Imperial Smoked Walker's Reserve
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Imperial Smoked Walker's ReserveImperial Smoked Walker's Reserve
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Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
Smoked Porter
Ranked #4
Ranked #3,820
4.19 | pDev: 6.68%
Dec 03, 2023
Nov 16, 2015
Batch 5000. Imperial version of Walker’s Reserve Porter brewed with German rauchmalz.
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Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle from Tavour. Dark brown pour, thin ring of beige head. Light smoky aroma, roasty, nutty. Taste is smoky, roasty, sweet, woody, nutty. Very full.
Dec 03, 2023
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
500 ml bottle into a snifter. 2022 edition, had 8/5/23.

Pours a mostly opaque dark ruby, with a quarter inch foamy head and speckled cling. A ring of foam follows down the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, smoke, vanilla, cocoa, some bourbon, light chocolate, some caramel as it warms. Flavors of smoke, roasted malt, bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, chocolate, light caramel. Smooth, a little bit thinner medium body, appropriately carbonated.

Nice and smoky. The barrels aren’t at the forefront, but have a solid presence. A little thin feeling, but overall, a very good smoked beer.
Aug 23, 2023
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Received in a trade 12-6-22. 2022 Edition consumed for review 6-21-23.

Beer poured dark brown with an awesome off white head with the original pour.

Nose lends notes of smoked meat, bourbon, leather, and vanilla. Comes across like most dark FW barrel program brews.

Taste is smoked malts forward with some chocolate following this. Malts give way to significant barrel aged notes of bourbon and vanilla. Finishes balanced with a smokey follow-thru.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, typical of a porter.

Overall a really fun beer to try. I can see the smoked malts would be disruptive to palates sensitive to this.
Jun 21, 2023
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Reviewed by DoctorZombies from Florida

4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Black with ruby see-through pour; good clarity; quick tan cap, poor retention, no ring, no lace; thick legs on swirl. Burnt bacon nose. Smoked beef jerky taste. Medium minus body, moderate minus carbonation; no warmth from abv. Overall, smokey and not my thing; thankfully, the bourbon notes are tasty, in a bacon sandwich kinda way.
May 26, 2023
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Reviewed by mschrei from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
I’ve never had a smoked Porter before, apparently. Rather good. Standard Porter appearance. Scent and taste are both smoke forward, roasted dark malt background. Barrel presence in those two qualities seems a bit muted, but comes across stronger in the taste, as it’s just as strong as the smokiness and maltiness. Medium bodied, boozy but not as much as expected, and an easy sipper. I normally don’t like smoked beers, but I’ll always give Firestone Walker’s barrel program a chance, and I’m glad I did.
Apr 24, 2023
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Apr 19, 2023
Rated: 4.29 by jakecattleco from California

Mar 29, 2023
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Reviewed by Beersnake from California

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured at fridge temp. Pours pitch black with a thin layer of brown head. The nose is full of smoke. Definitely the dominant note on the nose! After a minute or two, I start to get some dark chocolate, some burnt toffee, an earthy note, and a bit of dark fruit.

The taste is definitely more integrated and smooth. The smoke is there, but it's met with nice layers of chocolate, toffee, some molasses, black licorice, vanilla, milk, brown sugar, a bit of maple. The barrel does not come through in a dominant way, but it plays a nice role in the background. Really nice.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy. A really nice mix of flavors on the aftertaste. Overall, a really nice porter that showcases the smoked base beer.
Jan 22, 2023
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Reviewed by sjrider from California

4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle pour 2022 version 11.5% - dark as night with short foamy khaki head leaving mostly a ring of bubbles. Nose is mild roastyness and barrel wood. Taste follows with a smoky aftertaste that reminds me of Schlenkerla rauchbier. Finishes slightly thin and dry.
Nov 30, 2022
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Reviewed by unlikelyspiderperson from California

3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
A nice BA "imperial porter" (so a stout?). Claims to be "smoked", and maybe that comes through as a lightly meaty flavor.

Mostly this thing hits with a nice mix of rye spice, cola, vanilla, and some char/meats. Taste and nose are similar but the cola/spice comes through more heavily on the nose while the vanilla, spice, char, and booze come through on the flavor.

Body is super thin compared to modern stouts and even compared to parabola.

Nice beer. Easy to drink but rich enough to savor.
Nov 23, 2022
Rated: 4.22 by BAsbill from California

Oct 15, 2022
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Reviewed by Resistance88 from California

4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
2022 Version. Dont know why this shows as retired
On draft at Firestone Walker Propagator :
Black with coffee brown edge in a 4 ounce pour.
Smell is all beautiful bourbon and some peaty goodness with some roast malt and dark chocolate.
Taste follows with a nice blend of smoked beechwood, barrel heat and classic FW stout flava

Overall this one is great and so much so i bought a bottle
Aug 21, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Aug 16, 2022
Photo of Harrison8
Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Pours black with two fingers of khaki foam. It has good retention, especially for a beer that is ~6 years old. Aroma is pierced by some oxidation, and green bell pepper, but showcases roasty and toasty malts and milk chocolate behind. Flavor profile drives chocolate and caramel at the front, with bourbon and barrel at the end. It's slightly warming, but not bold or hot. Roasty and toasty malts sit underneath alongside oxidation and green bell pepper. Mouth feel is medium-thick with mild creamy texture that has an uneven, bumpy grit. Overall, remarkable for its age. Chocolate is delightful and barrel and bourbon is just far enough forward to be impressionable, without being a show stealer.

Draft. Reviewed from notes. 2016 vintage.
Jul 03, 2022
Rated: 4.21 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia

Mar 24, 2022
Rated: 4.33 by cd34 from Illinois

Mar 20, 2021
Rated: 4.09 by NCSapiens from Indiana

Dec 22, 2018
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Bottle Date: 2016
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Not a lot of head. Dark brown that lets a little light in around the edges. Oh, well. I'm not in it for the looks.

Smell is like a spicy cola. There's also some dark, sweet woodsiness. Sorghum. It's not particularly strong overall, but the relative combination of scents is different. There's also something akin to thickness in it.

There's tons of smoked wood up front. I'm getting both the char and the unburnt wood underneath. There's a little bitterness, but that only adds accent instead of dominating the show. Following that is prunes, and there's some depth to that flavor. Then there's lots of black licorice, and that has depth, too. So, there aren't a bunch of things, but the few that do stand out are pretty complete and not just glancing impressions. Finish is a bit like a Sercial Madeira wine in character, if not taste. It might complement a meal that has some smoked pork quite well.

It's coarser than I'd expect for a twelver, but the rest of the feel is pretty good. Sharp smokiness in the aftertaste, and prunes (with some other dried dark fruits). It's heavy.
Dec 02, 2018
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Reviewed by gcasher from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
2016 Bomber
Wet oak immediately hits the nose followed by sherry right out of the bottle.
Vigorous pour yields little fizzy head. Lots of fizzy lacing. Really dark brown/Black color.
Warming results in sweet bourbon aroma.
Tastes of oak and whiskey. Roasted malt flavor follows. More sweet than dry. Medium body. The whiskey barrel and porter complement themselves really well.
Nov 06, 2018
Photo of q33jeff
Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Varga Bar, Philly.

Look: Dark black , healthy creamy beige head.

Aroma: peat, roasted barley, light cocoa.
Taste: tobacco, Smokey malt, pinot noir, dark chocolate.
Feel: light drinking, smooth, minimal carbonation. Thinner than I would expect. Touch of heat in the finish.

Very Nice, but not on par with FW's best.

Jul 31, 2018
Imperial Smoked Walker's Reserve from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 106 ratings