Scruffy's Smoked Alt - Cedar Creek Brewery
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
3.13/5 rDev -13.8%
A smoked altbier? Very intriguing. Curious to see if this delivers. 16 fl oz silver aluminum can acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into a Spaten stangenglas in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm not well acquainted with this brewery, but the idea of a smoked altbier is appealing. IBU: 35. OG: 12.5 plato. SRM: 13. Reviewed as a smoked alt because it clearly identifies as such in the name and on the label; I don't subscribe to the "smoked beer" nonsense classification currently ascribed by beeradvocate.
Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonaton issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a five finger wide head of faint khaki colour. Okay thickness. Subpar creaminess. Inconsistent uneven lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes; this beer has "legs." Head retention is good - about 5 minutes - though this may be explainable by its seeming overcarbonation.
Body colour is a clear somewhat dark copper. Transparent and translucent. Average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's within style conventions but far from unique or special. There are no obvious flaws. I'm looking forward to trying it. A bit darker than most altbieren I've seen.
Sm: Has a guiding, subtle beech smoke character that I'm really digging. Not overwhelmingly smokey, but not noncommittally so either. Lovely caramalt and beechwood notes. I do pick up some chocolate malt when I look for it. Amber/alt malts with a vague fruitiness - plum and dates. Cleanly fermented; I'd attribute that to the alt yeast. Hopping is minimal in presence and vaguely fruity in character.
No yeast character (explicitly) or alcohol is detectable.
An intriguing aroma of average strength.
The smokiness seems ideal for what they're going for based on the aroma, and is definitely a highlight for me.
T: Yup, solid smokiness - nuanced and well integrated, not overbearing or overwhelming; this isn't just a gimmick beer, it does hybridize smoked malt with the altbier style pretty well. The body is comprised of clean barley, German altbier malts, a dash of caramalt, and a hint of chocolate malt. Lightly nutty. The malty build overall is darker than you'd expect for an altbier. Lightly toasty and bready. Smokiness is present throughout, guiding the flavour profile and lending it a natural cohesion. The smokiness isn't meaty or pork-redolent like most rauchbiers; there's no baconey notes. It does evoke beechwood.
Too bitter for the style, but I applaud the experimentation and I consider this a minor success at hybridizing the two styles involved. It's decently balanced and has interesting complexity. Not the most subtle alt out there, but considering they used smoked malts it's pretty impressive. Above average intensity and slightly above average depth of flavour for the style. Average duration of flavour.
No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.
It could really use some work in terms of the nut flavours; I want far more complexity.
Mf: Largely unrefreshing. A bit overcarbonated. Has an unnatural smoothness. Okay body and thickness. Wet. Suits the flavour profile well for the most part. Has an interesting presence on the palate for an altbier.
Not oily, astringent, wet, gushed, hot, boozy, buttery, or harsh.
Dr: Certainly drinkable; I'll enjoy finishing this can. I always applaud experimentation, and while I do prefer well-executed traditional versions of the style, I was surprised how much I liked this - at least compared to how severe a trainwreck it could have easily been. I'll have my eye on Cedar Creek in the future, and while I wouldn't recommend this to friends, I do think it's worth trying, if only because it's almost a unique beer. I dig the premise and expect to see more smoked altbieren going forward. It's easily an above average beer. Might be a good beer for newcomers to rauchbieren if they're trying to ease their way towards traditional examples of the style.
10-23-2013 02:24:12 | More by kojevergas
3.29/5 rDev -9.4%
Honestly, I bought this four-pack solely because it was a style I'd never heard of before. Not many smoked alts on the market.
Poured into a large glass mug, Scruffy's is a nice copper color with a big two-finger head on top. NIce looking, but nothing special here. No lace to mention. The nose on this beer is huge, which is why I gave it high marks. I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Big and smoky, it's sort of like walking into a smokehouse or a barbeque pit. Very woody. There may be some other scents hidden in there as well, but they seem to be overpowered by the smoke. Taste follows suit, with lots of smokiness here too. Some hint of chocolate, dark cherry (unusual for an alt). It's fruitier than most alts I've had. Mouthfeel is crisp and thin.
This is an interesting beer. Rauchbier in style, but the alt partnership is a weird one. It's definitely more rauhbier than alt. I'm glad I've tried it, but unless I'm really in need of a smoky beer in the future, I can't see myself revisiting this too much very often. Not a bad fall/winter beer, though.
10-27-2013 18:31:30 | More by Atlas1
3.45/5 rDev -5%
16 oz can poured into oversized tulip glass.
A - Pours a dark cloudy amber with a massive off white head. The head is coarse with lots of air pockets and recedes somewhat quickly. Very minimal lacing left behind.
S - Campfire aroma with lots of smoked beechwood. I get a little sweet malt along with this but not much else.
T - The taste is much the same as the aroma. Loads of smoked beechwood, semi-sweet malts, and a moderate bitterness. Slightly nutty but the smoke overpowers most flavors. Very reminiscent of a rauchbier.
M - Somewhat thin body with moderate carbonation. Nothing special, but nothing offputting.
O - I wasn't sure what to expect from a smoked alt, but this is decently good. It's pretty much a rauchbier with almost overpowering campfire smoke from the beechwood. More balance and a thicker mouthfeel would have made this a lot better.
11-18-2013 00:17:28 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
3.5/5 rDev -3.6%
On tap at the Untapped Festival.
The beer pours an amber-brown color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of smoke in it, as well as a hint of toffee. The flavor is more of the same. The meaty smoke really comes through strongly, with some toffee and caramel, as well as some earth from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
10-13-2012 21:03:03 | More by Mora2000
3.55/5 rDev -2.2%
A: 3.75 Medium amber with a small, airy head.
S: 3.5 Is that smokiness, or roast malt? Probably smoke, but it's not especially strong.
T: 3.5 Very malty taste, with subtle smoke (far less than what I was hoping for). Not all that interesting, really
M: 3.5 Neutral texture
O: 3.5 Fairly ordinary.
Weighting (percentages): 20, 20, 40, 5, 15. Avg: 3.55
08-25-2014 00:40:49 | More by allengarvin
3.6/5 rDev -0.8%
Orange-tan with a monster head that slowly dropped down and left nice sticky clumps of lacing.
Aroma has a fairly smoky start, with a good maltiness expected from an altbier, perhaps some barbeque when you've got a beercan chicken and bacon wrapped jalapenos going on a crisp fall day, and... this might sound strange, but I'm getting a touch of root beer too. .
Flavor is more pronounced on the smoke, but doesn't totally diverge from the altbier profile. A touch of nuttiness and some pleasant maltiness cling to the base beer underneath the smokiness.
As I drink it, I find the body a tad thinner and quite a bit more carbonated than what's probably optimal for this beer. New formulations should adjust and improve on the body.
Overall tho, it's an enjoyable beer which I'm happy to say, I have three more tall-boys of in the fridge. I'll try more cedar creek beers.
11-23-2013 03:03:23 | More by AlCaponeJunior
3.61/5 rDev -0.6%
On tap at Houston area Whole Foods stores
Orange/tan in hue, this beer has a nose that is one of light smokiness, a touch of herb, and a hint of fruit. The foam level looks nice and it does leave some lacing on the glass as you drink.
This beer has a taste that combines flavors of pale malt, light smokiness, peat, caramel, and a touch of fruit. The beer is quite smooth with a small smack of bitterness that is mellower than others of its style. The smokiness, while subtle at first, is more noticeable in the middle and in the finish. Still, it is milder than other smoke- enhanced beers I have tried over the years, some of which are too charcoal- like and taste more like actual liquid smoke than a glass of beer. The added fruit taste and pale malt flavors swing the flavor back toward the sweet end of the spectrum which, again, is not something I have experienced with most smoked beers.
This smoked alt is a good beer for drinking with barbecued meats on a hot Texas day. It isn’t an easy beer to find, but it is worth trying if you can find it. The subtlety of the smoke flavor makes it easy- drinking enough that most anyone will find it agreeable and likeable.
03-04-2013 04:44:58 | More by BryanCarey
Scruffy's Smoked Alt from Cedar Creek Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.