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Smokebrush Porter - Bristol Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smokebrush PorterSmokebrush Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

42 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: russpowell on 01-20-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GarrettB:
Photo of GarrettB
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

GarrettB, Nov 24, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Beaver13, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of quirkzoo
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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).

quirkzoo, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

zaphodchak, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

RomaniIteDomum, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of russpowell
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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

russpowell, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

GRG1313, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of stampfler07
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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

stampfler07, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of Beejay
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Beejay, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of grahammi
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

grahammi, Jul 10, 2013
Photo of kylemckinnis
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

kylemckinnis, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of SaltyLime
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

SaltyLime, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of Arenbeer
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

SkÅL!

Arenbeer, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

CFHMagnet, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

JuicesFlowing, Aug 03, 2012
Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

allforbetterbeer, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Tolann
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Tolann, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of mactrail
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

mactrail, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

emmasdad, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
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

Mebuzzard, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of jhu1995
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

jhu1995, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of backslide311
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

backslide311, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of iSip
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

iSip, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of beergoot
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

beergoot, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
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!

ccrida, Mar 06, 2008
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Smokebrush Porter from Bristol Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.