Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)
175 Ratings
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged)

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

Style: Smoke Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Enhanced with Brettanomyces

Added by Billolick on 03-18-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 175 |  Reviews: 133
Reviews by scootny:
Photo of scootny
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I forgot. Even as a dedicated CL acolyte I forgot. The bottle did not gush hard but it continued for more that my first glass could hold... anyway once that was handled and the attending loss accepted I saw a huge majestic brown head and great retention and superb lacing. The beer itself is black-brown and opaque.

Smell is very different from any regular porter. Smokey dark malts and light cherries. Oaken woodiness and a strong red wine core. A touch of vanilla.

Taste is something for your fall/winter food table. A big red wine core is wrapped by layers of porter, light smoke, chocolate malts, oak, vanilla. Finish is tart and puckering with a mild oak tinged bitterness. Somewhat chewy texture is broken up by lively carbonation and a dry sherry like feeling. A sweet lingering toasted molasses breadiness as well.

Drinkability improves as you go down the glass. I found myself taking bigger and more frequent sips as I went.

This stuff begs for a hearty venison stew or other such fare. However I believe it might be versatile enough for hearty Italian, taking the place of a good red wine. My hat's off to the job here done Scott.

 1,146 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of weatherdog
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Batch 3

It pours a dark brown with a nice dense tan head that lingers.

I'm picking up some malt sweetness and a little bit of oak on the nose. There also seems to be some lactic sourness as well which is a real nice surprise.

The initial taste is this dark fruit and then some tartness. It is very rich and full bodied. There are some dark cherry notes as well. It doesn't say but i'm guessing these were aged in red wine barrels, maybe Cabernet. Just a little bit of the vinegar notes but mostly just a nice sour edge going one. I just love everything about it.

The flavor profile is similar to the NG Olde English porter and I wish more breweries would make something like this. I am now on the search for all the other variations of this beer.

 791 characters

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

This is the latest offering/creation from Scott V and the good Captain. They only made 40 cases, so this will not last long. Pours pretty much black, with lots of sticky lacing and sheeting left behind from the dark tan head. Nose here is the expected, light smoke and woody, earthiness from the wooden casks. Acrid smoke/wood on the palate, full flavor, complex brew. Bring on the BBQ ad hearty fare. Nice stuff, probably will improve and mellow a bit after residing in the bottle for a few months.

 499 characters

Photo of hiphopipa
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -0.5%

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

Thanks to mikesgroove for hookin a brotha up with one of these.

Batch 2

Pours...out of the bottle at 100 mph in my sink. Many of these bottles are BIGTIME GUSHERS. I was lucky enough to be warned by many good BAs so it didn't cover my living room floor. So after half the bottle was lost in my sink, it pours a dark nearly impenetrable black with ruby hues and a large tan head that retains well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is interesting to say the least. The wine barrel is very present, but it smells as though there may be some tartness to the base beer as well. There is minimal smoke in the nose. some dark malt.

Hmmm. Taste is quite interesting here. The wine is defenitely present. Taste starts off with mellow oaky flavors. slight vanilla mixed in with the roasted malt. The wine flavor then begins to grab ahold of you. Throughout the middle wine is a dominant flavor in the taste. There is a solid tartness in the middle, but I do not think this is solely from the barrels. A tiny bit of chocolate here. Smoke peaks its head out just before the finish but is not as dominant as I would like. The finish is quite dry and vinous with some smoke trying to hang on but getting trumped by dry tartness. Aftertaste has some smoke and a bit of chocolate, and of course, wine.

The mouthfeel is actually only slightly overcarbonated. Viscosity is about where it should be, a little bit too dry for the style though, IMO.

Drinkability is pretty good, but the vinousness makes this one a slower sipper. Don't know what the abv is, but im guessing it is decently well hidden. i would guess it is in the 7-8% neighborhood.

Overall, this is a very interesting beer. I think the barrels play a role that is just a bit too prominent here, as the vinousness and tartness combine to be a very dominant flavor. The smoke is sort of in the background, would really like a bit more smokiness in this one, a bit more smoked porter and a bit less wine barrel. Although, certainly an interesting beer, and a great educator for those who want to learn to recognize what wine barrel aging does to a beer, and be able to pick it out when it is more sublte (like it should be, haha) Certainly an interesting brew, and a good one. Just a reminder I have a batch 2 bottle here and THEY GUSH ALOT! So open it over the sink.

 2,311 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from The Ginger Man. Black body, soapy head.chocolate aroma, with wine. Malted tastes, but sourness is clearly there and cumulative. The bulk of the mouthfeel is above average. Late in the bottle, more wine, more sour aroma, and more lace.Oak in minority, perhaps this doesn't age all that well. Nice one.

 312 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for sharing the Captain Lawrence love. Batch 4. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Toffee-tinged seal brown body, opaque but cut through with surging lines of microbubbles feeding the rocky yet dense three fingers of fawn foam. Heavy sticky lacing clings like scum on the surface of consommé.

Heavily vinuous estery aromatics suggest substantial oxidation at first whiff. Grape skins and light roast malt show up faintly in the background.

Sour and smokey palate entry with hints of ancient balsamic vinegar, pomegranate, pipe tobacco, cherry pits, and Irish Coffee. Mild citrus and earth from hops contribute a vague bitterness leading to a tart tannic finish. Thoroughly unique, though the barrel notes overwhelm the roast malt base (which come out a bit more as the ale warms). On flavor alone, in some ways, this reminds me more of a sangria than a beer!

Effervescent (though not explosively carbonated as the warning label suggested!), creamy, lightly astringent, and not quite medium-bodied.

Surprisingly drinkable, though if you aren't keen on sours, you should know this this has about as much in common with an Oud Bruin than an American Porter...

 1,209 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, batch 4.

This bottle was a slow gusher, my first, and I had a bowl at the ready after reading some previous reviews. Slight overflow was not a problem, as I began pouring and it ceased. The beer is a standard but handsome one; dark with a garnet hue at the bottom and medium brown foam with great retention.

Ribbons of wood smoke hang out with tart berry, red wine, and port. The aroma would not give away any type of infection had I not known of some such issues before hand. A bit of dry cocoa is evident.

Initially upon sipping Porter characteristics show up; chocolate and roast. Berry and cherry-like tartness intensifies the further in I go and the smoke is always in the background, coffee too. Nothing screams red wine, but when you know it's obviously a part of the whole.

Mouthfeel isn't overly affected by the excess of carbonation. The body feels thinned out but not fizzy.

Here is a beer that I feel could be excellent. I don't think it was meant to be sour, and honestly I feel that at the level it's at it adds to the beer more than subtracts. The base beer needs a bit more oomph, to be a more expressive Porter. It's close, Captain.

 1,190 characters

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.07/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch number 2. Got it in a trade from HimerMan- thanks

First off... What the heck? I lost half of the beer to crazy foaming out of the bottle. I heard this beer foams but wasnt expecting all this. Only got one glass out of the whole 750ml bottle. Poured into a tulip glass. Poured a dark black and kept foaming out of the glass and the head was 3" thick and had to waste alot of beer because of the intense foaming.

Smells of brett with a porter smell in the distant background.

Taste is not what I was expecting again from the discription of what the bottle says and BA says it is an American Porter. Was expecting a porter taste and was hoping for one as well since that is what I was in the mood for. The taste is over powered by bret tartness with very little actual porter taste at all. A little wine flavor as well. Really wish I was drinking a porter right now. No smoke flavor as well as I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel is typical for a sour with a little more creamyness from the porter part I guess.

Drinkability is not high since it is hard for me to drink sour beers.

I really wish Captain Lawrence would warn you of what you are drinking on their bottles before you crack them open. Same thing happened to me when I went to drink a golden delicious. I'm upset that it foamed up so much as well. I don't k ow how many of this companys beers I will want to try since I have had bad experiences with 2 so far. Still have a SFTO Burbon to try and hopefully a better experience with that one.

 1,503 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by mfielden, bottle via trade thanks to Ineedabeerhere, and bottle sampled at GABF 2009.

A - Pours dark reddish brown with a creamy tan head and good lacing.

S - Aroma is complex and pretty tart with smoke, roastiness, coffee, earth, and red wine.

T - Flavor is really great with red wine, dark fruit/berries, smoke, oak, bretty tartness, lots of earth, and a funk that's slightly reminiscent of blue cheese, which I like.

M - Palate is really nice, smooth yet sharp with medium body. Slightly creamy texture.

D - High drinkability. Well done again, Captain Lawrence.

 586 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Rciesla, cheers Ryan! This was slightly leaking when I received it today, despite the fact Ryan had wrapped electrical tape around the cap. Maybe it's an altitude deal, seen this before with beers coming from near sea level, plus various plastic bottles of stuff I've brought up to 6,600 feet, this has a #2 in the label, batch#2?

Damn, should've read some reviews, this sucker GUSHES like CRAZY, only got about 8 ozs, shit happens. What a whoosh & what a mess! When this settled down I got mahogany with 4+ fingers of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Sourness, oakyness

T: Slight sourness, vanilla, oakyness, some hints of burgundy up front. Dryness & oakyness dominate as this warms, plus a bit of dark fruit, more vanilla & mustyness& hints of smoke. This doesn't make think American porter, maybe Belgian Porter

MF: Medium bodied with not much carbonation, now that it has dissipated all over my kitchen!

Drinks pretty good despite all the drama, too dry to session on. I have another bottle from Ryan, so I'll adjust my scores if the second bottle shows me something new. I damn sure will open it outside with a pitcher to catch as much beer as feasible!

 1,192 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4 750 ml bottle into several glasses. Thanks to Stakem for generously busting this one out during a tasting.

Pours black with a finger of rich light mocha colored head. This retains with about a ½ finger of smooth froth that hangs a robust cascade of patchy foamy lacing up on the sides of the glass. Wow, I'm definitely getting that vinous character here in the nose which blends in with some vanilla sweetness and oaky wood character to impart a flavorful tannic tartness to this. Not souring at all but this maintains a steady tart feel throughout. The base Porter sits underneath with some notes of sugary cocoa and smoky roast. Very wine heavy overall though.

The taste is similar to the aroma with of LOT of that wine barrel being present with notes of dark fruit, vanilla, and woody dryness but I will say that this is definitely coming off as more souring than it did in the nose. Almost lactic feeling in spots. Once again, the Porter characteristics are relegated to the background, with some chocolate and roast being barely detectable underneath. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy soft texture to the carbonation but this is mostly overall woody and tannic feeling with a slick dryness that permeates the feel.

Just way to much wine barrel and not enough Porter here and while I could see some liking this, I'm not a wine guy, so my enjoyment of this was overall limited to a degree. This was decent though in the small quantity that I took in and I'm glad that there were a few people to share the bottle with.

 1,548 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near black color with a huge light brown head that dissipated into a nice cap. I waited 2 weeks before opening this bottle but it still gushed a bit; didn't lose too much though. The aroma is tart and funky, smells like oak wine barrels and very light smoke. The taste starts off tart, with wine characteristics and sour cherries. Towards the end there are hints of roasted malt and slight smoke. I was expecting more of a smokey flavor. The feel is well bodied with fizzy carbonation; finishes dry and tart. A very nice porter that really takes on the characteristics of the wine barrels. A bit too much for my liking. I was expecting more of a malt presence and definitely more of a smokey flavor. Still recommended.

 726 characters

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

A huge shout out to Ryan (Mag00n) for this beer. Cheers! 750ml, batch 4. Shared with my brother-in-law.

Appearance – Pours a dark chocolate color into a tulip with massive amounts of mocha colored head. The bottle comes with a sticker warning about excessive carbonation (ehhh…it didn’t overflow and it mainly reminded me of some JP beers I’ve had, heh). Head recedes slowly leaving chunky lacing.

Smell – Roasted malts and coffee/chocolate, oak, slight tartness (green apples), and red wine.

Taste – Similar to the aroma. A tartness up front from cherries and granny smith apples, followed by slight porter-like qualities (though more subdued than I was expecting). Tannic flavors, oak, and the red wine shine through at the end.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, plentiful carbonation.

Overall – A very interesting beer and one I am glad to try. I like soured stouts so this was intriguing to me. My brother-in-law and I both finished the bottle with ease and I would not mind getting another one. Solid beer.

 1,025 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

b.4 From Shogo as part of a trade, thanks much.

Heeding the warnings from the giant additional label, this was kept darn cold and still in the back of the fridge for a couple months before opening. Without much effort at all the head spilled to 3" over 2.5" of brew.

Almost smells like cherrys mixed with kalamata olives. Once the head settles (still nearly 1/2") this is much more sour/wine and the smoke is present.

WEIRD taste. I'm not getting much by way of 'smoke' in it at all, but there are numerous sour/fruit flavors overlapping and the middle/end is all malt. The sour and lots of carbonation make this much lighter than any other porter I've had (smoked or otherwise). The taste is 'good' just 'not what I want in a porter'.

very bubbly on the tounge. After waiting quite a while to enjoy this, I must say I'm not really. It is more confusing than exciting; more mashed than mixed.

If 'drinkability' still existed I would rate this a 2/2.5. The sour doesn't enhance the base porter.

 1,007 characters

Photo of jsilva
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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

Thanks to witbier for this bottle from Batch 4. Sure as the label warned, this one was a gusher.

A: The porter is a full syrupy brown color, concentrated to the point of blackness. The carbonation lends over four fingers of off-white head that are slow to recede.

S: The nose is a conflicting mixture of smoked, roasted malts and tannic red wine. And you know what? There's just enough of a funky sour aroma running through the ale. Very interesting.

T: The red wine barrel leaves the porter bone dry. More funk follows, further drying the taste out. The porter, a bold chewy ale on its own, has disappeared behind the barrel. The red wine presence is bold, a strong flavor that meshes well. The contrast of the sourness of the chocolate that emerges late in each sip is the lynchpin. It's how the differing flavors don't get along that makes the porter enjoyable. A tannic finish is a good way to go.

M: The mouthfeel stresses the dryness of the wine barrel with a small dose of funk. Porter flavors are slow to emerge, giving the barrel the primetime spotlight.

D: Under 7%, incredibly complex and a touch funky. What more do you need? The wine barrel is not my preferred vessel but the tartness is very enjoyable.

 1,221 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Ben for sharing this one, review from written notes.
Bottle stored in temperature-controlled, zero light conditions. Served in a goblet.

Lasting tan foam, creamy texture, dark coloration.

Woody aroma, some dark chocolate comes through from the base porter possibly. Wet barrel staves, bretty yeast lends some notes of wet hay and light horseblanket.

Vinous fruit, dry grape skin and plum, oaky and tannic in a big way. Medium level of tartness, dry finish with a creamy smooth feel. Carbonation is low to medium, body is fairly light and dry. Comes across like a well aged and blended Oud Bruin, nice fruitiness and wet barrel character with restrained touches of funkiness.

To the sounds of: Regulate ~ Warren G, from Ben's collection.

 751 characters

Photo of Dubber55
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4

A gusher as expected. Even after I poured some liquid out of the bottle, the beer kept on gushing. Pours a murky brown with 2 fingers of tan/light mocha head. A lot of retention and some spotty lacing.

The first thing I notice in the nose is tart fruits like cherries and blackberries. Pretty vinous, smells similar to a dry red wine. Some lacto sourness as well. I also get aromas of tart green apples, brett, leather, oak, lemon, and fresh cut grass.

Initially, I taste mostly tart fruits like sour cherries and blackberries. Then a whole bunch of tart green apples. The beer has a vinous quality obviously from the barrel. In the midpalate, I taste a lot of citrus- mostly lemon. It's pretty acidic. The finish is dry and tannic. I can taste some faint hints of the smoked porter: roasted malts, a bit of chocolate and a slight hint of smoke. The barrel and the yeast really dominate the base beer.

Mouthfeel is light to medium with some prickly carbonation. Seems a bit thin for a porter. This beer might be highly attenuated?

The tannic character and dry finish of this beer make it feel heavier and more alcoholic than it actually is. It would be best to share this 750ml with a few people.

 1,210 characters

Photo of berkey
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle split with friends on 06/30/10. My portion poured into a Duvel tulip.

Affixed with a sticker warning of high carbonation instructing to refrigerate for at least 24 hours but exploded in my friends kitchen even when I followed that advice. I detect what seems like a sharp blast of pedio acidity as I clean up but we'll get back to that shortly.

Forms a medium sized light brown head w loose bubbles atop a porter black body. Some lacing briefly attempts to cling to the sides of the glass but doesn't stick for long.

Vinous, sour, acidic, and slightly sweet, this smells like a wild ale with some underlying chocolate notes. Surprised they don't label this as a sour ale, it's more tart than some beers categorized as 'wild'. I can imagine someone picking this up who wasn't used to sours being more than a little put off.

The chocolate notes of the base beer still shine but some of the roasted character is lost in the tartness and wine-like acidity. Interesting that this reminds me slightly of some unintentionally 'soured' porters and stouts I've tried (think Portsmouth) though it works better in this case. Still, between the flavor and the bottle-bomb I experienced on opening I can't be 100% that this tastes as intended and didn't pick up an accidental infection of some kind.

The surprisingly strong influence of the wine barrel has this Porter leaning almost towards a slightly tart Port. Very interesting but can't really say I prefer this to the regular Captain Lawrence Porter.

 1,511 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.95/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this? I really did not even think I was going to get a bottle of this, but my sis went up to Jersey for the weekend and brought me back a few. Needless to say when she showed up at the door with them I was a tad excited. I had heard in advance of the problems with the over carbonation so I let one sit in the fridge for a couple days before opening and was lucky enough to avoid any problems with it. So the lovely 750ml bottle got poured into my over sized wine glass for a nice after dinner snack.

Appearance - The pour was extraordinary. Really just breathtaking with how good this one looked. A rich dark brown, nearly black emerged from the bottled and rattled around the inside of the glass producing a nice three inch high head f tan colored foam. A full blossoming head that stayed all the way through the session, never getting rocky or having any cratering done to it, rather it just slowly settled down and left behind tons of side glass lace that seemed to get thicker the further into the session we proceeded.

Smell - The aroma was nothing short of fantastic. The first notes to hit you were the nice sour funk that was present from the barrels. Really just a very nice sour and tart aroma that overpowered everything else and really took me by surprise coming from a big porter. There were some nice underlying hints of chocolate and coffee as well; making this one of the most interesting style crosses I think I have come across. I mean a rich imperial porter, smoked, aged in sour wine barrels. It was just as good as it sounded, wonderfully complex and unique, I could have had this made into a candle it was so good!

Taste - Well I do not even know what to say about this. It was just remarkable and very interesting from the first sip. The smoky flavor starting to come through in here now, after being nearly absent in the aroma. Nice chocolate malts and hints of roasted coffee throughout as well. This was a nice sweet porter, and I even could pick up hints of vanilla way in the back. However, once it hit about the middle of the sip, wow that sour note just really kicked in. These must have been one hell of a set of barrels this was aged in as they were all over the flavor as well. The finish even was dominated by a long drawn out sour flavor that really just was just the icing on the cake. Very nice indeed and definitely in a class of its own.

Mouthfeel - This was a nice robust porter with a medium Mouthfeel and as you could imagine, absolutely awesome carbonation. A nice velvet like smooth feel going down, the bubbles tingled your tongue and kept it active throughout. There was a nice dry feeling in the finish. I have to admit, I was again really surprised with how well this went down.

Drinkability - This was outstandingly drinkable, I literally could have had this one all day long! It was just the ideal drinker, with a medium body, the alcohol all but gone and that nice sour bite that was perfectly laid in without being overbearing, I could not have asked for this to have come off any better.

Overall I think I am in love with this beer. I would be hard-pressed to trade any of the ones I have left as this was really just too good to imagine. I have longer for a big sweet porter with a sour bite like that. Really just great. If you can get up there to get this one, you really need to, it was just that good!

 3,387 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 175 ratings