Smoke Signal | Swamp Head Brewery

Smoke SignalSmoke Signal
BA SCORE
3.91/5
80 Ratings
Smoke SignalSmoke Signal
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Swamp Head Brewery
Florida, United States
swamphead.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smoke Signal is an American style Robust Porter, using a generous amount of pale ale malt smoked with Alderwood, the smoke source used in the Pacific Northwest for salmon. We smoke 150 pounds of pale malt for each 10 barrel batch of Smoke Signal.

Alderwood imparts a slightly sweet smoke flavor that balances well with the residual sweetness of the beer imparted through the use of dark crystal malts; chocolate and roasted barleys combine with American hops to deliver a flavorful robust porter with just the right amount of smoked flavor.

Added by brentk56 on 12-21-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#10,072
Reviews:
15
Ratings:
80
pDev:
11.76%
Bros Score:
4.06
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
4
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of user785335
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JayQue
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not quite as memorable as Alaskan Smoked Porter, but still very impressive. Pours a dark brown color with some faint ruby highlights showing through. Big frothy tan head with excellent retention and thin bands of lacing on the glass. Aroma is typical porter, roasted malt, coffee and a bit of chocolate. The smoky aspect is here as well but not as pronounced as in the taste. The taste lends itself to comparison with Alaskan Smoked Porter ( my gold standard for this style). Rich malt coffee and a little chocolate and a strong smoky presence that blends in rather than seeming artificial. There is a small hops presence in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich and fairly smooth. The smoke presence is outstanding. This is a great beer.

 733 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Magery
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #85 (Feb 2014):

Balanced, Roasty, Ashy

Very excited to run into this beer in hopes of smoky greatness. All of the traits of a Robust Porter hit the taste buds, with suggestions of charcoal, espresso and ash. Smokiness rides firm from start to finish, with a kiss of hoppiness in back. A bit of rawness keeps thing super real and drives us to take another sip.

STYLE: American Porter | ABV: 6.9% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

 452 characters

Photo of mullenite
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of mothmanscott
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown so dark that it appears black producing barely a finger of frothy, mocha, shortlived head that produces minimal lacing. Aroma is dark malty deep roast & smokey char with hints of chocolate, vanilla, vinous dark fruits & a phenolic undertone. Taste is smoke, char & chocolate malt with a phenolic & vinous hint that is more interesting than distracting. Only the most minor hop notes in the finish. Lingering burnt chocolate, smokey, faintly bitter aftertaste. Moderate to mildly heavy bodied with low carbonation, smooth, creamy & a little chewy.

 570 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to moose3285 for this bottle, one that I’ve been sitting on for a while per his advice. 750ML bottle with Swamp Head’s typically cool label art, split with my wife.

The pour is dark with a little red along the edges. Carbonation has gone the way of Percy Harvin in a big game: vanishimo. I could count the individual bubbles if I cared to. The nose is just gorgeous for a smoked beer with light Renaissance Festival campfire circa 1989, lingering sweetness, & chocolate. Very nice.

Smoke Signal gets the balance right, not an easy task for a smoked beer (or maybe it’s because the bottle has been sitting for months in a dark room, thinking about not being too smoky). Taste is a xerox (as we old people used to call photocopies) of the nose. Nicely restrained smoke malts, scampering sugary sweetness, sweet chocolate. Finish drops in the polls as the smoke turns a touch ashy, & there’s a weird green woodiness that might be the final whisper of hops. Body is full but too flat, & the beer suffers from the lack of carbonation. I’d have guessed this to be a higher ABV than listed. That makes it tough to power through even half of a bomber.

This brew avoids the problem with most smoke beers, namely, that it doesn’t murder you with smoke inhalation. That part of the equation is solved for nicely, but the odd aftertaste & overly heavy mouthfeel set it back. A wildly inconsistent brewery that puts out gems & dud in almost equal measure, but this is neither. Decent enough.

 1,503 characters

Photo of Agentveba
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - very dark, just a hint of light getting through this mahogany and Ruby tinged brew. A light mocha head is thin but with good lace all around.

Aroma - all roast malt, wrapped in a layer of tangy smoke.

Taste - brief mouthful of sweet malt, followed by some fairly heavy smoke. Pushy at first, but after a few sips I start to pick up some bittersweet chocolate. A nice abv warmth on the aftertaste. An ashy, fire-smoke finish.

Mouthful - full and mouth filling. Solid body, good and weighty.

Overall - great name for a beer of this style. Smoky, slightly sweet, great pitcher beer.

 597 characters

Photo of whitenads
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mpalestino
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of TonyJ815
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of indy351
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of deereless
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Viperman1316
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of tazzman
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Beer21
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Poppellian
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of cambabeer
3.99/5  rDev +2%

nice body. definitely smokey, like I'm sitting around a bon fire. Some coffee and vanilla in there. Smoked meat and bacon or something here. Somewhat sweet however this is balanced by the hops in the finish quite well.

 218 characters

Photo of threedaggers
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Resuin
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter.

Appearance: Pours black and leaves a fluffy, off-white (light tan) head that lingers for a long time. (4.25)

Smell: Big smoked meats up front, smoked malts, cocoa, hint of coffee, hint of vanilla. (4.4)

Taste: Matches the smell to a T: big smoked meats, smoked malts, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Quite moderate and well balanced, but the smoked meats and malts dominate the taste. Nice and drinkable. (4.2)

Mouth-feel: Low to med carb with a thick, creamy, slightly foamy body. Nice smoked-meats finish. (4.35)

Overall: Very drinkable, tasty smoked porter. I honestly wouldn't change anything about this beer for what it is. Nice smoked malts and meats with some cocoa and roasted malts as well. Well balanced and very nice aroma as well. (4.3)

 808 characters

Photo of bcsbeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoke Signal from Swamp Head Brewery
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 80 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.