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Blacksmith Smoked Porter - Highlander Brew Co.

Not Rated.
Blacksmith Smoked PorterBlacksmith Smoked Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 9
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Highlander Brew Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: andrenaline on 11-28-2013

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 9
Photo of Glorithm
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

650 ml bottle served cool into a Samuel Smith's pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for about $6 CDN.

Appearance - Dark hazy brown color with an impressive two fingers of tan head. Great retention and nice trail of sticky lacing is left behind. Exactly how a porter should look.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate with a faint hint of smokiness. Better when warmer than when served cold.

Taste - Chocolate, mild bitterness, roasted grain, then some earthy beat and smoke comes through. Lots of subtle flavors going on make a nice and very solid blend, but nothing that makes me go "wow". Still very solid.

Mouthfeel - Full and decadent, decent carbonation but it is a nice slick oily beer. Great texture as there a certain chewy characteristic reminiscent of a bigger stout.

Overall - A solid, dependable and consistent porter, there's nothing wrong with it but it just seems to be missing something from making this an absolute top notch porter with the Sam Smith's And London Porters of the world. One of the best by this brewery and not a terrible deal as far as bombers go.

Photo of Pmicdee
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Cramshawbar
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Bf_89
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of CRObighit2
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bigox420
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jeffo
2.46/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle into a snifter
Best before 15 October 2014

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a 2+ finger, medium looking, creamy, light tan head with very good retention. Head slowly fades to a nice cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. Transparent bistre brown in color, almost black, with medium levels of carbonation. A faint wisp remains with some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Some dark malts, toffee, a hint of smoke and some leather aromas on the nose.

TASTE: Milder in flavor, unfortunately. A bit of roast up front with some bitter chocolate, burnt notes and some leather lingering in the medium aftertaste. Some decent flavor is there, but it’s rather mute and somewhat dull overall. Nothing off per se.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A touch lighter than some, but plenty creamy and smooth.

OVERALL: This was consumed a few months before the best by date, and there was no real sign of staleness or excessive age or anything, so I can assume this brew, or at least this batch, is just a little too mild and dull in the aroma and flavor department. The smoke character is almost non-existent as well. Not memorable.

Photo of leaddog
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of bubbly tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell - hint of smoke, hint of smoked meat (bacon), coffee, roasted grains, hint of cocoa, earthy hops, and dark fruits (plum, raisin).

Taste - Hint of smoke followed by the hint of smoked meat (bacon), followed by the coffee, roasted grains, hint of cocoa, earthy hops, and dark fruits (plum, raisin).

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a hint of the smoke and smoked meat (bacon) alongside the bitterness from the roasted grains.

Overall - A porter with a good flavour profile. The hint of smoke and smoked meat adds a pleasant complexity to this porter. Nice to see another offering from Ontario make its way to Alberta.

Photo of mick303
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle from the lcbo. Poured a dark brown, off black colour with a compact creamy tan team, some lacing.

S - roasty woody smoke, coffee beans, apple orchard, some salty maritime smoke mixed with molasses thickness. Lot of full maltiness, not too dark though, with an interesting profile.

T - start has coffee, grapefruit and lemon, then more bright tropical fruits, mixed with a gentle sweet smoke, gradually more earthy and robust spiciness. Some spiciness and prikling smoky astringency. There is toffee, roasted malts, some molasses and licorice and gradually finishing with a dry darker malt note, some light tannins. Some lingering wood smoke and campfire notes.

M - good fullness, and appropriate carbonation, quite drinkable due to the balance. Some bitterness and smooth roastiness to give it some edge, also the smoke is held in check nicely to solidely compliment.

A very strong offering all around, really pleasant smoky character pervades the beer but doesnt overpower a lot of the other positive aspects. Good balance of complimenting flavour and quite enjoyable. Gets more robust and complex as it warms.

Photo of Mr_Hoptimistic
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of byronic
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of Stoutmeister
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of timmy2b
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jjmclell
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Settled nice and lowly carbonated as English ales will, lower viscosity. Didn't smell it right away but when I did got a tasteful whiff of peat smoke, which helped me figure out a mystery element of what I was tasting (didn't know it was a smoked porter). Taste mainly dominated by dark chocolate... borderline cloyingly sweet malt though, kind of clashed with the smokiness IMO. Full of flavour and great aroma though...just wouldn't drink it all night.

Photo of nhaimes
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of stevergca
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of TerryW
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. The first beer that I've had from these guys, where the only thing green in the brew is the hops.

This beer pours a pretty solid black, with murky cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and a little bit creamy beige head, which leaves some random splattered dried sudsy lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of roasted, somewhat meaty caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa, sour milk, wet ash, weak coffee grounds, and earthy, mildly leafy hops. The taste is all about the chocolate - toasted, and blended into the caramel malt, coffee, milk, black licorice, and sweet dark fruit (plums, dates, and raisins) - before it skids to a stop before the admittedly tame earthy, musty hops. I mean, who ever heard of a chocolate-covered hop cone?

The carbonation is quite subtle, barely manifesting in anything more than a sedate trembling, the body a sturdy medium weight, and quite smooth, with a minor dose of creaminess. It finishes still sweet from the chocolate and its aforementioned cohorts, the well-faded roast and equally subdued hops having little say at this point.

A tasty enough porter, but I would have guessed, if pressed, that this was a chocolate porter, and not, as advertised, one of the smoked persuasion. That essence shows up, collects its pay stub, and begs off for the day, leaving its capable co-workers to carry the load, and carry it they do. Full, rounded, and not a whisper from the 13-proof alcohol - good, but forget that you ever saw the label.

Photo of TheHammer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of biegaman
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Each word in the name 'Blacksmith Smoked Porter' implies darkness so, indeed, drinkers shouldn't be surprised to find an opaque, almost entirely black beer in front of them (allowing for the odd splinter of ruby highlighting). Its head may be sparse but the glass afterwords looks as though it were crawling white leaches.

Blacksmith has hints of bacon and campfire but too much chocolate and dark fruity undertones to be mistaken for a traditional Rauchbier. It teeters on the sweet side and has a surprising absence of ashtray-like smoke and burnt grain qualities. Notes of coffee and raw cocoa spring up in both aroma and taste with very little astringency or bitterness accompanying them.

It'd be smooth enough to pass for a lager if not for the fact that its maltiness is ample and broad as the shoulders of the burly man on its label. Make no mistake, however, this is not the kind of dark beer that'll put hair on your chest - it's far too approachable for that. Drinkers of Guinness and other commercial stouts will have no problem making the switch.

The smoke in this "smoked porter" is too important to be called incidental but not obvious enough to be called inevitable; it adds depth and compliments the roasted grain and dark chocolate flavours, but one might not necessarily know of its inclusion without reading it on the label first. That's not a problem, mind you, especially as mainstream appeal is concerned...

Highlander has crafted a beer as likely to appeal to the masses as it is craft beer geeks. This is not an easy feat by any means; generally speaking, beers are either aimed at commercial or niche markets but Blacksmith Porter can compete in both. I'm happy to learn this brewery can do justice to dark beers just as well as pale ones - looks like the sky's the limit for them.

Photo of GoHabsGo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of WillAndSarah
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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Blacksmith Smoked Porter from Highlander Brew Co.
87 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.