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

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Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Aged)

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 05-25-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 104
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, batch 2. Pours black with no real head. Aroma of sweet rum, alcohol, and a roasted malt background. Flavor of rum and slight roast, but for what it is, it's somewhat mellow and drinkable. Overall it was ok but quite dominated by the rum with hardly any of the background porter coming through. Kinda bland but not much complexity. I just wasn't into this.
6/3/6/3/13 (3.1/5)

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Photo of brentk56
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch 2

Appearance: Another gushing disaster from this series and as I saw some ugly sediment at the top of the bottle I knew it would be a problem; by the time the gushing was over, there was very little head to the beer

Smell: To its credit, it smells like rum

Taste: Unlike the aroma, the beer is sour from the get go, without any real hint of rum, just a vinegary, green apple mess

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Overall: Another infected bottle from the series; I can see why it has been retired

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Photo of thatguy314
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Having had the very excellent Smoke from the Oak Bourbon Barrel I was expecting a lot from this and was honestly, sorely disappointed. It poured rich black and creamy, much thicker than the regular smoked porter which I poured next to it. Its nose was smokey, sweet and complex, which was a good sign. However, the sweet rum character completely overpoured the dark, astringent character of the porter when I drank it. I couldn't finish my whole glass. The rum flavor was just too overpowering (you might think differently if you are a rum person, but I am not). Oak aging did provide it with an excellent mouthfeel. Scott obviously knows how to make a good oak-aged beer. I think rum-barrel was an interesting experiment to try (and one I was very interested in tasting), I just don't think the results are my thing at all.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cap. Lawrence- Smoke from the Oak (Rum)

I forgot who sent this to me, I apologize! Once I figure it out I'll edit the review!

A- Deep reddish black with a flat appearance and a small foamy head. No lacing.
S- Very sweet rum aroma, a touch of charcoal, and the mildest of cocoa.
T- Again sweet charcoal rum flavor hits you. Light chocolate cocoa powder body with a dash of vanilla extract.
M- Very sweet with a mild body and an even sweeter slight alc. touched finish.

Overall- Bland. A weak, smooth, rum with a touch of cocoa. Thats all I'm getting!? I was expecting much more.

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Photo of beagle826
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had this one cellered for about 2.5 years. Cracked it open and was surprised that it smelled a bit sour. Very dark, viscous looking pour. Taste was a bit sweet, oak didn't come through as much as I expected. Ultimately, a little bit disappointing. Seemed like there was too many conflicting flavors going on at once.

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Photo of HimerMan
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle, Batch 1. Poured into an English nonic glass.

Opened with way too much carbonation, and foamed up for a few minutes before I could pour it. (This was very consistent with the Heavyweight 25.4oz bottles.) For some reason I have this problem often with these bottles, biggest one that comes to mind is Heavyweight's Ste've.

Pours a dark brown/black with a head that (once settled) was about half a finger. A bit murky, and did leave a fair amount of residue after the first glass.

Great smell - definite rum notes, with a woody/smoke that is impossible to miss. The downside to this sweet smelling porter is the pure/raw alcohol scent that is unpleasant. Once you starting drinking it, the alcohol burn flavor/feeling does subside - however, it was a bit harsh at the open.

Taste - This is a very sweet beer, that immediately has a soaked rum raisin taste with a malty/oaky/smoke aftertaste. There is a lot going on with this beer, perhaps too much.

Overall this is definitely worth a try; especially for those who enjoy the sweeter porters and/or dessert beers. This would probably be suited for after a BBQ or with something a bit salty. Given its price - I would suggesting splitting a bottle with someone interested in the style.

On an aging note - this may be a great candidate to age for a year or so to see what happens with the extreme carbonation and see if some more of the flavors blend better. As for now, the drinkability is harsh - but may have a positive bias with some year(s) under its belt.


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Photo of DaveAnderson
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 2, which means this has been in the bottle for at least 4 years.

A standard pour into a Duvel glass produces a creamy head that looks like a milk chocolate mousse. After reading some other reviews of this batch, I was ready for a gusher, but I just got a properly-carbonated, quite attractive beer in my glass. The beer itself is dark and hazy.

Wow. I was not expecting this to smell sour. I'm suddenly very excited about this beer. I normally don't find rum very interesting, so I expected this to be less interesting than, say, something aged in bourbon barrels. This smells like a chocolatey oude bruin. It also reminds me of a chocolate cherry cordial. The rum -- and the oak for that matter -- is very subtle.

Unfortunately, the flavor of this beer simply does not live up to the smell. I would have preferred either a lot more sourness, or none at all. There are two beers in this glass, and they are fighting each other for my attention. I'm starting to wonder if this was supposed to be sour at all. Maybe it's just infected.

It is extremely difficult to rate the mouthfeel on this beer, because I can't figure out what it is supposed to be.

In the end, I found myself quite disappointed. To quote Emperor Joseph II from Amadeus, it had "too many notes".

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Photo of emerge077
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Ben for sharing this one, review from written notes.
Bottle stored in temperature-controlled, zero light conditions. Unfortunate gusher due to botham's hasty maneuvers. Served in a goblet.

Brownish black, reddish glint in the meniscus of the glass. A constant presence of sturdy tan foam, due to the furious carbonation levels. Head eventually breaks on the surface, no lacing.

Tart, indistinct barrel notes with perceptible alcohol in the aroma.
Lightly tart and tannic. No rum character. It comes across as a generic barrel aged beer, oaky and thin with a marked acidity. Not very cohesive or nuanced, it's faded into something of a muddy mess (maybe it always was, based on some early reviews). Overall its not terrible, but nothing worth seeking out really, unless a new batch is released and there are positive reports.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this 750 ml. bomber from Eyedrinkale as part of the BIF Race 2008. The warning about a gusher in one of the previous reviews was on my mind as I opened the bomber, and sure enough quick hand work was needed to prevent a full eruption onto the desk. Hell as I poured the beer and set the bomber down, foam kept building up and filled all of the headspace and started oozing out. That's a carbon footprint Al Gore surely would not approve of. The beer itself looked very black in the tulip, and the foam atop it died down to some serious lacing that formed legs. The smell was oak and a lot of it. I am a fan of barrel aging in general, but the woodiness was a bit overdone here. The oak tannins made this tasted a lot like a dark Saison than a Porter. There was a little bit of chocolate in the background. I could not taste much of a rum character, and if smoke was not mentioned on the label, I would have not noticed the absence of it. The beer felt thick and soothing in the mouth, and although not mentioned, the belly warming indicated that this was quite a potent brew. That being said, the complicated aging process seems to have detracted rather than added to this Porter. I'd like a lot more smoke please.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2; Sampled November 2008
Pretty darn well carbonated, a careful pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip rises a full-two fingers above the rim of my glass, for a total of seven-fingers of height. The head is a nicely browned, dark tan color. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber / brown that approaches black in color and the beer is pretty opaque as not a hint of light passes through it when held up to the light. The aroma smells of roasted grain, a weird, fruity rum-like note (with a bit of plum in there) and perhaps a touch of funk (I sure hope not though as I had enough of the funk in batch 1). The aroma is significantly burnt, at times smelling like burnt plums, burnt whole grain toast and there is also a significant, though at first not noticed, phenolic smoke character to this beer. The smoke can come off as a burnt vegetal note at times, but does add a savory, almost salty character to the finish of the nose. A touch of spicy alcohol also seems to come from the Rum barrel, though the barrel influence in the aroma is somewhat subtle.

Lightly sweet, savory, a bit hot and this finishes with a smoky phenolic note that sort of turns into a vegetal & plastic like flavor in the long, lingering finish. The upfront sweetness in this seems contributed by rum (both the alcohol and a touch of fruitiness), this beer quickly dries out though as the beer flows across the tongue. This has a nice roast character to it with notes of burnt cocoa, a touch of burnt acidity, a roasted nut note, a chalky burnt grain husk note and a burnt graininess. This is fairly light bodied and, if not for the hot alcohol and phenolics, this would be down right quaffable. Other notes of tart plum / prune, a touch of white pepper, a touch of brown sugar, fig and perhaps just a hint of cola.

As the beer warms up it becomes a lot more drinkable and balance, it loses a bunch of the harsh alcohol and roast notes and just becomes a bit more enjoyable. An interesting beer, it still doesn't quite work for me, but is much better than batch 1. I am a bit surprised how tame the Rum character is, with a 12 year old Rum, I would expect a lot of rich Rum character, but that is just not the case.

Batch 1, Sampled December 2007
total: 2.7
A definite gusher, both the bottle and my tulip glass gush. The head easily fills up the five fingers of space in my tulip glass. It is a dusty, cocoa tinged, brown-tan color and sits atop a basically black colored brew. Funky sour aromatic notes mix in with the cocoa / roast malt character typical of a Porter. The funky notes lean towards an ample fruit character reminiscent of tart plums, green apples and grapes (I think the rum comes in to play here too). The funk produces aromas of moldy leather, touches of over-ripe cheese, musty earth and in combination with barrel notes produce wood-like aromas and spicy oak. The porter contributes notes of dusty cocoa, a dry toasted malt notes, browned biscuits and lightly burnt soda crackers. The aroma is all over the place; strangely I have a hard time picking out either notes of rum or of smoked malt.

The beer has calmed down considerably since pouring it, but it still is a bit frothy as it hits my tongue. Despite being forewarned by the aroma, the beer is a shocking mix of astringent oak and acidic sourness. A persistent undercurrent of moldy, over-ripe cheese lingers throughout the flavor profile. Flavors of moldy cotton and decaying loam intersperse with oak derived notes of spice and tannic wood. The smoke is a bit more noticeable in the flavor, but somehow it only seems to accentuate the harsh phenolics (leaning towards burnt plastic), rather than producing that appetizing smoke infusion I love from Rauchmalz. Quite tart, this seems to accentuate some flavors of tart plums, star-fruit and even something that reminds me of durian.

I usually like really funky beers and this one is super complex, but this one is just jarring; the oak character is too harsh and the funkiness, especially when paired with the sharp roast malt notes just doesn't work here. Hopefully the next batch will resist the wild-wee-beasts as I would really like to try a clean beer aged in a Rum-barrel.

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Photo of joepais
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks go out to Kempleton for his bottle
I almost didn't post a review, the bottle foamed a little when opening but the aroma of Brett was strong. I didn't know if it was infected on purpose or not? It was from batch 2

The tulip looked glass was filled with two fingers worth of tan head on a black body. Again the Brett was strong I got a little rum and one other person got some smoke as it warmed.

A funky porter for sure with a splash of rum was how it tasted to me the body was medium with good carbonation for a porter.

I'll give it an average score on the drinkability only because I don't know if the infection was on purpose. I may change it later

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Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opted to try this due to the EBF. Served from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a deep, dark, opaque brown. Light is unable to penetrate the dense liquid. Head is minimal, mainly some hard-pour induced tan bubbles clinging to the edges. No lace to speak of whatsoever. Rum is the distinct component of the aroma, hitting the nostrils right off the bat. The bier itself is rather smooth, but a touch on the thinner side of medium.

Flavor leans to sweetness at the start, with a bit of dark fruit and even some intimations of chocolate. I find the smoke to be extremely subtle here (though Alewife took one small sip and noticed it right off). I'm not really finding this too Porterish at all. It's hitting me more like a Strong Belgian Dark Ale, honestly. Has some vinous qualities as well, with a smidge of spiciness mixing in with the rummy aspects. Overall? Not bad; not bad at all, but a bit of a letdown, after all the raving I had heard about Capt Lawrence biers.


look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 3.5


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Photo of mdfb79
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 7/24/10 notes. Batch 2.

a - Pours a dark brown color with no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of cherries, dark fruit, oak, and rum of course. Unfortunately not a big fan of the smell of rum, so that hurt it for me.

t - Tastes of alcohol, oak, dark fruit, and a little bit of smoke.

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

d - Personally I enjoyed the SFTO wine much more. Would not seek out this variation of it.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From a 750 mL, cork-n-cage Belgian bottle. This beer is simply their smoked porter (pale, smoked, Munich, Vienna, chocolate and roast malts, Goldings and Willamette hops. 16 Plato, 45 IBUs.) that is aged in 12 year old Virgin Island rum barrels. It almost gives the impression of an imperial stout, with a deep black color, and two fingers of milk chocolate head that doesn't lace much, but maintains a nice collar of foam. Vinous in the nose, with rich dark malts, vanilla and maybe some brown sugar, but there are few wood and smoke notes. Warming on the palate, with lots of roasted malts that impart burnt/charred notes, licorice, coffee, mild chocolate, raisins and a vinous character. The barrel is well-integrated, with light tannins, a hidden sweetness, and distinct rum flavors while the hops give up fruitiness and a fair bitterness. Still not much smoke. The beer is smooth, heavy at times, with medium carbonation and a dry, tannin presence. This is a rich and complex beer, but the smoke is hidden and the base beer is too roasty to let a lot of the nuances come through. But I am happy to have tried it, and if you dig barrel-aging, this is certainly one to seek out.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by HoppasaurusRex, thanks for the opportunity Todd
Opened over the sink and the bottle proceeded to pour itself. Dark brown/black color with a huge never ending tan head. Aromas of tart cherry with hints of chocolate and dark sugary rum notes. A hint of oxidation and a touch of earth. The flavor is tart with a lactic twang. Fleeting caramel and roasted notes with a bit of woody vanillin round out the flavor. Light body with a bubbly tart mouthfeel, and a moderate to high level of carbonation. Infected, but not horrible to drink.

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Photo of weeare138
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to egajdzis for opening this...
Appears a near black, dark brown with mahogany edges when held to the light. Small, light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap. Mild bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart cherry, oak, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, and cocoa.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some light grassiness coming through mixed with the cocoa. Seems a bit odd to me.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, hot, sweet, mildly tart with cocoa and booz lingering.
There seemed to be something slightly off but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I've enjoyed all the Captain Lawrence brews thus far. This one seemed to be the first bump in the road from my experiences with the Captain thus far.

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Photo of hopdog
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis. Batch 1.

Poured a dark, dark brown (almost black) color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of lighter rum, oaky/woody, roast, coconuts, roast, vanilla, and chocolate. Tastes of stronger rum, vanilla, woodiness, roast, dark fruits, and caramel. On the sweeter side. I would lick my lips afterwards and taste the rum. Thinner body. I gotta give props to CL for doing these series, I've enjoyed seeing what the different barrels are doing to the porter!.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty sure I picked this up at Oaktree when it was around. A capped 750ml bottle - Batch 1. Poured into my standard shaker glass. Did not gush at all, just a slow rising snake of foam from the bottle that was easily caught with my glass. The porter appears a translucent deep chestnut color with about an inch of fluffy, fizzy tan head. The head leaves a minimal lace in its wake. Well, there is certainly brett and/or some type of wild yeast in here. Rum notes are more prevalent in the nose than the taste. Mildly funky, but more sour and tart vinegar - mostly apple cider vinegar, as well as notes of green apple, bitter cocoa, oaky tannins, light hints of smoke, barely noticeable. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Leaves the tongue tingling - like after eating some sea salt and malt vinegar chips. Quite unique.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All four variants of Smoke From The Oak served side by side at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks to Pete, Chris, and Brad for supplying the bottles. Review is from notes.

This beer is a dark brown color. It has a decent sized head that fades quickly leaving very little lacing. Aromas are smoke, oak (go figure), and slightly sweet liquor. The flavor is pretty nice. This beer tastes alright, but is my least favorite of the Smoke From The Oak line. The beer was sour, but not overly so. There is some noticeable heat in the finish. Although, I would drink this again, I wasn't especially impressed by any of the Smoke From The Oak lineup.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The last of the three that I was finally able to track down and try. Having been a huge fan of the other two, needless to say I was waiting for this one to come around. Served cold, to avoid a gusher as I have had these bottles before and poured into an oversized wine glass, this one was consumed on 12/28/2008.

I was right to chill this one down as soon as I poured it into the glass, it immediately filled the entire container with brown foam, ugh. I let it settle down, and subsequent pours went by much better I have to admit. Dark brown, nearly black and completely opaque, this thing was a monster.

GThe aroma was a bit of a let down for me. Light notes of chocolate with barely any bourbon coming through on this one. Still decent, though I was expecting more. As it warmed some more pronouced cocoa and oakey aroma came off of it, but still, not overly strong. The flavor was all over the place. Way overcarbonated, and this really distracted from the overall flavor, making it feel thinner then it was. Chocolate and dark fruit notes were the biggest players here, with the rum way at the back and adding only a subtle spice quality to it. Easy to drink as it felt much lighter then it was and most, if not all the alcohol was well hidden,

Overall a solid beer, though I wish it was a bit less carbonated and spent a little more time in the barrel, my least favorite of the three by a long shot.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | 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.

Beer is medium bodied and has a very mellow / mild character and flavor. Out of the four variants of this beer it is the weakest and the most boring of them all.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

yobdoog hooked me up with this one.

750 mL bottle, Batch 1. A special beer poured into my special Sam Adams glass.

Pours a dark molasses with a generous two finger light tan head that slowly descends. A stickiness that is a bit weak, but present. First whiff I get is of big rum scents that the Captain would love. Dark fruits, french roast, espresso, and sweet chocolate also make an appearance in the nose. Rum is a bit much for me, but it isn't exactly my favorite liquor. Taste starts with a quick rum burst that is quickly taken over by the smokey wood flavors. Dry oak and vanilla with a toasted nut flavor in the aftertaste. Good mild chocolate malt flavors from start to finish. A somewhat light slick mouthfeel with a smooth carbonation. I'd be very interested to know the abv. in this brew. There is a detectable booze like flavor but I have a feeling this one may be much stronger than most would think. Very interesting brew...I want Cuvee De Castleton!!!

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black no light getting through this one. A very thin milk choc head with very little lace.
A strong rum aroma with a little smoke. Also maybe a little vanilla and dark fruit.
The rum really jumps out at first then as the rum flavor moves out semi sweet choc and the smoke flavor moves in. very nice taste different than the nose would leave you to believe.
This is a medium body beer that dries the mouth just a bit. Very smooth in the mouth though
A good beer that I am glad I tried. I don't think I would buy but would not turn down if offered to me

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Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch No. 2:

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that gives it an "espresso" look. Some films of lacing temporarily stick to the glass.

The smell is of rum (spiced?) with vanilla. A scent of the Caribbean comes to mind (coconut suntan lotion?) It's not all rum - there are vinuous notes and an underlying smoked porter characteristics, including some dark fruitiness.

The taste is of rum and vanilla - This one is sweet. There is a punch-like fruitiness with a dark fruitiness underneath - an odd combination that works in an "interesting" way. There are some vinuous notes, as well. Underneath, there is a nicely done smoked porter (that I wouldn't mind if it came out to play a bit more). Some alcohol shows. It has a dry-ish finish despite sweetness.

It has a silky medium body.

A "different" sipper. The rum and vanilla from the oak are certainly noticeable - so this is highly dependent on one's personal view of rum, though the smoked porter aspect is not lost. Personally, I much prefered the bourbon barrel. I might choose this over the wine barrel, but probably not, and would depend on my mood, I suppose. Bottom line - I'll put this in the "interesting" category.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. Dense, meringuey head is in for the long haul, leaving hunky lace wherever it goes. Aroma is tart, with barrel notes, and like my experiences with the other iterations, little to any malt or smoke components noticeable. Taste starts with a peek of malt, promptly shouted down by the tartness, and closes with some rum character. Mouthfeel is smooth, with drinkability interesting also. This one just doesn't seem to meld together well enough for me.

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Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.84 out of 5 based on 104 ratings.
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