Smoked Porter | Big Al Brewing

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Smoked PorterSmoked Porter
24 Ratings
Smoked PorterSmoked Porter

Brewed by:
Big Al Brewing
Washington, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedDiamond on 02-03-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by WastingFreetime:
Photo of WastingFreetime
2.71/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out dark nigh-black with three fingers of fluffy sand colored foam on top that lasts for about two minutes with mediocre lacing left behind on the glass. Strangely light and watery body with medium levels of carbonation.

Smells and tastes of a medium level of ashy cigarette smoke with a slightly metallic tinge to it. The flavor does have an additional component of powdery cocoa and roasted malt that wasn't present in the nose, and it is much drier than the nose presented. However, it also has a dollop of mineral-laden shrimp stock flavor in the background that is somewhat disturbing and poorly integrated. I've had better (and worse) smoked beers than this one. It's just not quite memorable enough in a positive way to stand out from the crowd of similar offerings.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Brenden
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

While a very dark brown, this beer reveals its status as a traditional porter in its softer edges and highlights. A nice, creamy tan head reaches one finger and shows good retention. It fades down to a foam that clings to the edges and leaves patchy lacing.
The smoke is the key element, but sitting over the roasty malt backbone without dominating it. There's just a touch of peat in here as well and very light notes of cocoa. A good balance is struck between letting smoke have center stage and letting the aromas all come together.
The flavor tends to take a little char into the finish with just the lightest touch of astringency. It doesn't get too tangy, a pleasant observation since smoked beers tend that way if not done quite properly. The smoke makes for the primary flavor as much as it does the aroma. All in all well done, needing just a bit of cleaning up.
Carbonation is good, but the feel is this beer's weakest aspect as an astringent edge comes out and it turns out to be a little too thin for a porter. It needs a little (not much) more heft, but really could just use more smoothness and to tone down the crispness a notch.

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Photo of DOCRW
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StuartCarter
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from growler an almost opaque jet black with intense dark brown highlights visible under strong light. The cream coloured head slowly collapses back to a generous fluffy top - a visually stunning beer, leaving you with no doubt this is going to be a dense beverage.

Smell is of delicate coffee and very faint hints of a dark sweetness, like a cup of Colombian coffee sweetened with molasses.

Taste follows through on the promise of the smell, rich coffee, dark chocolate, and a dark molasses-y sweetness sneaking in just at the aftertaste.

Goes down really smoothly with gentle carbonation providing a lightening on the palate.

A wonderful beer, and I am looking forward to trying it with smoked ribs.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an average looking dark brown, with a small off white, beige head. The aroma was, well, boring really. There's little smokiness to the nose, and I can't get really any chocolate or roasted notes. There's a mineral-y, somewhat metallic note to it that's a bit off-putting. Pretty much the same for the taste: slight smoke (and really only on a fresh pour), only a hint of porter sweetness, and finishes with a mineral, metallic note. It had a decent feel, maybe medium, though a bit thin. Carbonation was moderate. Overall, very disappointed in purchasing this. Just seemed like a very minimalistic smoked porter.

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Photo of Hopmodium
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich, dark brown, near black, with a ruddy dark brown finger-thick head with nice retention. lacing is there, but subtle.

aroma is smokey, peaty, almost bacon-y, with those rich sweet porter undertones. almost smells like a euro baltic with some smoke.

taste is rich, luscious, and velvety layers of smoked malt intermingling with porter sweetness and a pleasant and adequate level of hops to give some bitterness and cut through the touch of smokey salt. I don't personally think it's oversmoked, but I'm a big fan of smoked brews in general.

mouth is a bit light, thin, and watery for the flavors. it doesn't quite stand up, and the fine but heavy carbonation doesn't help much.

all in all, this is definitely a smoked beer first, a porter second. which I personally love. smooth and rich, full of flavor, nicely balanced (although definitely heavy on the smoke). this one just works nicely for me. if it was a bit thicker and chewier, it would be amazing. regardless, I'll order it again if I see it.

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Photo of Birdlegs
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of m2kweli3
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kaufmaal
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very deep, dark brown, almost black when poured. The two-finger, mocha-colored head shrank to 1/4" before too long. Some faint hickory, charcoal, and peat scents. This is an easy-going smoked porter, not too intense on the scorched wood and smoke on the initial taste, but there is an aftertaste of dry, sweet-and-sour mesquite smoke that's quite pleasant. Some malty sweetness, but not cloyingly so. Some bitter chocolate here and there. Very mild carbonation, some nice lacing. Very drinkable, and a decent price for an above-average smoked porter.

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Photo of 510a
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: very rich, dark brown with a good haze and a finger of frothy brown foam atop. I quite like it.

Smell: lightly chocolatey with a bit of a toasty, nutty malt aroma. The smoke is relatively light but overall it's quite nice.

Taste: nicely roasty with a little bit of chocolate. There's some toastiness and a fair bit of astringency toward the end; it's a decent porter by itself. The smoke is really subtle, here, though; I would like to have more of it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a moderate carbonation and a decent creaminess.

Overall: a standard, pretty solid-drinking porter. For me, though, the smoke could be stronger.

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Photo of kmahe
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Briken
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown with a nice brown head and decent lacing. A slightly smokey aroma belies a big smokey first taste. The smoke clears (ha!) and balances out with a dark chocolate flavor. A fairly thin feel but good carbonation keeps the focus on the chocolate and smoke.

The mesquite smoke taste was a little overwhelming at first but when it balanced out with the chocolate it was easier to take. There's not much more to it than that but it is definitely an interesting beer to taste.

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Photo of NickThePyro
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tswater
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of DaveRinn
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Flightoficarus
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - 22 oz bomber poured into glass.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown, with a nice, moderately thick sepia head. Retention is so-so.

S - Smell is of smoked malts, espresso, and subtle cocoa

T - Taste is of moderately smokey malts, espresso, and subtle toffee notes

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and slick. Medium-full bodied, w/light carbonation. Easy drinking overall.

O - A basic, but not too shabby smoked porter. Would drink again.

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Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of grittybrews
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich, dark brown with a finger of light tan head. Slightly sweet aroma with caramel, coffee, and mild smoke.

Moderate carbonation and a slightly thin mouthfeel. Cocoa and gentle smoke up front with some toffee sweetness and a touch of bitter coffee on the finish.

Light and smooth, but I was left wanting a little more punch from the smoke. Pleasant and easy-drinking, though.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown with great carbonation and a big brown head. Looked very tasty. Nose is smoke, peat, roasted malt. Taste is peat, smoke, roasted malt, light mix of cocoa and coffee but very hard to find. Mouthfeel and body is thin, watery and not heart as I would expect from the style and by the nose, look.

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Photo of beertunes
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a light black color, just a little translucense keeps it from being solid black, with an inch of deep tan head that dissipated quickly and left just minor lacing.

The aroma is pleasant mixture of roast and smoke. The flavor is that of a typical porter, with a solid topping of smokiness. The smoke does not overwhelm this beer, as it does with so many others that try this approach.

The body is typical for a porter, smooth, balanced and tongue-coating, without being heavy or sticky. Drinkability is good, but I tend to tire of smoke beers after a couple.

Overall, a good, solid beer that is worth trying when you see it.

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

In my view, this one's just too smoky to appreciate. I'm not speaking of smoked malts per se (though Big Al's website does suggest some use of peat malt). But the searing smokiness of excessive black malt and/or roast barley delivers a tart, acrid front whose severity keeps me at a distance. The high acidity and sharp angles suggest another case of "too much of a good thing". I can understand how some people might like this one. But I think it's overplayed.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance has a dark brown color leaving hardley any head that dissipates quickly leaving nil lace. Smell of mainly the smoke, peat and roasted malt. Taste again of the smoke with the peat that really comes through kinda has the flavor note of smoked bacon. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. If your a fan of smoked beer this is a good one to try

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Smoked Porter from Big Al Brewing
Beer rating: 3.49 out of 5 with 24 ratings