Smokebrush Porter - Bristol Brewing Company

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Smokebrush PorterSmokebrush Porter

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45 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 10.68%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: russpowell on 01-20-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 32
Reviews by GarrettB:
Photo of GarrettB
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Every so often I make pilgrimages back to my former living places. Last summer I was called back to Colorado Springs to check in on my alma mater, and to take in some of the surrounding joys - Manitou Springs, namely. But any visit to Colorado College requires checking back in with our pipeline of liquid joy, Bristol Brewery. Little had changed from my college years; the same wafts of cooking malts filled the dense air of the tasting room, and the characteristically hirsute brewers tramped around in their work boots, sometimes to mingle with the customers. Colorado's canine credentials are always on display here, with dog bowls available for visiting pets and the Laughing Lab logo adorning glasses, growlers and coasters. As usual I opted for something new, and the new beer available that day was a growler of Smokebrush Porter. It made a welcome accompaniment to board games back in Denver. It pours a thin milk chocolate covered head with a deep, dark ruby red body. Plum, raisin and black currants feature strongly in the aroma. A medium body and a mild carbonation deliver the flavor with a light smoothness at first. Mild notes of chocolate, a nice maltiness soon turn into heavier, darker flavors. The aftertaste is slightly heavier, introducing a slight bitterness of teriyaki sauce. Overall, this is a light porter, despite the outdoorsy feeling of the label - it's a porter with strong attachment to black currant and berry flavors, and makes for a nice dark beer that stands out when compared to other breweries' staple porters. It also reminds me why Bristol Brewery was Colorado College's beer supplier of choice.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with a wispy head (even after a vigorous pour) that quickly diminishes to a thin collar.

The aroma is sweet chocolate malts, lactose, some acidic coffee and very subtle smoke.

The flavor is pretty subdued - some sweet chocolate with a slight bitter / acidic coffee-ish finish. The mouthfeel is medium to thin and slightly watery.

Overall, I was disappointed by the lack of smoke and by how subdued (almost bland) this beer was. It does get better as it warms.

Photo of quirkzoo
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a half inch of khaki head. The smell was strongly roasted. Lots of black and chocolate malt with just a touch of charred smokiness and some sweet caramel in the background. The taste was more of the same, not incredibly complex but straightforward and pleasant. The mouthfeel was a touch thin, even for a porter, but was still good. Overall, I like that the proceeds from this beer go to help the arts here in Colorado Springs and like most beers I have had from Bristol it is good but doesn't wow you (not that a beer needs to wow you, this was the perfect bottle to enjoy while bottling my latest batch of homebrew).

Photo of zaphodchak
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger of tan foamy head over an almost opaque ruby body. Some lacing and good surface memory.

Nose is of smoke and coffee, some game meat.

Taste is bitter at first and the hop kick stays with it. The finish is coffee and there's a solid malty presence in the middle. Very faint metal aftertaste. For a smoked porter, I was hoping for a bigger flavor, but I can't complain.

Mouthfeel is foamy and probably undercuts the flavor slightly.

Ocerall decent, but not an outstanding example.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice white head that leaves some nice lacing. Nice color contrast between the beer and the head.

Smells of smoke and hops. Molasses follows. A little one-dimensional, but still good.

Taste is smoky, obviously. Nice toasty grain, hops, coffee, and figs follow. Good taste, but could use a little more depth.

The feel is a bit light for me. Creamy, but light. It goes well with the flavor, but it could be better.

Although it is a bit light and missing something it is really drinkable. I would welcome more.

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I figure I'll try this in the bottle & see what the differences are:

Pours a black hued-chestnut with 1 finger of tan colored head. Average lacing & head retnetion

S: Cola notes & some coffee. Roasted grain shows up as this warms. Smokeyness shows up in the last couple of ounces

T: Cocoa, some roasted grain & dryness up front. A touch of smokeyness, a little more toasted grain, some iron, & a hint of licorice, along with some nice warming booze, not much. Finishes dry, roasty, with a little more cocoa, a little bit of earthy hops, a modicum of boozeyness, actually helps I think & just a bit more smokeyness

MF: Light/medium bodied with slight carbonation, balances alright

Drinks pretty easy, about the same beer it was on draft. If you like your porters with a little bit of coffee & just a bit of smokeyness, then this is your huckleberry. I prefer the draft

Photo of stampfler07
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- From a bomber, pours a very dark brown with a solid velvety finger of brown head

S- Light roasted malt, smokey peat, light sweetness

T- Peat and roasted malt, smokey bitterness rising from the middle and strongest at the finish, slightly dry, good malt flavor almost like molasses

M- Light carbonation and light body, smooth but lingering mouthfeel, just slightly dry

O- Nice smoked porter, good flavors, could have more of an aroma but definitely enjoyable, worth trying

Photo of Beejay
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Coca Cola Brown in color. Deep color throughout, with a certain amount of clarity. Off white heads dissipates quickly.

S: Roasted malts coming out, with a certain amount of breadiness that I associate with English yeast strains. A small hint of molasses in there as well.

T: Well what it lacks in smell and appearance it makes up in taste. Dark malts, with a nice roasted flavor, and a lingering toasty flavor. For a smoked porter the smoke character isn't very discernible, but it still tastes good.

M: Medium light in body, carbonation is low, and it has a nice creamy feeling.

O: Overall a pretty nice tasting beer. Plus the profits go to a good cause, so bonus points there.

Photo of SaltyLime
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles at CoalTrain, but wanted to save them for friends coming over to the house, so I took my girlfriend to the brewery to get it on tap...ended up taking a growler home.

Appearance - typical, dark porter, porters/stouts are my favorite styles so the darkness automatically gets a positive score...if it weren't for the disappearing head I would give it higher

Smell - very clean, not one ingredient sticks out as dominant, standard issue roasted malts, a little floral hops

Taste - yummy, light in the smokiness which was a good thing in that the flavor was there, but not overwhelming, there was a light flavor of chocolate, maybe vanilla, couldn't be quite sure. clean finish with a light malt sweetness lingering more than any hop bitterness

Mouthfeel - good. very light carbonation. tried warming up the last bit of the pint glass and seemed to get a little more vinous than stronger malt.

Drinkability - Yes. Cool and fresh off the tap was pleasant. Can't wait to try the growler and bottles with friends.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tumbler glass

A- Pours a really dark reddish brown that appears black out of the light. No head other than some big off white bubbles around the sides of the glass. Not much lacing at all, looks like coca-cola.

S- Nothing to crazy, dark roasted malts with hints of burnt coffee and smoke. Smells fairly light for the style.

T- Just like the aroma, dark roasted malts and burnt coffee create that base and body with nice hints of bitterness from the hops. Also getting some smoky flavors in there as well but nothing to crazy. Pretty solid porter.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a decently bitter finish.


Photo of CFHMagnet
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I pour aggressively and achieve a very thin tan head. This dissipates quickly, leaving a little ring around the glass. Lace fails.

Smells of roasted malt and smoke.

This beer is very sweet and malty up front. The smoke comes in later and fills out the simple but enjoyable flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Does not leave a coating.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass from a 22 oz. bomber.

The beer is a dark chocolate black with cola-like hues just barely coming through on the edges in the light. An oatmeal colored head gives way to a wisp of bubbles. Very light lacing occurs.

The beer smells of roasted malts and a faint charcoal smokiness.

The beer tastes bitter and roasted up front. Subtle rich semi-sweet chocolate notes appear. Also a slightly metallic tone with very mellow smoke character. It's smokiness is subtle.

Mouthfeel is dry, a tad carbonated.

Overall, I like this as a sipper. It's got a good flavor to dissect.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark clear ruby body under half a finger of light tan creamy head that laces fairly well. Looks lighter than the average porter.

S: Roasted malts and a definite (but well balanced) smokiness. More smoke than I was anticipating from reading other reviews. The balance of smells creates a nutty presence that is rather unique.

T: Darkly roasted malts well balanced with smooth smokiness play the first notes as this beer hits the palate. There is less bitterness than expected, which detracts from the power of this porter, but adds to its sessionability and overall drinkability. Some sweet tones grace the middle of the flavor, and it all fades away to the aftertaste which is minimal and pleasing.

M: Smooth and lighter bodied. Very nice in my opinion... very smooth.

D: Highly drinkable, more akin to lighter stouts than porters.

Overall: If you are expecting a baltic, imperial, and any other type of heavy porter when you drink Bristol's smokebrush, you will be disappointed. This is a lighter American porter that is highly drinkable and won't knock over your palate with huge malts or stomach-filling smokiness. For what it is designed to be, I think it is a very good beer... and it isn't designed to be an Alaskan smoked porter.

Photo of KayAvocado
4.46/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth, with a nice, complex flavor

Photo of Tolann
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark and little off white/brownish head. Some ruby hints when held to the light.

S - roasty and smoke. Maybe some chocolate notes.

T - Smoke and roast again. Kind of a blunt sweet. Not fruity or hoppy. Caramel? My husband says 'smoked Guinness'

M - Medium mouth feel and smooth. Not very carbonated.

D - I kinda like it. It's a more easy drinking porter not heavy on alc. or mouth feel. Not big on complexity, but different enough on its own.

Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Surprising light body and watery mouthfeel. Dark and faded fruit flavors. Blackberries and burnt toast. Dark chestnut in the glass. Not much smell. Starts OK with some head but loses stream along the way. Kind of dull from scent to aftertaste. Some smoke flavor and a hint of sourness from the black malt.

22 oz bottle picked up in Denver. Probably past its prime.

Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap yesterday at the Bristol Brewery in Colorado Springs. I have never been a huge fan of smoked porters, and this one has done nothing to change my mind. Pours a rich mahogany color, with a good tan head. Aromas of smoked malt, roast and chocolate. Medium bodied with smoked malt, roast and chocolate.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of smoke beers, some have more smoke than others, while a few don't have much at all. This beer is a porter made with some smoked malts, nothing all too fancy. But it's rather a nice beer. Nothing in it is over the top and the smokiness offers a bit of a twist. The subtle flavors of chocolate and coffee, with caramel baked in, combine with the smoke to offer a touch of umami on the back. This makes the palate water for more.

It's not as smokey as some rauchbiers, nor as 'portery' as some of the big boys around, but it's a good balance. Should pair well with any grilled meat

Photo of jhu1995
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black color with a think, creamy, off-white head. Not much lacing. Smell is smoky, with hints of bread and chocolate. Taste is smoky, but not much else going on. Light-bodied, which was somewhat unexpected, and thought it was fairly easy to drink.

Photo of iSip
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bristol's Smokebrush Porter: Finally pulled this one out of the cellar.

The spotty head rests on a dark beer bottle colored brew, and fades to a lacing on the surface, with little on the glass. Aroma is outstanding, big malts with wisps of smoke.

Very smooth with many layers of molasses, burn brown sugar and Coca-Cola for flavors. Surprisingly lot of smoke in the aroma, but not so in the taste. Good for me,
As I am not a big fan of very smokey beers. There are better porters, but this offering from Bristol was OK, even if you are not a smoke porter aficionado.

Photo of beergoot
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at the brewery's tasting room 2/17/12

The pint glass had a black-bodied beer with a one-finger thick, tan head. The head dissipated quickly yet left nice lacing and rings down the glass.

The smell primarily signaled roasted grains and dark bread.

The taste was of roasted malts and toasted grains; there was a light hop bitterness.

Body seemed light-to-medium in character.

This porter was good and refreshing. It was not overly strong and seemed nicely balanced between the malt flavors and hop bitterness. Nothing stunning overall, but very decent and satisfying.

Photo of ccrida
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured in my Mass Transit shaker, the Smokebrush Porter is a very dark garnet with a larger, very creamy tan head that settles down pretty quick but leaves nice lace. Served at cellar temp.

Smell is fairly soft, semi-sweet malt, floral Brittish hops and a nice dose of smoke. The hops in particular really do it for me, Fuggles or EKGs, my favorite non-IPA ale hops that are under-utilized over here...except in my homebrews!

Taste is nice and smokey, but after the first few sips I quick adjusted and discoved a very tasty, well balanced porter. I'm having trouble coming up with aprapo adjectives, perhaps a bit of baker's chocolate and a touch of hops. There's also a hint of oaty sweetness. Bottom line is all the flavors are well integrated and balanced, with the expection of the smoke, which I really like, and doesn't overwhelm me at all. All in all, a great porter, let alone smoked one. A bit of alcohol (more then I should taste for 6.3% in a smoked porter) is the only major flaw, although it's at least clean.

MF is pretty smooth (oats?), with a medium-light body, especially for the stronger ABV for a porter - although it's just right in my book!

Drinkability is really high, the best porter I've had in memory. A nice satisfing flavor with just the right amount of smoke, smooth and tasty, lighter body...hello hangover if I had more of these on hand! I should say that I think all porters should have this touch of smoke, the idea of the 'smoked porter' seems bunk to me. It's either historically accurate (like this is, with the smoke and higher ABV, although the smooth clean taste is clearly modern) or boring. In my book, this is a true Porter, period.
I've been in CO all week, and this is clearly the best brew I've had, after a string of fair to middlin at best brews...I'm happy to break this bad streak in CO after drinking so good in Oregon with a brew whose profits are given 100% to charity!

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces three-fingers of a light brown colored head that recedes at a medium pace and leaves some light lacing. The beer is quite black, but does show a concentrated, brilliantly clear, dark ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma has a nice smoked malt character to it that is noticeable as I pour this brew. The smoke almost adds a sweetness to the aroma and there is also a well toasted, slightly burnt roast malt character. Aromas of dark roast coffee, sweet beech wood smoke, a touch of burnt pine needles, lightly burnt caramel, a burnt nuttiness and even a touch of toffee.

This has a nice creamy mouthfeel to it, but is still pretty quaffable; actually this is quite smooth and easy to drink. Both some residual malt and the smoke character contribute to a clean sweetness that helps to offset the roast malt character. This finishes with a dark chocolate note and a nice, though light, sharp roast character, a faint, burnt grain bitterness and some light espresso like acidity. The smoked malt character is somewhat subtle (at least I could see people missing it entirely), though it certainly adds a lot of complexity to the flavor. The sweetness also brings out some concentrated fruit flavors reminiscent of moist prunes and raisins.

This is a nice porter, I really like the smoke addition, it is not a dominant note, but is significant and adds lots of interesting complexity to this Porter.

Photo of joe1510
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bomber

This is yet another brew sent my way courtesy of russpowell, thanks again Russ!Smokebrush Porter pours the darkest of browns with mahogany highlights when directly backlit. A standard pour produced a fingers worth of beige head that fell to a small cap as a little time passed. The head falls to something smaller then I'd like but a quick swirl brings it right back alive. Each drink leaves behind a few spots of patchy lacing.

The nose of this beer has an unexpected sweetness. The first thing that comes to mind is a subtle roastiness, a sweet smoke, vanilla, and brown sugar. The mild smokiness reminds me of alder wood and there's yet another touch of sweetness I can't put my finger on. The aroma is actually very unique and gets better with time. There just seems to be too much sweetness in the smell.

The flavor follows the aroma closely. A slight roastiness starts things off but is quickly pushed aside by coffee beans and cocoa. The vanilla and alder wood both come along mid-palate and last through the finish. The swallow leaves a bit of maple syrupy sweetness in the aftertaste. There's a little more noticeable alcohol then I'd like to see but this is a solid smoked porter. All the flavors end up coming together better then I expected.

The body has a medium viscosity with a silky smoothness throughout. The carbonation is moderate and pushes things through at a leisurely pace. The swallow brings a light airiness that makes the mouthfeel quite unique.

This beer goes down fairly easy. The sweetness that's present in both the nose and flavor never translates through to the mouthfeel. The silky smoothness keeps this drinking easy.

This is an all around solid smoked porter from the guys at Bristol. I was reading up on Bristol's website and found out all the proceeds from this beer go to the local Smokebrush Foundation that supports local art around Colorado Springs. This is a worthy beer for a worthy cause. Thanks again Russ!

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown to lighter black. Minor tan head that was not retained. Little to no lacing

S - Decent smell. Charcoal smoke, molasses, some vanilla and some nice piney hops.

T - Unfortunately, this tastes like charcoal. Very ashy and not very deep flavour. I do pick up some nice nuttiness with some chocolate and coffee but that is mostly overshadowed by the smoke.

M - Thin, ashy

O - Not the best example of the style. A low ABV makes it easy to drink but the taste just isn't there.

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Smokebrush Porter from Bristol Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.