Stone Smoked Porter | Stone Brewing

1,811 Reviews
Stone Smoked PorterStone Smoked Porter

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A porter with hints of chocolate & coffee balanced by subtle smokiness
First Release: December 1996

When first released, our smoky version of a traditional English porter was ahead of its time. Today, it's a highly regarded staple among craft beer fans and our go-to food complement, pairing effortlessly with all kinds of cuisine, from peanut butter and banana sandwiches to braised pork belly and apple pie. This worldly libation is dark, smooth and complex, with chocolate and coffee flavors suffused with subtle smokiness from the addition of peat-smoked malt.

Added by kbub6f on 03-18-2002

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Reviews: 1,811 | Ratings: 4,177
Photo of ordybill
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. The appearance is a near pitch black pour with a medium sized tan head. the aroma is a nice blend of smoke, malt and cocoa. The taste is malt driven with some smoke. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of puck1225
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Clear black-brown with a thick dark beige head and nice lacing. Smell is smokey but subdued. Nice smoke flavor with toffee and chocolate tastes, great with spaghetti!

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Photo of CNoj012
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a dark brown color with amber highlights. There is a dense, 2 finger khaki colored head that lasts the entire beer and leaves fantastic webbed lacing in it's wake.

The smell is not overwhelming, but a very nice mix of chocolate, smokiness, charcoal and a hint of caramel.

Taste is similar. More flavorful than the smell suggests, but also more one dimensional. The smokey flavor really takes over the taste and lingers well into the aftertaste.

Feel is light, almost too light. Very smooth and drinkable with perfect carbonation.

Overall a very good porter. Not my first choice, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down.

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Photo of Samlover55
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz "bomber" into nonic pint
BB 9/27/16 (a couple weeks past, but this isn't an IPA)
L- dark brown with ruby red highlights, huge tan head with great retention
S- slight coffee aroma along with some smokiness
T- dark chocolate, coffee with a pleasant smokiness there from the first sip to the finish, ever so slight hop bitterness on the finish as well
F- light bodied, easy drinking, with average carbo.
O- very enjoyable Porter, full-flavored and easy drinking. A shame Stone is retiring this brew.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed 2-24-12. (Apologies in advance for the short review; it was from early in my beer rating days). Shaker pint.

A: pours dark black/still translucent - like Coca-cola. Thick sandy head 1/2 inch, settles to sandy ring of lace around the edge of the glass.

S: Smoky. Smells like the [Aecht Schenkerla] rauchbier.

T: Dry; thinner than I expected. Bitterness initially, fades to something strange; tastes like the air freshener at Palmer's beverage smells. Thin overall, but complex.

M: [My memory is that this was on the lighter side of midweight with ample carbonation and a very clean finish.]

O: Decent, but I was really in the mood for a Russian Imperial Stout, and this is definitely not that. (With the benefit of hindsight, my memory is that this was what I would now consider an English style porter; lower ABV, less viscous, not really malty, but heavy on the smoke, roast, bitterness, and in a twist of American ingenuity or corruption, a boatload of floral hops. I think it was the roasted malt/smoke/floral combo that I had trouble with, along with the thin texture. Also, this was before I had tried Ardbeg; would probably like this more now. Worth revisiting now that I have had a half dozen peated single malts and several hundred more beers' experience. Worth trying).

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 8/28/2015. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 2 finer dense and fluffy khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted brown bread, wood smoke, herbal, mint, pepper, light coffee/nuttiness, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and compelxity of dark/roast/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted brown bread, wood smoke, herbal, mint, pepper, light coffee/nuttiness, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/spicy hop and light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toasted brown bread, wood smoke, herbal, mint, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.9%. Overall this is an excellent smoked American porter style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/smoked malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. It’s unfortunate that this one is being retired this year, but at least the homebrew recipe will always be available. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep brown pour with a tan head, 1/2". Aroma goes roast heavy, minor smoke, usual Stone Chinook hops.

Taste is a porter similar to Sierra Nevada and Black Butte, its plenty hoppy, I probably should have mentioned Alaskan Smoked Porter as well. Its in that vein. Hoppy, ample roasted malt porters from the West. Always consistent. Never had a bad bottle of this. The variants are pretty good too, especially vanilla melds well with this roasty gem.

Bomber format I could do without.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled July 2016 from bottle in pint glass. Drank it about 4 months after the bottled date on the bottle.

Appearance: Very dark color, dark tan head that lasted average length of time.

Smell: Sweet with strong toasted coffee aromas, also some hops. Strong caramel aroma as well.

Taste: Full-bodied with nice balance of malt and hops and alcohol. Dominated by coffee and burnt malt flavors, but with some bitterness and kick from the hops. There is also a very little sweet flavor like chocolate. Overall a nice combination and a great taste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, but very smooth.

Overall: Nice porter. Best if you enjoy a combination strong malts, alcohol, and some bitterness from the hops. Great aftertaste of hops. I recommend this porter.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick (3 cm) khaki head. Great retention and good lacing left behind. Starting off well. Aroma is smoking, which is strange, but done well. It smells like you're walking into a smoking BBQ joint. Other notes in the aroma include roasted and toasted malts and cocoa nibs. The flavor profile is dark, with roasted and toasted malts under a billow of smoky notes. A little accent of chocolate and cocoa nibs helps this beer round out well. Mouth feel is velvety, and otherwise smooth. It has a medium-thick consistency. Overall, it's a well put together beer that really showcases the smoked beer category.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from ABV

A very dark brown with a dense, light brown head with good retention and gorgeous sheets of lacing, this looks pretty spectacular. The nose is a great blend of smoke, vanilla, roast, coffee, cocoa and a mild hop character. The smoke is a little wet and fruity. The palate opens smoky before a blend of vanilla, cocoa, coffee grounds and a mild fruitiness (cherry wood? apple?) . The roasted malt flavor is heavier on the coffee grounds/chicory flavors. Drying, roasty and with a little cocoa on the finish, this beer is light in body, moderately carbonated and has a nice finish. Quite excellent, i like this more than the variants Stone came up with way back when.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This classic smoked porter pours a pitch black color with a small to moderate tan head. The smell is fairly malty and smoky, though not as smoky as say a rauchbier. There is a very nice, solid, but not at all overwhelming smoke flavor that combines well with the molasses and dark chocolate flavors of the malts. This is a pretty full bodied porter, which I am definitely into, but it is still smooth and has a nice clean finish. The finish is slightly bitter, which enhances the dark chocolate flavor. This is an excellent smoked porter and it upholds the high standards of Stone as much as any of their other beers in my opinion. This kind of robust porter isn’t for everyone, but personally I think it is one of the best at least as far as the smoked variety goes.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I read a thread on BA that this one was going to be retired. I then noticed it by chance at Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth, DE sometime in May. Although the enjoy by date was listed as 2/29, I nevertheless bought it with the idea that I might see it again. I finally got around to drinking it tonight. Wish I could try it "fresh", however, I still though it was good.
It poured a dark brown and mahogany with a nice fluffy and foamy head. The lace is patchy, ring like, frothy and sticky. A good looking brew.
The aroma reminds me mostly of sweet chocolate, roasted malt and light coffee. Some of this sweetness is felt in the tongue but only vaguely, as a moderate but bold bitterness predominates. This bitterness comes from an espresso, burnt malts and assertive hops presence. The smoky quality is mostly felt in the finish and leaves a dry and bitter aftertaste. This one grows on you by the sip. As it warms, it mellows out a bit.
The mouthfeel is fluffy, creamy, velvety and smooth. Full in the mouth but not quite robust, just enough to be drinkable.
I hope to find this one again and if possible, find a fresher version to compare.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing complex. Not like anything I've ever had before. Stout black with a light lacey head that disappears pretty quickly. The smell is very subtle considering how flavor packed it is. On my first taste I was blown away by how smoky it was, but by my 3rd taste I could hardly taste it anymore. Deliciously malty with relatively subtle hops. The smoke comes through on the back of your tongue on the aftertaste where you would normally get the hops. Delightful beer. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of steved5500
3.49/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was hoping for much more in the way of Porter flavor. This one came through rather limp-wristed and I am a bit disappointed. The smokiness is certainly there, however not much more. I will pass on future purchases and I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottled 02/24/16

Pours a dark burgundy maroon with a creamy tan khaki head. Smells like dark roasted malts, dark fruit, dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, mild smoke, with grassy pine. Tastes dark and smoky with roasted coffee, dark fruits, dark baker's chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, piney grass, with an earthy woody dry finish. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with low carbonation. Overall a well crafted smoked porter.

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Photo of microbrewlover
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This brew pours a solid black with a little purple when held up to the light. There is a small mocha colored head some of which sticks around until the end as a collar. Moderate lacing.

The smell is loaded with cocoa powder, chocolate, bready malts, banana as well as brown sugar and a little vanilla. Maybe some plums and dates too.

The taste follows the nose with the bread, chocolate, banana and sugar all forward. The finish is full of smoke, this brew really delivers on the smoke. The feel is silky smooth with on aftertaste. Lightly hopped. Slightly warming but no boozy taste leaks through. This is a great beer for this unusually cold and windy Spring day.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a tulip glass in the San Diego Airport (Stone Brewing in Terminal 2)
Appearance: Essentially black in color with 1.5 fingers of head
Smell: Subtle aroma of chocolate and coffee. However, I didn't pick up much of the smokiness as some other reviewers have.
Taste: Definite hints of roasted malt and chocolate. No unpleasant aftertaste. Very subtle hint of smokey flavor. There was some mild bitterness, but not nearly enough to be unpalatable.
Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth and creamy beer going down. Moderate carbonation. Medium-to-full bodied beer.
Overall: Another great beer by Stone Brewing. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of seantelecine
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark golden with a thick head.
smell is minimal and not memorable
subtle smoked porter taste is awesome
pretty light and easy to drink
stone is good..

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Photo of q33jeff
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Coffee, dark chocolate, some pepper. dark black; medium head. Very nice smooth porter. Not incredibly smokey, but in my opinion, just enough to make it tastier than it would be otherwise. Medium Body.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Two finger brown head, black body.

Smell: Dark fruits, charcoal, light flavors of chocolate, smoke, and resin.

Taste: Charcoal, hazlenut, light flavors of chocolate, smoke, and dark fruit.

Feel: Medium-high carbonation, medium body, creamy, dry with a slight bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm glad I read the review by @biegaman below before writing, as he has straightened out my expectations for this beer. I was expecting a mindblowingly flavorful rauchbier-style porter - something smokey, rich, and hearty. That's only partly what I received, but also not what I should have anticipated.

The smokey flavor isn't at the forefront of the palate or nose, but more in the finish and aftertaste. Closer to the front end is the classic porter notes - toasted barley, a bit of coffee, and an earthy sort of bitterness. Well balanced, this beer isn't too sweet or rich, but very smooth and easy to drink. It's got a medium body and head for days - seriously, it stuck to my mustache for about 5 minutes without me noticing.

If you're expecting a smokey beer, look elsewhere. If you want a smooth, flavorful (but not overpowering) porter with a respectable ABV that goes well with rich foods, cold weather, and good company in the living room (beef stew and my girlfriend on a 35 degree day in my case), this is a good, reasonably priced and easily accessible option.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a large light brown head. Smells of coffee, slight fruitiness. Tastes of coffee with slight vanilla and slight piney hops. Beer is medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I always enjoy a lovely smoked porter, although no one does it like Ölvisholt Brugghús with their Lava.
Here again, we only have an attempt for a winner. Too light, too watery, too dry and too bitter for an ideal smoked beer. The nose is kind of a give away already.
Not bad, but doesn't reach the required standards and for its quality, way overpriced.

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Photo of Chris_r2112
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black, but not quite as opaque as some other porters. A little bit of light sneaks through at the bottom of the glass. Poured about a finger of somewhat creamy head. Leaves beautiful lacing on the glass. A very attractive beer.

Smell: Heavy French vanilla on the forefront. Chocolate, prunes, slight smokiness on the back end, but not as pronounced as I thought. I may not have even noticed it if I weren't looking for it. Smells absolutely lovely.

Taste: Boy, I wish this one was available more often where I am in Canada. Strong, bitter black coffee notes on the forefront. The vanilla that I smelled is almost entirely gone. Dark chocolate in there, and I'm getting a surprisingly piny hop character on the back end. Smokiness lingers within the bitterness, but is not very heavy. Very complex, very strong, everything you want in a porter.

Feel: Medium feel, medium carbonation. Slightly sticky. Slightly creamy.

A very well done porter. Smoked porter is strong, bitter, and complex, but most important of all it is extremely tasty. Will definitely pick this one up again if I'm lucky enough to see it in an LCBO.

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Photo of biegaman
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not all dark beers are black and opaque. Stone Smoked Porter may look intimidating from a distance but closer inspection reveals that it's closer in appearance to tea than coffee; stripes of earl grey colouring highlight small bands of transparency that expose the beer for actually having a fairly clear complexion.

The English porter is a beautiful thing to smell - especially when it's done by Americans. This aroma has the sooty, lightly smoky, roasted grain and coffee notes characteristic of the style but with a hint of earthy-green vinous hops as well (Mt. Hood and Magnum). It's got a pretty strong bark for a beer's that's bite fails to top 5% alcohol (5.9%) and barely exceeds 50 IBU.

With Rauchbiers smoke is by definition the number one component. This isn't up for debate. Smoked Porters, on the other hand, this is not necessarily the case. It's not uncommon for smoke to be the second or third flavour noted. In this example it's even further down the ladder - chocolate, vanilla beans, coffee and roasted grain all place well ahead of the smoke, which is actually tame as an old family dog.

I've met many people that claimed not to like smoked beers but admittedly like Stone's Smoked Porter. There's good reason - not only is the smoky element extremely subtle and well-integrated, the source of "smoke" is peated malt instead of beechwood-smoked. This means there's no sausage, bacon or cured meat flavours to put anybody off. By the same hand, there's nothing notably briny or scotch-like either.

No sir, this here is simply a delectable, hearty, satisfying porter. As stated, you can expect fudgy chocolate and the kind of truffles you'd see window shopping in Paris or Brussels. There's also a maltiness reminiscent of a loose leaf oolong tea, perhaps sweetened just a little with some chestnut or other dark honey. And a big splash of Americano is added to enhance the already dark roast of the grain.

Those who've read enough of my reviews may have realized I have a thing for fireplaces - this is what living in a cold-climate will do to you. And while I've mentioned many candidates suited to cozy, contemplative fireside quaffing, Stone Smoked Porter has long been a favourite.

Rightfully so, this classic celebrates its 20th birthday this year. That's an accolade for the brewery, sure, who were among the first to offer not only a smoked porter but Double IPA, Barleywine, Imperial Stout, American Strong Ale and others. But it's also a testament to the enduring appeal of this recipe even despite newer, bolder offerings consistently coming to market. Try it if you haven't already.

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Stone Smoked Porter from Stone Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,177 ratings.
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