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

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54 Reviews
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Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Imperial Version)Smoke From The Oak (Rum 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: 54 | Ratings: 157
Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BlessedBeBeer for cracking this one.

Pours a super dark colored beer with a creamy lighter head.

Nose has dark roasty but salty malts, lots of smoke, bit of brine, hint of chocolate, bit of booze, lots of roast, and hints of oak and rum.

Taste has semi sweet dark roasty malts, tons of smoke, bit of brine and salt, dark malts, oak hint of vanilla, bit of butter rum, bit of chocolate, nice smoked malt flavor and chewy caramel malts.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, hint of warming booze.

Overall great but a bit briny and salty, nice smoke, nice malts, not too drinkable but great flavors.

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Photo of n2185
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with three fingers of brown head that recedes into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: Lots and lots of smokey malt aromas at first--almost like a rauchbier. Aromas of vanilla, caramel, toffee, oak, and rum come out on the finish as the beer warms.

T: Similar to the aroma, this beer tastes almost like a rauchbier at first with lots of smokey, roasted malt flavors. Caramel, vanilla, oak, and rum flavors bring up the finish along with a light alcohol burn. The flavors blend surprisingly well, which I did not expect since rum is normally a sweeter liquor. Very tasty, though.

M: Medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is relatively light for such a high gravity beer. The lighter body goes well with the strong smoke flavors, though.

O: I quite enjoyed this beer--it's like rum-infused bacon. I wish the smoke wasn't quite so strong to let the rum characteristics shine through a bit more, but that's a minor complaint since the beer is still delicious (if a bit pricey).

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks like the other versions, leaning toward more head like the wine one did. Black beer, brown on the edges, minor lace off a tan head.

S - Out of all the versions this one seems to have taken the least to the barrels. A lot of smoke, roasted malts, a little chocolate, slight bit of barrel and some rum spices.

T - I don't generally go for rum, and don't find it to be a particularly great addition to this beer. It seems to have thinned out the flavors a little bit, although there is still plenty of smokey goodness. Their is some sweet spiced notes from the rum and I don't think are a good addition.

M - Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

O - My least favorite of the three, I just didn't care for the addition of the rum and found it kind of strange. Not bad, but I'd rather have the other two or the base beer.

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Photo of Damico
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is tons of smoky wood chips very potent in the nose. The appearance is excellent, rich dark chestnut roasted black with a tan head and a nice size to boot. The flavor is a rich creamy porte with light bitter notes at the end. The body could be a bit thicker, but no bite at all for such a high ABV.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Corey – thanks! Side-by-side with the wine and brandy versions.

Pours black with a tan head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with a good deal of boozy rum and hints of vanilla. Also present are slight hints of smokiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not as complex. Robust roasted malt flavors up front are joined by a light smokiness midway through. Near the end the rum barrel comes into play with lightly spicy rum and mild amounts of oak that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I thought this was the barrel treatment that meshed the best with the style of beer, something I don’t normally expect from rum barrels. An interesting beer that’s well worth a shot.

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Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Food Bowery NYC, 750ml into a snifter. 2010 vintage marked on the bottle.

Pours black, with a finger and change of light brown head. Big legs on this one, solid retention. Nose has an immense smoked character, rivaling but different in many senses from a Schlenkerla. Big, meaty, brown sugar, alcohol, some tar, rum and molasses are here but are quite peripheral - not alot of barrel character evident initially. Taste is just as smokey, charred, some brown sugar, rum again only to be found around the edges of this one. Adds more sweetness and alcohol notes than it does a distinct 'rum' character, although some makes its way to the front when this hits room temp. Sweet and smokey throughout, interesting but not mind-blowing. Sticky, thick and full mouthfeel; intense lingering smoke that refuses to subside and refrain from being 'in your face.' Overpowering in many senses, but enjoyable as I enjoyed alot of the flavours been thrown at me here.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This cool bottle was sent by boatshoes. My second Smoke from the Oak offering from Fletcher.

Bottled in '10. Poured into a Jackie O's snifter.

The beer is a deep ruby-chestnut on the pour, but collects near black. The head is really nice, but fades to a thick collar and broad pillow. The foam is a wet sand color that leaves lots of matching lace.

Uhhh, strange. I haven't had many rum barreled beers, but none of them have had many of the same aromas that I'm finding here. There is a big wave of smoked meat/glazed ham. It reminds me of that Aecht Schlenkerla beer that I tried on tap at Jackie O's only a couple days ago. There certainly is a lot of smoke here, sometimes bordering on cigarettes. The spicy, cured meat aroma is nearly only perceptible when the beer is standing still, a gentle swirl brings out nicer aromas. The swirled up aromas include: tannic wood barrels, tropical spices (jerk spice and spiced rum) and roasted coffee and chocolate malts.

Just about as weird as the aroma but perhaps not as off putting. Its certainly a flavor profile that you need to take slowly and allow your palate to figure out exactly what the hell is going on. The beer starts out with flavors that I commonly associate with Baltic Porters and Export Stouts. It has that rich, berry-and-licorice malt fruitiness with a touch of sweet smoke. Then the rum is unleashed. Its quite sweet and spicy, like Caribbean jerk spice with mango and coconut, lots of toasted coconut. There is a sweet bite of rum alcohol on the back end. I've found myself upping this score a few times as I become accustom to this beer and its unique complexities, but then I bump them back down as my palate gets absolutely sick of these flavor combinations. This is one that is best in small to medium doses.

The carbonation is quite gentle, which is nice. It helps give this beer the allusion of a fuller body, which, when you focus on it, is actually only about medium.

This one is all over the place for me. I can enjoy it for what it is. It certainly is interesting and unique. I'd imagine this would go extremely well with a cigar or some Cajun food or wings slathered in jerk sauce. But in the end, I wouldn't drink this again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like many Captain L brews, this one is a sipper. A small tan head on dark body, some lace dots. Creamy, particular at the end of the bottle. A little sugar on the margin, rather than any overt rum taste. So drinkability is OK, mouthfeel is very smooth.Thanks for sharing Liam.

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Photo of peensteen
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Liam's bottle and one of the highlights of the night.

Pours black, faint brown comes through but quite dark, medium tan head with some lace. Smell is smokey, roast malt, bbq notes, light sweetness, caramel, rum is subtle but there and plays quite a nice role and doesn't dominate. Taste is smokey, light alcohol, bbq meat flavours from the nose come back, tar like, subtle rum and caramel probably a product of each other, very complex stuff here you could pull out something different every sip. Full body, subtle carbonation and a light syrupy feel. Very tasty brew, would love to try the other 2 smoke from the oak, alcohol is quite high or else this could be a 26oz that could be drank alone.

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Photo of deapokid
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 5/6. Picked up the boxed set at Bierkraft in Brooklyn in January. Reviewed from notes.

Body is a deep black with heavy brown foam, soapy lacing and lively carbonation, which is surprising for a beer of this strength.

The dark, spiced rum aroma is very present, backed by a roasted coffee bean bitterness. I'm also catching the aforementioned smoke and the slightest touch of ginger. The wood is subtle, which makes for an appealingly varied scent.

Flavor is packed with roasted nuts, chocolate and rum spiciness. Conclusion boasts dry oak notes that linger on the tongue, giving off a nice leatheriness that plays well with the coffee bean bite.

The mouth is smooth and elegant with a resonating warmth of booze and rum spice that is comforting. The bacony smokiness is just strong enough, allowing for a full buffet of flavors.

Overall, this is a very original and tasty porter that manages to reflect aspects of the style and not get overwhelmed by the barrel aging process or ABV.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mike again, the third of the imperial versions, this was the my least favorite... looks like the other 3... nose is interesting mostly really sweet rum... the taste is too sweet and just plain weird... try the wine and apple brandy, and skip this one

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Photo of Sean9689
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for this one. Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Looks like the rest of the variants. Black, tan head, thin ring, whisps.

S - Smoke, char, slight spice from the rum, chocolate.

T - Light rum notes and mostly similar to the base beer. Spice, chocolate, rum, char, and smoke.

M - Full, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

O - Not as much rum as I would have liked but not too bad. Not my favorite from the variants but would have again, if offered.

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Photo of black13
1.06/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was the second of the Smoke series we had at out tasting tonight. Really hoping this one is better than the last one.

A: Starting off good. A vigorous pour produces a nice 3-4cm head on this pitch black libation. The head does not last long, but that's not what I'm here for.

S: The first aroma to meet me was wet band-aides. Hoping it was a fluke, I went in again to see if it got better. It didn't! I still got the band-aid aroma with a backdrop of smokiness. Not pleasing at all.

T: Ignoring the aroma, I give this one a drink. Yuck is all I can say. The flavor is worse than the aroma. In the back of my head I wonder if some pour soul at the brewery has lost a band-aid and it will be at the bottom of my bottle. This is not a good way to bottle condition a beer.

M: Not really sure as it wasn't in my mouth long enough. I would venture to say this has a modest mouthfeel as the mad taste lingered in my mouth. But in this situation, this is not a good characteristic.

O: I really enjoy me some barrel aged beers and wanted this one to be good, but it just wasn't. Could it be a bad barrel? Not sure. But the anticipation of this beer was soon replaced with disgust.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle straight from the brewery into a goblet glass

A- Pours pitch black with a solid 2 finger light brown head. Decent retention and some sexy legs on the side of the glass as well.

S- Huge smoke and bacon notes dominate up front, subtle chocolate, with subtle spice from the rum as well as some alcohol.

T- On the tip of the tongue i get some nice sweet chocolate, roasted burnt malts that's quickly followed by the infamous brutal smoke characters of this beer. Tons of burnt wood, bacon, and ashtray flavors. Not really getting much from the rum barrels unless you really go digging for them. Slight spice and molasses with a solid alcohol sting in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice slight bitter finish.

Overall the rum barrels didn't do as much as I hoped they would. The tastes were very subtle but definitely added a new element to an already solid brew. Not my favorite in the series but definitely worth a shot.


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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again Mike! Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Looks nearly identical to the wine version.

S - Smells mostly like the base beer - the rum adds a bit of molasses and spice, but I don't get much overt spirit character. Largely smoked malts, chocolate, light oak.

T - Again, this is the least spirit forward of the series. Mostly chocolate, smoke, wood, and perhaps a little bit of spiced rum in the periphery.

M - More like the Apple Brandy version, with some gritty barrel tannics in the medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation, and a faint bit of alcohol warmth.

D - I actually liked this better than the wine version, but the rum barrel-aging seems to muddle some of the rich flavor complexity and sizzle of the base beer rather than enhancing it.

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Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one and its cousins have been sitting in their cozy gift box in my "cellar" closet since late last year (2010). Thought they could use at least a few months in the bottle, and with a quiet night we go...

Pours near black, dense and murky looking with no light shining through. The head is mocha, stays and stays, plenty of sheeting and thick blobs of lacing.

Rich nose infused with dark chocolaty malts, some vanilla and cafe au lait.

Intense, full flavor and heady offering. This is some serious stuff that the captain is putting out there. Loads of milk chocolate, vanilla, coconuts, brandy and just a hint of smoke. Yum...

Velvet on the tongue, beer milk shake, loving it, world class night capper

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Photo of scootny
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just an exceptional beer. This is my second of the series as I had the apple brandy on a cool night as a spring chill chaser. The pour is a stickier sight with a bigger head and considerably more lace clinging to the sides of the glass. The nose has a good amount of oak and rum with a charcoal undercurrent and hits of cherry and dark fruits. A touch of chocolate and coffee with an alcohol sweetness traces of molasses. Taste is in keeping with the nose but a punchier rum presence really has you sipping with respect. A big molasses malt core flows mild vanilla with the rum and finishes with rum and mild earth. A touch of coconut in the finish gives a platform for a dark fruity melange that lingers deliciously on the palate and tongue. Feel is sticky and gently carbonated with a lightness that is somewhat surprising but not too light as this beer is a chewy one. Overall a superb brew in the series with a sugary molasses stickiness that I'm sure is due to the same found in rum. Not quite as complex as the brandy but equally delicious.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(750ml bottle courtesy of cuzco!). Pours black with khaki head. Aroma has loads of savory smoke, bandaid, and alcohol. Taste is sweet malt with a nice smoked flavor that accentuates any bitterness. As it warms, I’m getting quite a bit of chocolate. The rum also adds some extra sweetness along with warmth in the chest and throat. Full bodied with an oily texture. Finish is semi-dry and quite smooth. I’m happy to say that this is a beer that tastes much better than it smells.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pour was very nice. Rich, deep, dark brown in color with no light cracking through this one at all. A smallish head, maybe a half an inch in height coming up over the top, never really did fade away as it kept that nice layer there throughout the session. Rich side glass lacing left a wonderful chocolate tan color that draped the sides of the glass completely.

The aroma was just rife with whiskey. Huge notes of it just all over the place here with a ton of roasted malts and chocolate like notes hiding right under its surface. Letting it warm really let the oak and vanilla start to become dominant, and a hint of alcohol started to present itself in the back end. This was insanely good smelling for a whiskey barrel beer. The flavor was more of the same, rich, full bodied, I would have sore this was a stout in a blind tasting, but no, this indeed was apparently a robust porter. Luscious, velvet like feel in the carbonation never gave way. The flavor started with that warm influx of vanilla and whiskey, lots of caramelized malts and a light roasted or smoky note to it. This then rolled over with nice touches of chocolate rippling throughout. This was amazingly complex. Huge notes of whisky just oozing through the flavor, coating the tongue with a viciousness that was never-ending. Ridiculously sweet underneath of this, it was literally almost too good to be true. A wonderful sipper, I had to pace myself on this one as it was huge.

Overall this will go toe to toe with any of the biggest BA beers I have ever had. It was just so well crafted and complex I was nearly beside myself after taking the first sip. It is still on tap as of this review and you need to go check this out, it was seriously one of the best beers I have ever had period.

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Photo of Gmann
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a big dense light brown head which slowly disipates leaving a wall of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of a smokey malt with a noticable sweet and sour berry scent. Notes of brown sugar round out the aroma.

A nice solid toasted pumpernickle bread, sweet sugar presence with a touch of vanilla from the rum. Substantial smoke flavor, it adds an earthy and woody presence. There is some char and wet wood as well as some sour berry.

The feel is moderate to full with prickly carbonation. There are some sweet and sour aspect to the palate but has a malty sweet overall feel.

A very woody porter. The base is quite earthy and the smoke just adds another layer. I like the vanilla and brown sugar sweetness that the rum barrels add

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Photo of foogerd
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black as night body with a thick one inch head thats expresso colored with some deep amber highlights.

S- Smokey peaty wood flavors throughout inspired by smoked meat, the smoke here is a bit different than the Apple Brandy version in the sense the smoke is delivered in a more Rauchbier sense. Sweet rum and booze squabble with each other for attention.

T- Sweet vanilla malty and some milk chocolate and smoke with a strong rum presence at the end, seem to be all independent of each other. Doesnt seem to meld together as I would like it to, but that definitely does not detract from the tastiness of this brew.

M- Thick rich and enough carbonation

D- A sipper forsure. A tasty one at that.

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Photo of Pahn
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into an oversized wine glass. '10 handwritten under the "bottled in" section.

Appearance: Free pour leaves a two inch, fizzy tan head that dissipates steadily with big legs but no lacing. Pours black with red brown highlights and leaves a few swatches of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: rum and smoke. From the glass: Smoke, roasted malt, with a small hint of sweetness. Potent. Some booze and cake. Rum gradually comes out, mainly as an accent as in the taste.

Taste: First sip: I read on the bottle that the brewer had never tasted a rum barrel aged beer before making this one... My first impression is that this was a good idea. The sweet rum blends perfectly with the smoke and porter flavors, deeply altering and elevating them both. It's like CL Imperial Smoked Porter, only more complex and more enjoyable; like the rum note was what was missing from the base beer. The finish has a pleasant heat, with a mild aftertaste. My first thought is that this is a home run.

The second sip brings a much stronger note of vanilla from the oak, with a lot more prominent smoke in the finish. The third sip brings lots of rum up front, segueing into various characteristic rum flavors in the middle (bringing me back to years ago when I used to drink a lot of rum), smoothed out by smoke and then leading to a boozy, roasted finish. Each sip is different but excellent--the hallmark (for me) of a truly great beer, and the point of doing seemingly gimmicky things like aging beer in barrels.

Honestly, I can't think of how this beer could taste better. It nails the smoke, nails the imperial porter, and justifies the rum barrel aging as convincingly as is possible. The 12% ABV never gets in the way, rather it delivers all the deep flavor of using so much malt in a beer and converts the high alcohol into a pleasant heat at the end. Every flavor is good, and compliments and augments every other flavor.

I'm trying to nitpick and find flaws (maybe the aftertaste could be longer? maybe there could be deeper complexity?) but really the flavor is flawless. More complexity would just make it taste busy, and the aftertaste *does* continue to develop and satisfy after a nice big sip. This beer has to get a 5.0 for flavor, it's a masterpiece.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very carbonated. Mild dryness in the finish along with heat and some roasty bitterness. Not as smooth as the wine barrel aged version.

Drinkability: I love this beer and want more. I drank this bottle over the course of 3 hours, and I was sad when it was gone. I hope to get a chance to drink it again.

Rum Barrel Aged Smoke From the Oak is a truly great beer. In my opinion, the only way you could be unsatisfied with a beer of this quality is if you don't like beers anywhere near the style of this one. As with the wine barrel aged version, I'll note that I was a bit ambivalent when I found the Smoke From the Oak gift pack and paid $60 for, basically, 3 bottles of beer (the tulip glass it comes with is great, but I already have tulip glasses). After drinking the beer, I'd pay that much (or more) again without a second thought.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into my CL tasting glass.

A: Just like the imperial porter this beer is black. Even when held up to the light it is black. A thin covering of coffee colored head and just a touch of lacing.

S: The rum is there in the nose but the nose on the porter was massive before barrel aging. It kind of calmed it down a bit. Lots of smoke. A touch of chocolate. The rum gives it a nice sweetness when compared to the smoke.

T: My hopes after I had the imperial porter have been realized. It was a beer meant for the barrel and there is shines. The base was too smokey and over the top but damn is it nice with the rum barrel. The sweetness of the rum and the intensity of the smoke work really well together. The alcohol is totally hidden by barrel Little bit of warming alcohol in the finish.

M: The barrel aging thinned the body out a touch as well and it was needed. Light and soft carbonation.

D: I really wanted to try this beer and I was not disappointed. The first SFTO Rum was like a rum and coke. This is an intense beer. The most rum I have ever tasted out of a rum barrel aged beer. I am looking forward to the rest of the set. This is a great beer.

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Photo of jrbuch
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pitch black. Good amount of lacing with a mocha colored head. Head does lasts long enough and settles down into thin film.

S: First smell is oak and much sweeter than the wine barrel. Red apple, burning fire wood, definitely rum, chocolate and sweet caramel.

T: Comes off with chocolate and toffee flavors. If you chew long you'll get some licorice with a punch of smoke at the end. Good bitterness. Alcohol hides behind all the flavor.

M: To style.

D: Overall a great beer. Great aroma and flavor throughout. For smoke heads, this is the beer.

(Burping it is very rummy)

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Photo of billshmeinke
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: pitch black with a half finger of mocha head.

S: bandaid and smoke apple wood bacon up front some alcohol and hints of chocolate

T: super smokey bandaid wrapped bacon hints of chocolate and Tons of smokey peatiness

M: thick and full bodied sewhat tongue numbing and smokey

D: 2 oz was more than enough not a fan

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Smoke From The Oak (Rum Barrel Imperial Version) from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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