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

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

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 96
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding for style. Another smooth creamy full mouthfeel,great drinking sipper from this brewer. Dark colour, agreeable aroma. Reasonable 6.4% ABV. The Smoke, the bourbon, is moderated. Well balanced though not complex. Tart aftertaste.Found at Oak Tree Supersaver last fall.

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Photo of brentk56
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up this lovely Batch One bottle sometime last year and have kept it cellared ever since. I decided to open her up tonight, really just on a whim, as I wanted something a bit different. 750ml bottle was served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. Consumed 08/19/2008.

What an absolutly beautiful pour, adn I have rarely seen better. Rich, thick, paque brwon notes were just a wonder to behind. Full head of at least three inches capped off the top and took what seemed like forever to settle down to a reasonable level. Once it did it left behind soo much side glass lace it was utterly obnoxious. Seriously one of the best I have ever seen.

The aroma was amazingly complex once it warmed up. Rich notes of sour cherries, light caramel, some molasses and a touch of bourbon, very light though on the bourbon. Lots of almost Brett like sourness though. THe flavor brought the game though. Huge note of sour cherry, tart was the understatement. Some light sugary notes, and the bourbon you had to go searching for, though it was there. Luscious mouthfeel with a carbonation profile that was second to none. One of the easist drinking big beers you are going to find, hands down.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed by this one. One of the best I have had in quite some time, i would have no issue in seeking this one out again. I do have to admit, I am a bit partial to the wine barrel, but still, a top notch beer here for sure.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours basically pitch black. Flavor is vanilla, perfume, bourbon, and wood - in that order. A bit bright, but very well done. Nice feel and easily drinkable. Gotta love those vanilla tones. A very nice production I have wanted to try for a long time, but finally got around to.

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Photo of johnnnniee
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-cask at the Brazen Head (Brooklyn):

Poured black with a creamy head that left plenty of lacing.

The smell was of bourbon, vanilla, oak with dark fruits and chocolate. Vinuous with some peat smokiness.

The taste is of bourbon, oak, vanilla. However, it doesn't cover the other flavors that come through nicely and work well-together. Dark fruitiness - plum/raisin with chocolate/toffee. Long, dry finish.

Full-bodied and creamy. At a somewhat modest 6.5 abv that is well-hidden and with it's wonderful aroma, taste and smoothness, this one is very drinkable and enjoyable. Nicely done! Highly recommended!

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 1, picked up from the brewery, large green bottle. Pours very dark, dark tan head, showing less then moderate retention and leaving scattered lacing after a gentle swirl. Nose shows traces of vanilla, bourbon and dark, ripe fruits. Flavor notes consist of plenty of whisky/bourbon, dark cola, vanilla, and over ripe rum soaked plums/fruits. Wow, complex and heady stuff. Nice fall/winter beer, good after dinner/dessert/night capper type creation. More fine brew from Scott V. and the Captain....

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Photo of drabmuh
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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label states Batch #1.

Appearance: black in color with a 1" head that sported some big bubbles. Some spotty lacing developed during the session.

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and bourbon are easily detectable and pleasant.

Taste: thick roasted malts, chocolates, raisins, prunes, vanilla, and strong bourbon tones. Alcohol is strong and provides serious warming. Bitterness levels are just right to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Very long aftertaste as the flavors cling to the tongue and takes a while to leave.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol level, this is a nice slow sipping brew that I enjoyed in front of a nice fire. Definitely could have had some more after the bottle was emptied. Great beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to mcallister for this brew.

750ml Bottle

Poured into a tulip a very nice brownish color, very nice carbonation, nice two-finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing (one huge pond in the middle of the glass. The nose is malty, bourbon, slight smokey, and sweet. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice notes of bourbon, nice little smokyness here and there, with some sweetness (vanilla). Full body, there is a nice creamy body to this brew, I like. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, highly recommended. Thanks Mike.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a big snifter twice. Got this one at the brewery in Pleasantville NY.

A- CL SFTO pours out of the bottle with a very dark red to black color. Once in the glass it looks like a dark black robust porter with red hues towards the surface. I filled half the snifter pretty hard and got a 3 finger tan to beige head with bubbles and fizz noise. Great lacing all around.

S- This does not smell like a porter to me at all, more on the tart and funky side with a lot of oak from the barrel. I really had to search for a while before detecting any bourbon. Along with the smoky presence i sense some coconut, apples and sour cherry notes. The nose is quite powerful with wine like qualities.

T- A huge taste of tartness and funk, not expected at all aside from the nose, seeing this is a porter after all. This taste more like a flanders old bruin to me and I am all for it as the taste is great. The sour cherry presence was dominate with some vanilla and coconut on backup. Bourbon notes are few and far between which is a bummer. A lot of wood with slight smoke. On top of all that the porter notes come out with the malts coming through, not any chocolate though.

M- This is hugely sour on the mouth and creates a puckering effect, unlike any porter that i had or probably ever will have. An apparent astringency comes with this and a full mouthfeel. A bit easier to drink as it warms.

D- Not knowing the ABV on this i polished off a bottle to the dome. It took me some time though. I'm guessing this is around 8 or 9 percent. A little bit of a task to finish the bottle so this is a great one for sharing in my eyes. Would have liked more actual porter characteristics though.

I've had CL smoked porter and can't believe that this is one of three results from barrel aging. I need to find the other versions.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 Release; Sampled March 2008
The beer gushes just a bit as soon as I pop the cap, not much, but just enough to let me know this is a bit over carbonated. A careful pour yields a three-finger thick, cocoa stained, tan colored head. The beer is a very dark, concentrated brown color, but does show some brilliantly clear, ruby highlights when held up to the light. From the aroma you can definitely smell the Bourbon barrel influence. There is also quite a bit of sourness in the aroma, nothing overwhelming, but it makes me think that this has some wild bugs in it. The Bourbon barrel is the dominant influence though with notes of warm alcohol, buttery oak, spicy wood and ample vanillin (especially if you dig around a bit). There is a bit of sweetness here, reminiscent of prunes and wrapped up in the Bourbon notes, but to be honest I can't smell much of anything except the barrel influence here, even the sourness seems to have dissipated with time.

Well carbonated, this foams up quite a bit as it hits my mouth. A quick swirl of my glass gets this to a more manageable level. Ample spicy oak up front yields to a tartness that seems to be heavily influenced by oak. I could almost be convinced that the noticeable tartness is just a product of this beer being so light bodied, with the roast malt character and such a big barrel character, but if I had to guess I would say that some souring bugs got into the barrel. Speaking of the body, this is definitely on the thin side, some more heft would certainly help it to stand up to the Bourbon barrel. The base beer definitely plays a supporting role here; it picks up some toasted malt notes towards the finish, perhaps a touch of smokiness (though this is hard to separate from the barrel notes) and some dry, chalky, slightly astringent burnt flavors and roast notes in the finish. The Bourbon barrel also provides a bit of alcoholic heat to the finish of this brew.

As the beer warms up a bit the Bourbon flavors seem to soften just a touch; it really becomes a bit smoother, though they are still easily the most dominant thing about this beer. This is most definitely wee-beast influenced, the sourness here is very pretty clean, as I don't get any other funk derived notes, though it may be that the loud Bourbon barrel characteristics drown this out. What brought this to a head was the fact that I started to nosh on some fresh baked bread, which really brings to the four the sourness of this brew.

An interesting beer, but the base beer just doesn't seem to be able to stand up to the Bourbon Barrel aging, or put another way, this was aged for too long in the barrel for my particular tastes. The sourness, while interesting, clean and nice, just clashes a bit too much with the Bourbon character; I think that the base beer would do well when paired with either of the two, but not both at once. I personally like the barrel to play a supporting role to the flavors of the base beer. Having said all that, this is still enjoyable if you appreciate a good sour mash Bourbon from time to time.

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Photo of plaid75
2.88/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a dominating bourbon aroma. Perhaps some roasted grain peaked through, but certainly not enough to cut through the bourbon. The same can be said for the flavor. A slightly vinous bourbon element completely dominated. There was really no porter character remaining.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness.

Overall not something I would have again. If you are crazy about the taste of bourbon, but don't want to drink a pint of it, this might be something of interest.

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Photo of John_M
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Graciously brought to the BA gathering at Bailey's last night by BA Skortis. Talk about a generous donation...

The beer pours a hazy dark brown color with good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose, this is just wild stuff. Amazing just how different this version is from the rum barrel version. This beer is very, very smokey, but with a wild, sour, almost sauerkraut aroma. The oak aging in this beer has imparted so much flavor and aroma, it's hard to believe this is supposed to be a porter I'm drinking. As crazy as this beer smells, it's evern wilder on the palate. Interwoven with the sour smoke, I also get some wine flavor. How weird is that? The beer has a light, smokey mouthfeel and is fairly soft on the palate. As for drinkability, I'm not sure how to score this beer. The sour smoke was a bit too over the top for me, making this beer interesting to drink, but not in large quantities. It's both fascinating and a bit off putting at the same time.

An impressive beer. Not like anything I have ever sampled before. It's not for everyone, but still is something I would recommend, just so people can see what this is like.

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Photo of corby112
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a huge frothy beige head that lasts throughout leaving chunky lacing in the glass. Earthy oak aroma with hints of vanilla, chocolate, caramel, toffee and a huge bourbon presence. Full-bodied with a very smokey flavor. Notes of chocolate maltiness, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Slightly sweet with tight carbonation, smokey and huge bourbon presence.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

Batch 1:

It pours a near pitch black with some reddish hues and a 2 finger head of billowy tannish foam. Nice lacing. Very good head retention.

The smell has notes of bourbon and a strong sour nose that reminds me of a american wild ale. I also get a little vanilla. Not exactly what I was expecting, or was I?

The taste has some bourbon, some vanilla, some good woodiness, a touch of chocolate, and strong sour notes. The sour, imo, is just a tad too strong here and does seem to dominate but it certainly is, for me, an easy drinking Porter. I can't say that I detect much of the smoke....some day, I would love to try the version that isn't barrel aged just to see how it compares.

The mouthfeel is medium-light, the carbonation is fairly robust, and it finishes with a nice taste of that bourbon. Like I said before, it's easy drinking so I'd guess the abv would be in the ~6%abv range.

All in all, I like this offering from Captain Lawrence, as I did the rum barrel aged version. Very interesting flavours and pretty darned palate pleasing.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gifted 750ml bottle. Thanks for the opportunity, Todd. Batch No. 1.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" brown head above the opaque dark brown brew. Dense, frothy head just is not going anywhere, with tons of thick foam left in the wake. Aroma is vinous and bourbony, no smoke noticeable to me. Taste begins with the rich maltiness, falling to the tart fruitness in the middle in a flash, and then the veil slowly falls to reveal the warming bourbon character, which lingers and slightly numbs. Mouthfeel is somewhat limited by the tartness, and drinkability is alright as a sipper. Seems the flavors just don't flow together as nicely on this one. I'll have to put some age on my other bottle and see what happens.

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Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 3. Viggo cracked this one. Thanks! Batch 1.
This one poured with a giant, fluffy, dark tan head that left a lot of clumpy lace on the glass as it quickly fell. The beer was very dark with garnet highlights. The aroma was vinous and tart with a lot of berry and wood notes, some malt and a bit of chocolate. Smoke was more prominent in the flavour, combining nicely with a dark grain/porter base beer. Again, it was a bit vinous and had a light tartness in addition to a bit of booze. Medium to full bodied with average carbonation, mild tannins and a good texture overall. Very well done, highly drinkable with a mild alcohol presence.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

25.4oz bottle, batch 2. Thanks, George! You warned me that this had turned funky, let's see...

A: Jet black in my Duvel tulip with a dark brown head that's rather massive, receding to a solid disk. Some patchy lacework, pretty darned impressive. Some visible carbonation running up the side of the glass

S: Interesting. Funky and smoky, mildly vinous too. Bourbon is hidden behind the funk. This is very very compelling, reminiscent of the SFtO: Wine. I do wish I'd got my hands on this before it got infected, though, 'cos the Rum barrel SFTO was pretty great.

T: Wow. This is absolutely nothing like the base porter. The infection has completely taken over, the palate is pretty much infected beer. Thankfully, the house strain at Captain Lawrence is rather tolerable, good, almost. It opens up sour, quite clean with a hint of smoke in the back. Finishes dry, tart. I'm having a hard time describing the sourness - it's not acetic, but is partly lactic with something strange going on. Lemony? Bourbon? Nope. Porter? Nope

M: Light on the palate with good carbonation, this one is one sour, puckering beer. Interesting stuff but as I keep drinking it, the harshness of the sour is a bit much, it even gets in the way of the oak

D: The whole bottle might be a bit much but I'm enjoying it despite it not being what I'd hoped. *A bit in, this beer is pretty undrinkable, rather too harsh for it's own good.

Notes: For all intents and purposes, this is the SFTO wine without the vinous character of that beer and a harsher sourness. It's a soured porter, an amped up JP Marcabio Especial, something along those lines.Split this 2-3 ways. Unexpected infections aren't always fun. 8oz of this beer would get moderately higher marks

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Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, batch 1. Now I can't even remember who I got this one from, I gotta write this stuff down! If it was you, remind me!

Pours a dark dark reddish brown, nice ruby edges in the light, huge and thick tan head forms, lots of chunky lace on the glass, good retention, settles to a medium layer. Smell is nice, a little sour and oaky, wine, lots of dark fruits, chocolate, light roastiness, sharp and acidic, smoke, not a lot of bourbon in the aroma, but smells pretty neat. Taste is nice and chocolatey up front, light smokiness, toffee, sour toasted oak, a bit chalky through the middle, grapes, some lemon/orange citrus character, bready maltys, neat. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, pretty interesting beer. Bourbon didn't come through as I thought it would, but the lactic character is pretty neat. I like it.

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Photo of Jwale73
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.

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Photo of maximum12
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always get excited when I receive boxes from certain BAs, & marcpal is on that shortlist. Rec'd this bottle in a nice big trade, & there's only one bottle still alive from our December back-and-forths...

Second bottle of the Captain, after the Nor'easter Mr. Pal surprised me with one evening, which was divinely odd & tasty. So I have high hopes for this one.

Batch 1, pours dark. There's a ring of gunk around the lip, I assume from the shipping, that hasn't settled after a couple of months. I wipe a bit on my finger & consider licking...it. Nah. Next time. Smells strangely sweet, not at all what I was expecting, almost like bubblegum that's been soaking in a abandoned glass of booze all night.

I have to let this one warm up, it's not terribly distinguished cold, but it opens like the legs of...nicely. The smoky malts are first in the bunny hop line, with the bourbon bouncing close behind, but subtle, which is a nice change. The standard porter underneath isn't bad & proves to be a perfectly acceptable supporting cast, if just a touch thin.

Strangely bubbly for a barrel-aged beer, with plenty of carbonation to go around. Easy drinking for the style, with the smoothness of the b-aging offsetting the potential heaviness to make it go down like a fine...wine.

Very good beer. Makes me look forward to more Captain Lawrence.

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Photo of gford217
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.

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Smoke From The Oak (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 96 ratings.
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