Blacksmith Smoked Porter - Highlander Brew Co.
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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
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3.96/5 rDev +0.5%
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.
04-30-2014 05:09:27 | More by biboergosum
4.08/5 rDev +3.6%
650 mL bottle pulled from an LCBO fridge; best before Feb. 15 2014 and served slightly chilled. I've got to say, I'm really enjoying this new OCB trend of releasing more and more stouts and porters - finding a sessionable one wasn't always easy until recently. This smoked porter is one of the more recent examples of this trend to hit the local shelves.
Pours a deep cola colour, mostly black but with some deep tinges of brown under the light. Two fingers of puffy, frothy, tan-coloured head erupts at the surface, wilting slowly over the next five minutes or so, leaving behind a dense cap and collar with some great lacing. Enticing aroma, and spot-on for the style - lots of roasted malts, molasses and even some honey, with added vibes of coffee, raisins and light smoke.
Very tasty stuff, and nicely balanced. Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are the first flavours I detect, followed by roasted malts, honey and molasses sweetness. A light coffee bean flavour comes through toward the finish, which offers a mixture of roast and light smokiness, both lingering into the aftertaste and fading slowly. Medium-bodied, with a soft, smooth, somewhat slick feel on the palate. I didn't like it at first (I thought it was too flat), but it really grew on me. The alcohol is nowhere to be seen, so at 6.5% this is a deceptively drinkable porter.
Final Grade: 4.08, an impressive A-. Blacksmith Smoked Porter is an exquisitely-crafted dark ale that I will definitely return to again. I would probably call this Highlander's best brew, although I really like their Scottish Ale as well - either way, that's two great offerings from a very tiny upstart operation, which is pretty impressive. I'm assuming this will be a seasonal, but as far as 'lighter', non-imperial OCB porters and stouts go, this one definitely lands near the top of the list. Absolutely worth a shot if you spot it locally; I'll be getting at least a few more bottles if it stays in stock.
12-10-2013 20:06:59 | More by thehyperduck
3.76/5 rDev -4.6%
From a 650 ml bottle into a nonic pint glass.
A: deep dark brown almost black, with a small one finger root beer colored head, which breaks quickly to leave a decent film of foam but no lacing.
S: anise/licorice comes first. Roasted malts, molasses and some dark fruits are also present.
T: licorice and molasses come to the forefront, but there are notes of smoke and dark fruits as well. Sweet to start with a bitter coffee finish.
M: medium carbonation and body. Mouth feel was a little slick, or oily.
O: not a bad porter, and a good offering from Highlander. I enjoyed this beer, though I had hoped the smoke would be a bit more prominent, and would have preferred a little less anise flavor. I am hopeful that this is a good sign of things to come from this brewer.
12-24-2013 22:47:42 | More by polloenfuego
3.85/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
01-23-2014 03:01:51 | More by biegaman
3.64/5 rDev -7.6%
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.
07-08-2014 23:18:21 | More by jjmclell
Blacksmith Smoked Porter from Highlander Brew Co.
87 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.