Pleasantville Smoked Porter | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Pleasantville Smoked PorterPleasantville Smoked Porter
Liked This Beer
4.02 w/ 259 ratings
Pleasantville Smoked PorterPleasantville Smoked Porter

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Billolick on 02-12-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 259 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Cuzco for sending me this growler!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #4. The pour results in a ruby-tinted obsidian topped by slightly more than a finger of bright ecru foam. The nose comprises peat smoke (mild but wonderul), molasses, chocolate syrup, roasted malts, sweet caramel, and a touch of vanilla bean. The taste keeps the smoke up front and personal, just the way I like it, along with some roast, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramelized caramel. The body is a hearty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, a very tasty little treat, a big hit with the guys I shared it with.

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Photo of Vdubb86
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for bringing this growler over to share with everyone. Apparently this is part of his Blind Beer BIF #4 so I'm honored to be a part of it.

This beer pours a very dark brown appearing near black in the glass. The foam is off-white in color. The beer has a smell of both smoke and and a malty sweetness. There are hints of vanilla and a touch of coffee. This beer tastes similar to the aroma. There is a wonderful balance between the smoke flavor and the sweetness of the malty body. The mouthfeel is minorly astringent due to the coffee flavor. But in all honesty it still goes down really easily. I honestly could drink a lot of this beer. If there is high ABV I can't really taste it. I truly enjoyed being able to try this beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up to share with the family. $10 for a 64oz. growler fill. Pretty good deal. Poured from a growler into (embarrasingly) a Duvel oversize tulip. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields a 1.5 finger frothy light milk chocolate head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark, almost opaque brown. Lacing is stringy and with little stick. Pretty standard overall.

S: Not much going on in the nose though not unpleasant either. Brown sugar, roasted malt, liquorice, caramel, char, and some chocolate notes. Simple and moderately aromatic.

T: Opens sweet. Caramel, honey, and brown sugar. Roasted malt smokiness towards the middle. Reminds me of a honey covered and brown sugar sprinkled strip of bacon. Ends sweet brown sugar, caramel spice, and some roasted notes. Finish is barbecue and honey glaze and aftertaste is moderately sweet.

M: Light to medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Silky and smooth on the palate and easy going down. Finish is slightly messy with a bit of a lingering aftertaste. Drinks a bit bolder than its abv, which is nice.

D: The first time I sampled this at the brewery, I wasn't a huge fan. However, after having it again, I'm not sure why. Very easily drinkable and quite sessionable overall. I'd love to try the new imperial version of this one.

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Photo of taigor
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured pitch black color with medium head that took a while to dissipate leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is mostly malts with nothing much else detected.

T - Taste is sweet roasted malts with smoked sausage.

M - Medium bodied with above average carbonation.

D - Great porter overall, would be perfect for bbq. I would recommend it. Great job Captain!

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasty across the board.

It looks tasty, poured from a counterpressure filled growler the head rose nicly, light tan in contrast to the deeper roasted coffee color of the porter.

It smells tasty - whispy smoke, not overdone.

It is tasty. Seriously good beer. Solid malt flavors with traces of smoke throughout. A nice finishing taste. It could use a bit more sweetness...that's not exactly the right phrase. Somewhere between dark fruit chewy and outright sweet is a flavor I usually find that goes nicely with crisps burned in a quality smoker. I don't taste that here. It is not notable by it's absence, but it's addition would fully round out the flavor of this porter.

It is very light. Perhaps the lighest porter I've had.

Quite drinkable, indeed. I would hasten to add, I'm not a huge CL drinker on the whole, having been limited in the selection I've had from there. That said, I would certainly consider having this on hand routinely as my 'warm weather' porter.


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Photo of drewd0g
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Dark Dark brown color, lets some light through. Has a beige head that sticks around for a little while.

smell - Smell is smokey and malty. Nice roasted mesquite scent.

taste - Lots of smoke and roasted malt flavor. Some espresso notes in there too.

mouthfeel - Relatively Thin, Nice for a porter. Moves around the mouth easily. Very pleasant.

drinkability - I love drinking this beer, one of my favorite beers they have. High drinkability, pairs nice with barbecue and roasted meats. Also good on its own as an after dinner drink.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had on tap at CL at the cdc release.

a - Pours a dark black color with two inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, toasted malts, and has some definite smokiness to it. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee, and some smokiness.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - A very enjoyable and drinkable smoked porter. Would love to try again.

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Photo of Pahn
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from the Bowery Whole Foods in NYC. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Free pour leaves a thick, two inch frothy light tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a wall of lacing. Pours a solid black and leaves big swatches of lacing all along the glass.

Smell: Dominated mostly by a beautiful cookies and cream aroma. Some faint hops and cola-ish notes. Some roasted notes in the background.

Taste: Creamy chocolate, mild roasted malt, and a smoky coffee flavor. Small but noticeable bitterness--a lot less than you'd expect with the flavors surrounding it really. No hop presence in the flavor. Very smooth and palatable. Some of the cookie from the nose, but less than I personally would like.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Just a touch lighter than full-bodied. Not stout-thick, but not offensively watery either.

Drinkability: Very easy drinking, and all around a strong porter. I don't expect to crave it, really, but I'd have it again, especially in the Winter.

Nothing in this beer is particularly surprising, but pretty much everything is well-done and enjoyable.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler picked up at Barrel Select release.

Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque, but not quite. Hard pour produces a finger of small tan bubbles that slowly subside to a crown and film with average lacing. Aroma is roasty and smoky as expected, but fairly mild and never veering too charred or sharp. The smoked malt almost has a fruit like sweetness occasionally. Body is medium thick, slightly chewy with soft, fine carbonation. Flavor is like the nose, pleasantly sweet, roasted and smoky with some occasional chocolate, coffee and toffee notes. A very nice full bodied porter, but it would be a little more interesting if the smoke was turned up a little more.

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Photo of berkey
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler courtesy of ineedabeerhere. Thanks again Joe. From notes 04/25/10.

Initially I was worried about carbonation loss as there was a little moisture and stickiness in the package but this seems to have held up very well. A medium sized khaki colored head forms and leaves some nice lacing as it settles. The body is black & completely opaque even when held to sunlight.

Aromas are of roasted malt with a good share of dark chocolate. While the roasted malt definitely gives this a smoky character it's more balanced with the chocolate notes than I expected given the fact they call this a smoked porter.

First sip and the roasted smokiness is much more present helping this beer to live up to its name. Interestingly, the dark roasted malt doesn't have me thinking coffee as much as it does in many other roasty porters. Possibly because this isn't quite as bitter as some. Cocoa notes are still a big part of the flavor profile and help keep everything together. As it reaches room temperature there are some nice nutty and faint fruity flavors.

This beer is very easy drinking. Actually, now that my review notes are mostly done I find myself drinking this slightly quicker than my usual slow and steady pace.

Overall a very good American Porter that I'm very glad I had a chance to try. I look forward to more from this brewer in the near future.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz growler from Mr. ineedabeerhere. Good looks, man!

A- Deep dark brown, nice head for a growler, sticky lacing, which is surprising me.

S- A wisp of smoke... campfire. Rich burnt coffee and caramel/molasses notes as well.

T- Mild dark fruit, a twang of acidic black coffee, and a wave of smoke fill the tongue. The smoke is very well incorporated.. Sometimes subtlety is where it's at. Really one of the best porters I've ever had.

M- Great body, good mouthfeel an a nice lingering (but mild) smoke flavor.

D- High. Goes down easy, no off-notes, and a wonderfully complex smoky element make this a tremendous beer. Of what I've had of Capt. Lawrence, this is waaay up there. I'll be buying three of growlers of this next time I'm in town..

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Photo of scootny
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite porters. A dark brown with a sizable head and goodly amount of lacing. A smoke and roasted malt nose has an underlying dark fruit and molasses sweetness. Some burnt chocolate as well. This smells very good. Taste is rich with roasted malts and coffee. Dark fruit and molasses with a sweet brown bread underpin it. Finish is firmly hopped in an earthy, English style with a bit of dryness and a clean astringent touch. A bit of chocolate cherries underneath the lingering brown bread and graham crackers. Feel is medium weight with a creamy, moderate carbonation. A quenching and satisfying drink that is a joy to session. This went great with Southern fried tofu and biscuits and gravy.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 64oz growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our most recent trade! Growler filled at 5pm 3/13/10.

A: Pours a shade of dark brown so close to black, but not quite. Some ruby highlights at the bottom and edges when held to the light. Capping this is a marshmallow-y, dark khaki, three finger head that clings for dear life and leaves some sticky lace behind.

S: Surprisingly, not a huge smokey nose with this one. Heavily roasted malt combines nicely with some dark chocolate, fudge, and coffee. Also detected the aroma of fresh baked brownies.

T: See above. Some campfire smoke makes an appearance early in the game along with the aforementioned dark chocolate, coffee, and fudge. Also along for the ride is a hint of cherry and/or lemon.

M: Suprisingly smooth. That's not to say that there isn't a bit of that Porter-ish bitter tang in there (there is!) but along with the prickle, there's a wonderful smoothness that coats the tongue and hangs around for ages.

D: I don't care if this doesn't fit some archaic english definition of "sessionable" but dammit, I could spend a day with this beer. Thanks go out to Joe for hooking a brother up!

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

This is one fabulous smoked brew done right! Total Rauchbier in disguise. Plenty of smoked malt, though not overly assertive, proudly proclaims the style. Unlike many American "smoked" beers, no expense was spared in the prep of this one. Crisp, slightly sweet but lacking the cloying syrupy accompaniment that many other related products have. Absolutely delicious, refreshing and very Germanic, this is a valiant effort in every way!

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Captain Lawrence brewery in Pleasantville, N.Y.

A: Poured a very dark brown, near black, with a thin, sudsy head of tan foam. Had great viscosity and left some clingy white lace.

S: Smells of roasted black malt and coal, with hints of carob and smoked pine. Light herbal hopping and licorice kick around in the background.

T: Has a nice roasted malt flavor with a bitter caramel sweetness. Had a burnt sugar and coffee flavor to go along with a slightly smoky, cocoa taste also. Finish is sweet and a little clingy with some strong herbal hops to wash it away.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and leaves a slight oily slicl on the palate.

D: A slightly stronger porter, both in ABV and malt flavor, but steady drinking and pretty smooth. It would be a tough pair unless you had some smoked meats or fish to go with it. Then again, it's a fine brew to just sip on its own.

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Photo of knight84
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black w/copper highlights. Two fingers of dark frothy khakhi head that dissipates fairly quickly.
N: roasted smokey malts, coffee, smells really sweet and creamy. Some dark fruits: currants, raisins. There is a slight woody character to it as well.
T: lots of roasted malts, coffee, smokey wood, candied sugar, very robust on the palate, develops some wood flavors, there is a nice hop bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malts. Tastes like an imp porter.
M: very strong for a porter, lots of carbonation, it is strong in mf for a porter but still doesn't approach a stout. 
O: very drinkable, one of the better porters I've had, the complexity is great, I wish this were available in MI.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Rattle-n-Hum in NYC.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and just a hint of smoke. As it warms the smokiness increases just a bit and hints of earthy hops waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells though a bit more intense. Roasted and chocolate malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by a decent amount of smokiness. The smokiness fades just before a solidly bitter ending. As with the smell hints of earthy and leafy hops make an appearance once the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was a bit let down by this beer - a good porter but an average smoked porter. Still, I have to say it's worth a shot.

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Photo of Gmann
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color, only slightly brown around the edges. Nice dense khaki colored head that left a wall of lacing as it dissipated. Very stout like. The aroma is of roasted malt and mocha, some wet smoldering wood. Not an intense smoke aroma but noticable. All around good aroma. The taste starts off with a nice roasted malt which is quickly followed by a solid smoke presense, some charred beef, light coffee and finishes with a lemony/tea like tart character. Very nice range of flavors. The feel is on the thinner side like a traditional porter, not as big as other smoked porters. The carbonation is very soft, fairly sweet throughout but does finish with that tea like twang. A very good combination of roasted malt and smoke flavors. This porter bring boths to the table without feeling very heavy. Very enjoyable and worth seeking out.

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Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a growler purchased at the brewery. Into a traditional pint glass.

Appearance: A dark and nearly opaque body with a mocha-colored head. Lacing's thick and sticks rather well to the glass.

Smell: Good smoke here. A lot of smoked porters, at least that I've had, tend to bury the smoke flavor, but here there's good dark malt flavors mixed with the smoke. A bit of roasted chocolate and earth. A bit of fruit esters. Mild coffee.

Taste: A good initial burst of woodsmoke, followed by dark roasted malts, a bit of coffee and chocolate sweetness, and some mild complimentary fruit esters.

Mouthfeel: Kind of odd, as it seems like a bigger-bodied brew, but there's still a little slickness and a slightly watery nature too it, though it doesn't detract too much.

Drinkability: A solid smoked porter, one that's not too much to have a few of them in this upcoming winter season. Check it out if you can.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pint from the growler. Coming straight down the middle of the glass with no tilt, this beer produces only a small cap of a head. It's been in the growler over a week, and they pour them straight from the tap, so this is expected. It still looks very nice. Black, with some brown at the corners. Light tan head, not much lace.

The aroma is pretty delicate, and if they just called this Pleasantville Porter you might not know it used smoke malts. But I do know there is smoked malts, and when I looked for it in the nose, I did find it. It's bacon-like, but pretty faint. The aromas that are more clear are chocolate frosting, and a slight fruitiness. Good, gentle porter aroma.

The smoke is more noticeable in the flavor of the beer, but it's still very slight. I think if this beer was paired with smoked meats you would pick up on it more easily...and I think that's what they were going for. No more talk about smoke because that is not what this beer is all about. The main flavors are a chocolate milk type sweetness. Very little bit of roast and very little bitterness comes through, but only on the finish.

The mouthfeel is what stands out most in this beer. When reviewing the flavor, I wrote "smooth" first because this impression came first to any of the flavors after the first sip. It has a very gentle carbonation, partly designed and partly from sitting in a growler for a while. This beer is very drinkable, and is probably one of maybe two beers from Captain Lawrence that I would like all for myself, the other being the brown ale. The one pint went very quickly.

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Photo of boatshoes
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Blind Tiger (my girlfriend picked this joint for her birthday dinner, I'm a lucky man!). Nice place, but I'll have to review that for a later date.

Appearance- Comes out in a pint glass pitch black with about a half finger of off white, very smooth looking head. Looks like a very solid porter, leaves a touch of lacing as I drink as well.

Smell- Mmm, lots of bitter chocolate and burnt coffee coming through in the nose. Strongly backed up by roasted malt. Very nice nose and all the flavors I like in a nice porter coming through strongly.

Taste- Bitter chocolate and roasted malt huge in the flavor profile. Accented by a subtle smokiness as well. Just a touch of coffee as well. Very easy drinking with a big flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Carbonation very appropriate and the mouthfeel is silky smooth coming off the tap. Goes down really easy and if it hadn't been for the extensive tap list, I might have had another.

Overall, really easy drinking and flavorful porter. Give it a shot if you get the chance.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from the brewery into a small glass throughout the day.

Sloppy brown out of the jug, almost black in the glass, looks like a porter to me. Just a bit of light escaping the liquid. A creamy light brown/tan foam stood a inch in height on top of the sea of dark brown. A medium build with some thickness towards the middle, lasts a while too. Sporadic lace that does not cling well.

A well balanced scent comes forth showing off roasted coffee beans and some mild chocolate. Pleasantville is on par so far. Under the morning scent comes in roasted malt with just a touch of peat and smoke. The smoke is light which bodes well for me as it's not my favorite scent to dig on. A little bit of vanilla cream is in the distance running alongside a slight hop aroma from the earth.

Fresh ground coffee with some sweet chocolate pieces mixed in seem to be winning the roost. This pair is joined by a heaping of roasted and smoked malts although the smoked seems to be a bit understated, don't get me wrong it's there but it's hiding behind that chocolate. Some nuttiness going on here. Along with the malt structure some grain hides in the middle. This smoked porter finishes with a small hop infraction giving off the slightest hint that it's there.

PSP holds a slick feel with a medium build. Sweet and slightly smokey. This went down all to easy at least for me with the light smoke. The alcohol is not there at all and the carb gives off a nice crisp blast although light, I think it works perfect. The mouth on this shows me why the smoke from the oak series is so tasty with how this beer can absorb the different flavors from the barrels. The coffee seems to be staying with me for a while.

A growler of PSP a day will keep onix1agr at bay, there is no reason why I couldn't kill a growler of this to the head, it would not even put me to bed, a low ABV and a few tasty treats, tells me pleasantville smoked porter can't be beat, Grab some while you can, before the rest of the porter is holed up, to make a new different blend.

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Photo of david18
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I avoided this beer recently because it's warm but I knew i'd try it because I love this brewery. Man was this a great beer! Really good toasty flavor and aroma, like the Sierra Nevada porter and stout. Really strong toast that is not so overwhelming that it tastes heavy. And with the 6.4 alcohol by volume i can polish off a few and still walk home. I think I have a new winter session beer to compliment the Captain Lawrence Freshchester pale ale in summer.


This beer was at Amsterdam Ale House again and I think I loved it just as much this time. Perfect balance of smoke, malt, roastiness, hops and alcohol.

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Photo of Nickls
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Half-finger of creamy rich tan head with just OK retention. Deep mahogany nearing on black in color

S - Light roastiness, but didn't pick up the smoke; dark fruit aromas as well

T - Light roasted malt; sweetness; dark fruits/plum flavors. Would have like a bit more roast/toast to cut through the sweetness

M - Lighter verging on thin; not bad; soft carbonation

D - Good, but a little bit cloying in the sweetness; but certainly not difficult or boring

Overall, a nice porter, but I think I would reach for a lot of others before revisiting. Definitely worth a look.

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Photo of koopa
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, New Jersey.

DISCLAIMER: This beer tends to vary a decent amount with the smoke from batch to batch in my opinion. (unless keg age is coming into play but I doubt that) This review is of a batch that had a real nice smoke presence.

Appearance: Dark brown with mocha crown. Nice retention and lacing. This looks just how a porter should IMHO.

Smell: Great smoke note strength. A force to be reckoned with but not one that will over power!

Taste: Smoked malt heaven meets molasses and dark fruit forming a luscious concoction!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and silky.

Drinkability: I see no reason why I'd have problems downing a few.

Straight 4.5's for another CL winner! I tried a flight of CL brews while at the bar that day and thought that this one was the best for its style by far.

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Pleasantville Smoked Porter from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85.7% out of 100 with 259 ratings
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