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

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Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged)
Very Good
95 Ratings
Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged)Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy 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 gregc on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 95 |  Reviews: 65
Photo of jeffthecheff
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle split on 10/23 tasting.

The pour is dark and black. The head is tan and has a great formation.

The aroma has a ton of apple brandy character coming through. Green apple skins come through at first. When it warms, some of the chocolate from the base beer comes through. It has a bit of heat in the nose. I would like the aroma better if it had more porter character with some more chocolate. At this point, the barrel character overwhelms the porter. The apple-chocolate combination is just interesting. It fails to resemble some culinary masterpiece, but it's still good.

There is a nice, green apple acidity that rushes the tongue first. One thing that was pulled off well with this beer is that the apple flavors come through without a cheap, solvent, liqour taste overpowering it. It tastes like your biting into a green apple. Not cidery, but more of a candy apple character. Next is the porter itself, which has some slight chocolate and good fruitiness. The smoke gets lost, although it is only a subtle character in the original beer.

The high carbonation works for this beer. It's nothing like a smooth porter, but instead is a spritzy, acidic dark ale. There is a slight liqour burn at the end. The drinkability was hurt by the barrell aging. I would have an easier time with a growler of the original smoked porter than a 750 of this beer.

This beer was enjoyable and interesting, but didn't knock my socks off. I'm not usually a fan of liqour aged beers, and I like the original beer better, but this was a nice twist.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at De Cicco's in NY, Apple smoke was all out at the brewery when i went up for the fury.

Apple smoke blazes a dirty dark brown liquid out of the bottle forming a almost black color in the Duvel tulip. Up to the light a rusty brown appearence with some muted red towards the edge. A mocha tan head reached three fingas of some semi tight foam, this looks great for a barrel aged brew. Nice clingy lace for a bit.

Apple scents with granny smith qualities, (too bad I don't have any apples on hand to partake with this smoke) Some acidic scents reminding me of past SFTO's. The brandy does not really hit me in the taste. Some light chocolate/coffee from the base beer but it has been extremely muted from the aging. Roasted malt in the rear. Im sure there is some other porter scents but they are drowned out from the barrel.

Apple tastes great, a nice semi smooth apple porter if you will, this experiment was a success in my mind. Granny smith apples with some very faint brandy. A little more brandy would of been nice but may have distracted the apple portion. Very low amounts of chocolate and coffee, actually the coffe is almost dead in the water. As with all SFTO that i've had there is a slight acidic taste but not as pronounced as other versions (especially the Bourbon SFTO), in fact the wood/oak seems lighter than usual to. Not really picking up any smoke from this.

This smoker has a medium build with a smooth ride on the way down. Again, not as acidic or sour if you will making this the easiest feel from the series IMO. Apple smoke spent the perfect amount of time in the barrel. As this warms more of the base beer shows itself in feel and taste. A loud hiss on cap pry told me this was well carbonated and I was not wrong, this beer is not dead but not overly crisp, except for the slight acidity which I think is a different matter all together. The aftertaste is short lived with minimal apple and porter.

SFTO is a great series with great results. Barrel aged porters are limited from a selection standpoint, but I think that Scott and the Captain Lawrence team have this style down pat, it cant be beat, at least on the east coast. Im guessing this is around 8 percent or in that ballpark. Not terribly high in ABV but a whole bottle to the head could be a chore, I suggest finding a friend and sharing the love. With that said this version has the most potential for a whole bottle to the head as it's delicious and less acidic. Get some if you can find it.

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Photo of younger35
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew recently from gpcollen1 in a recent trade. I loved the other Smoke From The Oak's and I have high hopes for this guy too. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Batch #1

Appearance- Pours a super dark blackish brown with a huge two finger plus dark tan head that stays forever. Seriously, doesn't fall below one finger the entire time.
Smell- Slightly tart and sharp in the nose with a green apple like scent right from the start. Bing cherries and even some lime sneak in the nose as well. The beer isn't really smoky at all but there is some cocoa and/or coffee that is perceivable. A tiny bit of oak and vanilla as well but for the most par that apple tartness is the majority of the nose.
Taste- Wow the apple brandy is really potent here. It's somewhere between ripened red apples and alcohol soaked plums. The beer is lightly bitter and lightly astringent from the oak. A bit of vanilla and dry chalky chocolate sneak in but I think for the most part (right now anyways) most of the Smoked Porter is covered by the brandy. The finish is lightly bitter and lightly alcoholic but nothing a little time won't fix.
Mouthfeel- Nice silky and creamy feel from the lightest yet most aggressive carbonation around. I love these SftO's because of the mouthfeels. The beer is always SO carbonated yet the feel is nothing but perfect.
Drinkability- I think my review of the taste may have sounded a bit more negative than I intended. This beer is super duper tasty, it's just still a bit young. It's got this nice tartness and great oaky chocolate thing. I think in a year or so, this thing will challenge the rum barrel as the best SftO. Thanks much George!

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Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Generously provided and shared with Dyan the other night. I almost forgot I had written a review for this beer (we sampled rather a goodly number of beers on this particular evening).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is just incredible, consisting of brandy, green apples, chocolate, bandaide, and a hint of sour. There's some underlying smokiness as well, but it's pretty well dialed down and/or dominated by all the other aromas in this beer. Given the impressive aroma in this beer, I have to say I was just a bit disappointed by how it tasted. At least at this stage in its life, it tasted more like a roasty brown ale, intermixed with some green apple flavor. It really doesn't taste much like a porter at all right now, though it's still pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and drinkability is OK. At this point, however, it was bit of a chore drinking down the entire glass.

This is still a very good beer, but based on previous experiences, I really hoped for so much more. It is very young, so maybe it just needs a bit more time to round off the edges.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed a few of these last weekend at the brewery, and split one with John last night.

Black with a dense brown head with great retention. Reddish brown highlights are noticeable. Lacing is gorgeous.

Smoky, sour and boozy, the sourness initially seems lactic in character but evolves to be tart. Behind the sourness, the apple brandy booziness is quite awesome, a complex and mellow blend of spices, cider, nuts, and a mild tannic character.

Opens boozy and warm with a sourness that's more astringent, akin to chewing on skins of red delicious apples. Cider and apple brandy dominate the palate with smoke and a touch of cocoa. Boozy, mildly sugary and spicy apple pie flavors with cinnamon. Improving as it warms up, this beer finishes dry and mildly tannic.

Medium light in body and medium high in carbonation, I absolutely love the dry and mildly tannic finish.

A great sipper, I feel a few months would only improve this as the flavors integrate.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A porter a minority taken down in strength of taste by the apple brandy, with lends a mild but still significant secondary taste.This agrees with the tasting notes of the brewery. The acidity is high, making it difficult to finish a 750 ml. by myself,sharing recommended. Neither my favorite nor my least liked of the entire Smoke from The Oak series, and certainly very good porter.

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Photo of rye726
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark earthy brown with a thick tan head. Excellent lace and retention.

Nose has tart apples, brandy, oak, vanilla, smoked malts, molasses and cocoa.

Taste has a sour apple presence up front followed by roasted malts, smokey wood, brandy, chocolate and vanilla.

Creamy body is well carbonated. Nice dry finish. Another very well done beer from CL.

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Photo of ATPete
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

capped 750ml

purchased on release day, thanks man!

My god this beer has a striking resemblance to cola, except for the big brown head that forms and stays atop the rich colored brew. Lots of smoke, some wood, nothing really screams apple brandy yet but we'll see. Super smokey, toasty, burnt and slightly tart porter. It doesnt taste much like the other SFTO brews, the base beer at least. Roasty, burnt chocolate malt dominant, ashy with an odd bitterness late palate, the apple brandy makes an appearance on the finish and briefly into the aftertaste, i do like how that flavor comes across, im just not thrilled with the overall execution. It tastes to me like this brew was intentionally barrel aged to hide a couple flaws, just my opinion.

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Photo of mikey711
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at the release, the following day and this past weekend finally while taking notes.

A: Big puffy brownish/tan head. It was a murky brown in color. Lacing was excellent.

S: Smokiness is present as are some sour apple notes. A slight bit of woodiness is present as well.

T: It tastes very much like a green apple. Very nice balance of sweetness and sour with some nice woody tannins. The porter provides a little more sweetness.

M: Smooth and creamy. Nothing harsh tasting at all.

D: Unfortunately I have shared this beer each time that I have had it and I always end up wanting more. Excellent beer

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Photo of bmwfan1987
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer from the source last weekend, it is from batch #1

A-Black, with a dark brown hue when in light.

S-apples and brandy. smells great.

T-sour apple, and brandy notes.

M-very good, full bodied.

D-one is enough for two, the alcohol really kicks you in the face on this one, but from what I hear, should smooth out with time.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The usual 4 finger head pur from a smoke from the Oak release. The head was brownish in color. The beer appeared black with some brown showing through when held up to light.

S: There is something going on that I can only describe but the smoke from the oak smell. It is the smell from the smoked porter being exposed to the barrel. It is a nice smell. Fresh apple smell and the barrel and this beer combine nicely together. Reminds me of a light golden delicious.

T: The porter and barrel work really well together. I have had all of the SFTO and this was a really nice combo.

M: Very smooth. Almost velvety.

D: This is the best SFTO fresh I have ever had by far. It is a singular and excellent beer. Hopefully time will make this even better. Another winner from the captain.

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Photo of drseamus
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: dark brown body with a super thick head. Head isn't as big as wine was but massive none the less.

S: Smoke in the nose but not that strong. Smells similar to the wine and bourbon.

T: Very balanced despite being fresh. This is by far the best of the SFTO fresh. Definitely some apple in there but not as much as the golden delicious.

M: Super smooth. Med bodied.

D: I can't wait to see how this ages. It is starting off life kick ass so I hope it goes places.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The kindness /of the BA community gets this one in my hands with the quickness. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 9/23/2009.

Pour was the typical huge Captain Lawrence pour. Dark as night with a towering three inches of foam coming up and over the top. Majestic looking I have to say. Rich tan lacing coming all the way down the sides of the glass and just immensly thick. I lean in for a smell and rich woody notes and light fruit coming up very quickly. Quite complex and just what I was looking for. Light touches of smoke, and molasses as well as a nice brown sugar all make this one quite sweet and subtle. Each sip brings more and more of the barrel forward. Incredible. Rich apple and a vanilla combine seemlessly into a rich creation that is playing off perfectly. Sweet notes of sugar are now blending with a light peat flavor and a really well done hint of chocolate. Very well carbonated and not overly heavy it balances all the flavor wonderfuly and the alcohol is soo well hidden I had finished off the bottle before I knew where I was!

Overall this was as solid as they come and next to the wine barrel my favorite in the series. I would do this one again any day.

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Photo of waltonc
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a couple folks for trading bottles of this fantastic brew to me.

Pours opaque black with massive over-the-top tan head that settles nicely to a 2 mm froth like A&W root beer. Smells and tastes quite interesting - smoke, oak, tart apples, some underlying hints of chocolate, slightly sweet...even though I'm not providing many descriptors, this is a complex and layered beer. Perfect for a crisp autumn evening. Body is medium and carbonation is massive. Highly drinkable brew. Reminds me just a bit of HOTD Matt with the smoky apple brandy qualities. Very unique, and highly recommended.

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Photo of LennyV
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black into my over sized wine glass. Crazy thick creamy brown 3 finger head after a gentle pour.

Smells of sweet brandy and alcohol. The smell made me nervous that the apple brandy will overpower the taste.

Tastes of sweetness and apples intialy then a breaf hint of brandy and alcohol and then finishes sweet.

feels soft and velvety in the mouth...carbonated perfectly.

This brew is a great sipper, something to be enjoyed slowly with some nice conversation

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from the source last weekend. Pours pretty darn near black, under an all star head, huge, slow to shrink, turnig to a merainge cap, and finally to a very thick, stay forever film. Stringy and spotted lace. The nose reveals tart apple, burnt grains, wood, smoke, vanilla, brandy.
Flavorful, complex and bold. Notes of the expected tart apple, more wood/smoke, and I get brandy/rum in the finish. Intense stuff, that can only get better with some aging to perhaps let things gel together, mellow and soften out the edges a bit. World class sipper, night capper, after dinner brew. Note to self: would be great with apple pie after Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque except for the faintest of deep dark mahogany edges when held up to a light source and a 2.5 finger frothy light beige head. Very good retention slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with lacing.

Very interesting aroma with sweet light crisp granny smith apples, brandy, chocolate, smokey roasted malt and an earthy oak presence. It's also quite vinous from the oak aging with subtle hints of vanilla. Like the other beers in the series the oak aging and the liquor from the barrels mask the smokey charcoal characteristic of a typical smoked beer.

Creamy, rich full body with a lots of silky maltiness underneath the vinous, sweet sour apple brandy flavor. Slightly puckering with a nice oak/vanilla flavor from the barrel aging and a sour green apple presence on top of a very rich chocolate malt body. The maltiness becomes slightly more smokey as it warms up but is not dominant like it is on other smoked beers. Very well balanced with all of these flavors bouncing off of each other and the nice sour apple and sweet brandy flavor lingering over everything into a slightly dry finish.

This is a very complex and extremely well made beer. I found this to be the most well balanced beer in the series. While I loved the other ones, I thought that the barrel aging gave them a hotness and dominant liquor presence that overshadowed the other smokey chocolate malt flavors. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Hautacam
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to it's label.
Pours out pretty dense and super creamy. The head is pretty huge. A whiff of smoke and some fruity's a carnival in my nose.
First taste is a smack of green apple and oak, followed by a smokey , sweet and sour, acidic caramel..very much like the smell. There's a lot to this one, but as usual I'm at a loss for identfying the subtle layers of flavor. Now it's a mouth carnival.
Really nice, creamy mouthfeel.
I had my doubts about liking this one....loved the Golden Delicious....but didn't really think this combination would work. It does....and it is more drinkable than I expected.
Yet another complex masterpiece from Scott V.

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Photo of rasta16ry
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to the release yesterday and picked up six, if anyone wants to trade.

Obviously if you've had the Golden Delicious before from CL, this one will ring some bells (although you wouldn't be able to tell from the look of it). Pours very dark, almost black, with a tasty head and a tart-ish smell. Apples etc.

The taste is both smokey and tart, which is really up my alley but is also something I didn't expect to be so good. The apple and tart tastes seem to emerge throughout the duration of each sip, with the smokiness, sorta chewiness and oak each taking a turn on the old pallet.

I expected to like this one, as I do most of CL's specialty beers. It was a nice surprise, and I'm glad I made it up there for the release! It's not an overwhelming beer, but very enjoyable and a very easy bottle to drink. It's going to be one of my favorites.

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Photo of Cuzco
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the brewery release today.

Pours black, little to no light passes through this one. There is nice full head that laces the glass throughout the session. The smell is of sweet and sour apple. Almost a candy type smell. Hints of smoke and chocolate come through as the beer warms. The taste compliments and confirms the smell. First taste is sour apple. As it warms the smoke/oak/chocolate begin to come out. The mouth feel is excellent. Very full flavored and complex. The sour apple gives way to the sweet/wood flavors over time. Drinkability is top notch with this beer. The flavor continues to develop throughout the bottle.

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Smoke From The Oak (Apple Brandy Barrel Aged) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 95 ratings
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