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Big Butt Smoked Dark Ale | C'est What?

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Very Good
16 Ratings

Brewed by:
C'est What?
Ontario, Canada

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An Islay whisky lover’s brew. Bittersweet caramel and smoke.

40 IBU

Added by Viggo on 10-05-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 12
Photo of mick303
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at cest what. Pours a dark ruby brown with a nice smooth rim of lacing and film. Smell is smoky, seaweed, and phenolic islay cask. Taste is dry with barrel chips and a dry smoky leather and dark cherry, mild body that kind of supports the intense flavours, but this is also a super session able and quenching ale, I didn't find this too smoky or heavy to drink, carbonation was very mild. Upfront it has some solid earthiness and almost bacony meaty caramel. The finish is smoky, barley and a touch of iodine. As it goes this is pretty good, nose qualifies it and taste is good, a bit thin on body and complexity but it was alright, bitterness is mild and earthy, a lot of barrel character, and it was sort of a shadow of the profile of islay it was going after. Still I would tell people it was worth a try for the novelty and it tastes pretty decent.

 859 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of HATS4BATS
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Jotora
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at C'est What?, the beer is served in a true pint. Dark brown with a filmy, light tan surface coat of head. Nose is smoky, with rich toffee malts, molasses, and hints of chocolate. Flavors of smoke and peat initially, with a rich, tangy sweet toffee backbone. Very balanced and light in mouth. Crisp finish that is clean, with a smoky sweet aftertaste. Decent brew that is very easy to drink.

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Photo of dgilks
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown with no real head. No lacing.

Peat smoke and earth. Very woody with some bacon notes. Good.

Big smoke and peat. This is a monster on that front. Nice earthiness and some bits of malt. The sweetness adds nicely to the smokey notes. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid beer and really interesting. Big smoke appeals to me and this hits all those notes.

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Photo of ChrisKuhns
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of cyrenaica
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

550ml draught
5.4% ABV
I tried this beer on draught on May 5, 2011 at "C'est What" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a translucent dark reddish-brown with a thin tad head, and absolutely no lacing. The aroma was sweet malt, some smoke, and some nutty hints. The aroma was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was roasted malt, coffee, smoked wood, and a slightly sweet finish.

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Photo of brdc
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at C'est what. Poured into a pint glass.

Brown colored, reddish highlights, one finger off white head that holds reasonably well, no lacing.
I was warned by the bartender about the heavy smokiness on the beer, but although it is there, it is certainly not heavy, at least for this Aecht Schlenkerla fan here.
Light smoke, oak, caramel, some bread. Medium bodied, easy to drink, shows similar flavors, mostly caramel, bread and smoked sausage, if all quite delicate. Certainly pleasant, but I still prefer it more in your face.

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Photo of biegaman
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at C'est What?, in Toronto.

Apparently even the beer's appearance isn't exempt from being smoked: its sheen highlights and clarity suggest that this naturally ruby-toned beer appears black only for the sooty, shadowy, ashy residue that's coated it. Its head only partially covers the surface but what froth exists is irrepressible (although fails to leave much lacing).

By the smell of things, Schlenkerla might actually be worried for once. The smoke is definitive but not overwhelming; it smells like bacon that's been in the smoker for a week. Once the roasted malts weigh in, it smells more like bacon that's been smoked for a week, then seared on the grill for an hour. You know what you're getting yourself into.

Talk about bacon. Wow. Any discussion of flavour begins and ends with bacon. This tastes like Sunday morning brunch, and not just the bacon but a little cup of Joe on the side as well. Heck, there's even a dab of honey sweetness spooned over toast as well. Hot cocoa and pumpernickel bagel? Yea, that's in there too. It's the breakfast of champions!

Not only does it taste like bacon, but it has a very meaty mouthfeel too. It has a very discernible, clean, pure beachwood note and an aftertaste of hickory sticks. Brown and roasted malts are in there too, lending a nutty sweetness and a bit of coffee roast. The hoppiness, what little is discerned, is almost minty. There's a touch of anise too.

I like Big Butt and I cannot lie… and anyone who tries this beer can't deny... that it's probably the only Canadian (and one of only a few non-German) offerings that could rival Bamberg's best. It is not only a unique style but also a rare standout, not only for this little, underground Toronto brewpub, but for the province of Ontario as a whole.

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Photo of kwjd
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a chocolate brown colour with thin tan head and some mild lacing down the glass. Smells of some roasted malt, with peaty smoke and caramel. Smoke isn't over the top, but it definitely there. Taste is fairly sweet with a lot of smoke. Smooth mouthfeel. One of my favourites of their house beers.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a dark cola hue, with half a finger of light beige head, which leaves a small ring of lace around the glass. It smells of mild caramel malt, with a whiff of soft peaty smoke. The taste is light meaty smoke, sweet bready malt, and some herbal hops. The carbonation is on the low side, the body smooth and full, and it finishes off-dry, nutty, with some faded herbal smokiness. Very drinkable, with the understated smoke characteristics.

 453 characters

Photo of Derek
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a light tan head, some retention & lacing.

S: Smoke, pumpernickel rye bread, licorice.

T: Smoke, roasted grain, pumpernickel rye, cocoa, spice, good bitterness.

M: Moderate body is smooth with a light roasted acidity.

D: I really enjoyed a sample earlier in the night, but later on I thought it was a little too smoky.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at C'est What. A mildly smoked beer, that gives a nice smell.Lacey. With fennel. Understated carbonation.One of their better "house" beers, brewed at County Durham.Decent craftmanship and worth a try if you are OK with the smoke style.

 242 characters

Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the newest offering from C'est What, brewed by Bruce at Durham.

Rich chestnut pour with a finger of white head that shows good retention and lace. The aroma is mostly smoke, with a nice biscuit malt backing. Nothing too complex, but pleasing nonetheless. Likewise the flavour is simple - smoked malt combines with biscuit and a touch of caramel. A bit meaty like a schlenkerla, and a bit of spicy woodiness too. Very little hop bite in the finish. Medium body and carbonation seems to suit it well.

Bruce makes good beers, and probably has the best brewery in Ontario. His latest offering at C'est What will only add to that reputation.

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newest C'est What? offering brewed at County Durham.

Pours a clear mahogany, dark brownish red, thick off white head forms, settles down to a thick layer and ring, some lace spots stick. Smell is nice, very smokey, biscuit, caramel, light fruitiness, more smoke, wood, quite nice. Taste is similar, really smokey flavour, bacon, caramel, plastic, light fruit and biscuit, sweet and smokey middle, nice finish, tastes like hickory sticks. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Pretty nice smoked beer, not too smokey.

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Big Butt Smoked Dark Ale from C'est What?
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 16 ratings
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