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)

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:
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 176
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 womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Matt for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a fairly sizable khaki colored head.

S: A pretty nice aroma here, better than I was expecting. The smoked aspect of the porter certainly comes through nicely but is not overpowering. The wine barrel gives the beer a mild fruitiness and some subtle oak and tart notes.

T: I don't really pick up too much of the wine or oak flavor. The porter is the main attraction here and the smoke is fairly dominant. But, still a nice flavor to the beer.

M: Medium bodied with an excessive level of carbonation. The carbonation sort of takes away from the beer, to be honest.

D: A nice beer, and I liked the flavors going on here, but the carbonation really detracts from the experience. Hopefully, Captain Lawrence can get this under control.

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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 AgentZero
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Done at a tasting with jrallen34. Cheers.

A - A dark brown/mahogany color with a nicce tan head that dissipated to a full cap and left some lacing on the sides.

S - Oddly, there is a bit of pimento olive smell on this. Sweet candy and a nice, rich oak-wine smell with a solid porter back. There's nothing subtle about the wine influence but it is not gimicky or overpowering.

T - Some sweeet grape mixed in with a traditional porter feel. You get some nice wood influcence and a little bit of tart on the end. If someone can tell me what that pimento ollive taste is, I would greatly appreciate it, but I do get a little of that, although it's not bad. Something of a tart finish on the end.

M - Slightly over carbonated, makes it seem less full bodied than it really is. Not bad, but kind of confusing for the beer.

D - Not bad, it's only 6.4% but can get it down easily enough. Some pretty strong tastes, but I don't think this is a discouragement. Would drink this again.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! - at the C'ville Throwdown #3. Poured in to a tulip. Batch #3.

Appearance: What a head. This one pours a robust chocolatey black, opaque even to direct light save for around the edges where it's a dark wooden oak-hue. The really impressive part of this beer is the head though, which I knew would be impressive from the pop (it was a slight gusher) - a firm two-plus fingers of averagely-tanned head initially sat upon this body, and it never really fades beyond the thick, frothy, foamy head I'm currently looking at, surrounded by a firm, spongy mass collar and topped by tons of crisp, bold lacing.

Aroma: A robust and well-attenuated porter base beer evokes some of the best I've ever had - nice and dry, with tons of toastiness, faint bitter chocolate, espresso-roasted coffee, and a nice amount of bitter toasted astringency that melds well with the barrel notes.

Taste: Well that's an interesting balance. The way in which the astringent, sour, red wine notes - contributing plenty of tartness, and slight hints of grape skin and tannins - meld with the toastiness of the porter is pretty amazing. They compliment each other pretty well, in terms of the flavor profile - that is to say, the toastiness hits certain parts of the tongue, and the wine barrel contributions hit a completely separate set of sensory receptors on the tongue. Its almost like a dark sour at times - a toasty, dark and fruity sour. Impressive, though almost a little harsh at times, entirely due to the wine component, of course.

Mouthfeel: Very mild, soft, and nearly undercarbonated at points - the former is suitable given the base beer, but the latter almost feels natural given the strong wine contribution this one has.

Drinkability: Pretty odd, but also strangely natural, if that makes sense. As I said above, the wine contribution blends well in a sense of the "what you expect to be able to taste" sense of things, but otherwise, it's a little strange, at least in so far as the amount of wine here is a little too much for what the base beer can offer. At 6.4%, this one's pretty drinkable, but it is a little offputting in its intensity.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-pours a dark black liquid with a thick creamy light tan colored head.

S-notes of wood and sour tart cherries up front, hints of acidity, touch of roasted malts, hints of sour red grapes, a good bit of brett.

T-light roasted malt up front, sour cherry and red grapes, dark chocolate, touch of espresso, a good bit of wood, balsamic, acidity, and brett in the finish.

M-very smooth on the palate, medium body, huge carbonation, prickly in the back, crisp and hint of dryness in the finish.

D-this is extremely tasty, more like a sour and in a great way. vinous in the back with notes of merlot. great offering.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At a recently tasting, all four variants of this beer were tasted side by side. I was personally surprised at the consistency of the results.

Beer is brown to black with a brown head that falls away and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. This beer exploded with pent up carbonation, shooting out of the neck of the bottle. Our lack of preparedness was punished with the loss of more than half of the bottle to the counter top and the floor. Probably the most ridiculously over carbonated beer I have ever seen.

Beer has a woody / sweet aroma to the whole thing.

This beer had the longest lasting head of the bunch (shocking) and had a slight sour flavor to it with some woody roasty late flavor. Medium body and good drinkability. Pretty good.

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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 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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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 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 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 GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a DT tulip. Special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from a trade from a while ago!

Batch 3

A: Pours a typical porter black. Some faint lighter brown notes at the edge of the glass. Capping this is about 1 1/2 fingers of rich, dark khaki colored foam that featured excellent retention and left some pretty lacey webbing in the glass.

S: Excellent aromas of slightly tart red wine, but also scents of the base Smoked Porter. Roasted malt, smoked chocolate malt, Cabernet and/or Pinot Noir, and fresh not quite ripe berries.

T: Exactly as above with a late addition of dark chocolate covered cherries and a bit of funk and sodden barrel.

M: Smooth and velvety with the perfect amount of prickle on the lips and tongue.

D: I have to say that, so far, this has been my favorite in the SFTO series. I think my preference lies in the fact that you can easily pick out characteristics of its' Smoked Porter base. Now I just need to try the Bourbon SFTO to complete the series.

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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.

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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 ATPete
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml hand capped batch 2

A gusher, but smart thinking prevented too much loss. This one pours a solid black color with very little light penetration and a large brown head. Roasty nose with overtones of gymsock and a cheesy funk, not necessarily a bad thing. Most of this beers vinous, wine characteristics have fallen secondary to its massive smokey, burnt and roasty dark malt underbelly. Medium bodied and easy enough to drink. Im not really regretting holding on to this one for so long just kind of wish i would have cracked it 6 months earlier.

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Photo of portia99
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Really dark brown, almost black in color - totally opaque. Huge 3 fingers of mocha brown head on top. Somewhat loose and a little bit soda like...leaves a cluster of bubbles in the middle of the glass and a thick collar...nice lacing too.

S - Smells a little bit on the sour side, but mostly resembles a cabernet...some dark sour cherries. Interesting.

T - Good porter base...nice and roasty, just enough smokiness-but it is subtle. Good touches from the wine barrels - some tannins, fruityness, some sour cherries. Nice.

M - A fit foamy feeling. Full bodied. Carbonation is on the high side - giving the foaminess, but it isn't especially prickly - more on the creamy side. Good.

D - I think sharing this bottle is the right idea. Tastes pretty good, but a whole bottle might be a bit much for me. I'm liking this a lot, but feeling a bit heavy. Feels stronger and boozier than the 6.4% stated. Not like it is 12% or such, but feels more like an 8%'er...

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

Forced to drink this one early because the top popped off; bit of a disappointment. Odd mold looking clusters in the foam - yum.

Appearance: Typical dark porter, big head, nice lacing.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, oak, bit of red wine in the back. Bit of funky brett as well, not much but more than I expected. Might actually save the beer from mediocrity.

Taste: similar to the aroma - coffee, chocolate, oak, bit of red wine. Also some sort of jam, along with leather and tobacco. My guess is merlot barrels.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, decent carbonation.

Drinkability: decent, seemed to draw this one out due to lack of interest.

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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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber batch 3 into a Wine Glass. Pours a dark espresso color with a nice sized head with tiny purple bubbles from the wine barrels.

Smell of a sweet dry Cabernet or similar red wine mixed with smokey malted goodness. Mouthfeel had a medium density, but the acidity from the wine may have made it taste thinner.

Taste at first surprised me a little bit as it is hard to imagine a flavor taking over a Smoked Porter with flavor. This beer does it and does it well. Tart and tangy acidic flavors from wild yeast in the barrel as well as additional yeast added by CL. Chocolate base and smoked peaty flavor in the back remains from what this beer was before its transformation in the Wine Barrel.

Wild yeast mixed with wine barrel flavor and smokey malt goodness. A different beer than any other I have had, and a delightful change from the norm. Curious to see what would happen to this beer after a few years in the cellar...

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

This 750ml bottle courtesy of my first and most prolific trader, NutBrown. Thanks Alan!

Small hiss when I popped the cap on this batch 3 bottle and read gushing!, it pours what looks to be a pitch black. A good 1 finger head of tannish foam is what I'm looking at and it has some very good lacing.

Taking whiffs of this puppy is a pleasure. Goodly amount of the wine barrel influence with some notes of chocolate, smoke, a bit of caramel sweetness, and some nice tart notes from the wine.

First sip and it has a lovely tartness up front, a light smokiness with a bit of chocolate but a very small bit...this one is all about the wine barrel aging bringing that tasty sourness to my eagerly awaiting palate. I served this straight from the fridge so it'll be interesting to see how things go when this warms up some.

Man, this is such a great tasting beer that kicks the sourness up a notch as it warms and... the alcohol does not come into play at all and it shouldn't as it is fairly low but average for the style. The foam is still hanging around at about a 1/4" so it continues to look impressive in my New Belgium goblet.

Medium bodied with carbonation on the high side of low, it finishes, you guessed it, with a nice sour send off.

Drinkability? Way to easy to quaff, Captain Lawrence has done it yet again and of the 3 Smoke From The Oak brews I've tried, thanks to NutBrown, I like this one the most. Surely this one would be a good gateway beer for the wine drinkers out there who may look down on any bottle that has the word "beer" on the label!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, poured into a snifter; Batch #3

Pours a deep, dark chestnut brown with a creamy, khaki head that rose a good finger+ after the pour and settled to form a thin coating over the top of the beer.

Aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, slight char, and vinous dark fruit. The wine elements overpower here a little more than I would like.

The wine overpowers a bit too much here too. The dark, roasty qualities of the porter do a decent job of keeping the body from being too tart and dry but just can't quite win the battle. Flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, and a touch of vanilla from the wood.

Lighter than expected body, with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is turned up a bit much or this would be a real gem.

The abv is low and manageable, and the flavors aren't too overwhelming. Relatively easy to drink, and this coming from someone who is not a big wine fan.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into red wine glass, batch 3, picked up at the release. Review starts at around 45 degrees and up.

Note: everything about this beer was better to me between 45-55 degrees. Once it warmed up past that, it got a bit wilder in terms of the Brett, but lost a lot of the complexity, and the increased temperature and acidity seemed to thin out that amazing body. So definitely don't be afraid to give it a nice chill before opening.

Pours opaque black, with a nice, thick, creamy head from an aggressive pour. As the head recedes, the foam doesn't budge from the wall of the class. Nice looking beer.

Nose is really impressive. So much going on. Up front, you've got a big dose of bretty funk - crisp, some lemony acidity, some horseblanket. The chocolate comes out pretty clearly underneath, along with a light, dry smokiness, and the wine barrel is the final piece of the puzzle, with a nice, well integrated vinous note that has some red grapes coming out. Wow. I'm crazy impressed with this nose. So complex, but everything works with everything else.

Taste is nice as well - by now we're up to around 50 degrees. Brett is the most prominent note - lemony, a bit tart up front, acidic, lots of green apples, but quickly tempered by the nice, smooth malt body - smoke comes out more as a dryness where the smoke is hinted at, with a nice chocolaty body underneath that really takes on the dryness from the smoke. Just a bit of the red wine on the swallow, almost coming out more as sour cherries at times, but it comes out more on the long finish, which also carries a bit of chocolate and some lemony acidity from the brett along as well. I have to say, this is my third bottle of this beer, and this one is by far the best of the bunch so far. This has really turned into a world class beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, full, lush.

Drinkability is fantastic. The flavors are so in sync that nothing wears on you, and the abv is reasonable and doesn't show up at all in the beer. Overall, a really fine offering.

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Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark earthy brown with a silky tan head. Nice lacing and retention.

Nose has ripe fruits, smoked malts, barnyard funk, chocolate, coffee, tart citrus, oak and red wine.

The taste again has sour funk up front followed a big roasty porter, cocao, espresso, molasses, cherries, musty oak, dry pinot, smokey peat and more musty funk.

Medium body with velvety smooth carbonation. Nice dry, acidic finish. Could drink this all night.

Near perfect balance, quite a unique ale. A big robust porter and wild yeast brought together in wodden wine barrels. What more can one ask for?

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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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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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