Stone Smoked Porter | Stone Brewing

Stone Smoked PorterStone Smoked Porter
BA SCORE
4/5
4,191 Ratings
Stone Smoked PorterStone Smoked Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,485
Reviews:
1,815
Ratings:
4,191
pDev:
11.25%
Bros Score:
4.03
 
 
Wants:
200
Gots:
527
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,191 |  Reviews: 1,815
Photo of biegaman
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 2,618 characters

Photo of aratcliffe
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bf_89
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thehyperduck
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber picked up from the LCBO; bottled Oct 1 2015 and served at cellar temperature.

Pours a deep-hued, translucent chestnut-brown colour with crimson highlights. A full two fingers of light beige-tinged head is situated atop, remaining in place for the long haul. It takes more than 10 minutes to seep away, leaving behind a creamier, more manageable-sized cap and gobs of lovely lacing. Subtly smoky/peaty aroma, with notes of nutty, lightly toasted malts and milk chocolate. Perhaps a few suggestions of molasses, licorice and earthy, herbal hops.

The flavour profile pretty much follows the nose; minimal sweetness, save perhaps a touch of burnt sugar, with the roasted malt elements played up. Peat smoke is a persistent, subtle presence that permeates the whole sip. Chocolate, toasted hazelnut and hints of dark fruit become noticeable by mid-sip, with some earthy, resiny hop astringency rising in intensity as you near the finish. Bittersweet aftertaste with baker's chocolate, lingering roastiness and some woodsmoke flavour. Low carbonation levels, with light-medium body and a soft, smooth, generally satisfying feel in the mouth.

Final Grade: 3.91, a B+. Stone's Smoked Porter is worth a shot, but don't expect miracles. The smoked malt is not overdone, making it potentially good as an introduction to this sort of brew. I'm enjoying it, but not to the extent that I would consider this a memorable beer, or a 'must-try' or anything like that. It's pretty good, and I'd certainly give it a shot if I spotted it on tap somewhere, but it's not something I expect to return to frequently.

 1,603 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Marius
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown pour with a fine tan head. Smells like dark cherries, roasted grains, a bit of whiskey, peat, smoke. The taste is bitter, with notes of peat, smoke, dark cherries and dark chocolate. Silky smooth texture with medium body and a bitter and smoky aftertaste.
LE: when the beer gets warmer, one can identify other notes: funky sour notes in the nose, together with caramel, and the taste also contains notes of caramel and a bit of vanilla. Pretty complex beer.

 468 characters

Photo of Spectre1966
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 11/17/15:
Pours a lovely mahogany that appears decently clear near the edges. Tan head, fluffy, caps the beer for the whole pour. Lacing is quite nice.

Nose has a light bit of smoke atop a basic porter nose of toasted bread and some roasted malt notes.

Taste leans more porter for me, but a nice porter. The smoke is quite light and acts more like an accent initially. Typically pronounced bitterness, earthy to grassy back up the porter base. With a little warmthand looking for it, I get more smoke, but not much more than I get from some strong stout roasted malts. As the beer starts to get to the edge of being too warm for the porter, the smoke comes out a little more.

Medium body, but with a little friction on the tongue as I sip it.

A solid porter as a base makes it hard to rate this beer low. I wish the smoke took on a bit more of the flavor profile. The smoke was noticeable, but not flavorful, to me, almost like the beer was brewed next to a fire instead of as a part of it.

 1,015 characters

Photo of eldoctorador
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Braseltonage
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sp21
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Whitty1428
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tripledbrew
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of luke12345
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zylod
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Calvarro
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of mrdilone
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JoLight
4.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Brown hues around the corners; black body straight on; and a khaki head that retains very well, and is frothy. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Slightly sweet, maybe chocolate. Roasted malt, and lots of rustic hops.

Tastes of roasted malts; maybe something like 70-ish% dark chocolate; maybe some fruit; and a slight; coffee bitterness end; and it finishes with a slight smokey flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick medium-mouthfeel. Slight carbonation on the end.

Finish: thick, somewhat savory.

 487 characters

Photo of tucson_brewson
2.54/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bomber, poured into tulip glass. Bottled 10/19/15, Enjoy by 02/16/15.

L - Pours dark, mahogany, almost plum skin color. Thick white/off-white head that dissipates slow, leaves slight lacing.

S - Ash, smoke, leather, burnt chocolate/coffee.

T - Roasted/burnt malts, coffee, a very woody aftertaste that's probably the "smoked" aspect. Not getting any fruit or maltiness to balance out the strong bitter bite this has throughout.

F - Smooth and creamy, very soft carbonation. The intense flavor notes clash with the smoothness.

O - For my third-ever porter, I probably shouldn't have thought of "smoked" as universally appealing as "smoked ham" or "smoked almonds." "Smoked" beer is a bit too strong, woody, almost like drinking the contents of a chimney. But, my first IPA was a "bitter" experience and I'm guessing I'll need to acquire this taste, let it sit longer at room temperature, or stick to stouts.

 918 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear mahogany body with surprisingly light head, a thin veneer and ring last. Nose contains sweet-tangy smoked notes, but only mentioned first because I'm looking for it. The rest is roasty malt, chocolate. Flavor is mostly the porter notes: chocolate, roast, faint caramel, dark fruit even, with an afterthought of the smoke. Hops are significant for most of it, providing moderate bitterness (high for the style), and the finish also contains unexpected chalky yeast. Very dry throughout. Medium body, slick, with forceful but not overpowering carbonation.
Meh. The porter part was good, minus the strong bitterness, but I'm especially embittered by the lack of smoke. Glad to check this one off and not worry about missing a potential hidden gem every time I pass it over.

 776 characters

Photo of Sabtos
2.85/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Masonpp85
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Minski405
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of coopertheninja
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Fubudu187
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Smoked Porter from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 4,191 ratings
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