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

very good
38 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 92
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three-finger thick, nicely browned head that leaves some nice layered lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a nice black hue that shows a hint of ruby to it around the edges when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of roast and berries is apparent as I am pouring this, but a more focused look at the aroma smells of fresh cut sawdust that is backed by a sort of medicinal phenolic note that smells like a freshly unwrapped bandaid (I actually like that smell quite a bit, but I am not sure I want it in my beer). There is perhaps a hint of tartness to the finish (I am not sure if it is roast or whine barrel derived). Hmm, let me reevaluate that Band-Aid note, it is actually contributed partially by the smokiness from the malt, I still can’t shake the comparison to a Band-Aid, but it is much more pleasant than I had originally surmised; the oak character definitely mixes with the smoke to contribute to this character as well. A deep draught of the aroma reveals a rich toasted maltiness as well as the red-wine derived, tart berry notes, but you really have to dig for these most times. In the end the nose is fairly solid; not as objectionable as I had at first feared, but also not as appetizing as I would have hoped before cracking this beer.

The beer feels somewhat rich and viscous as it first hits my tongue, but it finishes with a light, dry oak and tart wine character in the near finish, but then the long finish sees a touch of the malt heft coming back to linger on the palate. Buttery oak flavors, spicy oak, ample berry like wine character and a fresh cut wood flavors define the good side of the oak contributions. There is a touch of plastic / Band-Aid phenolic notes towards the finish; again I think this is a flavor derived from the combination of oak and smoke flavors. The smokiness also contributes a touch of a savory quality to this beer. A dark berry character becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up, though it still plays a supporting role in the flavor. The malt character certainly has a richness to it that is quite satiating at times; the smoke definitely boosts this, but there are flavors of toasty whole grain (this really stands out in the flavor, especially as the beer warms up), amply roasted notes, some touches of roast bitterness, complex dark malt sugars (not sweet, but really moved towards the savory side) and a deeply toasted nutty note that stands proud in the flavor profile.

This beer really ends up being quite tasty and enjoyable as it warms up, though it never entirely shakes the Band-Aid notes (moreso in the aroma than in the flavor, though it is still always at least subtly in the flavor as well). I am not sure if the Band-Aid notes are purely from the oak / smoke combination, or if there is a start of something funky going on here, but this isn’t nearly as integratedly good as the funk’ified non-imperial Smoke from the Oak Wine Barrel; the lush texture is perhaps a bit better than the “regular” strength version, but every other category was better in the original (even if it was likely harder to be consistent). I have a feeling that my overall impression of this beer would be better if it had started out towards the high 50°F (mid 10°C), as opposed to the low 40s (~5°C) that this started out at; in fact I find myself giving this a bump up in its enjoyable quality as I drink more of it on the warm side of cool.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a chalice. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a frothy, loose, one inch, mocha-colored head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles around the edges. Nose expresses smoke, band-aids and tannins towards the back. Fortunately, there is much less of a band-aid presence and more of a rauch-like quality in the flavor profile. In addition to the smoked malts, the wine barrel really comes out here. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a creamy/oily texture and a carbonation just shy of still. Overall, really interesting and complex. Having not had too many wine barrel-aged brews, I don't have much of a frame of reference, but this beer was quite pleasant and I have to say that I definitely like the Imperial Porter base on these beers over the old recipe.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Again, another big thank you to my boy FishGetter, for getting me this bottle at the release. Batch #4. I've been waiting to try this for some time. Served this chilled, as the bottle states, but allowed it to warm abit before sampling.

Appearance: Smoke from the Oak Wine Barrel pours out a deep brown color, almost into black. Very gently poured this into an Ommegang chalice, not really sure of the carbonation level. I'd say about two fingers of thinnish, off-white head rose. Head faded away on the quicker side, leaving bits of webby lace behind. Can just barely see some tiny floaties moving around in the glass.

Smell: Quite a bouquet here. Definitely getting some soft wine notes. Just the slightes bit funky. Weak hints of oak. Roasty to say the least. Light touches of friut. Bits of wood here and there and some smoke.

Taste: Very interesting. Wine is in there, just not what I expected. A just barely noticeable tart flavor. A little funk, all but buried in the background. Roasted malt and some rich chocolate. A little smoke around the edges. Finishes smooth and dry, with a tart zip in the end. A little bit of alcohol is present in the finish. If I tasted this blindly I would have never guessed the base of this beer was a Porter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. A pleasure to the palate.

Overall: Quite a complex beer, that I feel needs to warm a bit to really show off. Definiteley worth seeking out.

 1,461 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared generously by maximum12. Thanks! Poured into a tasting snifter.

Perhaps the smokiest beer I have ever had to date! Very strong notes of smoke and char with only a tiny bit of dark fruit character coming through in the nose. The taste is mellower than the nose, although still mighty smoky. Dark and raisin-y with decent amount of roast and tannins leading towards a mildly astringent finish. A very unique beer but lacking balance.

4, 4, 4, 4, 3

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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.

 540 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 4

A: dark brown , but still fairly translucent. A bit of a reddish tint. Forms. Them light brown head. No lacing.

S: smoke, apple, cherry, foxy grapes and some light red wine.

T: a tad bit sour. Wine, red grapes, light tartness.

M: medium bodied. Tart, though I'm not sure it's supposed to be. Mild bitterness. Dry and astringent on the finish.

O: a nice beer. Not sure it's supposed to be as tart as it is, but it sort of works. Certainly drinkable and I liked it more so than the rum barrel.

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Photo of jamescain
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer.

Appearance: Black with dark reddish hues when held to the light topped off with a mocha colored head that barely forms a lacing and ends up as a ring around the glass.

Aroma: Smoke, roasted grains, chocolate, vanilla, and subtle spicy notes.

Taste: Chocolate, subtle smoke and roasted notes, a hint of spicy wine characteristics and s touch of sourness, not where I would like it though.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation and a slight amount of alcohol on the finish.

Overall: I was hoping for more wine characteristics to emerge from this beer or perhaps some sourness, but I didn't find either.

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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 maximum12
3.37/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to the ever-generous beerloco (& Mrs.) for bringing this along on a trip to MN last December. Been sitting on it to allow the smokiness to mellow a bit; a year seemed about right. Broken open at a tasting last night. Big, square-looking 750ML bottle.

Pour is just this side of dead black, thin carbonation. Nose is a revolution of smoked malts that overwhelm any subtlety.

Smoke from the Oak Wine Barrel Aged is like a charred log of beer. The roasted smokiness comes off the beer in 28 foot rollers, roaring onto the palate without concern for which is the salad fork. The only other thing that arrives is a spare, slight shot of vinuous character from the wine barrels, right at the end, a dry, tart note that barely penetrates the inferno. Really, a couple of 2 ounce pours of this one is enough.

You need to really dig smoke beers to like this one. Pretty good, but just too much for me. Glad we split this bottle twelve or so ways!

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Photo of homebrew311
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is murky reddish brown with active bubbles settling almost no head. Nose has lactic acid character with red wine, light chocolate, and absent of smoke. Taste reminds me of a sour porter. Getting plenty of oak and wine, not much else. Mouthfeel is effervescent with light body. Overall, a little more sour than I expected. The smoke takes a back seat.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.43/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Got this entire set from STEG a while back. Thanks for the trade man!

From a 750ml into a snifter.
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: All the variants basically look the same. Pours our transparent brown and yields a small, medium looking, tan head with god retention. Head fades to a wisp and ring. Black, relatively transparent looking body with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end and leaves lots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Smoked malts, a touch of roasted notes as well, and some dark chocolate. A hint of white wine in there as well, but mostly the smoke and dark malts are evident.

TASTE: Light roasted notes with some smoky flavors for sure. Oak in there as well, and some acidic wine at the finish. Mild but lingering aftertaste of smoke, acidic wine and dark chocolate. The wine notes don’t work, and give it an acidic tone that isn’t all that pleasant.

PALATE: Light and bubbly body with higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes dry on the palate. An acidic bite as well.

OVERALL: This was definitely the worst of the bunch. The wine barrel lent a line of acidity that just didn’t sit well with the rest of the beer. Not one worth seeking out unless you’re trying to complete the set. Regardless, thanks for the trade on this one STEG. We had a lot of fun with this set.

 1,361 characters

Photo of ChaseT
1.38/5  rDev -65%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Looked pretty good. Nice tan head on a very dark body. Faded fairly quickly, but was easily resuscitated with a quick swirl.

Smell: Band-aid that had formerly covered an infected wound. Simply awful.

Taste: Just as bad as the smell. I'm not sure what went wrong here.

Mouthfeel: The consistency is decent, but is impossible to appreciate due to the taste.

Overall: I was really looking forward to tasting this beer. I really enjoy both imperial porters and beers aged in red wine barrels. A huge disappointment.

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Photo of black13
1.15/5  rDev -70.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Hopsbreath brought three versions to our tasting tonight. We started with the Wine barrel, then moved to the Rum barrel, then finished with the Brandy barrel.

A: Poured very dark with a good 1-2 finger mocha colored head. *this is the only positive thing to note for this beer*

S: What the hell is in this glass! There was not a single appealing aroma to be taken from this glass. Some of the aromas that came to mind were smokey, sour, and wet band-aides. Unfortunately, the wet band-aid was the prominent aroma. Not appealing at all.

T: This actually tasted worse than it smells. It was close to giving me a gag reflex. It was a smokey, tart, sour, band-aid infested concoction that I could only try one sip of.

O: Absolutely bad! When you can only drink one sip, there is really something wrong with a beer.

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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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