Smoke | Surly Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

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

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Ratings: 903 |  Reviews: 287
Photo of HopFace
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%

Photo of dlello2
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of sliverX
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer jet black with big notes of bacon, smoke and charcoal. It would be excellent with BBQ. For a baltic porter some of the nuance of the style is lost in the smoke, but it's still super smooth and drinkable. The aftertaste is a slightly bitter chocolate. Very drinkable beer, but something is slightly off in the follow through.

 333 characters

Photo of piclee
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of antoines15
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of 3Hops
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of avaldivia
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of msubulldog25
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with a well-detailed screen printed label and a thick coating of silvery wax atop. After a near-bloody mishap with the utility knife, the cap was revealed and removed with a hiss. Poured to a pint glass. Received in trade from rudylaw several months back; it's been cellared ever since.

A: Deep darkness, a heavy chocolate brown with a ruby tint at the edges. Closer inspection shows a scattering of speedy bubbles. Head is short despite a strong pour, cresting at maybe half a finger. The sandy-tan cream on top is nice-looking, but ebbs pretty quickly, holding as a thin crescent with a smear of film. A few flecks of lace.

S: Not the boldest Baltic in terms of its fruity esters and cocoa malts, but it's robust enough. A beer called 'Smoke' had better include some of its namesake; fortunately it does well. A sweeter charcoal and mesquite kind of scent, not too pungent, drapes over those malts. It's subtly meaty, or gamey... even a touch peppery. Nice.

T: Rich cocoa/fudge, semi-sweet. A vague mineral tang, slightly chalky. Blackberry jam and an earthy blueberry, too. Woody beginnings lead to ashy ember finishes. In the middle is a light char that teases my taste buds into believing a juicy pulled pork sandwich or seasoned brisket is next on the menu. Light-handed smokiness is nearly perfect here.

M: Medium body, excellent mouthfeel, wonderfully creamy and dense. Carbonation is there, but it's so well refined that there barely seems to be a prickle. A very fine grainy coating and sticky malt but these serve to let flavors linger on the palate in a way that doesn't detract whatsoever. Alcohol is 8.2%? Could have fooled me...

O: Pretty much as good as I'd hoped for. Surly brews some damn terrific beers and this is no exception. I've had Baltics with lots of sweetness or loads of spice, but never one so savory. And I'll be savoring memories of this for a while. Its complexities (and subtleties) make it a joy to sip and one I'd very much like to have again. Thanks, Anthony!

 2,014 characters

Photo of popery
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of goalie33
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jonnyca80
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

Big thanks to mnbearsfan for this one! Been looking forward to trying it for a while.

A: Pours dark with a small bubbly head, decent retention eventually reducing to a ring of foamy bubbles on top. Sporadic lacing.

S: Some chocolate and roasted malt, a nice amount of dark fruit - plum and some cherry. The smoky aroma is faint coming through as a hint of bacon.

T: A little bit of sweet roasty malt upfront mixed in some chocolate and a little bit of oak. Some more of the plum and raisins come out as it warms with a touch of licorice. The smoke is very complimentary, not overpowering at all like it is in many smoke beers.

M: A little bigger than medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Great level of smoke.

O: Very impressed. Very drinkable, no sign of the abv at all. Perfect level of smoke.

 805 characters

Photo of motorhed
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer in a trade with chewyrx08. Thanks Mike!

vintage 2010.

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with a 1 finger tall whitish/tan colored head. Drops to a moderate cap full of large bubbles. Decent lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: This baltic porter smells delightful. Chocolate and roasty malts with a nice balance of smokiness. The smoke smells mildly meaty like bacon, charcoal, and a campfire.

Taste: Its starts off like a solid baltic porter and finishes smokey! Great balance between the baltic porter and the smokiness; it tastes similiar to the nose. Mild chocolate sweetness from the malts to start things off. Little bit of roast and black licorice. A little bit of woody and earthy note probably from the oak barrel and hops. The smoke comes in about mid palate and blends nicely with the malty profile of this beer. The smoke is a little bacony and also has a nice charred quality to it. The finish is very balanced with mild milk chocolate and smoke notes lingering pleasantly. This beer start to show some fruitiness as it warms to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: medium boided beer with moderate carbonation. Really smooth and drinkable at over 8%; not a hint of booze. Carbonation is right where you would want it for this beer. The beer is mildly creamy and it has a mild dry finish.

Overall: Surly makes fantastic dark beers. Surly Four is my favorite beer from this brewery and Surly Smoke is not far behind it. This beer is also probably the best baltic porter and the best smoked beer that I have ever drank! Bravo Surly; you guys nailed this beer!

 1,617 characters

Photo of KevinHenderson
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of warnerry
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Batch into a snifter

A - Pours very deep brown/black with two fingers of light brown head. Head has decent retention, leaving some lacing behind.

S - Wow. Smoke is right. Very smoky aroma with a nice oak presence. Hard to get much more than smoked malt and peat. Faint bacon aroma.

T - While the smell was good, the taste is much more complex and enjoyable. Yes, smoke and wood still play a large part, but there is much more here, including chocolate, raisin and faint plum, even a small amount of sweetness. Finish is quite smoky.

M - Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy, with the smoke/char and a nice earthy dryness on the finish.

O - I'm always a little leery of smoked beers, and the smell had me a bit concerned that this would be one dimensional, but the flavors here are wonderful and balanced. Excellent brew.

 825 characters

Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Mumra1979
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of birchstick
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with a small, chocolaty head. Nose is chcoloate malts enveloped by a rich smokiness. Taste is true to the nose. Starts off with a nice chocolate malt profile that ha a touch of grains. This moves into a deeper, richer chocolate flavor that is really nice. Next up is a nice touch of smokey meatiness (more smoke than meat). Finishes with lingering meats. Mouth is full bodied with good carbonation. This is a solid, solid beer. Takes rauchbier to a nice level, as the smoke is in the background, not the forefront, complementing rather than dominating the pallet. One of the better in the Surly lineup, IMO.

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Photo of elec
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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

Served On Tap at Surly Tap Takeover at Church Key DC

This is going to be a weird review, I was umm.. pretty...ughhhh done but take this review for what it's worth.

This smells like my uncles house who loves to smoke Marlboro reds and BBQ out back. Gourmet chef style.
This taste like if I ate my uncles living room but in a good way. Great memories.
It's smoked meat heavy. Lovely salt rine.
Smoked charcoal oak barrels. Dark burnt cask malts.
The tingle left in mouth is like a comforting flannel shirt. Definitely unique.

 528 characters

Photo of gvacca
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

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

2011 bottling from an awesome BA (thanks man!) poured into pint nonics.

A: Thin black, red hues, a fingers-worth of tan head leaves some decent lacing.

S: Smoke and oak...light rich fruitiness, toasted malt...the Baltic Porter here unfolds delicately and mixes well with the oak aging.

T: Smoky roasted malt, burnt caramel, a lagerish-fruity component, lighter chocolate notes, a bit of lip-smacking bacon and campfire, damp earthiness, with oak balancing well.

MF: Thinner medium mouthfeel, a bit oily and dry from the smoke component but bolstered by creaminess from the oak.

O: Pretty good, could have gone higher as I liked it but I'll stick with a 4. Thanks a ton Aaron!

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Smoke from Surly Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 903 ratings.
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