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Scruffy's Smoked Alt - Cedar Creek Brewery

Not Rated.
Scruffy's Smoked AltScruffy's Smoked Alt

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BA SCORE
83
good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 16.67%
Wants: 5
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cedar Creek Brewery visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mora2000 on 10-13-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Atlas1
3.34/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of Canti4341
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of kojevergas
3.14/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A smoked alt? Intriguing. Curious to see if this delivers. 16 fl oz silver aluminum can acquired at an HEB Grocery and served into a Spaten stange at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; the idea of a smoked altbier is appealing. IBU: 35. OG: 12.5 plato. SRM: 13. Reviewed as a smoked alt due to the name and label; I don't subscribe to the "smoked beer" classification currently ascribed by beeradvocate.

Served cold - straight from me fridge.

A: No bubble show forms.

Pours a 5 finger wide head of faint khaki colour. Okay thickness. Subpar cream. Uneven lacing clings to the glass' sides as it recedes; this has "legs." Head retention is good - ~ 5 minutes - though this may be explained by its 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. No obvious flaws. Darker than most altbiere 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 overt yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

An intriguing aroma of average strength.

The smokiness seems ideal for what they're going for and is definitely a highlight.

T: Smokiness is 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 rauchbiere; there're no bacon notes. It does evoke beechwood.

Too bitter, but I applaud the experimentation and 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 flavour duration.

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: 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 alt.

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 traditional versions of the style, I was surprised how much I liked this. 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 altbiere going forward. It's easily an above average beer. Might be a good beer for newcomers to rauchbiere if they're trying to ease their way towards traditional examples of the style.

C+

*
01.31.15: Truncated 2nd impressions:

A: Healthy head takes up 80% of the glass. The colour is a conventional alt amber-copper, and has some appealing deep hues. Great retention.

Sm: Amber malt backbone is showcased well, but the smokiness is surprisingly restrained. Copper malts, light soapy hop notes, pine, biscuit malt, baked bread, and odd notes of cheese/cheese fermentables.

I like the subtle smokiness and concomitant spiciness (which almost evokes rye), but it doesn't seem like much of an altbier and this aroma doesn't suggest a clean drinkable crisp fresh beer. Suggests a dry brew via crackery malt/starchy saison-like notes.

T/Mf: Breadier than an alt should be, sans the crisp clean presentation it needs. A dragging scratchy feel on the palate coupled with a starchy taste and harsh smokiness makes it difficult to drink; each sip extinguishes the palate. It's not imbalanced, though, and I dig the toasty amber malt backbone. The premise of a smoked alt is a good one but the execution isn't there. Needs a deeper taste and more refreshing feel.

O: Not as drinkable as an alt should be, and by no means traditional, but nevertheless above average. It's nice to see more alts in the U.S., but I'll stick to traditional offerings. This does have nice toasted characteristics and employs smoke in any interesting way, but it's by no means a world-class example of the style.

C+

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of GMB
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4

I've been looking forward to trying Scruffy's Smoked Alt since I picked it up last week. Smoked Altbier ("Alt") is a great idea. A traditional Alt's flavor profile--nutty, toasted malts in front, supported by muted fruity, dry, crisp hoppy flavors-- should complement smoked malty flavors nicely. I'm expecting flavors like hickory-smoked cashews and almonds and citrus-marinated barbecued meats.

A standard pour yields a dark amber brew and a very tall (3+ fingers) head of foam. The head is tall, but not viscous. Its fizzy body disappears too quickly, but does leave behind some patches (not rings) of fizzy lace on the sides of the glass. Bubbles are medium in size and evenly dispersed in the body.

The nose is as complex as some of the better rauchbiers/smoked beers I've had. Smoked aromas are present, but don't overpower. I appreciate toasted caramel, seared bacon, maple, and very mild notes of citrus.

The taste more or less follows the nose. Caramel, dark toffee, and roasted almonds and cashews up front, smoked meat in the middle. The smoked meats continue into the back end, where they're met with some bitter citrus-rind flavors and lingering bitterness. Think charred pork belly and orange rind slowly smoked over oak chips. Unfortunately, these intriguing flavors are let down entirely by the beer's watery mouthfeel and fizzy, sometimes abrasive froth. The beer was nearly flat by the last few sips of this 16 oz. can. Darn.

On the whole, Scruffy's Smoked Alt is an excellent smoked beer. It incorporates smokey flavors into what is ultimately a crisp, drinkable ale. The can tells us that the brewers have aimed to create a smoke beer that can be enjoyed with food. I can understand why. The flavor of most rauchbier/smoked beers is so bold that any attempt to pair the beers with food ends up futile. The smokiness in Scruffy's Smoked Alt is subdued enough that the beer should pair well with acidic and rich items.

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Weisseguy1
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Jame515
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of calcutron
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of truesolution
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Danobold
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of champ103
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BryanCarey
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Michaeldmanley
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of TX-Badger
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Cjalbers
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of JohnBender
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Scruffy's Smoked Alt from Cedar Creek Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.