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Vermont Smoked Porter - The Vermont Pub & Brewery

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Vermont Smoked Porter
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BA SCORE
88
very good

32 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Vermont Pub & Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
We smoke our own malts over apple, maple and hickory woodchips to recreate this 17th Century Style robust ale.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-07-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Andy:
Photo of Andy
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consistently smoky throughout, not just in the aroma. Pleasant subtle malt flavor underlies this beer. Big bitter hop bite stops the beer from going over the top. One of the classics in the American resurrection of this brewing method.

Andy, May 13, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was served pitch black with a tight creamy lace. Excellent head retention. Nose was smokey, faint pepper aroma. Flavour consisted of smoothed smoked flavours of distinct apple, maple and hickory, which are well-blended and pulled together by a light sweetness and an even, medium body. Light roasted flavours lead to a mild bitter background. The malty smokey flavours pull-thru again for a final pass at the palate, followed by faint metallic and blood flavours into the finish.

An outstanding and well-executed beer. One of the best porters / smoked beers that I've ever had. The beer was made with apple, maple and hickory smoked malts to "recreate 17th century flavours". This beer is an ideal accompaniment for grilled meats.

Todd, Feb 11, 2002
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

acurtis, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of jmz62565
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a jet black with a large brown foamy head. The smell has a black expresso bean quality to it. This is roasted coffee with smoked wood,apple and hickory? The taste has the same smoked and roasted qualities. Very good. The m/f is medium and the flavors are well balanced. This is one of the best smoked porters around so I would grab it if you can.

jmz62565, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a word, bitter and smoke. Better I think with food than by itself. Carbonation not quite right, aggressive. Medium-thin mouthfeel. Nice black colour. Unsatisfying finish. Good it's under 6 percent. Some coffessish, tad licorice and moderate chocolate malt.

Sammy, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of njmoons
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice smoked porter, which is one of my favorite styles.

A - Poured black with a moderate head that laced well down the glass.

S - Malty, with a lot of smoke aroma.

T - Overall very good, nice porter with a strong smoke flavor. I thought the smoke was slightly out of balance with the beer, overpowering the more subtle flavor in the beer.

M - As expected for porters.

D - Smoked beers are not session beer for me, but I would enjoy sitting back and have 1 or 2 of these anytime.

njmoons, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Ablackbrew
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Ablackbrew, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of Rastacouere
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, potent, looking rather thick, almost no head, just a tan ring. Big wood chunks aroma, hickory, smoke, cigarette, cigar, dark chocolate. Contemplative smoke. All the reasons to remind me why I like smoked beers are there, well executed. Mild herbal tones from the hops, nice cigar flavors and I never enjoyed smoking, vegetabley grassy bitterness. Medium bodied with low carbonation. I love smoked porters!

Rastacouere, Jun 07, 2004
Photo of Rudgers73
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the best smoked beer I've ever had. The perfect balance of smokiness, dryness, and malt. I thought that it was a stout when I tastes it because it didn't have that big hop backing that a lot of porters have. It was much more like a dry stout. The flavor was bold and fresh, but not sticky or heavy. A nice smooth smoke flavor was left in your mouth with every sip, much like a good Islay scotch. If I could get my hands on a case of this stuff it would not go to waste.

Rudgers73, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of patrick802
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

patrick802, May 04, 2014
Photo of rfgetz
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with adequate cap of khaki bubbles, decent retention. Scent is strong on smoke and charred grain, light sweetness peaks through in the end. Smoke leads tastes but is in perfect amount, no overpowering meat like smoke, or wimpy hints. Charred oak balances nicely with a light creamy sweetness. Lighter side of medium bodied, thin for style and over carbonated. Overall, great smoke profile in nose and taste, while body hinders the overall grade.

rfgetz, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of grub
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

64oz growler purchased at the brewery. filled 5-31-10, sampled june 5/2010.

pours hazy deep dark brown, not quite black, with a small fine tan head. the head drops quickly and leaves no lace. the sample on tap at the brewery had a more substantial head that left more impressive lacing.

aroma is nice. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. multi-grain bread and biscuit. light cracker. nice light smokey character. toasty. bit of alcohol. earthy and a bit herbal. touch woody.

taste is nice. smoke. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. toasted. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light alcohol. touch of fruit. english mineral profile. earthy and slightly herbal. bit of woody character.

mouthfeel is nice. just over medium body. low carbonation level. as with the growler of forbidden fruit, most of the carbonation that i saw in the samples we had on tap is gone and it suffers for it.

drinkability is pretty good. nice balance. good balance on the smoke level, adding nice depth without overpowering. i think the classification here is off - it's definitely not an american porter, english at best but more correct would be smoked porter.

grub, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of 57md
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

57md, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A totally opaque, pitch black beer with a nice tan head and solid lacing. Good retention. Looks the part!

Aroma is smoky, malty, and roasty, as you'd expect. Nice smell that's pretty balanced between these elements. Slightly sweet, slightly charred.

Good flavor in this beer that also finds a balance between the traditional roasted malt porter taste, with hints of coffee and chocolate, and the smoked aspect, which to me was just right and not too heavy. Appealing hints of woodiness here too.

Wasn't crazy about the mouthfeel of this beer though, as I felt it lacked significant carbonation and was a bit thin and lifeless. I don't even like super-carbed porters but this one just came up a bit short in this department.

tobelerone, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of scottum
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a nice head. A nice fruity smoooth smoked porter. The apple, maple, and hickory smoked malts really come through. They do the smoking on site and it shows. A tad sweet, but balanced well enough to make it good. Another great VT brew... Try Rock Art's Smoked Porter if you come to VT, it's even better!

scottum, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grub grabbed a growler of this at the brewpub.

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, thin tan head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a couple lace spots stick.

Smell is nice, very sweet and smokey, hickory, caramel, dark fruit, some raisin, biscuit, nice bacon and campfire aroma, still a lot of malt.

Taste is similar, sweet and smokey, caramel, hickory and bacon, a bit of toast and biscuit, some raisin in the middle, light finish, slightly watery.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Definitely of a bit of lost in translation with the growlers. These beers were nicer on tap. Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of albern
3.13/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has some of the characteristics of a Baltic Porter without the strong ABV. It is inky black, with a coffee grind nose. The beer is a bit on the bitter side, as far as porters go, not all that creamy, or less than I was hoping for. The beer has a smoked and woody character, a coffee grind assertiveness, and not all that much sweetness. The ABV is lower than I would pegged it for. I had this as a sampler and moved on. The only beer from VPB that I liked in any measure was the stout.

albern, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Stimack
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this brew on cask last evening, it was pulled to a very dark brown color with a dark tan bubbly head which had pretty good legs and left a fair amount of lacing at the top half of the glass. The first thing that I noticed with this beer is that it was severed quite warm, a tad warmer than I would even expect a cask brew to be served. With that being said it did not take away from the experience, seemed to bring out the aromas and tastes even more. The aromas where quite nice, fair amount of roasted malts with quite a bit of smokiness that came together quite nicely. The taste was roasted at the beginning with a finish that was quite smoky. Also noticed highlights of Chocolate and coffee in the middle. One thing that I noticed was that it seemed somewhat thin; I was expecting it to be a bit heavier/thicker. Over all this is a nice brew, very well done. Went exceptionally well with the food that we had.

Stimack, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of John
2.2/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Umm, I haven't had all that many smoked porters or smoked beers in general for that matter. Maybe it's just my personal taste but, if I want a ham sandwich, I'll have a ham sandwich.

John, Feb 07, 2002
Photo of waughbrew
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Stadium pour of a black liquid with a ring of beige around the top. The smell, which increases as the stuff warms up, is of roasted grains and smoke. The taste is very much like a semi-sweet stout that has been slightly smoked. I wonder if it is a sign of roasted un-malted barley that makes me think that it tastes more like a stout than a porter. Feels slick and smooth, but not creamy - a little oily instead. At the end of my pint I am satisfied but do not want another, as the oiliness and smokiness become a little tiring. Overall a nice, interesting brew.

waughbrew, Mar 18, 2003
Photo of NEhophead
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy espresso-colored head that hangs around for a few moments and then pushes to the sides of the glass. A few strands of thin and condensed lacing with decent strength. Pours a midnight sky black in color.

The aroma is very subtle, yet a lot going on: hints of oak, vanilla, ground coffee beans, and hazlenut/almond.

Much like the aroma, the taste is also toned down; nothing really attacks the taste buds the way a smoked porter ought to. Milk chocolate with tones of creamy espresso. Very faint hints of oak and smokiness. The finish is dry and the aftertaste has a touch of oak and milk chocolate that linger a bit.

Full bodied; A full beer on the palate that lacks the powerful flavors associated with the style. The mouthfeel though is dead on for an American Porter.

A bit disappointing in terms of flavor, as this style can get to be quite interesting. I would rather sample other offerings at the VT Pub than have another.

NEhophead, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a thin brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma is creamy with a hint of chocolate and cream. A bit of smokiness stands out.

Taste is rich and smoky with chocolate and cream standing out the most. Silky and not too smoky.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering chocolate and cream and a light smokiness.

Definitely had this years ago. A very beautiful beer.

Brad007, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Saint
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic porter. Its robust in flavor, it hits you with smokey, coffee, apple and spice flavors from first sip to the tongue to its aftertaste. Its smell is unique, and effervescent with smokey & spice notes. Todd described its nose as having a 'faint pepper aroma' and I would have to concur with that analysis. Its appearance is black as a molasses on a moonless night, as one should expect with a high quality micro porter, (It's most defiantly opaque).

I highly recommended this beer, especially if it's accompanied alongside a VPB Burger; its hickory smoke and apple flavor enhance and are enhanced by the taste of beef, the paring is near perfect.

My only qualm I have with this beer comes down to its mouth-feel, a problem that I've run into with some of VPB other beers; its either not nitrogenated enough, or I am unluckily enough to keep hitting the bottom of the keg. The minimal nitrogenated isn't all to uncommon with some micros and may even be historically accurate, and it may be my consciousness being raised in New England to want a more 'pop' carbonation mouth-feel. But whenever I enjoy one of these fine brews I find myself underwhelmed by the mouth-feel. Its not too thick a beer, a quality I seek in porters, and its head is often thin, about a quarter-centimeter, (but creamy), a factor i believe is because its under-nitrogenated.

Overall though, this is my stand by favorite beer most consistently on-tap that VPB crafts, I recommend not only to all porter and dark beer lovers out there but everyone who appreciates good beer.

Saint, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of UnionMade
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an opaque black, topped with a thin beige mist. The mist quickly dissolves into a thin collar, keeping meekly through the sample. Some sticky lace clings to the glass.
The aroma is very mild, with a pleasant woodsy smokiness penetrating through everything. Mild roasty malt, with a light coffee overtone, balanced with just enough herbal hops. It's basically like a smooth, mild english porter with a modest portion of hickory smoked malt. The smoked malt adds a pleasant earthy quality, particularly when coupled with the hops.
The flavor starts with soft, unassuming roasty malt up front, a mellow wood smokiness permeating through and continuing all the way to the aftertaste. An impressive softness to the overall experience, refined, yet keeping a natural earthy feel. The smoked malt mingles with burnt, roasted malt and some coffee, with a touch of toffee adding just enough sweetness. A hint of raisin or fig fruitiness, moving into very mild herbal hopping. The finish is very nicely balanced, with bittersweet burnt malt and light hopping balancing the smoky, slightly fruity sweetness. Very smooth, whispery carbonation carrying the medium body.
This is probably one of the best beers from this brewpub. The smoked malt is in perfect proportion as to not get overwhelming or tiring. Simple, yet elegant. Great stuff.

UnionMade, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of bigone4
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice porter very dark blackish ruby coloring. Smells like roasted chocolate. It has very little if any head really dark tanish color. Nice smooth taste coffeeish flavor with the nice smokey overtone. Easy to drink and leaves a nice roasted after taste. The hint of chocolate or coffee in this beer really makes it enjoyable. It is quite thick and leaves quite a dark coating in the glass. Also coats the stomach well and I found that after a few you feel a little full. Nice balance of flavor for a roasted beer. Not over powering really drinkable. Makes my mouth happy.

bigone4, Jul 23, 2004
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Vermont Smoked Porter from The Vermont Pub & Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.