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

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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: American 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of johnnnniee
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Batch 2 thanks Mcallister.
Good thing I was near the sink when I opened this. Huge rush of foam from a self pouring bottle, I filled my glass and then the bottle she kept on giving. The color is a porter all right, but the rest is lambic like. Smells of tart fruit and a bit of funk. The flavor is very funky and tart. The Porter is gone and I can’t even say I like the lambic that it left behind. Another casualty from my cellar.

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Photo of woosterbill
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml Batch 3 bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Thanks to Jay for sharing this one.

A: We opened this up over the sink to be on the safe side, but it showed no inclination to gush whatsoever. Could this somehow be an exception to the rampant infection issues besetting this beer? Do you believe in miracles? It pours a black body with a finger of coarse tan foam. Decent retention and light lacing. Nice enough.

S: The jury's still out on miracles, as this one is most assuredly infected. Very infected, but kind of nice. Sweet + sour cherries; tannic, vinous astringency; and some background malt. I like it, but it's clearly wrong.

T: Sour fruit, tannic bitterness, and nothing else. Not as good as the smell.

M: Aaaiieee, swords are stabbing my tongue! This is so overcarbonated it's literally painful; just terrible. Where was all this pressure when it was opened and poured?

O: This was my first experience with a SftO offering, and it was less than stellar. I'm a huge Captain Lawrence fan, and infected Golden Delicious was one of my favorite beers of last year, but not every infection can be so felicitous. This beer lost all of its original character, and it was replaced by less than enjoyable acidity and astringency. On the plus side, this wasn't even that terrible, and it was my only drainpour of the night. That's fine by me.


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Photo of Rekrule
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of Phenom
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Baldycmu for this one.

This beer is super-carbonated. I was forewarned, so I had it extremely well-chilled but it was still impossible to pour without a huge tan head.

Smell: The beer smells fruity, a little like grape juice, and not much else. Not a very appealing smell.

Taste: Tastes more like a grape soda then a beer. Definitely some oak, and finally at the end some alcohol flavor and a little roasted malt comes through. I had high hopes for this, but it just is not working for me. Maybe it needs to be cellared for a while to let the wine flavors mellow? I don't know.

Drinkability: One is more than enough. I guess if I liked it I could keep drinking it...

I commend Captain Lawrence for trying new things, but this seems to miss the mark. Maybe if they brewed several batches in new & old wine barrels, then blended them, the result would be better. But with this beer the wine barrel flavors have taken over the beer rather than enhancing the flavors that should already be there.

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Photo of Pleepleus
2.95/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thankfully hyland read about the spillage factor and we did not lose much on the opening at all. Poured from bomber to goblet a redish black with a minimal head. Smelled like merlot and cherries, no sense of smoke though. Tasted like red wine and cherry soda. It was overly carbonated and thin to my disapointment. My pal hyland had been hyping this one up big time for a week as it sat in my fridge. When we finally opened it I was let down. I have heard it may get better with age? I will buy another bottle and hide it away for a few months, hopefully it will be better.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of thebigredone
3/5  rDev -25.4%

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.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.12/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle that blew up all over the place including my shirt at Dr Bills last tasting.

Appearance was murky and dark. Nice brown head with decent retention.

Smell was wonderful. Wine and porter mixed together perfectly. Oak was very present. Smelled roasty and dry underneath all the wine barrel smells. Very inviting.

Don't know if this was a mistreated bottle but the taste was a real letdown after the smell. All the components of the smell were present in the same proportions but it was all incredibly watered down. I don't get it, what happened here?

Body was medium/light. About right for a porter. Definitely drinkable and a good light beer. Just not at all what I was expecting. This stuff would make a nice air freshener, just leave some glasses of it out on the counter.

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Photo of crosamich
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4. Looks good, balanced mouthfeel-not too thick or thin as a porter should be. I have not tried any of the other versions of smoke from the oak so tough to say but I feel like the wine barrel isn't the way to go with this one. Aroma is misleading-get the smokiness, vanilla, and grape notes. But taste doesn't follow through. The acidity from the barrel throws the whole thing off. Our tasting group moved onto the next beer and never finished the bottle.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch 4

The warning on the bottle hints that this is over carbonated, so I was very careful opening it. After a bit of gushing and an overactive head formation, this beer has a dark brown/black color, with a sandy brown towering head. Good lacing and retention.

The aroma hints at the tartness of the beer. It has a dark fruit component, but is mostly covered by barrell aromas. It's chalky, leathery, and sour, with some black cherries and a touch of dark grain.

The mouthfeel and taste both have a sense of lifelessness to it. I think this would be better if a heftier beer was used, as the porter character is hidden by the barell flavors. Tart, grape like flavors, black cherry flavored cola, and wild yeast make up most of the flavor, with some dark grain coming through as it warms. There isn't much smoke or oak flavor at all, but a lot of sour.

The mouthfeel is thin and lifeless with a leathery dryness on the finish. It's very acidic and dry, typical of infected beers. I wish I shared this with someone else, as the 750 was a bit much. Interesting to try, but I wouldn't be getting this again at $15.

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Photo of Nolen12
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of LeeEvolved
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of youradhere
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark body, khaki head that quickly dissapears. Sour cherry aroma, carmelized malt extract and oak, burnt surgar and roasted marshmallows. Tart lactic flavor on the back of the palate, almost bleu cheese flavor on top of subdued malt and vanilla. Very sweet, thick bodied oak tannin and hop bitterness in the background. Almost cold coffee qualities, very mucha desert beer. Smooth and tasty!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #4, acquired from jkane101 courtesy of BA March Madness 2010, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a strong essence of wine barrel aging, which means mostly tart fruit, along with some roasted malts and hints of coffee and hops.

T: The taste starts out in much the same way the smell does with tart grapes, but unlike with the smell it quickly fades and allows in some smokiness. Then some flavors of coffee and chocolate creep in. The male character is hearty and there’s a very mild but complementary hops presence providing some balance. The after-taste is likewise tart.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, high carbonation (It even says so on the bottle “Highly Carbonated” and it erupted when I popped the cap making a huge mess on my computer table.), finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, not the best representation of style as the barrel-aging doesn’t seem to do much for the beer overall other than add an out-of-the-ordinary flavor to it, it’s not a bad beer but it doesn’t seem to have benefited from the barrel-aging enough to make it worth the effort that was put into it.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A really big want for quite a while, finally fulfilled by boatshoes. Batch 4 poured into a snifter.

A- I didnt take heed to the "Highly Carbonated" warning sticker and opened it unprepared for the gushing that ensued. My lesson was getting beer all over my computer desk.

Once everything was cleaned up and gotten under control I was left with a really solid looking glass of beer. The beer is a bottomless shade of black. Its strangely black because the body doesnt appear to be very thick. The head, naturally, is huge and a pale sand color. It fades down but stays at a dense lily pad of foam. No real lacing.

S- After the gushing incident all my expectations were thrown out, or so I thought.
The smell is more along the lines of a sour ale. The wine barreling had intense effects. Very acidic and tannic smelling. There is even a little bit of funk. Big smells of red wine, old oak and red grapes. The porter isnt totally lost, however. There are faint suggestions of it in the manifestation of a smooth chocolate covered raisin aroma.

T- The first sip was really a shock. Tart, dry, acidic, tannic red wine. Funky old oak barrels, vinegar and grapes and under ripe berries. The portery flavors really only show on the end and through the aftertaste with a little flash of chocolate.

M- The "Highly Carbonated" warning seems more and more necessary. Its like having one of those 4th of July sparklers in your mouth. The carbonation expands like canned insulating foam.

D- I wish I had help with this one.

I'm very glad to be drinking this. Ive wanted to try it ever since I heard about it, but this beer isnt want I was expecting. It took my expectations and turned them on their head.

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Photo of tpd975
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to gregc for sending this one for me to share with the local tasting group.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with hints of brillant red showing thru. It was a gusher and some hit the table but managed to get most in the glass. The head was big and foamy with almost too much retention. Chunky lace was noted.

S: Funky red wine aromas with hints of oak. A touch of chocolate can be detected along with some dark fruit. This one is all about the wine though, red wine.

T: The porter comes thru, but not as big as I had hoped. There were hints of roast and chocolate but they were very mild. Sour red wine is the dominent taste here. Touches of oak can be detected as well. I think the base beer should have been a bit bigger.

M: Medium in body, with prickly carbonation.

D: Good for a glass, but no more. This one was bought to share and it was perfect for that.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasting with AgentZero.

750ml bottle into my Rochefort glass.

Super dark brown with a very light tan head. About three fingers of head but it falls quickly, light lacing...The aroma is light, sweet on the front, on the back light coffee. The front sweetness is hard to pin down, I get red wine while others with us are suggesting olives. Its unique and nice either way...The taste is weird, lightly salty and sweet, weird feeling on the palate, highly carbonated. The finish is very salty. Not much that resebmles a porter.

Overall, this is the lesser of the smoke of the oak's I've had. Very weird tasting and something you can skip.

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Photo of hyland24
3.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet. I heeded the warnings I read on the Ba website and opened this bad boy over a bowl losing only a few mouthfulls. The beer poured brownish black with red hues leaving a 1/2 inch head and circles of brown lacing on the glass after the first few sips. The smell was cherries, oak, and red wine. The taste was sour cherries, port wine, and oak flavors with minimal smoke. This beer was much too carbonated for my liking. Thin and sticky mouthfeel. I was actually very dissappointed by this beer. I tried the Captain Lawrence smoke porter on draught at TAP fest NY and was blown away. Couldnt wait to get my hands on this one. Unfortunately it took on a bit too much of the wine flavors from the barrel. Im sure that was a positive for most but I prefer the smokiness which I did not get a lot of. A decent beer just not what I was hoping for.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Batch 4. This one had overcarbonation issues. After being in the fridge for several hours, this still gushed as I released pressure. Put it in the freezer for 1/2 an hour and got the bottle open and poured with minimal loss.

4.0 A: Deep brown nearly black color. Nearly three fingers of light brown dense frothy head. Retention isn't that great, but lots of lacing.

4.0 S: The merlot is super strong and is probably the most prominent aroma. Lots of oak and some acidity accompanies the vinous character. From the porter, the smoke comes through strongest, while much of the rest is lost behind the wine. However, you can tell the porter adds some depth though most of the flavors are hard to pick out.

3.0 T: Though the nose is mainly red wine, the taste is an equivalent mix of wine and porter. Unfortunately, the flavors don't mesh well. Vinous grape doesn't seem to complement the roasty components of the porter. The barrel comes through pretty well again. Lots of oak and some vanilla. Roastiness of the porter as well as toffee and some dark crystal malt come through.

3.5 M: Medium body. Initally way too much carbonation, but good moderate amount after letting most of it dissipate. Decently creamy, but could be a bit smoother. Some tannins in there.

3.5 D: Though I was most excited about this SFTO, I'm sure it is the worst. The wine barrels didn't work for Deschutes Jubel and it didn't work for this one as well. I still will eventually seek out the other ones. I will say that this does get a bit better as you get through the bottle though.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The winey version of SFTO...oh but I don't wanna! Holy crap this was a gusher. I think I lost a good 3rd of the beer. Once somewhat in the glass, the appearance is mostly a very cloudy brownish-black color. Some darker brown colored foam. Very bubbly head but when settles, is very rocky with great retention and lacing. Decent viscosity as well.

The nose as a nice blend of malt and wine aromas. To start there is a non-descript malt aroma with some underlining chocolate notes. Not much from smoke or meat aromas. The wine is very noticeable with an almost port like aroma. Some very noticeable phenols and fruity notes. Cherries, black berries, some pineapple and a touch of pomegranate. Some minor fusel notes as well.

The taste is similar. The wine character comes out more in the flavor versus the nose. More of a white wine thing and not much of a port. Mixes a bit odd with a light astringent and chocolate malt notes. Some definite woody notes along with vanilla. Some light pepper and a distinct brett flavor that became noticeable more as it warms.

The body is lacking. Some moderate feel but big carbonation leaves an astringent note from the carbonic bite. Overall, the gusher/CO2 issue is a bit distracting. The wood comes out nicely but the porter is a bit lacking/non-distinct.

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Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Phillyz
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of ajzy
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 175 ratings