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

Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
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Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
Smoked Porter
3.83 | pDev: 17.49%
Apr 14, 2017
May 25, 2007
Very Good
Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Notes: None
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Photo of DVMin98
Reviewed by DVMin98 from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Look is lighter than your normal porter. Smell is funk, mild vinegar and malts. Some bourbon comes through. Flavor follows the nose. Obviously this has changed over the years, but it is very pleasant. Basically, this has turned into a slightly sour porter. But then again, it is 10 years old. Pretty nice.

I just read a bunch of earlier reviews and it sounds like this has pretty much always been a 'sour' porter, so it really hasn't changed too much. I do like it.
Apr 14, 2017
Rated: 3.71 by Kegatron from Pennsylvania

Jan 07, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by zestar from California

Jun 23, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by BGsWo22 from Texas

Jun 11, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Ben7773 from Texas

Mar 17, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by billab914 from Virginia

Jan 03, 2014
Rated: 3 by IrishColonial from Texas

Jan 03, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by jkane101 from New Jersey

May 15, 2013
Rated: 4 by spycow from Illinois

Jan 14, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by t0rin0 from California

Nov 15, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
Reviewed by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Bottle from Batch 1 courtesy of mcallister, thanks for the opportunity. Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a huge off white head that fills half the glass and takes forever to recede. The aroma holds some roast and chocolate with a solid hit of bourbon and oak and a curious fruity tartness. The flavor follows the aroma with the sour cherries and lemons taking over the lead role and just about obscuring the porter that was once in this bottle. Medium body with a ludicrous amount of carbonation and an tart ashy bubbly mouthfeel. This beer is a shell of its former self. Some wild yeast have gotten into the bottle and turned this beer, or maybe I just sat on the bottle for too many years.
Oct 09, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Aug 21, 2012
Photo of koopa
Reviewed by koopa from New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Batch 2 bottle that I've been holding on to since it was released.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep mahogany to borderline black with a 2 finger dark khaki crown that displays nice retention and lace.

Smell: Faint bourbon and oak mixed with a vinous quality that puts some sourness forward. The malt profile underneath is fairly nondescript but it definitely isn't very roasty or sweet.

Taste: Basically all about the light sourness at this point. Bourbon is really subdued and coupled with the bugs in the barrel it comes off more like a sour cherry flavor than anything else. Finishes a little bleh.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: Goes down fairly easy, tastes decent, but nothing special. This one ain't getting any better IMHO so drink up if you still have one.
Jul 28, 2012
Rated: 3 by ygtbsm94 from Utah

Dec 30, 2011
Rated: 4 by djrn2 from New Jersey

Dec 04, 2011
Rated: 3.75 by rab53 from Washington

Dec 01, 2011
Rated: 4.5 by brandoman63 from Illinois

Nov 29, 2011
Rated: 5 by stevefinny from New Jersey

Nov 23, 2011
Rated: 4 by BeerThursdays from Delaware

Nov 19, 2011
Rated: 4 by Photekut from Tennessee

Nov 18, 2011
Rated: 4 by Kaydogg from Pennsylvania

Nov 18, 2011
Rated: 3 by HopStoopid120 from Connecticut

Nov 16, 2011
Rated: 3 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Nov 15, 2011
Rated: 4 by JAHMUR from Connecticut

Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Jayli
Reviewed by Jayli from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Acquired from stonequarrywest via Secret Santa '10 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Batch 2
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours an opaque black with a two finger of brown sudsy head. Head recedes quickly leaving wispy lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is very tart, sour, cherry and wood notes.

T: Taste starts with very soured cherry notes at the forefront. Middle is filled with a wood with light chocolate character. Finish is big bourbon and some more cherry notes.

M: Lighter side of medium body, higher carbonation, crisp with a very dry, almost bone dry finish.

O: Goes down rather easy, tasty, not too filling, decent kick, not a great representation of the style, but a damn fine beer in its own right. I rated more to actual taste than to it's style.
Sep 28, 2011
Photo of CaseyK
Reviewed by CaseyK from California

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Batch two shared with some friends and courtesy of galttfwo.

A: Very dark with a bit of a ruby tinge to it. Pours a thin head that stays for a while and leaves a nice lacing.
S: Wow, this smells sour. Has a nice fruit smell as well, maybe currants.
T: The taste of currants comes through right away for me. Has a nice oak barrel taste as well, not too heavy though. Has a nice sour puckering taste. I really enjoy the variety of flavors present here.
M: Nice mouthfeel, just the right amount of carbonation.
D: I could drink a decent amount of this stuff.
O: A very interesting beer. I didn't know what to expect of it really, but I'm glad I got to try it out.
Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
Reviewed by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Batch #2 served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours two shades shy of black with a half inch, frothy, tan-colored head that dissipates into a broken skim and a thin, white band around the edges. Nose reveals tart/sour dark fruit, some woody notes, as well as a red wine character. Taste follows nose; however, some bourbon and buttery notes also come out. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a slight, acidic burn at the back of the throat. Carbonation is quite lively. A very drinkable and complex beer that should be considered closer to a dark American Wild than an American Porter in my opinion.
Oct 24, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
Reviewed by emmasdad from Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
750 ml bottle. Poured into the snifter a very dark brown, almost black, color, with a fairly good brown head. Aromas of wood, bourbon, smoke and roasted malt. Fairly balanced on the palate, the bourbon works nicely with the smoked porter. A good beer, but not one I'd actively seek out again.
Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
Reviewed by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | 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 bourbon. The flavor is pretty nice. This was my second favorite of the four bottles. This particular variant was the most sour of the four bottles. 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.
Jul 19, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Bottle: Poured a deep dirty brown/black color ale with a super large light brown foamy head with great retention and some lacing. Aroma of Brett with loads of sour and tart notes with some funky yeast and light warming bourbon notes. Taste is very nice with loads of notes of Brett with a clear tart profile and good notes of oak. Bourbon is harder to distinguish though still noticeable. Body is about average with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done and very unique - makes me wish I had access to this on a more regular basis.
Jun 18, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
Reviewed by drabmuh from Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | 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.

Beer's aroma is quite sweet with a hint of bourbon.

Flavor is sweet, mild heat, some tartness in the corners, growing sour the more I drink, the more hot as well. The woodsy nature of this beer makes it nice to drink. Second favorite out of all of the beers in this panel. Very good beer.
Jun 08, 2010
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

2.76/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Batch 1

Appearance: Pours a charcoal color with a tightly bubbled tan head that blankets the liquid while leaving the occasional wisp behind

Smell: More like a Flanders Red than a smoked porter, with tart cherry and oak

Taste: Oaky dryness permeates from the outset, but the expected porter flavors aren't there, up front; rather, there is a tart cherry that adds a woody character by mid-palate; plenty of puckering tartness after the swallow, and perhaps that smoked porter tries to peek out on the finish, but maybe that is just wishful thinking

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: I kept trying to like this as a sour but eventually I just gave up; this beer clearly didn't come out as planned
May 29, 2010
Photo of illidurit
Reviewed by illidurit from California

4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a dark clear brown with a beige head. Chocolate malts, sherry, very light bourbon on the nose. Acidic tart cherries in the flavor, almost winey, some vapory barrel influence, dry chocolatey graham and dark grains. Pretty ridiculous how this all managed to come together from an accidental infection.' I dig it.
Mar 22, 2010
Photo of rhinos00
Reviewed by rhinos00 from Colorado

1.62/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1
Batch 2. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark brown color with two fingers width of tan head. Slowly reduced to a ring over time.

S- Something is wrong here. Right off the bat I'm getting a sharp, sour tinge that just makes me want to shudder. Beneath this layer is a distant scent of bourbon. Not much going on here whatsoever.

T- Oh boy, there it is. Most definitely infected. Aside from the initial hint of bourbon and a slight smoked flavor, this beer is dominated from beginning to end by a horrible, disgusting sourness. Even I couldn't stomach much of it and I'm a huge sour head.

M- For the brief moments I could put the rancidness aside, the beer seemed to have a light to medium body with great carbonation.

D- If I could give this a -5 I would. Absolutely undrinkable.

I don't know what has been going on lately, I have opened three beers in the last 2 months that have been infected. First, Pennichuck's Pompier, then Thomas Hooker's Liberator, and now this. Come on people. Start getting your shit together, this is unacceptable.
Nov 03, 2009
Photo of gford217
Reviewed by gford217 from Georgia

4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750mL bottle, batch 1, courtesy of gregc.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the lass underneath a bubbly tan head that recedes to a big rocky collar being fed by bubbles from the bottom.

Aroma has lots of sour cherries with hints of dark chocolate and roasted malts in the background. I honestly didn't get much bourbon in the nose, just some acidic sourness on top of the small porter presence.

I actually thought the taste was much better than the aroma. The sour cherry tartness is present but not nearly as overpowering. The underlying toasted malts and chocolate are much more prevalent and the bourbon makes its presence felt as well, especially in the finish where there is definite burn as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with lots of carbonation and silky smooth with toasted character battling with some dry tartness in the finish.

Unorthodox and interesting, this beer is like nothing I've had before. The aroma was a bit of a let down with no bourbon at all and a dominant sourness that didn't allow the underlying beer to come out much. The taste, on the other hand, brought all of the ingredients out and integrates them very well. Tasty.
Sep 26, 2009
Photo of portia99
Reviewed by portia99 from Massachusetts

2.36/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
Poured from a 750ml bottle - batch 2 into a Portsmouth goblet. Received in trade from cakanator. Thanks!

A - Poured into the center of the glass with a dark brown, opaque color. Giant, thick, dark tan head forms - about 2" high. Head lingers a while, doesn't want to give up - leaves nice, even lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is dominated by bourbon with some sour, acidic presence...not much else here - no malt or hops presence.

T - Porter???, I don't know. Flavor is dominated by sourness, some bourbon flavor enters and just a touch of smoke, which mainly lingers in the aftertaste. Hard to get past the sourness - just not right for a porter.

M - Mouthfeel is quite puckering. Carbonation is strong, body is medium, and sourness just causes your lips to suck together into a kissy face.

D - Drinkability is not high. Attempting to drink this bottle by myself...not sure I'm going to be able to get thru it all. Very tough.

Not sure if this beer is supposed to be this way. I seethat people think this batch is infected (I tend to agree) and others really like it the way it is...overwhelming sourness and all.
Jun 28, 2009
Photo of bosco7
Reviewed by bosco7 from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Wow. There is a porter in there some where I guess.

Aroma is very sour smelling, almost like balsamic vinegar with chocolate.

Starts with a hint of porter like flavors smokey, roasty, and bit of chocolate. Then a ton of acidic lemon and vinegar flavors dominate.

Very well attenuated and playful on the tongue.

Very nice little beer, not at all what I was expecting but very good. I say give it a try.
Jun 24, 2009
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
Reviewed by DarkerTheBetter from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Thanks to both kirok1999 and gregc for bottles of this one.

This beer appears to be a dark brown with a touch of cola coming through the edges. The head is a smooth and creamy tan.

Smells of nice balance of cocoa, strawberries and molasses but there's a whole lotta dryness on top. This consists of a sweet bourbon and a touch of lime sourness.

The flavor is a little less balanced, but uniquely delicious in its own way. The flavor begins with a dry sting from something funky in the barrel. This unfolds into a lime rind and fades to a bit of bourbon. The porter from the smell comes through only faintly with a touch of tart cherry too. The subtlety of this one is rather nice.

Feels slick and clean with a small but playful carbonation. This seems to work excellently with the flavors here. I couldn't ask for much more.

Not a bad brew at all. It does seem a little unbalanced in that it's a little heavy on the funk and bourbon, but as I mentioned above, it's quite unique and enjoyable.
Jun 11, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
Reviewed by Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

1.69/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1
Batch 2

A fizzy light tan head rises above the beer. Of note a large bubble formed atop the bottle and will not pop... Looks like a perfect marble. I've never seen that. Anyway, deep brown in color, like espresso or dark chocolate.

Aroma is a touch sour. Based on what I've heard, I am now scared. I think I smell a touch of vanilla, but I might be searching.

I am pissed. This is just like the Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Imp Stout. Clearly sour in flavor. Probably from the barrels. Tastes like a sour. Very tart. In the back I can taste a bit of chocolate. The tartness just takes over.

Mouth feel is sour... I know that's not a mouth feel, but it's so overwhelming....

Drinkable. NO. I hope to be able to replace this review at some point with a decent bottle.
May 22, 2009
Photo of prototypic
Reviewed by prototypic from Ohio

3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Many thanks to csmiley for the bottle.

Batch 2

Smoke from the Oak pours a very dark chocolate brown. It's nearly opaque, but a little light reveals faint garnet highlights at the edges. It's topped with a mocha colored head that's over three fingers tall. It took quite a while to completely disappear. Lacing was very thick and sticky.

The nose is interesting. It features a very rich bourbon aroma right out of the gate. Chocolate and roasted malts are noted. It smells a little cocoa-ish rather than sweet. There's a very sour, yeast aroma to it that permeates throughout and drowns out virtually any other qualities it has. It's very out of place for the style. I got a friendly tip that a lot of these bottles were infected and I believe that's probably the case here. It doesn't completely destroy it, but it certainly negates or masks some of its qualities.

The flavor profile suffers much the same fate. It starts out with a nice bourbon flavor. It's pretty well restrained and doesn't taste too bourbon heavy. It apparently was meant to play a complementary role and it does that pretty well. There's some light chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Very faint roasted coffee is noted. But, the sour and acidic yeasty flavor rears its head and really takes over about midway through. Honestly, it doesn't taste all that bad. I suspect the infection rumor may well be true. I have a tough time believing that such a bizarre flavor was intended. But, it's far from undrinkable and does have a decent flavor and some good qualities. It's a far cry from good though, that's for sure.

Its body is on the lighter side of medium and is too thin. Carbonation is very high and buzzy. It's not smooth and really doesn't work for the style. A Porter this big needs a more substantial body. Drinkability is average. Average is surprisingly good for a beer that's possibly infected. The flavor really is interesting and more than tolerable. That being said, it's not very good.

Well, I have no reservation saying Smoke from the Oak's been a huge disappointment. This bottles about 7 or 8 months old and seems to have veered far off course. It's likely that this bottle's infected, but I don't know that for a fact. The flavor's just way more sour and acidic than it should be. But, in a way, it's interesting and not a total disaster. I'd love to have a fresh bottle just to get an idea of what Captain Lawrence intended for this one. I'll have to wait on that. If it's materially different, I'll post a different review. As it is, it's disappointing. As for Batch #2, I'd suggest taking a pass and wait for the next one.
May 17, 2009
Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 97 ratings