Scruffy's Smoked Alt - Cedar Creek Brewery
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.13/5 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
3.75/5 rDev +3.3%
This is another CAN sent to me by the mighty JenRay to futher The CANQuest (TM), but which got bogged down by the need for an approved picture. All is now well and so I CAN proceed without futher ado.
From the CAN: "Brewed in East Texas"; "Our goal is to have a very drinkable session Alt that will pair well with food and be something a little different. We start with a good amount of German Rauch malt, which is smoked with beechwood. Then we throw in US two-row malt, Crystal 40, Crystal 120 and a bit of Pale Chocolate Malt. Add enough US Magnum and Willamette hops to balance the malty sweetness of the German Alt yeast we use in fermentation, and you've got a tasty treat. Th moderately smoky notes are balanced with the slight fruity flavor imparted by the Alt yeast. A great accompaniment to barbecue or a campfire breakfast, this one is sure to be as legendary as Scruffy himself!
Upon CANduting the Crack!, there was a loud offgassing, as though Scruffy might have been eating beans to go with his beer. No, instead, it should have been my clue that it was highly carbonated and therefore might be subject to foaming. I proceeded with my usual abandon, however, and my glass quickly filled with dense, tawny foam and began an overflow until I hurriedly backed off. Having learned my lesson, I resumed the pour once things had calmed down and had a chance to settle. I still ended up with three fingers of rocky head. Color was a slightly hazy Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = 13, thank you to the brewery for providing that info on the CAN). Nose was smoky, but not as intense as I might have liked. It had a smoked Gouda cheese-like odor, which may not make it a good fit for some people. For me, it was great! I broke out the cheese and crackers and took my first sip. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, kind of dense, but not quite to the point of being thick. The taste was nice, slightly bitter (35 IBUs), with a smokiness that was at the low end for me, but probably at most people's upper limit. I have to admit that I did not perceive the fruity esters that the CAN mentioned. It just struck me as a smoky beer with a moderate bitterness. Finish left me with a smoky flavor in my mouth and in my sinuses. Believe me, I get it when people say that they are not fans of the style! I just look at it as more for me and those of us who do like it. I would not want a steady diet of it, either. This was my second Smoked Beer today and I was now looking forward to something else.
08-31-2014 22:25:49 | More by woodychandler
4.09/5 rDev +12.7%
16 oz tallboy pours a lightly hazed amber color with a large, un-moving cap of tan head. Great looking beer, but appears to be a tad overcarbed.
Nose ranks about a 5/10 on the smoke-o-meter. Still allows the caramel and toast aromas from the malt to shine through. Plenty going on here and the sweet/smoke interplay is pretty cool.
Taste is well done on the smoke, just enough to satisfy rauchbier fans but not too intense as to scare away someone who has not tried a smoked beer before. The malts are perfectly done for my tastes, lightly toasty but stays more biscuity with a bit of caramel. Kiss of hops rounds things out nicely. The smoke is not intense, but it does have a nice 'meaty' flavor. I could drink alot of this and is another solid offering from Cedar Creek. Im impressed with all three offerings they have put out.
10-01-2013 22:50:08 | More by twiggamortis420
3.85/5 rDev +6.1%
A growler from Premium Draught in Houston.
A: Pours a iced tea looking, hazed orange/brown color. At first a two finger white head forms. Tightly packed and well formed, with good retention. The foam eventually recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Plenty of lace is left behind as well.
S: Smoked meat, toasted malt, bread and biscuit. A light fruitiness as well. Then the smoke comes back, and finishes everything off. While the smoke is never over barring, it is always there and up front.
T: Follows the nose with smoked meat up front. Like the nose the smoke is always present, but never over barring or out of place. Toasted, bread, and biscuit malts. A light sweetness and fruit flavors.
M/D: A medium body. Light to moderate carbonation. I wish there was a bit more crispness, but a miner concern. Very easy to drink. Everything is very well balanced and enjoyable to drink.
This is a well done smoked beer. The meaty smoke is very present, but does not over power everything. The growler will be gone in no time. Very nice.
03-06-2013 22:46:42 | More by champ103
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
4.24/5 rDev +16.8%
Appearance: Finger of head drops to a thin halo of off white foam on a deceptively pretty glass. Almost opaque brown shows a deep glow and clarity when back lit. It looks viscous, hefty.
Smell: The idea with an Alt is an ale that is treated like a Lager, and held longer to age out. I should clear off all the musty fruity edges aged off of it, giving a clean smooth flavor. Then, these guys decide, let's smoke it. So, a lot that is supposed to go on actually does. The smoke is a about a 4 of 10 in intensity, full but not the only thing going on.
Taste: Full malty character, some mild oak that may be from the smoke. There is just a bit of pear, maybe a light grape skin, but it is just one note in the smoke, malt, yeast chord. The finish is a bit chalky.
Mouthfeel: A bit watery, a low carb level coupled with a light body. There's enough that it's not cask, just a bit flat.
Overall: Damn Scruffy! Some deep philosophical brewing statement you go going on here. Technically well executed, the concept works only if you end up liking it or not. The flavor is different, another cousin in the beer style family. I'm warming up to it, I like what's going on with each flavor. I'd put it up there with Buried Hatchet.
01-08-2014 01:21:37 | More by HardTarget
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
Scruffy's Smoked Alt from Cedar Creek Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.