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Toppling Goliath Brewing Company

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Smoke Porter
4.42 | pDev: 6.79%
Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Iowa, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Chain SmokerChain Smoker
Notes: Collaboration with Cycle Brewing Company
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of beermeee
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I purchased this in Decorah in September of 2016 and kept it in my wine cellar until today. It did very well. Aroma is a cross between coffee and chocolate, Taste is sweet, leans more toward chocolate. Mouthful is thick, dense. It has a sweet and slightly bitter aftertaste. I WISH I had purchased 2 bottles that day in 2016. Great job, TG!

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Photo of Sabtos
3.41/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Matte black with a thick, creamy light tan head.

Smell is smoked malt, light, salty and almost hammy, but also in moderation like a mild Rauchbier. It's not an ashtray.

Taste is sharp and nutty with faint smoke, cola, hot booze, licorice, oak, and spicy bourbon.

This has a really nice froth but is also sticky and thin in the finish.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: pours medium thickness with a finger of head.
S: good bourbon, sweet chocolate, but not overwhelming.
T: bourbon, tobacco, sweet brown sugar on the finish.
F: smooth, medium thickness. Nice bourbon heat that's not hot but present.

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Photo of Angerhaus
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't get the hype on this. It wasn't really smokey, it wasn't all that interesting as far as barrel presence, the mouthfeel was decent. Sure, it's a good beer, but it isn't world class by any stretch of the imagination.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really dark brown color with mocha head. Aroma has brown sugar, some smoked malt and some boozy whiskey on the finish. Taste follows with a bit of smoked malt, sugary malt, sweet at first but finish is more earthy and bitter. Medium, syrupy body, low carbonation. Overall it has some complex flavors but a bit harsh and acidic, not too easy to drink.

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Photo of shareallthebeer
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had the chance to try it at the 2016 KBBS/Assassin release. As someone who does NOT particularly like smoked porters, I was incredibly thrilled to have enjoyed this beer. While a touch of smoke can be detected, it entangles with the barrel. A unique and intoxicating scent. Heavy on the mouth with a distinctive porter taste. It looks like any other of the barrel-aged TG stouts.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes like a barrel aged barleywine or old ale, so if you are into sweet, thick, syrupy beers with notes of toffee, vanilla, and molasses, BA Chain Smoker may be a winner for you.

I think the toughest sell for this beer is the fact that it is advertised as a smoked porter, which affects many people's perception and reaction to the beer.

I would definitely seek this beer out more often if the price/trade value continues to drop, since it is a solid offering from TG.

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark mocha and obsidian hues with a generous khaki head
S: Cocoa, vanilla, oak, and a hint of smoke
T: Bold flavors of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and a well integrated smokey profile
F: Medium - not quite TG stout thickness, but not as thin as some Cycle stouts I've had
O: I really enjoyed this one. Outside of ManBearPig, this is one of the best executed American beers I've had that showcase a subtle smokiness. Well executed and very enjoyable.

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Photo of aleigator
3.87/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Yields a dark brown-black color with mohagony, fizzy head.

Smells of molasses, milk chocolate and toasted hazelnuts among old and spicy sweet oak. Hints of licorice and bitter chocolate add to the malt defined nose, with no hint of smoke being detectable.

Has a thinner body among a bold and flavorful beer, which features a lower carbonation, making it easy for the flavors to unfold in full range onto the palate.

Tastes of molasses, bitter chocolate and burned malts, which indeed do produce a smoky note. This blends perfectly into the well integrated barrel quality, which is defined by raisins, honey and warming peppers, soothed by the chocolate. The best part is its finish with melting chocolate, a burned barrel quality, peppery spices and a caramel peak, which blend together marvelously well.

The taste evolves from earthy with bitter chocolate to warming Bourbon and sweet caramel. If it wasn' for the thinner mouthfeel, this would be world class. Drinks pretty easy with almost no barrel presence until the mid palate, in which a warming barrel decadence unfolds.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Black body with an ample off-white head. Smells of light smoke, whiskey, and some milk chocolate. And tons of vanilla. Tastes of chocolate, some whiskey, lots of vanilla. Smoke builds into the finish with a lingering bitterness. Medium heavy. Not that sweet or sluggish. Pretty tasty, but doesn't really live up to the hype.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't typically enjoy smoked beers, but I gave this one a try since I trust the people who made it, and I wasn't let down. It's nothing epic on the level of MD or Assassin, but the smoke flavor is thankfully subdued, so I enjoyed.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely loved this one! Waited in line for about 4 hours for a few bottles and this one was split with 2 friends. Nice chocolate and barrel notes with only slight smoke notes to it but barrel smoothness made up for it by a long shot!!! Awesome job TG and Cycle!

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Photo of Boff101
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Black with a tan head that dissipates quickly
A: Tons of barrel notes with some chocolate. Smell is amazing.
T: Gourmet chocolate and vanilla from the barrel. Not hot for how much the barrel came through on the nose.
F: Decent mouth feel. Good for a porter.
O: Great beer. Can't wait to crack another one.

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Photo of tapperm
4.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Almost black
S: Oaky and slightly smokey
T: subtle smoke, oak, chocolate, slight vanilla
F: Thinner than other BA TG brews. However, this is a porter and not a Stout. That is my only knock.
O: Amazing beer. Best smoked porter I have ever had.

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Photo of FourBetter
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter from 22oz bottle.

Wow. This would be guessed as a stout if nobody told you otherwise.
Dark almost black in color with a cocoa brown head. Aromas of vanilla, barrel and slight tease of smoke.
Wonderful layers of flavor: chocolate, vanilla, caramel and again a subtle passing of smoke. Really balanced well - i'm not the biggest fan of full on smoke beers - and this one has just enough to be interesting without compromising the other flavors.
Mouthfeel is heavier than a typical porter, not quite reaching the weight of a stout... but not by much.
Overall a great flavor recipe and perfect barrel application. No other beers can be directly compared to the flavor and feel of this one. But I'm sure it'll get copied.

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Photo of craigbelly
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Exactly as advertised. Nose is perfect, mouth fell right there with any porter. Drank out in the hot sun but still hit the mark. Perfect execution as always by Toppling Goliath.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had a pour at El Bait shop. Thanks Bruno! Pours medium black with a medium consistency with a small tan head. Smells of smoky bourbon predominate. Mild smoke taste with a huge alcohol taste up front. Nice alcohol taste and very warming. Has a fairly thin mouthfeel and I know it is a porter. I was just left wanting more in the end. To me it did not live up to the hype.

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Photo of Awolter
4.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle from the first release that had the white and gold double wax (the single waxed gold and single waxed white are the same beer, but from the second release date).

Truly an amazing beer that exceeded my expectations. With the style of "smoked porter" I was expecting something thin and smokey, which is absolutely not the case. There is very little to no smoke to this beer, in my opinion for the best. The mouthfeel is much more on style with most imperial stouts, but is not as thick as a beer like Assassin. It certainly isn't as thin as most porters.

The barrel really comes through in this beer, which contributes a great amount of flavor in this beer. With some toastiness and sweet chocolate, this beer is well rounded and very nice. If you ever have the chance to try this beer, try it!

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Photo of jakemn91
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is dark. Thin Off white head

Aroma is vanilla, oak and maple even though I don't think there are any adjuncts.

Taste is smooth barrel character, pronounced vanilla and caramel. No smoke despite the name.

Full bodied and nice drinking. Light carbonation carries the beer.

This one really surpassed my expectations.

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Photo of mothman
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tan head. Dark brown black color.

Aroma: vanilla maple and bourbon. So sweet. Toffee and caramel. Amazing.

Taste: chocolate, fudge, and bourbon. Oak and vanilla. Toffee. Caramel. Very minimal smoke. This is more of a stout than anything. Is there any smoke here? Nice warming bourbon. Incredible.

Full bodied. Thick and warming.

This beer is incredible. It's a stout with little to no smoke. Great collab and definitely wroth a try.

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Photo of Clownoisseur
3.51/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pour at Great Taste of the Midwest. Appears as a murky dark brown, slightly transparent in the glass with dark golden hues. Minimal head. Slightly oily with decent legs. Aroma is barrel forward, with light roast, smoked wood, hints of vanilla and spice. Taste is loaded with bourbon barrel notes that drown out the rest of the profile. A bit thin bodied for my palate. The smoke emerges as the secondary character that pushes some roast, caramel and vanilla but the wood/bourbon stays prominent. Finish feels a bit thin with the barrel treatment, slightly watery with an alcohol astringency that overshadows the base beer. Decent beer and fun to try, but far from TG's best offering.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dexter's in Madison. 5oz served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark black body, one finger off white head. Good retention, thin collar, sparse lacing. Smells of bourbon barrels, a bit of smoke, chocolate fudge, light cocoa and a bit of roast. Smells quite a bit boozy, but apparently this is a 7% beer, so go figure. Flavour is a boozy bourbon sweetness, light smoke, not all that smoke forward more than what I would figure from the barrel. Light chocolate fudge. A bit more boozy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but too light for the flavours. Good carbonation. A slightly ashy, bourbony finish. An overall interesting barrel aged smoked Porter. Not too much smoke, and does have a nice barrel flavour, though the base is a bit thin for what seems to be necessary to make this truly great.

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Photo of fondyball20
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

5oz pour at Dexter's Pre GTMW party. Good barrel characteristics... very light smoke. Feel is not close to the other TG stouts. It's a good beer but nothing about it blew me away.

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Chain Smoker from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 131 ratings