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Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSP - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

Not Rated.
Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSPMesquite Smoked Porter - MSP

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

182 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 182
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 12
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: champ103 on 12-10-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 | Reviews: 68
Photo of JCMattson
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It tastes ultra carbonated. Instant bloated feeling. Delicious otherwise though.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into hand-washed and dried Ranger Creek nonic
Aroma of smoke – I’ll take their word that it’s mesquite
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy/frothy, rapidly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good – complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of smoke and roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl; leaves my lips slightly sticky
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

Photo of smartassboiler
2/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hopefully got extra'd a bad bottle - completely over-carbonated, which prevented being able to enjoy the flavors they attempted to present here.

Photo of DdogDallas
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer. Love the mesquite

Photo of ed_loves_ipa
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Was scared of the mesquite flavor, but glad I overcame my misconception.

Photo of ruzzal
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It sure is smokey. Couldn't drink a lot but glad I tried it.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark khaki head forms two fingers thick, recedes somewhat quickly. Lots of fizzy carbonation is visible in the pitch-black liquid. 4

S- Deep mesquite aroma, kind of like with Lay's BBQ chips. Also reminds me of a smoky scotch. Faint roast malt and vanilla. 4

T- Tastes true to the nose, mesquite-heavy, charcoal smoky, and reminiscent of a scotch again. Chocolate is subtle, vanilla and roast malt too. 4.25

M- Creamy and smooth, this still retains some lively carbonation mid-palate. It's medium in body and neither sweet nor bitter. 4.25

Quite an impressive beer. The smokiness and mesquite are bold and reminiscent of the scotches I like, but no scotch is this creamy and chocolatey.

Photo of MickeyKnox
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Somehow the 4 pack tastes different than the pints, it seriously tastes like 2 different beers. The pints taste much better.

Photo of J85jam
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Loved this beer in the big bottles!!...Now that its in the 12oz 4-pack I am sold!!! I live right down the street from the distillery and they give tours every weekend. If you haven't tired their whisky and bourbons u must.. they just released a Beer/White whisky blend that is very unique!!

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22 fl oz brown glass bomber with standard label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery, which has put out a few trainwrecks via its barrel aging program. 6.4% ABV confirmed. Bottled 07/16/13. 15 plato. 20 IBU. 45 SRM. Reviewed as a rauchbier-meets-porter.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor.

Paired with waffle pretzels and melted camembert.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 3 finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice even smooth consistency, if a bit airy. Lacks creaminess. A bit thin for a porter head. It's fluffy. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 5-6 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - not quite a jet black. Yeast particles/sediment are plainly visible floating in the body, especially towards the bottom of the beer.

Overall, it looks like a pretty standard porter. Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it.

I'd prefer the head fuller and creamier, with a darker coloration and better lacing.

Sm: Harsh mesquite smoke dominates the aroma, with notes of meat and char in there as well. Dark malts. Subdued chocolate malts. The meat aroma here isn't the usual pork of a rauchbier, but comes off vague and indistinct. Leather, sure. I'm not picking up any nuanced mesquite wood per se; it's just muted smoke.

No hop character, yeast, or alcohol is detectable. Lacks sufficient roast.

Overall, it comes off more like a timid rauchbier than a robust porter. More chocolate as well as some cream presence would be very helpful. For a rauchbier, it's pretty average in strength. More intense aromatics would be welcome.

Given my previous experiences with Ranger Creek's attempts at wood-aging beers, I can't say I'm overly excited to try this one.

T: Okay, so they got the standard foundation right - there's your usual portery dark malts and chocolate malts. No roast, cream, or true chocolate though. There's also none of the coffee they advertise on the label.

Mesquite smoke lends a nice cured meat flavour to the beer, and luckily no overt char or ash makes its way into the flavour profile. I don't find any nuanced mesquite wood notes; it's all the smoke. I'm not an experienced barbecuer, but I doubt I could identify this as mesquite if I tried it blind; I'd be equally as likely to guess hickory.

It's got a leathery tone and some black pepper, sure.

No hop character or yeast character comes through. I do find some very light alcohol presence which doesn't distract from the flavour profile per se, but is nevertheless detrimental.

Okay balance. Has some nice cohesion, but isn't gestalt. They combine the two constituent styles in interesting ways, and I'd mostly consider this a success. Not particularly complex or subtle, but there's a bit of intricacy here. Not nuanced. I'd really love more depth of flavour, especially where the mesquite wood is concerned. Intensity of flavour is below average. Flavour duration is average.

Acridity grows as it warms.

Mf: Not as harsh or aggressive as you might expect. The smoke does roughen up the otherwise smooth and wet mouthfeel, to its detriment, but the effect is slight. Fairly creamy; I'd like it better creamier. Way overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. It's surprisingly soft for a smoked beer, but they could push it still further. Medium-bodied, with a good apt thickness. Nice presence on the palate. Complements the flavour profile well.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: It's not an ideal marriage of a rauchbier to a porter, but it surpassed my meagre expectations. It's not a great beer in either style, and the whole is not more than the sum of its parts. I wouldn't pick it up again, but it's an enjoyable brew for what it is and would pair well with barbecue. I suppose it accomplishes its aims, and that's respectable.

Ultimately, the smoke element just doesn't blend seamlessly into the porter build, and the beer feels unfocused and a bit scattered as a result. This lack of fundamental balance is what really holds it back.

C+

See also:
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/429/1769
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/73/93951
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/147/90

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.55/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really wanted to try this one, especially after having tried the whiskey that is made from this beer. Ranger Creek Rim fire Mesquite Smoked Texas Single Malt Whiskey which is one of the best whiskeys I have ever tasted.

This beer pours a midnight black that is darker than the devil's soul. The head is thick, rich and tan. While it can build above the rim of the glass it can also maintain it's shape without collapsing or coming out over the edge of the glass. The head settles so slow that it pulls itself back down from the glass resulting in no lacing. I believe the absence of lacing is a good sign with a head this thick.

The nose is surprisingly subtle with hints of the malt and subdued smokiness. I was expecting the mesquite to be dominant; It is a trace at best. The hops are almost undetectable as well. The nose is not unpleasant, it is just weak.

The taste, now that is something to write home about. The maltiness is heavily caramelized and dry with subtle sweet undertones. Wonderfully balanced with the mesquite smokiness that is there in the rush of the first flavors that include dark chocolate, bourbon, raisin that gives way to bitterness of the hops that are then followed by a dry mesquite finish that is very nice on the palate.

As for the moutfeel we experience a highly effervescent beet that has a very pleasant, silky to velvet touch across the tongue.

Overall this is highly drinkable, extremely palatable and goes excellent with the Bratwurst, Gruyere and roasted garlic I had just ate.

Photo of Stevotex
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

had this one in a two ounce sample cup at the Untapped Beer Festival in Dallas. very nice. the mesquite smoke flavor was evident throughout, but not overpowering. felt nice in my mouth, balanced carbonation. I was blown away. I will be looking for this one locally to try with some ribs or brisket.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

Batch 005. Bottled 6/1/11.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with char and smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that seems to have a slight infection going on but it's still fairly drinkable.

Photo of JMad
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bomber of this at the local beer store.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a gigantic, marshmallow looking light brown head. Smells like a bonfire, lots of woodsmoke with a hint of molasses in the background. It almost tastes like brisket in a way. The flavor is overwhelmed by smoke and wood and it has an earthy hop background. It's medium bodied with perfect carbonation and a nice dry, lingering finish.

This is an excellent beer and I'm glad I finally tried Ranger Creek, been keeping track of them for awhile but never got a chance to try their beer, I'm glad I did.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holy smoke! Literally.

This almost comes off as a rauchbier at first. All the smoke and stuff calm down off the initial hit, but it certainly sticks around. It's very distinct and unique, but kind of keeps the beer on a one-track theme. The thick malts on the backbone of things takes a backseat to the smoke. Also too, this thing seems almost out of control with carbonation. It went into a goblet and was still 3/4 foam. And the bubbles really hit the mouth too. It's a pretty good beer. Could definitely use some tweaking if one wanted to refine it. But as it sits now, it's a fairly decent production.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 3/31/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Appearance: I am reluctant to call this black, since it's a porter, but it's definitely black - black, perhaps with some shades of brown - big, fluffy, light tan head that doesn't quit - chunks of lacing

Smell: Smoky, in a very nice, very woody way - more like smoked beef jerky than liquid smoke - decidedly BBQ - some burnt, roasted tones, and char - chocolate malts, with some sweet chocolate - some general sweetness in the background, including some black licorice

Taste: Remarkably balanced, especially considering the delicious smoke - smoky, burnt, char, with some charred, smoky wood - some really nice malt flavors to back this up - chocolate malts, dark chocolate, and some burnt sugar and toffee - at times this kind of tastes like someone put a cake on a charcoal grill - lightly sweet, and kind of savory

Mouthfeel: Medium body, crisp carbonation, smooth, pretty clean

Overall: Can I put a piece of bacon in my snifter?

This is quite tasty. It's smoky in a very flavorful way, without tasting like an ashtray. The malt profile is quite interesting on its own, and I would love to try some other variations of this.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Almost straight black with some dark brown at the edges. Pours with a good-size dark khaki head. Creamy with decent retention. Eventually drops to a small, tight bubbly, cap and collar.

Smell: Burnt and smoky. Lots of mesquite and smoked wood. Nice malt profile hits chocolate, cocoa, and some darker fruit. Smoky sweet. Some char. Old fire pit. Some clean yeasty undertones. Slightly grassy in the back. A nice thorough smoked profile. Some grainy coffee as well.

Taste: Liquid barbecue potato chips. Distinct spicy sweet mesquite smoke. Very smoky without being cloying. Some backing malt sweetness pushes some caramel sweetness. Hints of dark cherry. Woody with some grassy elements. Some char and burnt malts. Some baker's chocolate and super stale, old coffee. Grilled and charred. Warming smooths out some of the rougher smoked edges.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin side with an above average carbonation. Bubbly and mostly smooth. Clean smoky finish.

Overall: Silly Bobby Flay, you can't grill beer...oh wait, yes you can.

Smoky without being meaty or overbearing. A weird sensory experience as mesquite usually means barbecue chips, but the lack of syrupy sweetness helps keep that distinction. A bit thin for my taste, but delightfully unbalanced with a nice use of smoked malt.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty darn nice looking. monster head that just wouldn't go away and stuck heavily to the glass topped an otherwise midnight black brew.

Aroma was heavy on the mesquite smoke and light on most other attributes, but there were some dark fruits and burnt/roasted malt notes.

Taste was a bit more balanced but was still heavy on the smoke, along with roasty/burnt malts, a touch of very dark fruits (figs, raisins, dates), and a tinge of coffee/chocolate.

Drinks more like a stout than a smoked porter, pretty full body with a lingering dark malt, smoky aftertaste.

For smoked beer lovers, definitely try this one. As a porter it's a bit stout-like but there's enough overlap where many beer drinkers could enjoy this one.

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Freed the beer from its bottle and got a thick tan head made out of a mixture of micro bubbles and larger atomic bubbles all forming a nice creamy head surrounded by a thin lacing. The body itself is dark, even when held up to the light, no other colors come through. The aroma is light, but mild chocolate and figs smells come through. Raisins and banana bread are also present. The smokiness does present itself throughout but it’s not overwhelming Chocolate and roasted malts are well represented here, apple, figs, pears and grapes also pop up here and there. I have to admit that this one was a little more bitter than I expected at first, but the bitterness does calm down as it warms up. The smoked mesquite stays with you even after you swallow.

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass; batch 10, bottled 9/19/2012. Pours fairly clear almost pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a lot of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, coffee, apple, pear, wood, smoked meat, light floral, and light roasted earthiness. Pretty nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted notes; but it is definitely infected, but it is not that terribly offensive in the aromas as it warms up. Taste of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, smoke, wood, smoked meat, light char, floral, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, coffee, smoked meat, light char, wood, floral, light pepper, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted notes and smokey flavor; with a great balance of malt/smoke; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice smoked porter. Luckily the infection seemed to only be noticed in the aromas. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt and smokey flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Ranz
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Wow--I tipped my Duvel tulip rather steeply and poured slowly, and this thing still created a massive head. Frankly, it's pretty ridiculous, but I found it endearing. The lacing is thick; it clumped on the glass, and a circular mound on top maintains composure despite everything happening around it. Color is pitch-black, thick with viscosity.

S: Hints of cayenne pepper, malt, and obvious mesquite-smoked wood abound. There's not a whole lot of subtlety here, but it knows what it is. It leaves a really lovely aftertaste.

T: Vanilla, chocolate, and smokey barbecue are the plate du jour. I could definitely see this paired with a robust red meat cut and some hearty mashed potatoes. Using this for a marinade could probably do some wonders, too.

M: A nice, milky quality gives this some smooth character. It's a great sipping beer. With some warming, it really opens up nicely.

O: Not bad at all. While I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again for drinking, this would provide an incredible nuance to marinated meat destined for the grill. I'll pick it up again for that reason.

Photo of HardTarget
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown glass shows some light through the edges giving a soft glow. Holds a tan head of tight head that gives some lacing.

Smell: Smoke comes through in the nose without a problem, smells a little BBQ, but that just may be my association with mesquite. Some sweet malt and slightly barrel sour gives some complexity and depth.

Taste: Goes a little lighter in flavor than I expected, more toward a Black lager than a Porter. Again, the woody smoke comes through at a nice level, firmly there without overwhelming everything else. Balance between the roasted malty sweetness and smoke doesn't let any hop flavor through.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a low carbonation level. Slick and dry at the same time, a nice trick.

Overall: A milder package than I expected, but what's here is good! Smoke level is very nice, this is a complex sessionable beer that hides any trace of flaw or alcohol. I'm impressed, hope to see more Ranger Creek about!

Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottled date of 5/31/12 and Batch 9 clearly marked on front label (love that!). It was a dark brown, almost black, with deep mahogany edges. It had a good sized tan head that slowly settled into a good collar and covering foam. Good, quick sliding lace with a little sticking.

The aroma was cured meat, mesquite, dark roasted malt and a bit of coffee. Very good aroma and similar to a rauchbier. The taste follows the aroma with the smoke giving a great taste without being overpowering. Good sweet and bitter offsets from the chocolate and coffee flavors. There was a metallic taste that did distract a bit though. Mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation and a nice aftertaste.

Overall, a really good smoked porter that I recommend. My first Ranger Creek - looking forward to trying more from them. Available here in TX obviously. Rotation - would love to try on-tap. For bottle, I can see getting it every so often when the smoked mood hits [SF]

Photo of mdfb79
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I popped the bottle and went into the living room for a minute, and when I came back a few oz's had slowly gushed out of the bottle, so be careful. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Cigar City tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of dark tan head and moderate to high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smoke, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts, some chocolate, and leather. Very smokey, and the sweetness is a bit odd.

t - Tastes of smoked malts, bacon, roasted malts, cream, bitter chocolate, coffee, toasted malts, light fruits. Not as sweet as the nose, much better in my opinion.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy; pretty nice body.

o - Overall a pretty average smoked porter. I wasn't a big fan of the nose as it seemed a bit odd and sweet, but the taste was better. Wouldn't seek it out again but worth trying if you love smoked beers.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.29/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 5. Bottled 6-1-11

I start to crack the cap and this thing sprays everywhere, a ton of psi in the bottle. I set it in the sink and come back a few moments later.
In the glass this looks dark brown, opaque and hazy, really murky.
The aroma is smokey, barbeque mesquite, smoked wood, wet ashy wood.
Flavors are not overpowering as i thought, the smokey flavors are decent, this is really woody though throughout the whole beer, everything is inoculated with damp saturated wood. keeps reminding me of burning houses i've been in.
Not any carbination left, the gushing took it all out. Mouthfeel is thin. Dont know if the psuedo-infection did this or not, i'd assume so.

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Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSP from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
85 out of 100 based on 182 ratings.