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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Imperial Version) | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Imperial Version)Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Imperial Version)

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aerozeppl on 12-19-2010

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 92
Photo of Arenbeer
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a Captain Goblet that came in the special 3 pack

Served at fridge temperature

A- Pours jet black with a 2 finger light brown creamy looking head that slowly dissipates. Not much lacing but some really nice legs on the side of the glass.

S- Interesting to say the least. Smoke and leather notes up front that combine surprisingly well with the viscous aromas. Actually has a slight funk and sour smell to it as well. Slight oak but mostly that smoke.

T- Just like the aroma your immediately hit with smoke, bacon, fresh leather, slight coffee, creamy milk chocolate and burnt malts. But just when you thought that was enough the flavors from the wine emerge and give you an almost brett like funk and slight sourness as well as a grape fruitiness. Excellent.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a puzzling finish for the mouthfeel hah

Overall this is an absolutely amazing beer. All of the flavors are so well blended and compliment each other perfectly. I'm impressed and pumped to try the other two.


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Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large capped bottle, "Bottled in 10". Been sitting with its cousins in the snazzy gift box, since before Christmas...cool spring evening with next to nothing to do, seems like a sensible time to crack this baby open and enjoy.

Pours near black, dark prune, moderate mocha head, leaves some thick sheeting, a thick collar and moderate slippery lacing.

Big and bold nose of smoke, cooking meat and red wine.

First sip....wow..this stuff is rich, densely flavorful, and viscous, thick, luxurious and creamy on the tongue.

More smoke, red wine, sweet malts, dark fruits, and a hint of sweet melon in the finish.

Add it all up… I get complexity, intrigue, a world class sipper/dessert beer/night capper.
Well done Captain Scott. Drinking great now, likely only better with a year or two in a cool dark place…….

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Photo of scootny
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The SFTO wine was always my fave in the series. It was kind of a smokey "half sour" that was wonderfully complex and surprisingly drinkable. This imperial is a great progression of the brew. A real winner in my book as this hits on all cylinders in progressing from the original version. The rum and brandy versions benefitted the most but to be honest they all do and the SFTO Imperial Series is an unqualified success in my opinion. Truly great beers.

Dark brow fluid with a brown head that leaves lots of lace and stays for quite a while. Light covering remains. Not as sticky as the others as I guess the rum and brandy added a sugar component that thickened things up. Aromas of smoke, cherries and oak with a whiff of alcohol. Dark roasted malts at the core and notes of char and chocolate. Taste follows the smokey half sour paradigm of the original and builds on it. The bigger beer backbone adds a burnt caramel and molasses center and and chewy brown bread malt foundation. Dry cab and oak facets really blossom and make that at times like a thick rich carbonated molasses wine. The finish is earthy and super dry with a silky feel and spot on carbonation. A sipper for sure as the oak and vinous flavors are quite strong but I quite enjoyed large sips as the feel and big sweet malts we just wonderful to hold in the mouth while the smoke and oak filter through the nose. This a kick but super complex brew that I really wish I had a plate of cheeses and smoked foods to enjoy with. Will have to get more/

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When faced with an already great beer that has been aged in Wine Barrels that is now Imperialized, I took it upon myself as duty to see how the progression of the SFTO series has gone. CL did not disappoint and now you can feel safe for the time being of aging these without worrying about what it will taste like a few years down the road.

Pour is a dark brownish black with a healthy layer of light brown bubbles on top. Not a lot of lacing.

Aroma of smokechips, oak barrel and sweet malt mixed with a cabernet wine. Oak seems to be more prominent in here from what I remember of the non imperial SFTO wine, however the wine has really gotten more noticeable from what I remember of the original.

Taste of a heavily roasted malt with smoky overtones. The smoke I believe to be Hickory but I am not sure. It really comes through, leaving you with the sweet flavors of a high abv porter. Sweet flavors mixing with some ash and caramelization. Dark plum and candy coating your mouth, this will not disappoint with its full mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of KeefD
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Knifestyles for this extra! I'm assuming this is the correct version I'm reviewing as it says "Bottled in 10" on the side. Poured into a Captain Lawrence tulip that Chris also so graciously sent along with it. Thick, dark brown color, totally black and opaque in the glass with an inch or so of creamy khaki colored head that fell slowly and left some spotty lacing all over the tulip. Holy oakiness Batman! This thing just wreaks of oak, plenty of smokiness, and some red wine, but the oak really dominates the aroma in a way I've never experienced in a beer before. There's also a bit of plastic-like aromas that are little odd, but I guess that's from the oak as well. Taste follows suit. Oak just dominated, there's lots of red wine character, a bit of roast int he background coupled with a touch of raisin, dark fruit, and a whole lot of smokiness. I just can't get over how oaky this things is. Mouthfeel is silky/creamy/smooth, perfect amount of carbonation. I really want to like this beer, but not sure if I can get over the raw/wet oakiness. The wine must have been extracted about 3.2 seconds before they put the beer in there without any time for it to dry out. Just an oak-bomb, so if that's your thing, you will love this. For me, it's pretty good but now wishing I would have split this with others as it might be tough to down the whole thing.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Dark black/brown with medium-brown highlights. Mocha head sits relatively low.

S – Blackberries. Light, hammy smoke. Grape skins. The fruit character is subtle and dry.

T – Boozy oak. The wine character is definitely present: oxidized merlot, tannins, and a sharp acidity. Gentle coffee note. Spice (mulling spice?) on the backend.

M – Highly carbonated. Medium / light body. Smooth. Peppery-spicy, dry finish with a lingering alcoholic warmth.

O – A very interesting and complex porter, but not necessarily the tastiest.

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Photo of foogerd
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch opaque black, some brown/reddish highlights at the edges. Coffee colored head, looks like an impressive brew.

S- Smoke is a bit more subdued in this version, vinous sour tangy aroma, red grapes, a touch of vanilla.

T- This version really suprised me, to me the wine integrated with the smoke in a more balanced way than the other two version. Nothing screams at you to grab your attention but its amazingly balanced. You have your smoke, thick roasty chocolatey porter character, and then the sour tangy red wine, but this all melds together in a way I didnt think was possible with wine barrel aging. The vinous character really works well here, thats what will blow you away, the balance. Everything is perfectly smooth, theres a dry tannin like finish.

M- Not viciously thick but pretty thick nice and smooth on the palette.

D- Very tasty, takes your taste buds for a trip theyre sure to remember.

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Photo of bbeane
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... starts with a finger thick off white head that disappears leaving behind some nice spots of lacing. Beer is black in color with no light shining through when held up to the ceiling

S- Has a very nice smokey aroma with a hint of dry wine

T- Really is an amazing beer... alot going on. Has an upfront smokey bitterness followed by some chocolatey coffee taste with a hint of wine in the finish

M- Has a nice full body with light carbonation

D- Really glad I got this one. Very complex and interesting... I would love to get my hands on the other two to try


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Photo of Gmann
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a big light brown fluffy head that slowly settled into a light cap.

The aroma is big on smoke, burnt wood, and charred meat. Exactly what I expected from a smoked porter and then-some. Some nice caramel undertones and a bite of red wine from the barrel.

Again big on the smoke, with some peat, burnt wet wood and charred beef. Noticable sour presence from the wine barrels. Doesn't add much flavor but adds a strong offset to the smoke. I actually think the sour from the red wine takes too much away from the smoke.

Full bodied with prickly carbonation. Sweet and smokey on the palate but is nicely offset by the sour from the wine barrel. Very balanced for a smoked beer.

A very well made and surprisingly balanced beer. Bold flavors. The wine adds a bit too much balance for my liking as I like my smoked porters quite smokey. Still very excellent.

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Photo of Pahn
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into an oversized wine glass (left the awesome Captain Lawrence tulip with my friend in NYC). '10 handwritten under the "bottled in" section.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and half inch tan head that dissipates slowly leaving a solid wall of lacing. Pours a reddish black (the red could be a trick of the light) and leaves large swatches of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: smoke. In the glass: smoke and molasses. Maybe some prune-y dark fruit notes. Roasted malt and some cola aromas. Boozy. As it warms, the alcohol shows through in a big way, but somehow brings all the other aromas with it instead of overshadowing them. Gets a bit more cookie-like with warmth as well. Maybe a little abrasive from the alcohol, but I like it.

Taste: Smooth, smokey porter flavors up front, some faint woody notes, then a savory finish. Burnt aftertaste (I like). There's a little bit of vanilla, and the barrel aging has definitely imparted some smoothness, but I'm not sure that it made a difference that red wine was once in the barrels in which this beer was aged (I think I placebo smelled Cabernet grapes).

Even if the oaky vanilla and wine did show through more in the beer, the subtler notes are generally stomped on by the smoke and malt. This would be a bad thing if these bold flavors weren't so good. It tastes like a great oak aged imperial porter, what's not to like?

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very carbonated. Silky smooth.

Drinkability: The aggressive carbonation and strong flavors seem like they would get trying, but they only seemed to grow on me. It took me a few hours to finish the bottle, and they were a good few hours.

I think this is a case of "Great beer goes in the barrel, great beer comes out of the barrel." I had the chance to try Captain Lawrence's Imperial Porter on tap a few times at Willibrew, and loved it. I almost balked at the $60~ price tag for 3 different versions of this beer + a tulip glass, but drinking this first bottle leaves me with no regrets.

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Photo of jrbuch
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Captain Lawrence tasting goblet.

A: Pitch black. Good amount of lacing with a mocha colored head. Head does not last long and settles down into a halo.

S: Smell is overbearing with smoke. Oak is very present, you could almost hold a piece of oak side by side to the beer and there would be little difference. Almost fruity and similar in a sense to Nor' Easter; CL house flavor.

T: Red wine, oak, smoke and chocolate malt. Sweet in the middle without much trace of the high ABV. Still very oaky with a deep malt character and balanced bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is to style. Good viscosity, I might have expected it to be a little heavier, but fits the red wine persona.

D: Good, a stand alone beer or smoked food at most.

Overall a great smoked beer. If you want smoke from the oak, you got it. If I had aged this beer, the smell and taste most likely would be more balanced. Give this beer 6-12 mo. and it will be an A+.

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Photo of stimulus
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SFTO Gift Set.

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a jet black with a light tan head with decent lacing.
S: Red wine, perhaps pinot noir, and medium smoke levels.
T: Tart wine balanced with smoke and chocolate flavors from the porter make this quite delectable.
M: Great carbonation, medium body, smooth, tangy finish.
D: Slightly less than the rum version, yet this is a bit closer to room temperature.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a-Poured a stunning silky black with a frothy cream colored head that built as I poured into the tasting glass that came with the set. Lacing is milkshake like and the brew looks exactly as did the Imperial Smoked Porter (from my notes).

s-Soft peaty notes from the wood. Milk chocolatey malts. The smoke from the base beer is not nearly as in the front as it was in the regular Imperial Smoked Porter. The wine definitely chills it out and that was something I really loved about the original, none-the-less the mix still gives the feel of a barrel (reminds me a bit of some of the scotch barrel beers I've had, but much more subtle). as it warms the wine really takes hold in the smell and it works.

t-Yowza...rich creamy chocolatey milk shake. The smokiness is there, but again, the wine barrel aging really just mellows it out. There is a bit of a red wine feel to it (comes out a lot more as it warms), but no dryness what-so-ever.

m-Cooling with a soft tingle (the only sign of the alc in this beer). Smoky after effects in my mouth. Very full bodied. Meal in a glass.

d-I consider the original Captain Lawrence Imperial Smoked Porter to be one of the better beers I've ever had. This beer is heavy and rich, like the original, but the wine barrel really mellows out the smokiness and gives it more of a peaty feel. This gift set is great for any beer lover. Comes with a great looking glass and 3 varieties of one of the better smoked beers out there. Can't wait to see what the others in the set are like.

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Smoke From The Oak (Wine Barrel Imperial Version) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
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