Smoke | Surly Brewing Company

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
900 Ratings
THE BROS
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SmokeSmoke
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
surlybrewing.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ebony-hued, Smoke wafts out of the bottle and into your senses, borne on the wings of European traditions, wrapped in American innovation. Lager-brewed, like any true Baltic Porter, with smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany, the home of Rauchbiers, then mellowed by oak-aging. Black malt flavors mesh with notes of raisins, plums, figs and licorice with the subtle smoke on the side, for a complex and luxurious, yet silky smooth drinking experience. It's a sipper at Alc. 8.2% by VOL., but everyone knows you can't have Smoke without fire!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-05-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
900
Reviews:
287
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
11.84%
 
 
Wants:
340
Gots:
285
For Trade:
17
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Ratings: 900 |  Reviews: 287
Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel, with a signficant and controlled smokey taste, with the porter complexty behind it.Great smoked, although not as bold tasting a baltic porter as I would expect. The beer is really a cross between the two. Smoke aroma.

 256 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt and maybe some caramel and cocoa notes. Taste is of smoked malt up front with some dark fruits and cocoa powder on the finish. A smoky, roasted bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good smoked baltic porter from Surly. The smoke aroma is somewhat dominant but the smoke flavors compliment the other tastes in the beer very well.

 702 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this beer is big boy, so much better than the mole version, its not even comparable. they really blew it on that one, had no idea the base beer was such a gem. intensely dark brown and dense, more porter than brown ale, which i expected it to be. lasting darker tan head too, real nice in the glass. the nose is campfire all the way, intense german type smoked malts, almost makes me cough. woody and deep, i smell the oak too, but this has a downright barbecue thing going on, meaty and huge with the bitterness of the dark grain there too. the smoke is intense in the flavor too, almost acrid for a moment, like im in a burning building. an old wooden building though, nothing chemical, electrical, or synthetic about it, just intense. the dark malt is big enough to give it some depth, but the fact this is a lager is not readily apparent to me. its long finishing and not overly smooth. i think the oak ageing makes it. i dont taste the wood like i smelled it so much, but i feel how its rounded this out some, really dont get much of the booze coming through at all. bold beer, definitely for the rauchheads out there. certainly not for everyone, but i really dug it, especially as it warmed up.

 1,200 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you are like me, you're always a bit weary about the quality of the smoke content and its intensity. Well, my friends, this is one well put together Smoked Lager.

Painted deep and dark brown, the beer shows nearly complete opaqueness. A dainty lightly tanned head forms on the beer, settles to a sheet and holds firm. Slim on both lacing and legging.

Aromas, surprisingly are of toasted malts and chocolate. Aided just a bit by light coffee, nutty, and woodsy notes, the smoke settles right into the mix in a quite nonchalant kinda way.

Flavors are decidedly sweet and complexly malted. Toasty, bready notes remind me a bit of Dopplebocks. Caramels and kettle caramelization make the beer very rich and variant. The smoke flavor comes across more like a mild campfire flavor rather than the harsher Rauchbiers. Interestingly a fruity grape, plumb, and date flavor comes through but this might be because of the dark grains used as much as an ester character.

Malty and rich up front, the beer fades nicely into a smooth and velvety finish. Despite the 8.2%, the beer never gets dry, alcoholic, bitter, or fusal- a testement to the well lagered practice.

This is a much better beer for which I gave credit before tasting. It shows that a beer can display great smoke character without dominating the glass. Delicious!

Thanks tdg!

 1,337 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown glass bottle with silver wax over a standard pressure cap acquired in Minneapolis and served into a Guinness stem-goblet glass in me parents’ gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado during my annual Christmas tasting. Reviewed live. 2012 vintage. Expectations are very high given the brewery. 8.2% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a baltic porter because the label identifies it as such.

Served cold – straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it’s poured.

Pours an one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Smooth even consistency. Soft complexion. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good - about 5+ minutes.

Body colour is an opaque dark solid black. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it’s an appealing appearance for the style. I’m really looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Heavy smoke character. Dark malts. Smoked malts. Caramel. Light ash. None of the smoked meat or pork notes of a rauchbier are here. Smoke is dominant, true to its epithet.

No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable. No spice.

A pleasant if somewhat chaotic aroma of moderate to high strength.

T: Smoke is very well integrated into the dark malt base. The smoked malts really shine here. There's no harshness, but there is some ashen character. Good depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Caramel. Faint cocoa/chocolate. Nice complexity, but there's room for improvement. It's certainly well balanced; the smoke doesn't overwhelm the other notes, which is impressive and hard to accomplish. A nuanced build, but not an intricate one. It's quite cohesive, but not quite gestalt.

No hop character or yeast character comes through. Alcohol presence is quite timid.

It's one hell of a lager. Very approachable for a smokey beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit ashy/rough in brief patches. It has a light coarseness which helps coax out the smoke a bit more. Unrefreshing. Good presence on the palate. Quite approachable. Good body.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: A very drinkable brew for the high ABV. If you fancy you some smoke, this is a good brew to try. Surly continues to deliver quality beers. I could kill this bottle alone with ease. Very likable stuff. I'd definitely get it again. I'm not sure if the smoke faded with age, but there's plenty of smokey character here even after a year.

Low B+

 2,616 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with faint ruby highlights; the head fritters away like a soda leaving no trace

Smell: Smoked chocolate, licorice and dark fruit

Taste: Dark fruit, licorice and chocolate provide the initial elements, with the smoke and molasses aspects developing by mid-palate; rather fruity, after the swallow, though the smoke builds in intensity through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; low carbonation

Drinkability: For whatever reason, my bottle lacked carbonation; still a fine example of a creatively brewed beer by the folks at Surly

 568 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz. tulip.

Color was the darkest shade of brown, nearly black. A ring of crimson highlight was visible at the very edge, once the foam had settled. Tight, compact head of khaki foam that left spotty lacing.

Slight sweetness in the nose, some yeast esters producing a vague cloviness, without much smokiness.

Flavors of smoked malt, some chocolate, fairly subdued. It has a slight lactic feel to it, but not especially creamy, just enough to make it medium-bodied. Clean feeling with a residual taste of hop bitterness and char.

Overall good, easy to drink, could use more smoke aroma and flavor.

 617 characters

Photo of oline73
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet and smokey with some dark fruit notes. Nice combination of things going on here.

Taste: Smokey and sweet, but not over the top in either way. Doesn't seem too strong. Malty with some dark fruit. The finish is sweet and smokey, like the rest of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was a very nice beer. Not overly sweet or smokey, yet all the promised flavors were there. Very tasteful.

 642 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.11/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was an extra from kbutler1. Thanks! Black with a light tan head that recedes to a full collar.

Smoke, dark malt and rubber aroma backed by a bit of chocolate and oak. Sweetness and smoke are pretty restrained. The rubbery character becomes more pronounced as the beer warms, which detracts from an otherwise nice smell.

Toasty dark malt, smoke, light roast and astringent rubber. Smoke is well integrated, present at a subtle level. Medium-light body with a good level of carbonation. Finishes with smoke, rubber, roasted malt. The body is spot on but the rubbery flavor is very detracting.

 597 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a three finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very smoky like a campfire. Couldn't smell much else, but that's fine the beer is named "Smoke".

T - It delivered smoky flavor but not nearly as strong as the aroma. It actually had some sweet chocolate flavors with some toffee, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - I'm amazed at how they made such a strong smoky aroma but a milder smoke taste. Delicious!

 561 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood smoke, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, light licorice, raisin, plum, fig, light char, light herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, coffee, wood smoke, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, light licorice, raisin, plum, fig, light char, light herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, wood smoke, toasted oak, caramel, brown sugar, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and oak barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with zero estery yeast notes present. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome smoked Baltic porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, smoke, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Smoke from Surly Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 900 ratings.
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