Mesquite Smoked Porter - MSP - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

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

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BA SCORE
85
very good

182 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 182
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 11
Gots: 38 | 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 elNopalero
5/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think I might prefer this one more from bottle than the tap. Something about the bottle conditioning that just took my enjoyment of it to a whole ‘nother level.

This poured a solid jet black with a tightly compacted, thin layer of foam.

I get a roast aroma with some smoke. Flavor is big and smoky, but never one-note as there’s a roast complement to it that rounds it out. For such a smoky brew this is surprisingly smooth and mellow. I like my smoked ales like I like my Scotches—I enjoy ‘em all. Tho if I had to I might be plagiarizing from their advertising description here but I think velvety is an apt description for the mouthfeel. It’s that smooth. Absolutely fantastic.

Photo of fatmcb1
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 007 Bottled 11/10/11

Pours a dark brown, almost black color. A massive, 4 finger foamy tan mess takes over the snifter after a modest pour. Very little sediment.

Smell is very smokey with an underlying chocolate and roasted malt aroma.

Taste is even more smokey, reminiscent of barbecue. The porter characteristics struggle to come out from the overwhelming smoke flavor. There is chocolate, and also some semi-sweet bitterness towards the end.

Beer remains well carbonated with a solid creaminess and a lighter body.

In reading reviews, there seems to be a major inconsistency from batch to batch. The beer I had was highly carbonated with a foamy head that took forever to go away. Other have reported flatness and tons of sediment. The inconsistency is a shame considering the solid smell and taste of the beer.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 08/25/11, batch 006

Appearance:
Very dark brown to black with a thin, tan blanketing. The head is thick and fluffy right after pouring, thick enough to provide some generous lacing, but eventually falls flat.
The body appears cloudy in the light, but it's hard to determine if there is sediment.

Smell:
A light rauch smokiness with a touch of roastiness as well. I can't tell right off the bat that this beer is "mesquite smoked," but it's definitely smokey and a little leathery. This is definitely a beer best served slightly warmer than their recommended 45 degrees.

Taste:
A tad sweet and chocolatey, smooth with a very distinct smokiness that I've never experienced before. I really like the combination of flavors and after a few sips, everything blends quite nicely. There really isn't too much spiciness, but there is a little bit that helps balance out the rich, velvety smokiness.

Mouthfeel:
Very smooth and drinkable beer with a solidly medium body and interesting contrast from the modest alcohol, potent woodiness, and complimentary spiciness. The aftertaste is quite an intense woodiness, which makes this beer distinct and interesting.

Overall:
This was a pretty tasty beer! I would have liked to try it paired with some bbq, but it was good with some 5-year gouda. I would probably not drink this beer in a bar...it's really meant for pairing with food in my opinion.

Photo of Beertracker
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ranger Creek's Mesquite Smoked Porter is currently "hand" bottled which probably accounts for all of the trub (sediment) at the bottom of the bottle, but it makes the package very unappealing nontheless! MSP takes the patience of Job to pour & pours up with an overabundance of yeast & hard sediment with a low carbonation that creates a smallish khaki-brown head that barely manages to sustain itself over the brackish jet black body. The smoky aroma is unmistakably mesquite with its hearty, pungeant Texas BBQ character that carries along with a heavy roasted maltiness that comes across as slightly acrid/burnt. Unfortunately, some of the milky yeastiness comes through with an acidic, breadiness that spoils the peppery finish. The flavor starts of with some initial sweetness from the caramel malt then carries into a charred roastiness from the chocolate & black malts with hints of burnt ends/brisket, cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, leather & tobacco that carries into the slightly acrid, bitter finish. This medium-full bodied smoked porter is wonderfully smoky, but overly astringent (chewy) and bready from being bottled with so much yeast & sediment. I think this one is probably much better on draught, so I'll definitely be seaking it out on my next trip to Texas Hill Country. Afterall, everything's bigger in Texas... keep up the good work Ranger Creek!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Trader's note: Many thanks to wolffman17 for the opportunity.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.04/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz into 8oz tasting glasses, split 2 ways, twice. Batch 005, bottled June 1, 2001.

Very cloudy pour, hazy, muddy, thin bubbled. Not very bright, not particularly appetizing.

Aroma: Rich malt, layered mesquite smoked characteristics.

Flat taste. A touch watery. The first sip is all smoke and by the time this is coating your mouth the underlying porter simply doesn't stand up. I don't know if I would drink the porter alone, thus the sub 3 rating. This would likely be excellent pair with something, a complementary flavor. However, as a standalone sipper, this isn't up to snuff.

It's a bit watery, which may be a blessing. If it where more full bodied I believe the smoke would be the only flavor. Some carb issues as well, this bottle gushed over even after an 8oz pour was taken.

The first in my Texas box that I haven't enjoyed. While I'm reviewing it here first, I need to type my reviews to two other Texas beers that were solid.

(154th)

Photo of eclipse54
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A 22 ounce bottle from turfy that I received for winning his "Taste of Texas LIF" a while back. Bottled on 06/01/2011, batch 005, and reviewed from notes taken 09/30/2011.

Gushed a considerable amount upon opening, and what was collected had a Crayola crayon brown color with a chocolate milk sheen to it. About an inch of foamy, khaki head develops. Aroma is of chipotle, charred wood, meat, campfire smoke, anaheim peppers, chile, and faint cocoa. Lots of smoke and spice. It tastes of chipotle, smoke, pork, a strange beef sausage, cocoa, dirt, and chile. A significant amount of wood as well, giving it the flavor of wood fired meat. Mouthfeel is sticky, dry on the finish, has ample carbonation, but lingers for a considerable amount of time with a potent aftertaste. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite beer and isn’t one I plan on revisiting.

Photo of suspect
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 007, bottled 11/09/11. Thanks to miikezombie for the secret santa hookup! Poured into my fancy new Jester King stemmed glass.

A: Pours deep dark brown with some light escaping around the very edges of the glass. Averagely aggressive pour leads to a huge 2.5 finger light tan fizzy head that took minutes to finally fade leaving sticky slug-trails all down the sides.

S: Was expecting a lot of smoke in this one from the name but it wasn't there really at all. Picked up a lot of toasted chocolate malts and some slight hoppy notes as well as some plum and fig notes to sweeten it. It has a very nice, steady smell that invites for a nice big swig.

T: Not a lot going on here. Toasted malts, nice smoke flavor, especially at the end of the swig. Nice flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation going on. Over-carbonated. Creamy coating leaves a lingering aftertaste but not anything that makes me want to grab for more immediately.

O: A pretty average porter. Not terrible, not great. Could have definitely used more of the smoke in order to live up to the name. I was glad to have tried it but will not be clamoring to get this one again anytime soon.

Photo of Phelps
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by ottovon, this is batch 001, bottled 8-25-11. Poured into Russian River stemware.

Burnt mahogany, amber at the edges. The liquid’s thin as cola, with a head that continues in kind. Big and quickly fizzy, fading from its brown sugar color to a thin layer of light tan.

Oh yeah. Perfectly smoky aroma — you can really get the mesquite. It makes me crave Texas barbecue. Beneath the smoky top layer I get oats, bitter chocolate crumbles and an impressive amount of dark fruits — maybe raisins and prunes.

The flavor takes the acrid, smoky char a tiny step too far. Dark chocolate and a bit of fruity tang and to the bitterness, but it corrects a second after the finish, when oats round it out. Nice smooth blend, all in balance.

Fairly fizzy and a touch over medium-light in body. The overactive bubbles pack the mouth with air as the beer moves. Light, prodding carbonation, with nary a hint of alcohol.

This smoked porter’s a smooth, tasty blend of smoky flavors. Not too ashy, nicely chocolatey and fruity. Would be great with a steak.

Photo of bmwats
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from 650 ml bottle into a tasting snifter

a: dark brown or black. pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown white head. settles fairly slowly leaving a persistent beer ring and a thin layer of foam. persistent lacing.

s: mesquite smokiness is extremely prominent. a little cocoa in there, too.

t: peat, black licorice, and oak.

m: robust body, smoke permeates the entire palette.

d: great sipping brew, but smooth and laid back.

great atmosphere. dark with a nice head, and persistent lacing. nose is pungent and smoky. combination of bitter and pungent components. very woody and smoky. overall, this is a really good quaff.

Photo of ms11781
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to duff247. 22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a deep brown color, almost black. Looks to have a bit of a body to it as it comes out of the bottle. A massive light brown head develops before settling in as a creamy looking tan foam cap. Not much lacing as the foam slips back down the glass to meet the head, but the retention is exceptional. Really nice looking beer.

The nose is extremely smoky and is detectable before the beer is even poured from the bottle. Really heavy char and some woody aromas are here as well. It really is all about the smokiness though.

The taste follows along with the nose. Hugely smoky flavors, some light wood and really strong, slightly bitter char. It's pleasant at first but sort of runs its course after a glass.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin, which is surprising considering how the beer looked going into the glass. The carbonation is lively, which is also surprising, but probably contributes to the thinner mouthfeel.

This was an interesting and unique beer. More smoke than porter. The aromas and flavors aren't unpleasant but they do wear on the palate after a bit. If the smoke could be dialed back a bit to let the porter characteristics come through more this beer could be great.

Photo of omnigrits
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a straight pint glass.

A. Seriously dark with no light coming through, even around the edges. Very good pale tan head.

S. The smoke comes in straight away, and it's that unmistakeable mesquite smoke aroma. Hints of bacon too. This isn't breakfast though, and the beer character is asserting itself with some very porter-y chocolate smells.

T. Much less smoke in the taste but it's still there. The beer comes through more here. Definitely not a sweet porter - there's a pleasant bitterness in the finish that I think comes more from the roasted malts than from hops.

M. Medium bodied, very light carbonation. Pretty smooth all round.

O. A really nice porter which, I can see, might not be for everyone. I've had other similar porters which barely pay lip service to the smoked part of the beer. This one brings it front and centre, especially when fresh.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice black color. Quite foamy and fluffy head on top. Metallic and almost blood like aroma. Faint smoke coming thru. Strong roasted flavor with a somewhat espresso like tinge to it. Enough smoke to be noticed but comes across somewhat astringent and sharp. More of an off flavor then smoke to me. Body is fairly thin and really lacks any kind of "umph". Overall somewhat "bleh" for me. I can't even give it decent marks for being a porter. Have had their IPA and double IPA which were great-will not be deterred by this experience.

Photo of ehammond1
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle

Thanks for sharing, DarthKostrizer!

Dark brown and nearly black with a thick, persistent brown head and leaves splotches and lines of lacing down the glass. Gorgeous!

Insanely smoky aroma: this is like walking in to the pit at your favorite barbeque joint. This smells of smoke, and delicious, charred, fatty meat.

Boldly smoky flavor, though interestingly so. This tastes like a combination of campfire and smoked, fatty pork skin--quite incredible for a beer, though it ends up seeming relatively simple after multiple passes. There's also a bit of sweetness lingering at the end.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with just a bit too much carbonation per the style.

An interesting, tasty, and boldly smoky porter.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown with a good solid 1 inch head with great retention and some spotty lacing

Smell: Smoked pork comes to mind. It has a great smokey aroma with just a hint of chocolate in the background

Taste: Lots and lots of smoke upfront almost like chewing on a piece of smoked alder wood not that I have ever done that but I'm just saying. The backend of the beer does have just a hint of a metallic taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with with medium to full carbonation and slightly dry

Overall: Good smoked beer with good flavor. This is hands down the best smoked beer I have had.

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

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for the bottleshare.
Black with a 1cm light brown head with medium retention and mild lacing.  

Nice dark malty BBQ goodness on the nose. Big spicy mesquite smoke. Smells like a smoky pork spice rub.

Great bold spicy smoke. Supported by nice dark malt. Nice BBQ flavor. 

Medium bodied. High carbonation. Slightly dry. 

Overall its Good. Can't drink a ton of it. But it's a great smoked beer with great character. I recommend if you like exotic smoke beers.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Lexington Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Big thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

Cracking my second bottle o' this stuff, welcoming my boy VDubb86 back from his romantic getaway in Florida. It pours a dark black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises charred wood, light roasted malts, light chocolate powder, and a touch of molasses. The taste brings in more of the same, with the smoked wood really coming through nicely, balancing and complimenting the roasty notes. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a very tasty smoked porter, straight up and down, baby. Good times.

Photo of TexasBrewSlinger
2.76/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured very dark brown/black with head that dissapated slowly

Smell is VERY smokey. Charred gamey meat, a little salty note, underneath all that there is some classic toasty chocolate.

Taste very much like the nose. It has a very strong barbequed meat flavor, some nice rich notes underneath but the smoke is overbearing.

Overall I think this could be interesting paired with the right food but I was not feeling it tonight. They need to dial back that smoke to make a balanced drinkable beer.

Photo of AgentZero
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown, almost black beer that had a tan head that rose up decently enough.

S - Wow, this smells smokey. After a little bit I start to pick out the very distinct mequite flavor, just like bbq potatoe chips. The beer is appropriately named.

T - Lots of roast, smoke, mesquite, grease? There is some of the more traditional porter flavors buried in there but you really have to look for them. It's interesting, but pretty much a one note of mesquite/smoke/roast.

M - Medium bodied, a decent bit of carbonation.

O - This is a nice novelty beer for a little bit, but I found it hard to drink after a short while. The taste isn't bad, but it's so in your face I tired of it quickly. Worth trying, but nothing I'll really care to ever have again.

Photo of MasterSki
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Apparently there are a few more bottles at Chris' for our future enjoyment. Served in a Cigar City tulip.

A - A half-finger of tan foam settles to a thin partial cap, leaving behind spotty lacework. Dark brown body that is appropriate for a lower ABV porter.

S - Mesquite, smoke, bacon, dark chocolate, campfire, hickory.

T - Taste is a little less smoky, with more roasted malts. Again, there's a hefty amount of hickory, campfire, mesquite, and bacon. Finish is surprisingly clean for the style.

M - Dry, smokey, tannic, medium-thin body. I suppose that's appropriate for a a lower alcohol smoked beer. No alcohol present which is a plus.

D - Surprisingly decent beer for what it is. Not something I could consume in large quantities but delivers exactly as advertised.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jenray for sending me this tasty treat :)

Pours a light brown. A bit of nice head. Pretty, about what I expected. Lots of smoke on the nose. Not so much mesquite but not a bad smokiness at all. Tastes pretty balanced. The beer is a bit thin given the amount of smoke but its a porter so I can' knock it. A bit overcarbonated and I'm not sure I buy the mesquite distinction. Overall I finished my glass so not but by any means but certainly not a standout

Photo of JizackFH
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy Eduardo hooked me up with a bottle of this when to came to NYC to visit. Thanks again man!

A - This beer pours a an extremely dark brown color. It has a nice 1.5-finger light tan head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves behind a nice sheet of sticky lace on the glass.

S - The nose starts off with some toasted malt and a nice mesquite smokiness. There are notes of chocolate, coffee, leather, and wood as well. Smells delicious.

T - There is a nice toasted malt flavor up front. There's some nice mesquite smokiness that comes and sticks around throughout. Also, I'm getting flavors of chocolate, coffee, mild hop presence, wood, and a touch of alcohol. The finish leaves some lingering roastiness and smokiness.

M - This has a body that is on the heavy side of medium and good carbonation. It has a nice smooth creamy feel to it. It goes down easy.

O - This has good drinkability. It goes down easy, and it has a really nice flavor. It has all the good qualities of a good porter and rauchbier mixed into one. I really enjoyed this beer. I definitely recommend trying this one. A very good and interesting beer.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A coal colored beer with slight ruby highlights . The head is cappuccino brown and thick. A pretty brew that seems appropriate to drink while I'm smoking some animal flesh on the grill.

The nose is way mild for what it should be. I get a handful of roasted malts but not really any smoke or big scents like coffee or chocolate. Kind of a nasal let down.

The taste is rich and sweet but not in a good way. The sweet over powers the malts flavors which end up muted and plain. The smoke comes through more then the nose but isn't the best flavor to compliment the malts. This brew is a let down.

Mouthfeel is the best part with a firm carbonation yet the smooth body of a porter. It helps me to drink this otherwise disappointing beer. In the end this is a weak porter and the novelty of smoke does little to distract from that fact. Mesquite smoked porter is average at best.

Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Saint Arnold pint glass. Started fizzing out of the bottle as soon as I opened it.

A- Not black but a really really dark opaque brown color with an enormous tan head that sticks around for a long time.

S- Smells awesome. Smells like barbecuing in the back yard. Heavy mesquite smell.

T- A little bit of chocolate malt at the beginning but then the mesquite takes over.

M- Creamy and very easy to drink.

O- This is the first smoked beer I've had but it is definitely a style I will be trying more of. It reminded me of summer barbecues.

Photo of champ103
2.58/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Have tried several bottles, and they all seem infected?

A: Pours jet black. A huge tan head gushes out of the bottle. It takes forever to poor this. The first sign of an incfection.
S: A plastic, bandaid, veggie, sulfur, slighty sour aroma. Smoke, chocolate, wood, roast. This is an odd one.
T: Again, a mingling flavor of bandaid, veggies, sulfur, smoke, roast, and chocolate. An odd metallic sourness. This is bad.
M/D: A medium to full body. High carbonation that is a bit prickly. Hard to drink, and a bit over the top.

I think a few batches have been infected. A gusher with odd plastic, bandaid, and sulfur. On tap, one of the best smoked porters I have had. This is a mess though. I hope RC can clean this up cause it is one of my favorite Texas beers. See my tap review for what this should be.

Photo of womencantsail
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with a rather tall khaki colored head.

S: Definitely gives off sort of a mesquite/barbeque feel to it. Lots of roast and smoke with a fair amount of char to go with it. Mild chocolate with some hints of licorice and just a touch of sweetness.

T: Smoke, roasted malt, and coffee are all strong flavors. There's a slight toffee sweetness sweetness to it along with a light metallic note. A touch of earthy hops and bitterness with a light acidity coming through on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a rather high level of carbonation for a porter.

O: Smelled pretty decent, but the flavor was a bit off, unfortunately.

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