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 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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Photo of thehyperduck
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of Marius
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of JoLight
4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
2.54/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of Dravin
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 0.5 L bottle into a Duvel Tulip. Bottled on date is 10/19/2015.

Look -- One finger of medium-tight light tan head. It has decent head retention, it doesn't impress and it doesn't disappoint. Nice lacing with a deep dark ruby color at the edges of the glass.

Smell -- Chocolate and sweetness, some herbal hoppiness beneath it all mingled with teasing scents of smoke. The scent of smoke is fairly light.

Taste -- Bracing bitterness that gives way to chocolate and sweetness and then reappears to linger. Light smokiness worms it's way throughout the taste. The smoke and chocolate aspects make me think of munching on chocolate around a campfire between rounds of making smores.

Feel -- Nice carbonation and medium body on the palate. Definitely reads as a porter to me. Finishes somewhat dry but it isn't cutting and it simply encourages you to go back in for another sip.

Overall -- Initially I was disappointed that the smoke wasn't aggressive but as I got into the beer I appreciated just how well balanced the smoke element is. My only possible complaint with the smoke is I wish it was a little more present on the nose but that may be a failing of my own sniffer and it may not be possible to make it more aggressive on the nose without ruining the balance on the tongue.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a dark brown color with a one finger white to off white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace leaving some messy foamy lacing all around the glass.
The smell has a light ashy to meaty smokiness to it in the front. After a bit of warming, then there's some subtle roast weaving into the rest of the blend, nice.
The taste was moderately smoky with the roast gently settling back in underneath with a warming subtle sweetness (cocoa bean?, I'm guessing). The aftertaste was really nice as it took the smoke along with the roast and allowed the sweetness to enter in. Gentle dry finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied and felt like it had more roast than smoke on my tongue, not bad, but wasn't expecting that, different.
Overall, for the most part as someone who used to live in Southeast Alaska, ahem, uh..yeah, when you get the choice of this or Alaskan Smoked Porter, I'm gonna stick with Alaskan's. Sorry, Stone, its still good for the most part.

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Photo of Chris_Huston
2.35/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I normally like just about any beer much better between 60 and 70 degrees F. I had to get this one down to between 40 and 45 to get any kind of a decent taste from it. At the warmer temp it smelled of burnt manure, with a similar taste. Even at a colder temp it immediately put me in mind of the huge, open plan barns filled with farm animals at the 4-H events I went to as a kid. Might be a nice base as a farmhouse ale (a la Mad Meg), but as a smoked porter, it was a little disgusting, even if a bit nostalgic. I'm thinking it was an off bottle, b/c the Vanilla Bean version had a fantastic smoke presence, pitched just right so as to be clear and upfront without being overwhelming.

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Photo of kitch
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A 22 fl oz bomber with a bottled on date of 17th July 2015 and an enjoy by date of 14th November 2015. Poured into a Spiegelau stout glass.

Appearance: Poured a dark dark brown colour with a light amber hue and a nice two fingered tan head that dissipates slowly leaving stringy lacing.

Aroma: Smoky, roasted malts with some light chocolate and cream.

Taste: Roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. There is also some light smoke which is ashy and hints of licorice and milk coffee.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, medium bodied with light to medium carbonation.

Overall: The smoke taste was a bit ashy for me, but otherwise this was a nice smoked porter.

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