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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 LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle, batch 2. Pours a dark brown with a super thick tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, oak, and a slight tartness. The tartness really picks up in the flavor leaving behind only a background of roasted malt and maybe a touch of bourbon. My tastebuds are quite sensitive to bourbon and even they didn't really pick up much. I haven't been able to figure out if this bottle was intentionally or unintentionally infected with lacto. Either way, it didn't do much for the beer. The tartness/sourness and roasted porter notes did not mesh well together. Similar to the SftO Wine, this was just an odd beer.
7/4/6/3/14 (3.4/5)

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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 d0ggnate
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 1/10/09. Poured from bottle to goblet.

A: Black/brown pour with 2 finger head. Patchy fading to near nothing quickly.
S: Barrel funk! Bottle-conditioned sourness! Subtle smoky whiffs arose.
T: The funk continues. Sweet anise and black licorice. Dark fruits, of plum and fig, also poke through. Complex profile.
M: Highly carbonated. Lasting flavor, that lingers across the palate. Intriguing complexity.
D: Mmmm! I really enjoyed this one. I was shocked at what I just enjoyed. I was expecting something else when the word bourbon appeared on the bottle, but I was impressed by this departure from other barrel-aged options.

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Photo of ATPete
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, courtesy of 'Dontcallmesurly' and the 2008 Secret Santa BIF

THE STORY: the bottle came to me intact with about 1/3 of the beer missing. Upon popping the cap, a wall of gas arose from the liquid sending the crown flying and emitting a loud 'booosch' sound. This beer was, no doubt, still good to go and ready to be drunk.

THE REVEIW: originally written on a napkin.

The beer pours a cloudy deep mahogany brown color with a large brown head that dissipates slowly leaving a thin net of foam for the remainder of the glass. Great nose of sweet roasted malt, very subtle vanilla, wet wood notes and a slightly acidic almost tart presence from the glorious funk used. Creamy in body, toasty malts, tongue tingling tartness keeps reminding you that the funk is there, vanilla-like bourbon mash, slight whiffs of non offensive booze, more wet oak/wood, lemon skin and a mild, slightly bitter, chocolate/coffee sweetness. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation throughout and very drinkable.

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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 scootny
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1

Thick head that recedes gently leaving good lacing. An opaque brown with no visible carbonation.

Smell is bourbon, sour cherries, and vanilla

Taste is sour cherries, oak, vanilla and coffee. Dry tart finish with light graham crackers. A good amount of bourbon throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium weight with a touch of chewyness. Lively carbonation.

A good sipper, maybe a very good one to warm the nights with.

From tasting notes 6/18/2008

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Photo of wisrarebeer
1.56/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Batch 2.

A: near opaque, too dark for a porter, very nice rocky head
S: sour, acetic acid nose, where's the roasted malt and bourbon?
T: extremely sour, aged way too long in the barrel, beer doesn't have the guts to overpower the sourness
M: like gargling with vinegar
D: way off base with sourness

I was holding this for the holidays and was extremely disappointed. I'd give it another shot but based on the other reviews that mention the sour/tart character it appears that it's just aged way too long for the body of the porter.

Note: tried the rum version the day after this tasting and the beer was very, very good. It's obvious the bourbon aging was way too long.

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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 grub
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 3: Barleywines and Others. Viggo threw this one in. thanks eric!

750ml bottle. batch 1. sampled nov 29/08.

pours deep brown with a big fluffy brown head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is wild. lemon. touch of malt vinegar. bread and biscuit. light alcohol. bit of coffee. dark chocolate. light alcohol. caramel. bit of smoke.

taste is good. big smokey character. dark chocolate. bit of coffee. touch of sourness that comes across more baltic than i thought from the aroma. touch of caramel sweetness. big bready malt. light biscuit. cracker. dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level. medium body. fairly dry finish.

drinkability is great. nicely balanced. the sourness was unexpected, but it worked.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown in color with a nice inch of tan head. Smell is sour. A porter that is bourbon barrel aged that smells sour. Sure enough even more sour notes in the taste. There are very faint bourbon oak and vanilla notes in the taste. Not what I was expecting but still Im enjoying it quite a bit. Decent mouthfeel. This is a weird animal but Im digging it. Now the question is was the sour notes by design or by accident.

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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 YonderWanderer
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark. Very dark. Almost stout-like. A nice blackish/brown color with a thick, pillowy head of foam. This one had the appearance of a gusher when I cracked it, but never hit that point of explosion.

S: Some tartness from the oak, hints of bourbon, and a pinch of chocolate.

T: Has a nice acidic/sour flavor, no doubt from the oak throughout. Bourbon is mild, with hints of vanilla, and almost a sherry-like quality coming through. Truly, it's delicious. A great balance of porter and sourness.

M: Smooth, with good carbonation. Goes down easy.

D: This is a great brew. I definitely enjoyed it and I could easily drink this regularly. Curious to see how the other SFTO brews match up.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 2.

A: Exceptionally dark for a porter. Only a hint of brown around the edges. A quarter finger of tannish head. Good lacing.

S: A nice big bourbon nose. Tons of sweetness. Raisins. Quite a bit of dark fruit as well. A tiny bit of funk in the back. Vanilla is in the back. The barrel is fairly well blended.

T: Nice sweet bourbon flavor. Tons of wood and vanilla. A nice sweetness throughout. The nice thing is a hint of tartness towards the back. A telltale sign of the funk eating this beer away. A slight hint of chocolate in there as well. Upon further review as it warmed this is pretty funky and tart. Not Russian River tart but definitely tart.

M: Well carbonated but not overly so. Medium body. A little bit silky.

D: Exceptional. I think I like the wine barrel a little bit more but damn this is good. Totally different than any other bourbon barrel beer I have ever had. I think this will continue to develop nicely and hope the funk gets stronger with time. Perfect after dinner beer on a cold night.

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Photo of Douglas88
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle thanks to John a few months ago. Batch no.1. Pours out a beautiful picture; a huge creamy beige head sits atop a pure black colored body. Nice! The aroma is full of bourbon notes, some sour and lightly roasted aspects too. Well, the flavor was also surprisingly full of a slightly sour taste which sort of mixed with the bourbon barrel flavor in a nice way. Not too much of a roasted malt presence, and only a slight sour cherry. Quite smooth, and fairly thin mouthfeel. Very interesting and enjoyable; more like a sour whiskey with some slight porter flavors thrown in.

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Photo of hopdog
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared courtesy of Josh. Batch 1.

Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of vanilla, wood, bourbon, roast, chocolate, and coconuts. Tastes of bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, roast, and wood. The bourbon was done nicely. Not over powering. Once again, I'm a sucker for Bourbon Barrel Aging.

Notes from 10/26/07

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Photo of soccerman7
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Had 2007 batch one release I have been sitting on. Not a gusher like others have had.

Nice tan head about 1/2 inch. Really complex nose. Smoke, bourbon, dark cherry sour notes. The taste was excellent. Really nice with the bourbon not over powering. Fruit notes were interesting with Brett character. The finish was a bit dry and oaky from the barrel. Overall a great brew from the captain.

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Photo of waltonc
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 2007 Batch 1 Bottle of this at Blind Tiger Alehouse tonight. Dark brown to black with crazy carbonation and head (though bottle didn't overflow). My experience is similar to other reviewers. I was expecting a heavier, deep roasted, bourbon tasting porter. But the most prominent note is the sour brett/cherries/apple which is very strong in the smell and taste. Pretty good. The smoky oak was also fairly prominent, as well as some roasted malts. mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is high.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great big thanks to an outstanding trader, DrDogbeer, for giving me the chance to try this one!

750 mL bottle, batch 1

Pours a deep brown, basically black, with some faint burnt sienna highlights on the edges. Dark khaki foam climbs pretty fully, even with a gentle pour, leaving a nicely formed and decently lasting soft cap of froth, slapping patches of lace down the sides of the glass with each swirl.

Nose is not overwhelmingly strong, and yet what's there is quite sturdy. Vinous character comes through over faint dark roasty malt, blending plenty of oak with a mild smoky spice. Bourbon adds a nice mellow richness that gives slight depth to the overall aroma.

This wasn't at all what I expected, so I had to go back and check the label on the bottle just to make sure I actually opened the one marked "bourbon barrel," and not "wine barrel." The slight tartness and firm oaky character of this beer cause one to pause momentarily at how infrequently bourbon barrel aged beers come out with such delicate complexity. Some of my favorites resemble more bourbon than beer, yet this one is different, but alas, I digress... Slight porter notes begin on the palate, with hints of burnt grains yielding into an airy wood smokiness that mingles nicely with old oak flavor. Hints of tobacco and tart fruits fade into brighter new oak notes and a hanging smoky bourbon aftertaste. It has a lot of the deep leather, tobacco, and overripe berry quality of a heavily oaked Napa cabernet, but with the added mellow complexity of bourbon, all without being too strong.

The lighter medium body comes across as somewhat creamy with the full foamy carbonation bubbling with each sip. A nice clean feel, very nicely complimenting the flavor.

I have to admit the taste wasn't at all what I expected, especially for a porter claiming to be aged in bourbon barrels. Instead of a deep, rich, heavy, boozy dark beer, what I got was a rather complex beer, constructed with a unique CL yeast profile and some highly oaked but nicely balanced flavor. Smoke is also mild, only faintly detectable as a compliment to the beer and not as a stand out feature. The more of this I drink, the more complex and enjoyable I'm finding it. Very nicely done.

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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 gregc
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch one bottle, poured into a clear solo cup...just moved all we had around.

Poured a dark cola like color, with a huge foamy light brown/reddish head. Head leaves lots of lacing in the cup.

Smell is beautiful and super complex...bourbon to start out, sour cherries, vanilla, smoke, red wine, dark chocolate and coffee grinds.

The flavor is also hugely complex...cola flavors, as well as, bourbon, red wine, vanilla, sour cherries (almost brett like)and it finishes with a nice chocolate note.

This beer is super think feeling in the mouth...its a little over carbonated, but very smooth and goes down nicely, hardly any alcohol burn.

all out of batch 1, can't wait to get the batch 2 of the bourbon...this is definitly my favorite in the series, with the rum in second and the wine bringing up the rear...

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rciesla hooked me up with this one, thank you sir.

750 ml. bottle poured into a snifter.

I needed to make room in my fridge for the Cuvee de Castleton I picked up today. So why not crack open the last in the Smoke from the Oak series that I need to review.

Pours a dark cola black with a fluffy tan one finger head that falls to a thin layer of foam whcih lasts throughout. A solid layer of stick remains on the sides of the glass making this a very enticing looking beer. Smell begins with smokey malts and rich/dark chocolate. French roast coffee grinds and a hazelnut sweetness in the nose as well. Underneath all of those dark aromas are sour scents consisting of white grapes and Granny Smitth apples. The bourbon is there, but subtle and soft. Taste starts off with a good amount of charred wood and smokey chocolate malts. A bitter hop sting, sweet vanilla, and some caramel emerge midway on the tongue. The silky smooth bourbon appears towards the end within the balanced sweet and smokey aftertaste. Medium body with a prickly feel in the mouth due to a strong carbonation. The abv with this one has to be up there because after the first glass I'm starting to feel pretty good although I have no problem putting this porter down. Let this baby warm up and truly enjoy all that it has to offer.

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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 flexabull
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle couresy of guinnessdoc, thanks again!

This one is batch #1, I believe it is from the fall of '07.

Pours a dark brown color with a sizable off white head.

Aromas are quite sour. Vinegar like, with some cider and faint apple notes.

Taste is slightly smoky, oak like, bitter, and somewhat sour. There is a little cola like flavor, bourbon, , bright fruits, tart, crisp and biting on the finish. Very interesting and complex beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A bit prickly, full, and fairly highly carbonated.

Drinkability is good. This beer is a bit of a head scratcher. Very intersting and unique. Not at all what I expected. I was think dark porter and bourbon flavors, but what I got was more of a funky sour dark ale. Well worth a try, but not really something that I could have more than a couple of glasses of. But with that said, I'm glad I got to try this, and I'd be happy to try it again some other time.

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Photo of turbine2475
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to joe1510 for this brew:

A - Pours a nice opaque black with a spongy tan head that disipated quickly into nothingness with a spotty lace.

S - Lots of sour scents. Vanilla, some mild coffee, cherries, and a bit of mocha.

T - Less sour. Cherries, vanilla, some chocolate and coffee, and bourbony grain.

M - Bit watery for a porter, but fitting of the brew. Higher then normal carbonation.

D - Good beer, but not what I thought it would be. There was not much smoke or oak. Beer arrived to me seeping so i would like to try another bottle to make sure I'm giving it a fair review.

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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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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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