Overall, Not a great effort from Napa Smith. The bitterness seems out of place and the flavor a bit one dimensional. Glad I got to try it but will not seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 01:33:28 | More by rangerred
Photo of GMan
GMan

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

08-30-2012 18:27:22 | More by GMan
Photo of jmbraxton
jmbraxton

Alabama

4/5  rDev +12.4%

08-19-2012 00:44:45 | More by jmbraxton
Photo of jduprey007
jduprey007

Michigan

4/5  rDev +12.4%

07-28-2012 13:50:57 | More by jduprey007
Photo of pandow
pandow

Michigan

3/5  rDev -15.7%

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

Washington

3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 06:28:28 | More by mactrail
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 05:13:00 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Tilley4
Tilley4

Tennessee

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:16:43 | More by Tilley4
Photo of JupiterJesus
JupiterJesus

California

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.

Serving type: growler

04-13-2012 23:58:35 | More by JupiterJesus
Photo of dominic4beer
dominic4beer

California

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

03-24-2012 17:33:16 | More by dominic4beer
Photo of damngoode
damngoode

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

03-17-2012 02:42:45 | More by damngoode
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 20:18:26 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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

Serving type: growler

02-25-2012 02:50:12 | More by Billolick
Bonfire - Imperial Porter from Napa Smith Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.