The Cowboy
Evil Twin Brewing

The CowboyThe Cowboy
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Smoked Beer
Ranked #63
Ranked #31,224
3.76 | pDev: 11.44%
Evil Twin Brewing
New York, United States
Very Good
The CowboyThe Cowboy
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 279 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From notes 5/12/13: Pours a pale and hazy (clears as it warms) gold with a huge (to the point of being difficult to pour) dense finely bubbled, cottony, off-white, lasting head that leaves nice chunks and webs of lace. Aroma is smoked meat, biscuity and caramel malts, lemony, spicy hops. Taste is smoke and pale malt, cracker, biscuit lemon and grass. Peppery in the finish. Somewhat sweet for most of the sip, a heavy, smoky bitterness develops in the finish to provide balance. All elements of the taste meld nicely and complement each other from start to finish and into the aftertaste. The pilsner components are there in what seems to me to be Czech Pilsner fashion. A Czech Pilsner with a smoky character. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderate-high carbonation; crisp and lively with spice.

Oct 27, 2019
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pilsener glass, the appearance was a semi-glossy ruddy orange color with a touch of carbonation seen rising to fill a finger and a half’s worth of foamy white head quickly dieing off. Messy lace. The aroma starts off with sweet grassy and citrusy hops. Subtle crisp earthy sweetness. Light malt contour. The flavor insists upon the smoke first and then ends up developing on into a nice blend between the grassy and citrusy bitter and earthy hops. Touch of sweet at the bottom. Crisp smoked to citrusy aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a pretty good sessionability about it. Fairly low carbonation. Good ABV, felt appropriate. Overall, pilsener with a smoked aspect about it, I see. Sure, why not. I get it Evil Twin and this is quite good.

Jun 29, 2017
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nicely balanced brew pours a
lightly cloudy amber tinged golden with a modest head of white foam that
settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and light lacing. Nose of subtle citrus notes
of lemon peel, sweet honey malts, and light smoke. Flavors follow the nose with
a citrus laden lemon zest flavor that carries into the middle with light smokey notes
and sweet honey malts with light breaded malts resting firmly on the rear. Nice mouth
feel, crisp, refreshing, medium high carbonation, and a bitter hop finish that rounds
it all out with a light smoke tinge. Nicely balanced and quaffable.


Nov 11, 2016
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours hazy golden amber with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells lightly smoked and roasty with a subtle grilled meat quality to it, some dark toasted crackery bread malt, mild dried fig, pear, candied citrus, sweet spice, floral earthy grass and pine, with smoky roasted woody grains. Tastes smoky and roasty with some grilled meat, some dark toasted crackery bread malt, roasted woody grains, dried fig, fruity citrus, pear, some spice, with floral earthy grass and bitter pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice smoked pilsner.

Aug 11, 2016
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a frothy, white head that leaves little chunks of lacing.

Smells of smoke notes and and some grainy malts.

Tastes of the smoke layered over a grainy malt base. Smoke leads off with mesquite notes. Next comes grainy malt with some sweetness. This gives way to some light, lemon zest. Earthy bitterness makes it way towards the end and lingers through thee finish along with some smoke.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a lightly smoky beer that hits plenty of good notes.

Jul 02, 2016
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MAB from Canada

3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a fan of smoked beers, nor of lagers (pilsners) but this one was actually quite good.
It was hazy as hell, though. I didn't get any flavors that I associate with whitbiers, so I don't know why the haze was there.
The smoke was very subtle, and did not distract from the overall flavor.
I must say, this was the perfect choice of beverage for the tacos that I ate with it. They paired spectacularly well.

Color me surprised-- I'm giving this one a thumbs up!

Dec 18, 2015
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D-HopSupreme from Canada

3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pearly white large head with a slightly clouded, straw-coloured body. The scent is surprisingly flowery with a bit of citrus, and a slight undertone of noble hops. The taste is very smoky, completely like a campfire, with a bit of woodiness and a bit of sourness. The feel is alright though the smokiness really clings around longer than it's pleasant. Overall it's a pretty good beer though I can't quite grasp the hype.

Dec 14, 2015
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biboergosum from Canada

3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, day 13 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar - hmmmm, a smoked pilsner, interesting, and somehow initially appropriate for this thing we're doing here. The usual self-indulgent label text reminds me of 'I Wanna Be a Cowboy'.

This beer pours a hazy, pale golden yellow colour, with one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and well-bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of splotchy collapsing iceshelf lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of meaty and grainy pale malt, a bit of wet ash, some wee band-aid phenolic notes, musky apples and pears, and softly singed lemon wedge citrus. The taste is smoky, sure, but in a campfire meets dead cow or pig sort of way, with some middling earthy and slightly edgy yeast, a mixed bag of ash-tinged fruit bowl esters, and an emerging gasohol (not a good idea around this smoke, eh?) laced pale malt graininess.

The bubbles are adequate in their supportive and occasionally probing frothiness, the body a so-so medium weight, and trying oh so hard to be smooth, but c'mon, there's SMOKE abounding, people! It finishes off-dry, surprisingly, as that base pils seems to just want to cast off the yoke of smoke (new band name?), and spread its wings.

Overall, not a bad smoked beer, the potential in your face smokey acridity kept mostly in check, while the Continental-style pilsner actually gets to have a say, much in the manner of the Bamberg greats. After a modicum of acclimatization, this becomes easy enough to drink, and makes me want a cigar and some Bridge Mix. Oh, and Jeppe - you can be my cowgirl!

Dec 13, 2015
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Bunman3 from Canada

3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really like how the smoke complements the nice pilsner character of The Cowboy. This is a quality brewery and they get this beer right. The hazy yellow body, fluffy white foam and archipelago lacing make this a good looking beer. There is enough hop bite to be true to the style and the smoke adds character. Tasty stuff, indeed.

Dec 13, 2015
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Trosevear from Canada

4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Day 13 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

L: A Hazy yellow with a nice white head, and a slight red tinge to it.

S: A smokeyness, that overpowers most things but there a slight hop smell to it as well.

T: Crisp with a fair amount of smoke to it. Slight bitterness from the hops but you can't taste very much hops.

F: Light bodied with a slight amount of carbination and leaves a nice smokey taste in your mouth.

O: A good beer by evil twin but kinda upset again that this beer wasn't made for just the calendar like it was supposed to be.

Dec 13, 2015
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ryanhooks81 from Georgia

4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

fantastic beer. golden color, smoky. tastes like an awesome campfire. perfect for a hot summer day, perfect for drinking while smoking some meat or grilling. one of my favorite everyday drinkers. i keep this stocked in the fridge.

Aug 16, 2015
Photo of Moose90
Moose90 from Washington

3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A — Pours a straw colored golden hue into the glass. There is a bit of a light white head on it that manages to stick around and leave some lacing behind.

S — Smells lightly smoky at first, similar to a campfire, not like an ashtray, its just a nice light smoky balance to the sweet and crisp pilsner malt character underneath.

T — Tastes nice and clean, notes of pilsner malts, little bit grainy and a touch of sweetness. The smoke component is very well balanced and not overdone, just a bit of an essence of smoke without dominating the palate.

M — Light in body, crisp and clean.

O — Very nice overall, a great example of what smoke can do for a beer.

Aug 08, 2015
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is smoked lemon, pretty nice.
The taste is a nice smoky lemon and pine bitterness.
The texture is crisp.

Jun 06, 2015
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StoutHunter from Michigan

3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short Review, I had a few sample of this and I thought it was pretty nice, it had a nice balance of hoppy Pilsner and smokey flavors with the smoke showing up just enough and it doesn't seem to cover up any of the nice hop flavors while working well with them. I would buy this if I saw bottles of it. I liked it.

May 18, 2015
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Poured out a jet-black color with a small tan, bubbly head of foam. It smelled very smoky, like a campfire. It was smoky and roasty with come caramel and molasses. The smoke flavors mellow as it warmed up.

May 10, 2015
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infinitebruner from Arkansas

3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

January 25, 2015

12 oz bottle, kolsch-type cylindrical glass

A – Light gold and very high effervescence. About 2-3 inches of foamy, craggy white head with long, long retention, similar to a traditional hefeweiss. Somewhat hazy, chill but appears to be unfiltered as well.

S – Bread dough, a mix of uncooked and freshly baked. Beechwood smoke is light to moderate, present but only one component of many, very nice complement to the other malts. Floral, somewhat spicy hops, are moderate to mildly assertive.

T – Bready, grainy malts, with spicy hops and touch of floral flavor. Hop bitterness is pronounced. Smoke flavor is pretty low in the mix, the majority of its impression coming from the aroma.

M – Very full-bodied for a pilsner, presumably from being unfiltered. Bitter up front and quite juicy. The bitterness lasts throughout and the finish ends up dry. Moderate to high carbonation, this one was a gusher but not necessarily in the mouthfeel once it settles down.

O – Pilsners are a dime a dozen, but quality pilsners are not. Even without the smoke component this is an interesting, flavorful, satisfying beer, standing out partly because it is unfiltered. The smoke adds additional complexity. Very good.

Jan 26, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

There is some light smoke on the nose but it is not Schlenkerla or even Spezial intensity. Pours hazy gold under a 2” finely bubbled white foam collar. A very creamy palate with rich malt flavors, light smoke preceding a herbal, dry finish. Medium body and a very, fine soft carbonation that is short of prickly. Its a good beer but it could use a touch more smoke.

Jan 05, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

i have not had much smoked pils, this is only the second or third i can recall, but its probably my favorite of the lot. its less smoke heavy, not so rauch and german and intense and campfire based. its a pils first and a smoked beer second, which lets the light grain still be light, and the mouthfeel not smolder into something much heavier than the style asks for. just a slightly brown hue to the golden beer, but definitely more hazy than most pilsener beers out there. the head is small but easily resurrected with a whirl of the glass. the nose and taste both show some sweetness, not as dry as others, and the lager yeast is totally lost along with the crisp finish it usually brings. the smoke, as light as it is here, still drags it on quite a ways in the finish. woody as it is smoky, i like that, and i still taste all the grain, which is really fresh. carbonation is high even though the beer looks flat. a combination of two styles i dont unconditionally love, but this is a great beer, very well balanced for what it is, and as good in terms of overall quality as we all now expect out of evil twin. i could drink several of these in a sitting, which may be the greatest testament to its appeal.

Dec 16, 2014
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tbraun1 from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +13%

A: Pours golden amber with a slight bit of haze. Rich white two finger head and concentric rings of lacing.

S: Lemon. Spice. Slight smoke essence.

T: Citrus, biscuity, very faint smoke taste on the finish...Adds nicely to the overall dryness to this brew and compliments the lemon/citrus tones. Very well built.

M: Wonderful. Slightly carbonated like most of the pilsners I have tasted but it has a very nice finish. Slightly dry but pleasant from the hops used and the biscuity malts.

O: Fantastic. I wish I had bought a sixer of this. One you could drink easily in a session with friends. Prost.

Oct 23, 2014
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mrfrancis from Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Pours a hazy gold with a pillowy white head.
S: Mild aromas of smoke, grain, straw, lemon, lime, herbs, grass, biscuit, crackers, and hay.
T:Notes of grain, straw, hay, minerals, biscuits, crackers, grass, herbs, lemon, and lime wash across the palate with just a hint of smoke noticeable in the background. The finish is interesting, presenting an odd, yet appealing combination of smoke, grass, lemon, lime, and herb flavors.
M: Full-bodied and dry. Carbonation is crisp and firm.
O: This is a really interesting lager. I doubt that I could drink more than one or two of these at a time, but I could see myself reaching for a beer like this when I wanted something tasty and relatively unique.

Sep 18, 2014
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beergoot from Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -9.6%

Bottling stamp on the bottle is 04/22/14

Strong golden color to the body and a thick, rocky, white head sits atop (3.75). Faint aroma all around with no noticeable smoke and a mild malt graininess (3.25). A mild smokiness reveals itself in the taste along with an equally mild malt and ester flavors; good bitterness (3.25). Medium bodied; dry finish (3.5).

Not a bad beer for a pilsner but the smoke component is pretty much missing-in-action. I would give this a higher score for a pilsner (3.75), but if you're looking for a more prominent smoke aspect, you won't find it here, so therefore, a relatively low score.

Sep 07, 2014
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jbertsch from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -20.2%

On tap. Proper yelllow goldn color.

Aroma is very mild. Expected a bit more smoke.

Flavor is just okay. I want either (or both) more smoke, or a more clear pilsener taste from the malt bill. The malt profile tastes a but too generic. No real hop profile to make note of (didn't get any saaz, that's for sure). A sweet note is noticeable on the finish, which throws me a bit.

As a whole the beer doesnt taste bad, and some people will probably be content with it. But it just doesn't serve up what I want in either a smoked beer or a pils.

Aug 25, 2014
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dcmchew from Romania

3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours shiny golden, small white head that turns to a nice lace, kept alive by some small fizzy strings.
Mild smoke in the smell, neck and neck with some hops, also crackers, grains, bit of smoked cheese, some spiciness.
The pilsener notes are really out there, starting with the specific maltiness, the herbal acidity, the spicy hops with the dry finish. Add some nice smokey flavours with some nice wood notes, also a touch of enhancing fruity hops, mostly giving off some citrus, floral hints too.
Light body, nicely carbonated, helps the dry finish. Some charcoal smoke left in the aftertaste, burnt straw and leaf, spicy hoppy bitterness.
Something a German Texan might really love, nice job choosing the name. A really nice smoked beer, with a kinda rough aftertaste that invites (urges!) you to take another sip.

Jul 02, 2014
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PicoPapa from Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with BTLD 04/22/14 stamped on the neck. Pours a cloudy amber color with a half inch of head. Looks like an IPA, basically. Lots of lacing. The aroma is smokey with some meat and cherry wood aromas. Some booze and maybe even some apricots. The taste is lots of smoke, charred wood, cherry, and malts. Very woody and earthy. Finishes with some more wood and smoked malts. Some floral hop notes. Medium bodied with not much of an alcohol presence. Overall, solid Smoked Beer I'd certainly buy again. Not quite up there with some of the better Rauchbiers but a Smoked Pilsner is an intriguing take on the style.

Jun 27, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear golden with a modest frothy ivory head that slowly dissipates.

Aroma is crackery malt, floral hops, and a barely noticeable whiff of smoke.

Flavor reveals more crackery malt character than anything up front, with a touch of citrus at the finish and phenols in the aftertaste. Light smoky notes emerge. Citrus and malt dominate.

Body and carbonation are moderate.

One of the lighter smoked beers I've had. Nothing spectacular, but a fairly drinkable brew.

Jun 27, 2014
The Cowboy from Evil Twin Brewing
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 279 ratings