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Old Thunder Road - Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant

Not Rated.
Old Thunder RoadOld Thunder Road

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.15
pDev: 15.24%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
Tennessee, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by chiefydawg:
Photo of chiefydawg
3.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My man Skully brought up from the Smokeys. Thanks! Says Bohemian on the bottle, but listed here as German? Let's see...

Yellow, crystal clear. Nice and bubbly, but with very short head. Not much lacing. A little darker and shorter than expected, looking like a Bud.

Sweet grain, hay, a bit of a fruity honey (tasteful), seemingly from the malt. Somewhat of a sulfury tinge. Some Euro spicy, earthy hop character.

Quite a bit of flavor, and reasonably balanced. The sweet grain remains, and yet there is this spicy hop bite at the end of each sip. There is a fruity, slightly sticky aftertaste that lingers longer than I would have expected, but it is not unpleasant. Again some honey, homemade bread, autumn tall grass, breath of alcohol upon warming. Toward the end, almost an adjunct-corn taste but likely a bit of DMS, which is expected. Bitterness lingers with the sweetness.

Really quite a nice beer. The extra couple SRM seem to coincide with the excess of flavor (did I just say that?). I just mean there is a little residual here and that I think drying it up would allow it to keep its breadiness and allow less hop bitterness so there is less of a power struggle after the swallow. Although I would undoubtedly seek this again, I would keep the label but put it on the edge of sessionable. But I do like the flavors, all of them. Quit calling me wishy-washy OK?

chiefydawg, Jun 05, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of markallmon
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

markallmon, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of merlin48
2.03/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Label plainly states this is a "classic bohemian pilsner". Not quite.
This pours a cloudy orange body, with a skimpy, head that dropped so fast I could not identify the color. No lacing.
There is hardly any aroma. Vague, lager malt and a hint of euroskunk hops.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, with average carbonation.
The taste is all wrong. Old corn syrup, dishwater, a metallic note, and some skunky hops comprise the taste. This one almost got poured down the drain.
Smoky Mountain Brewery is almost my local brewery, so I wanted to like this one. The label is attractive, and evokes memories of the movie depicting the moonshine runners of the area, a couple of generations ago. This beer comes off as a poorly made, adjunct lager. I doubt this was a bad bottle, as I purchased it in Knoxville, at the Leaf and Ale store, where the owner knows how to store his products. I still plan to visit this brewery next month. After this unfortunate sampling, I plan to speak to the brewmaster.

merlin48, Oct 03, 2004
Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.33/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at Calhoun's Bearden Hill location.

Bright golden in color with a thin white head and a sweet, lager-ish smell. Old Thunder Road is pretty sweet tasting, with some light fruity influences (peach maybe?) and honey throughout, as well as a good balance in flavors from the Saaz hops. It's not really bitter at all, and very easy to drink, but relatively uncomplex and a little plain. Still, a solid brew.

RockyTopHeel, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of GeoCait
3/5  rDev -4.8%

GeoCait, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of austinhensley
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass. Not a fan of pilseners because of the sharpness, but this cheap, local beer may have changed my opinion significantly. Poured a rich, brown color with an 1/8in thick head. Pssh. Tasted more sweet than sharp. Surprised. Will definitely have another and maybe reaccess this review.

austinhensley, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3/5  rDev -4.8%

4Socialanxiety, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -4.8%

jaydoc, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
2.68/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

This was actually the second beer that I had tried from them, and glad it wasn't the first as I might have stopped there. But anyway, this one poured out a light golden yellow, not the straw color, a little darker. Lots of carbonation coming up and a quick hint at a half inch high head, which faded as quickly as it came up. No side glass lacing to speak of.

The aroma was rather bland. Light earthy hops, with a good dose of grain. Kind of light if I am being honest as it really did not have anything sticking out to me at all. The flavor was more of the same, highly carbonated with a moldy or stale bread taste that was slightly astringent and bitter, especially towards the end, and a non existent aftertaste. Decent light body for the style and the carbonation was good all around, not too crazy on drinking multiples of this one though, just not up my alley. Maybe as a macro replacement, but just not enough creativity here of me.

Overall this was a pretty bland and average beer for the style. Good have gotten a bit more creative with this one, but it just fell flat. Would really not seek this one out again as it would be wasting my time.

mikesgroove, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
3.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden honey color with hints of orange. Thin whispy head that's gone in an instant. Little lacing.
Smell? Not much going on.
Taste is a suprise. I had low expectations but this is very nice. I'm not much of a pilsner fan, although I am growing to appreciate them more. But this is good for a pils(IMHO). Doesn't taste much like any other pilsner I've had. Maybe that's why I like it so much. Has a very interesting hop flavor and even gives me hop burps. Yummm.
Mouthfeel is light, but that's what is expected.
Very drinkable summertime brew. So far Smokey Mtn Brewery has been hit or miss and this one is a hit for me.

wcudwight, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like most folks found this to be an average brew. While I wouldn't call it earth-shattering, I clearly enjoyed it more than most.

It pours a nice, hearty (for a pilsener, that is) golden colour with a stronger than expected head. Nice stuff.

The smell is a combination of sweetness (juicy and a bit sugary), slight hop notes and some hay notes as well.

The flavour is pretty much the same with sweet and juicy hops dominating the malt, which is present and dulls the hop flavour a touch, but not by much.

I would have the carbonation level up a touch here, but it's still just about right.

Overall, this isn't really a favourite style of mine, so I wouldn't kick back with it all night, but it's still a nice stab at the style. Give it a whirl.

SixpointJMH, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of Brent
3.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hard to peg a style for this one. Placemat blurb at the brewpub describes it as a "honey colored lager infused with the famous Czech Saaz hop. Full hop flavor and aroma while maintaining a balanced hop bitterness." My wife tried a sip first, and commented that she tasted coffee. I told her that is not a flavor I'd expect in the style, but, by golly, she was right. An unusual coffee/chocolate malt note hits right upfront. Hopping is present with slightly fruity notes, but the coffee malt flavors continue, with some nutty flavor at the finish. Blindfolded, I'd have said it was some funky brown ale hybred.

Brent, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of barleyroad
4.13/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice medium gold in appearance. Smell is very much a Pilsener smell. The taste is that of a hoppy Pilsener, this is a good twist on the Pilsner style. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and dry. This changes the expectation on a Pilsner. Overall it is a good beer that leaves the drinker wanting more. This beer will go well with just about anyting.

barleyroad, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of BlueMoon10
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%

BlueMoon10, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of johnrobe
3.93/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having a lukewarm response to other Smoky Mountain brews, I was pleasantly surprised by this tasty quaffer. It pours a deep straw color with flecks of gold and a brilliantly white head that ultimately shrinks to a cap. Saaz hops come through in the nose along with some grain. Spicy Saaz come through immediately in the taste as well but there's a nice balance provided by some lightly kilned sweet malt. The finish is very clean. I could drink a lot of this.

johnrobe, Feb 05, 2003
Photo of mntlover
3.65/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden with a white head that falls no real lace. Aroma is malt slightly grainy with grassy hops. Smells nice and refreshing. Taste like it smells light and crisp grainy malt with some grassy hops adding some musty hay flavors that lead to light herbal like bitterness. Mouthfeel is true to style light and refreshing. Drinkability is good one of the better adjunct lagers I have had, passses for a decent pilsner.

mntlover, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of GreenWBush
3.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I liked this one.

Hazed copper in color, this beer pours with an active and vigourous head. Admirable amounts of skim and cling-brains are produced.

The nose is husky malts, honey, hay, dried bread, and vague hints of tea.

The taste of the beer is intensely bready, followed by a white-tea like earthen hop kick. Intense grain outro. Not at all shabby, especially in such a craft-beer world devoid of many pilsners.

Smooth on the mouth, this is at the perfect level of carbonation. Slight lingering metallic (quinine) aftertaste does lower the drinkability a touch, but i'd be happy to have this one after a hike in the mountains.

GreenWBush, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of meechum
3.6/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a sampler and then bought a six to take home.

This came to the table with a 1 finger white head that fell quickly enough and left just a little lace. The smell was very faint but had a hint of biscuit malt and just a hint of piney/grassy hops. The taste was very much like any other pils and was a clean, crisp taste that had a little bit more pronounced hop bite than say a BMC would but not much more.

This is very much like a upscale macro lager in my opinion. It's very non offensive but doesn't really challenge the palate either

meechum, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Hopheadjeffery, Aug 14, 2013
Photo of Enola
2.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light straw color with a thin head. The smell is of cheap grain. The taste is similer to a mass produced beer. The mouthfeel is ok, and drinkability is average. Par for the course. This beer would hit the spot on a hot afternoon. Drinkable.

Enola, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of dbrauneis
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

dbrauneis, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of veech
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a middle of the road beer that offers nothing to really complain nor rave about. A: Darker than expected light amber color that has light carbonation and head. S: not really much to comment on besides some mild hops T: Very similar to the aroma not bad, not great. M: Thin D: Pretty good but I would prefer a little more hoppiness. Not my favorite style, but a decent offering from a good brewery. I mainly tried a different style for my growler refill as man cannot live by porter alone (or maybe he can).

veech, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of tfsimpkins
3/5  rDev -4.8%

tfsimpkins, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of Beeryce
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice dense white head with great stability and good lacing. Nice hay/herbal nose with light floralness. Rich golden color, more intense than traditional pilsner. Nice lively carbonation. Very well balanced and full of flavor. At the start a citrus hop tang takes over the sides of the tongue, then nice clean malt balances before an average, but agreeable finish covers the palate. The mouthfeel is slightly heavier than a normal pilsner as one would expect from the deeper color. Okay drinkability; not the best “Pilsner” I have had but better than Miller Lite!

Beeryce, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of Tuey13
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the brewery in Pigeon Forge. Had a nice honey color with a small white head that leaves a little bit of lacing. The aroma was very light with a little bit of hops coming through. Has a very refreshing taste that has a bit more bite than one might expect. Some hops and a bit of malts make this a tastier pilsner than one might think. This is an average pilsner with just enough identity to not get lost in a sea of others.

Tuey13, Nov 10, 2006
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Old Thunder Road from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
75 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.