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 gpcollen1
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased on Saturday afternoon alongside ErikTheRed. Nice to meet fellow BAs out and about.

Pours a deep dark villainous charcoal into my snifter. Head comes a bubbling up to half an inch of cocoa-like seafoam and slowly subsides to just a light layer on top. A gentle swirl leaves a wonderful patchwork of dripping lace - if you are into that.

Aromas are strong - deeply laden with the grape character brought from the wine barrels. Oak works its way in as we approach room temperature. Another swirl and the light roasty smokey character wafts in and then back out again, like it has a date with Pam Anderson.

Smokey character sensed on inhale as it approaches my lips. Chocolate hits the front of my tongue, hints of oak, and quickly creeps fruity sweet and heads straight to the grape. Finishes with the transition to drunken raisins and into roasty smokey malts with some more oak on the back end. Has a nice moderate level of carbonation, enough to tickle the tongue here and there, and mouthfeel that sits just right in the middle of the spectrum.

This is quite good - every sip a new experience. Definitely drink this out of a snifter if you have one. I would have to say that Scott knows what he is doing and then some, duh. I would drive twice as far and pay twice as much for this; MY GOODNESS.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a light tan head. Nose brings forward a hit of acidity atop some dark roast, berries, oak, and a touch of vanilla. Taste brings up the afidity a tiny notch. It is not dominant, but makes its presence known. Oak and roasted malt are also there with a bit of chocolate. Feel is a bit lighter than I would expect. Drinks quite well. Fairly unique.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared at woodshop 5.1

Poured black with brown highlights with a finger of head that left lots of sticky blotchy lacing on the glass. Very intresting nose that consisted of porter like characteristic such as chocolate malts dark fruits slight roastiness and wine aromas like grapes slight tart notes with a smoke scent as well. The porter like characteristics are sublte with oak, vinous, and smoke flavors. It also has chardonnay tartness with bretty notes. The beer was medium body with a high amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet but tart and smokey finish. Really enjoyed this brew even though the beer was not so balanced and the flavors were all over the place. I dug it and would like to have some more of it.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasing. Bottle was from Batch 2.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan
head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of wine, dark fruits, and cherries. Also some roasted and toasted malts and hint of chocolate.

t - Tastes of cherries, dark fruits, wine, and a little bit of bitterness. Some roasted malts and smokiness comes out in the flavor.

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

d - I really enjoyed this porter. I thought it smelled amazing and was very easy to drink. I'd like to try it again sometime and try the other variations.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I received this 750mL bottle, batch 3, as part of a BIF earlier this year. I've had the apple brandy version previously and over the last few weeks my appetite for this style has been steadily increasing.

The beer slowly pushes foam out of the bottle after uncapping, not enough volume to cause a spill but enough to make me cautious. The beer pours a dark chocolate brown color, completely opaque, with a thick (gushing) tan foam that laces in huge gravity-defying chunks on the side of the glass. It smells sour right off the bat, similar to my recollection of the apple brandy version, with some smoked malts underneath. It actually smells a lot like I remember the apple brandy smelling, minus whatever apples were in there. I cannot get any wine aromas, the malt and smoke and sour bite are too strong. Really delicious smelling to me though.

The beer tastes just as it smells, a little tart and bracing upfront with hints of smoke and roasted malts, and a lasting sour bite in the after-taste. A lot of flavor, probably pushing the boundaries for those who don't have the palate for sour beers or rauchbiers, but to me it was ideal. It's what I imagine porters in early colonial America might have tasted like. The body was about average, maybe a little thin in contrast to the large flavors, but still OK given the low ABV. Extremely good and recommended.

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Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of and shared with mrand01. Batch 3 so I believe it was from 2009.

Pours a dark brown color with a fairly sizable khaki colored head. Much more head than I expected for a 3+ year old beer; bottle conditioning must have ate up some residual sugars to add to the bubbles here.

Aromas really threw me off guard. I was expecting a lot of dark roast and smoke but I get straight red wine barrel here. Quite red grape forward with a hint of acidity atop some light dark roast, berries, oak, and a touch of vanilla as it further warms.

The tastes begin fruity, up front, with a green apple and red grape flavor, with a light tartness element that grows through mid-palate and into the finish. Smoke pops up a little mid-flavor but is quickly over-run by the vinous dominant flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with buoyant carbonation. Dry oak and tart berries linger ever-so-slightly on the palate, which no surprisingly, make the finish nice and dry. Darker malt backbone also adds to that element.'

Overall I was very skeptical to try this beer because I hate smoke beers; they are probably my least favorite style, but at this point of this beers lifespan, there is little to none present. Red vinous flavors dominate the aroma and flavor which I love and really make this an interesting and enjoyable beer for me. Such a great flavor profile for such a low ABV is the most impressive thing for me here. Highly recommended and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured black in color with a huge foamy khaki colored head to it. I had to wait for the foam to settle a bit a few times to get enough in the glass. Head retention was good and it left some nice full lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma shows a sour and tart characteristic to it with some wine, sour cherries and a general funkiness. Very nice complex aroma that is a lot like a wild ale. The roasted porter flavors are very light in the aroma but they did seem to be more present in the taste.

The taste starts with some of the sour funk, tart, fruity flavors found in the nose. The sour cherry flavor really seems to come out, and I love that. Towards the finish more of the smoke, chocolate and roasty porter flavors start to come out with a moderate bitterness. Complex and delicious.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high. Drinkability is good, it had a great mix of flavors to it. It had a lot of wild ale qualities to it which were very interesting with the roasted porter flavors. They mixed much better then I anticipated and it was a very enjoyable and complex beer overall. It's tough to review to style a porter that is more like a wild ale. It's so different and unique I'm just basing everything on how much I liked it.

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Photo of magnusdave
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

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

Review from notes taken on 11/12/10.

Batch #4 poured into a small snifter appears a dark brown color with a bit of clarity around the edges. A creamy khaki head appears more than a finger strong and retains nicely with uneven patches across the top of the brew and patchy lacing clinging to the glass.

The aroma is tangy and lightly funky with both a vinous and citrus aspect. There is a light backing of chocolate malt present that provides a mild sweetness to the nose. However, the main composition of the aroma of this brew is the lactic quality which includes a vinous touch. Once the brew comes up to temperature, more of the barrel aging quality starts to come out. Instead of just smelling vinous, it opens up to include a light sweet smelling vanilla character.

The taste includes a lactic sourness that has a light young green yeastiness. At times the dark grain flavors try to come through with some chocolate notes but it is very faint and gets completely trumped by the sourness that is lactic and enjoyably tangy. Some of the alcohol warmth is noted and the chocolate malt flavor finally comes through in the finish. Once this brew reaches warmer temperatures, a light vanilla flavor from the oak aging opens up.

This brew is quite drinkable. It was a pleasant contrast to see this labeled as a porter and look like a porter but be a very wild experience in the flavor and the nose. This is medium to light in the feel with a high level of carbonation. It is prickly on the tongue and comes across as somewhat dry from a combination of the lactic sourness mixed with a light oaked flavor that resides in the mouth.

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

Batch #3 (aged for ~8 months). Notes of brett, oak, wine and porter form a not quite harmonious union in this beer. It's not so much that the flavors don't mesh, but the base porter seems mildly uncomfortable with its highbrow (or oddball, depending on your preferences) bedfellows. The chocolate and roasty malt flavors are present but more muted than expected. The tartness from the brett and the punchy, fruity wine (though, I imagine the wine was relatively dry) take center stage. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy this battle of flavors, but I could understand an alternate viewpoint. The beer looks like a porter, coffee black, with a big puffy, khaki-cream head. The taste is dry, unsurprisingly. This is a very interesting beer that makes me want to find a source for more from the brewery.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle received from gregc in a trade. Thanks, Greg! I've been psyched about this beer for a while. Chilled a couple of days and then gently cracked open to release the built-up carbonation. Takes about 15 minutes but I eventually get to decanting half into my wine glass

A: Almost black with dark ruby-red highlights. A massive three-finger thick brown head caps the beer and keeps growing until it finally stops, leaving tons of lacework. Pretty awesome looking

S: The Brett has fermented a lot of the porter out of the nose. Up front is a strong, vinous aroma coupled with a refreshing, funky melange of barnyard and wet leather coupled with oak. The combination is quite fantastic. Behind it all, there is some mild smoke and a hint of chocolate and dried coffee grounds. Not to belabor the point but the red wine character is truly beautiful.

T: On the palate, the wine character dominates up front, coating my mouth with a rich, vinous softness. Brett flavors are present with a moderate funkiness with some barnyard and mildly band-aid like flavors that combine well with the smokiness and moderately burnt malt character from the base porter to create a truly unique. There's a hint of chocolate and coffee as well. Drying and pleasingly tannic on the finish with a combination of wine and bandaid flavors. Very good!

M: This is what I was most scared of after seeing this gush. Thankfully, by the time I got to drinking this, the extra carbonation was lost and all that was left was a soft carbonation that worked well with the surprisingly heavier than expected body of the beer and the palate-coating slickness.

D: I am enjoying this quite a bit. Well done, Scott!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2 bottle at 58 degrees.

With the cap being quickly snapped off and a Duvel tulip at the ready, only a small amount of beer was spilled. Massively, quickly gushing. Two inches of liquid and the rest of the glass was pure spongy brown foam. A second glass had to be filled in order to keep the bottle from gushing further contents out of the neck.
After five minutes the porous foam receded to a full skim coat on the surface of an opaque brown body. Shredded and smeared lacework abounds.

Aromatics lead off with dark chocolate, vineous wine, smoke, and dark fruits.
Hints of red berries, pineapple, nougat, vanilla, and char follow through.

On the full side of medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel.

An extreme vineousity starts the palate, with dark chocolate, coffee grounds, and smoldering embers.
Red wine with shades of black forest batter, elderberries, tannins, and espresso.

Finishes with lingering red fruits, cocoa, a slight tartness, and a drying afterthought.

Theres definately a growing Brett presence here, with the pineapple in the nose, and tartness in the finish.
No worries as long as I don't lose much from the bottle, because it's so tasty...

Update 9/28/09
Batch 2 as well, from a long chill in the fridge.

A quick, violent gush had me racing to fill four glasses before the gush stopped coming out of the neck of the bottle. Lost about a half a glass on the counter. Obviously the brett is continuing to work.

The beer is basically as the previous one was described but the wine seems a bit faded and theres definately more tartness showing. Far from sour but a hint of tart cherries in the nose is followed by more on the palate.

Finishes with plenty of smokey char and lingering tart fruit.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2 compliments of gpcollen1 in a trade well over a yr ago. Shared it at the BA Pittsburgh gathering-but got a large enough sample and adequate overall impression of the beer for a review.

A- This bottle was a gusher and took awhile to settle. Hue of the body was a medium to dark very murky brown with a large foamy light tan head that kept pretty well.

S-The nose is a good blend of wet oak, a hint of funk, red wine, and roasted dark malt.

T- The flavor profile here was unique and very interesting. The overall impression was a sour porter-a wild ale w/dark fruits and classic roasted porter. The red wine/ dark fruit character and the roasted malt/porter character don't really blend and remain two separate, discernible entities that duel rather than unite. The oak flavor seems to be the only bridge connecting them. Neither character is strong nor mild (i.e. don't go into this expecting something like Consecration).

M-Medium body and moderate combination despite the gushing when the bottle was opened.

D- This is a very good, interesting, unique porter. Not sure how it was fresh-but it has aged very well and I am happy to have tried it and shared it with fellow BAs.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch no. 4

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. Body is black like soot with a creamy, light-tan, head on top. Patchy lacing left behind.

Dark grapes, chocolate and roasty malts on the nose. Oaky with vanilla and a nice fruit presence. A hint of funky sourness comes through as well.

On the tongue this beer truly does taste like a porter with wine characteristics. Creamy, chocolaty, roasted notes mix with oak and slightly soured grape. Traces of vanilla, a touch of tannin and a bit of woody smoked malt. Very well done.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with adequate carbonation. Touch of acidic sourness. Bitterness and sweetness are well balanced.

Drinkability is good. This is a fun beer to drink and the lower ABV means that splitting a bottle won't be a problem. Captain Lawrence has done a great job of pulling out the wine notes while still keeping the porter front and center. Smoke from the oak (wine barrel) crosses the beer-wine border quite well, much like DFH's Red and White. Great for pairing with steaks or introducing wine lovers to beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark brown with good carbonation and a nice dierty white head(sts)

S: Cherries, tart, Pinot and wood

T: Tart with an affront of wood and Earthiness. Tart cherries, acidic

M: Well carbonated, lighter booze but it was sharp on the booze bite at times

D: Really good. my first from CL and I liked it.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opens quite lively, gushes out upon opening all over the counter as I rush to the sink and begin pouring. Pours a dark cola brown with a large light brown head that recedes slowly with some decent lacing. Final pour shows some yeasty goodness. Aroma has a strong nutmeg and vanilla aroma, almost like freshly made eggnog. This eggnog sweetness blends well with a red wine tartness. Taste follows the aroma with some of the eggnog sweetness and the red wine tartness, decent wood flavor in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium in body, somewhat creamy, nice and dry in the finish. Very good beer, the nutmeg / vanilla aroma and flavor is unique and tasty as well. Thanks to the few great traders who sent me a sample of this.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damnit, damnit, damnit. I read 20 times about the gushing bottles and had been planning on how to best deal with it and then it all slipped my mind as I casually popped the bottle. As it all gushed out, I did the ol' "Doh!" and grabbed another glass to fill. I only lost a wee bit.

Pours pitch black with a tan head that sticks around (surprise). Lots of lacing on the way down as well. Nose is strong with wood tones. Sweet wood tones. Flavor is intense. The wood that's in this is so deep, it's not just proper to say it's wood. This is the living wood that rests well below the bark of the aged trees you might find. Almost a berry tone to it as well. But it's just thick. Almost like the most robust blackberry you could ever find - multiplied by 20. Carbonation is smooth and the liquid is good too. This is very easy to drink, but I am going to say that this could use at least another year to age and mellow. Still pretty nice though. What were the type of barrels used here? Merlot? I can't remember, but that'd be my guess.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost opaque, deep dark brown with ruby hues near the edges. A huge stiff light tan head that decomposes much like an ice cream float.

The smell is primarily smokey. Beneath the smoke, an acidic grape wine and if you stay with it past that, a milk chocolate and roasty porter.

The mouth feel is immediately bitter then the alcohol from the wine kicks through. That's enough complexity for me already but the timid yet lingering chocolate of the porter tiptoes in. The second mouthful is much more telling after being 'conditioned'. The milky roast porter makes a stand against sharp (or sour?) wine. Very interesting; scores imagination points! At the bottom now and there is still plenty of foam and it really adds a creamy texture to the whole thing.

Noteworthy and interesting drinker! Highly recommend it. I've gotta say that it's probably not worth sticking it into a box called "American Porter". Unless the "American" part of that is interpreted to be "with a lot of attitude!". This is the first 'sour' beer that i've had that i can't wait to experience again. The ABV is ???, but i'm guessing that it's double digits. Many thanks to WesWes for the trade!

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes.
shared by Oreo AND Drewba at a tasting.
served in a snifter.

Pours a hazy, murky, reddish/brown with a good toffee colored head.
The nose is strong oak with a grapeskin tannin quality. Solid smokey malt base hiding beneath the surface. The sip reveals a bit of tartness here -- me likey.
The sweetness up front-- toffee and caramel malt. The smoke comes next with an acrid dryness. Then come dark fruits like red grapes, blackberries, and tart black cherries.

The smoke runs through like the bass-line to the song Under Pressure-- it's just there man. You can't ignore it, but after a while, it blends so seamlessly into the tune, that you hardly notice it.

Nice feel-- highly carbonated, but not overly so.

This drinks insanely well. I like it.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3. I drank batch 2 last year but lost quite of a bit of it when I opened it in the middle of my living room (like a moron) and it gushed.

Poured into my Russian River tulip, the beer is very dark brown with deep ruby highlights when held to light. A gentle pour yields a fluffy two finger, light brown head. retention is good and there's some lacing on the glass.

The initial aroma I notice is the wine: Pinot Noir and Merlot. Beneath the grapes I find notes of chocolate, vanilla, and plum. At the heart of the it is the base beer, the smoked porter. It's covered by the wine and other rich aromas, but the smokiness is still present, if faint, as well as licorice and roasted malt. Overall, the beer has a subtle yet inviting aroma.

The flavor shows more of the base beer than the aroma did. Flavors of chocolate, grapes, plum, roasted malt, vanilla, and oak are present. There's a pleasant underlying smokiness to the beer that isn't overwhelming and works well with the wine notes. No hop character is noticeable. The beer has a nice low-medium level of sweetness. The flavor is slightly tart. The finish is fruity, lightly smoked, and here the alcohol is most noticeable in the form of a mild burn in the back of the throat.

Medium-full bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

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

Bottle courtesy nickd717. Pours a dark ruby brown with a beige froth that has a little tinge of pink hue to it. Aroma is of berry pie, jammy red wine, milk chocolate, very woody. Flavor is acidic grapes and berries, again heavy on the oakiness with only a trace of smoked porter. Light moussey chocolate and a whisper of smoke underneath the wine. A little tannic/astringent, but good in an unexpected way.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks UDbeernut for sharing -- bit of a gusher, batch #2

The beer pours a a slightly hazy dark black/brown with a thin tan head that laces. The nose is wine barrel forward with a touch if funk and smoke...quite pungent. The taste is a strange mix of smoke and wine barrel with a lingering vinous dryness. It's medium bodied mouthfeel is smokey with a touch of sweetness upfront followed by a dominating wine barrel funk. Definitely unique tasting and has the great vinous feel that I was hoping for when I poured my glass. I'd recommend this beer to those who want a 1-2x try of a funky, tart, vinous porter, but not for an everyday drink.

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

A- black, no light going through this thing, a tan head that just wont go away, the bottle had head coming out of it tell we were below half way in the bottle.

S- This beer is baffling to me. It smells like a iambic. Very fruity sweet. I am guessing this is from the wine barrel.

T- Starts with the sweet iambic taste even just like the smell. It is a dry beer again traits from the wine barrel. then goes into a light roasted malt .

M- Bubbly like champagne and then a dry sense like wine

D- I just dont know what to think about this beer. everything about it makes no sense to me and yet I love it. Def worth getting your hands on if you can get to it.

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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