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

very good
176 Ratings
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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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2

Appearance: A gusher, as expected, that pours a chocolate fudge color with a massive head; some shards of lace stick to the chalice

Smell: Vinous, tart aroma of green apples and red wine grapes

Taste: Tart and fruity, up front, with a green apple and grape flavor, with a vinegary element that grows through mid-palate and into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: No porter and no smoke...but I kind of expected that as the infection has taken its toll over the years

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Photo of BTPete
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cl sfto wine batch 3

A: dark, dark brown, reddish hues in direct light. Nice fluffy head off of gushers.

S: sweet malt, some vinous notes, a little note of sour tinge, probably from the wine barrel.

T: big flavor profile, dark sweet malts and big vinous flavor. The time in the barrel really ups the complexity.

M: highly carbed, gushed a little, medium to full bodied.

D: a sipper for me, just too flavorful to drink a lot, split 4 ways. Enjoyable though.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 4/24/08. Rating #100!!! Bottle, batch 2. Pours black with a HUGE dark tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of tart sour fruit, red wine. Initial flavor of sour fruit/wine with notes of the porter coming out in the finish (coffee, roast). This is a very unique beer and one of the better ones I've had that has been aged in a wine barrel, so this gets extra points from me for creativity. I enjoyed the beer's sweetness initially, but as I continued to drink it got a little too sweet and almost medicinal. I would have liked to get more of the porter character in the flavor. Still, an interesting beer to try. 8/5/6/4/14 (3.7/5)

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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.

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Photo of gford217
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle, batch 2, courtesy of multiple generous traders poured into a tulip.

A: Sure enough, we've got a gusher! Pours dark, dark brown (and full of foam) out of the bottle before settling in to a black in the glass with a huge tan head that lingers forever and leaves blankets of lacing.

S: The red wine and slight funk hit me from across the room as it gushed out. As it settled down, the aromas of the porter, with its roasted malts and dark chocolate, came out a lot more.

T: The initial sour red grape taste dominates everything else. There are faint hints of the porter in the background and a bit of roasted coffee and chocolate in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and uber-carbonated which leaves the palate tingling with the sour red grape taste.

D: This is extremely complex and tasty brew, though I wish the porter came out a tad more in the taste. Nonetheless, original and enjoyable, though not particularly up my alley.

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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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 2.

It's a stealth foamer, quietly boiling over after opening, BE VIGILANT! Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 3/4" brown head above the opaque dark brown brew. Thick head lasts and lasts, with dense coating lace. Aroma is dominated by tartness. Taste begins with sweet malts, promptly giving way to the tart fruitiness which reigns the rest of the experience. Some oakiness comes out slightly, but just gets shouted down. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is pretty good, but the tart character is just too much for what this beer should be this time around.

6/1/07 - 5/4/4/4.5/4
750ml bottle from gpcollen1 via trade. Thanks for the opportunity. Batch No. 1.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 2 1/2" brown head above the opaque dark brown brew. Very dense, frothy head is has incredible staying power, with tons of heavy lace. Aroma is vinous and tart, little to any malt or smoke components noticeable. Taste starts with moderate maltiness, quickly yielding to the wine and oak flavors, which linger through the close, coupled with some light warmth. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is quite nice as well. Just wish the smoke had stayed longer at the party.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle batch 3. Purchased at the brewery. Part of Compound Spring Binge 09'. Poured into a snifter.

A- Being cautious while opening, SFTO was not a gusher thankfully. Batch 3 is a jet black dark color with no light coming through. A gracious dark tan/brown head reached one inch in height. Some nice streaks of lace on the inside of the glass. Nice for a barrel aged beer.

S- The wine barrel really comes forth in the smell with a lighter presence of oak from the barrel. Some vanilla as well with a overall sour sense. Getting some dark fruits and roastiness from the base beer. A bunch of roasted malt giving of a sweet aroma. Smoke is in the back as well and is not heavy unlike the name of this beer would suggest.

T- Well this version is good no doubt about it. As expected the wine just jumps out at you leaving most of the porter qualities to the end. The barrel aging is pronounced with both Merlot and Pinot Noir notes coming in strong. In the middle some chocolate and licorice and some smoked malts and more porter tastes towards the backend. With warming some vanilla rears it's head making for a nice addition.

M- SFTO wine is pretty much on the medium bodied side of things but the taste would suggest otherwise. This has the feel of a beer but the taste of wine. A bit hard to get accustomed to but time heals this. The sweet malts used in this makes for a pretty smooth BA beer. The carbonation is nice and is felt but I guess is not as high as earlier batches with the no gusher.

D- Not knowing the ABV on this I would assume the barrel aging would step up the regular smoked porter(6.4%) a notch or two and im feeling quite nice as I type. I took my time with this to really get to know it. Not really being a big wine drinker I prefer the bourbon barrel more but this is a nice addition to the bunch. Maybe some age would bring out some more porter qualities but that would defy the purpose of SFTO, wouldn't it?

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Photo of Lothore
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into the snifter very quickly as I had heard that this one is a gusher. Pours a deep reddish brown with a huge, creamy, fluffy, brown head which leaves tons of lacing as it goes down.

S- The vinous red wine notes come through strong in the nose. Difficult to distinguish the varietal used but it is certainly potent. Sour, bretty notes fade to a very understated coffee smell.

T- Much different than the nose let on. Lots of coffee all the way through, especially lingering towards the end. Red wine characteristics seem to float on top of the palate and are backed up by deep, rich, chocolaty maltiness.

M- Strangely the carbonation in this one isn't as agressive as you would suspect. Very creamy, medium bodied.

D- Honestly, i'm not the biggest coffee fan and to me, that detracted a bit from the brew. Very interesting offering however i'm just not sure how well everything works together yet. Maybe in a year this one will grow into itself more.

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Photo of drseamus
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

EXPLOSION CITY!!! Half the bottle ended up on the carpet. I emailed Captain Lawrence and if they make it up, I'll revise this review.

A: Dark brown body with a bit of light penetrating at the edges, but not through the center. A bit of head is an understatement, considering half the bottle was head.

S: Nice sour aroma dominates and no smoke is detectable.

T: The smoke is more detectable in the flavor. There is a bit of fruitness from the wine as well. The sour kicks in mid palate and lasts.

M: Fairly light bodied for a porter but the bugs will thin it out.

D: I can't give it great drinkability because I only got to drink half the bottle.

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Photo of misinformed
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4 poured into my trusty Capt. Lawrence pint glass.

A- Due to my overzealous pour I ended up with a glass of massive dark tan head. Pretty quickly it died down to a disc of head that stuck around until the very end. The beer itself is completely opaque black with red/brown highlights.

S- Sourness, wine, dark fruits, some malty notes. The wine takes center stage here.

T- Nice mild sour start with a mellow roasted malt and faint smoke finish. Lots of winey dark fruit, sour cherries, bittersweet chocolate, dark malt, and just a hint of smoke on the end. The sourness and late chocolate notes work really well together.

M- The pour made it look thicker than it is as well as a nice lingering "chewiness", but this is definitely on the lighter side. Not quite medium bodied. Some prickly carbonation, but mostly smooth. Lingering acidic dryness.

D- One to share. I drank the whole bottle myself over the course of a rainy evening, but it was almost too much. I really liked the sourness a lot and I didn't find it "funky" like some other reviewers. The wine flavors seem to be the main thing going on here, but it is still nicely balanced by the malts.

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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.

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Photo of jsilva
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of jkane101
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of sliverX
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of soft, foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of a strong sourness with notes of oak and red wine.

T - Didn't really have many porter qualities. It was sour and had a strong oak and vanilla present. There was some maltiness but no roasted flavors you get in a porter.

M - It was soft and smooth with a very dry finish. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is interesting. The wine barrel aging removes the porter-like qualities and mellows it out.

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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.

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Photo of Crosling
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Perfect appearence, evidence of the natural nature. Glorious head and dark brown color. Mild aroma, showcasing a bit of oak , chocolate, smoke and red wine. Flavor is nicely balanced and enjoyable, but could be a bit more amped up. It’s not very concentrated or very flavorful in general. It’s an impressively made and unique beer, but the finished product is just ok. This is one of the few instances that the beer might have been aged a bit too long in oak. Very little character of the original beer comes through, and I think that would be a welcome element. Still, I am impressed with Captain Lawrence thusfar.

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3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, thanks to ScorseseZoe for sharing!

Poured from a 750 ml into a Duvel tulip, Batch #3.

The beer poured a beautiful deep deep brown with a huge volumonus 1 1/4" tan head that bubbled and poped, resembling a lunar surface. On of the best looking beers that I had seen in a while.

Up front on the nose, the wine barrel aging comes in first, followed by some estery notes and a slight molasses finish.

Let start off by saying this is a good beer but I was able to enjoy it more by not thinking of it as an aged porter but rather as a sour ale with notes of roasty porter-ness. I would have really liked more porter to come through, instead of strong sour notes up front, giving way to notes of port and then finally a very slight porter finish. If I had had an anchor steam porter in the fridge I might of tried blending the two for kicks. I will say that once this brew warmed up more, the porter came through slightly more (no surprise there) but I just wish that this was bigger bodied beer to support it's big taste. In a way, it almost tasted watered down with the flavors dropping off very quickly.

Mouthfeel was definitely a porter mouthfeel, light feeling but with a medium body.

For the sour notes, it made this beer almost refreshing to drink but do to the lack of balance with flavors I couldn't give it higher than a 3.

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Photo of mikeydaknows
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First sip and smell is kind sour from the merlot and cab wine barrels, I'm assuming. It grows on you really fast. I bought 2 bottles drank one, aging one. Not picking up the smoke from the porter. Getting a lot of oak from the barrels and sour from the wine. A little watery-mouth feel, but I can taste the porter in the way aftertaste. It's still very complex.

I am hoping that the one I'm aging for a year turns out better.
I enjoyed this beer a lot, but The Smoke from the Oak in Woodford Reserve barrels has to be my favorite.

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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!

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle from ShogoKawada...thanks man! Poured safely from a capped 750ml bottle into my tasting snifter. Pours a wonderful looking dark black, with brown and reddish tinges shining through. A massive toffee colored head arises and not only has excellent retention, but great looking lacing as well. Overall, a great looking beer!

Aroma is also very inviting! Tons of roasted malts, slight booze, sour cherries...mixed with a mild wine/funkiness.

Flavor is very decent, but not as good as I was hoping for. Based on the style, I was hoping for just a bit more sweetness, which doesn't really exist. Loads of roasted malts and semi-sour cherries. Not overwhelmingly sour, but a decent contrast. Booze doesn't really come through in the mouth. Carbonation is very high, mouthfeel is a medium body. Overall, a tasty beer...different, but not one I"ll probably seek out anytime soon.

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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 176 ratings.
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