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Barrel Aged Smoked Porter (20%) | Pipeworks Brewing Company

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Barrel Aged Smoked Porter (20%)Barrel Aged Smoked Porter (20%)

Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pipeworks Barrel Aged Smoked Porter unites wood and smoke in a natural harmony. This first barrel aged offering finds our smoked porter aged in millet, spelt, and rye whiskey barrels from our friends at Koval Distillery. Like smoking a pipe by the fireplace, the resulting blend reeks of sophistication. We hope you'll enjoy this taste of liquid refinement.

Added by MasterSki on 03-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 76
Photo of macrosmatic
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into pint glass.

A: Pours a dark dark brown, mostly opaque. Forms a small tan head.

S: Smoke, chocolate, coffee – but the smoke is not overwhelming as it is in many smoked beers.

T: Smoke dominates here at first, even to the point of being a little overwhelming, especially near the end. But there's definitely chocolate, some vanilla & spiciness. The smoke flavor seems less as warms; I'm not sure if the flavor profile was changing or I was just getting used to it.

M: A good bit lighter than I expected given the appearance, but to the point that it detracts. There is definitely a smoky aftertaste.

O: Don't know why I do this to myself. Smoked beers just don't seem to be my thing. However, in the interest of fairness - I think this was quite good for a smoked beer! And would recommend it to anyone who tends to enjoy such beverages.

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Photo of Grohnke
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, well forming/holding creamy light tan head. Appears to be very clear. Leaves a light lace etching as it falls.

Strong smoke aroma, faint whiskey, light wood. Leathery tabbacco. Hints of vanilla. No hop aroma.

Smoked and roasted malt are in the forfront, with subtle whiskey barrel notes. Very light chocolate and vanilla.No hop flavor. Firm bitterness. Finishes dry and lightly sweet, with the barrel becoming more apparent. Aftertaste is smoky and lightly sweet.

Medium light body, with medium high carbonation, smooth and somewhat creamy. Noticeable astringency.

Ive seen many people comment on there not being any barrel characteristics to this, and seeing that many of the reviews are from an earlier date. Perhaps the barrel is now more apparent with a couple months on it. Very smoky indeed, and would have been wonderful paired up with a cigar. I wish the "subtleties" were a bit bolder, as I think the main flavors were quite dominant.

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Photo of Treebs
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a CBS snifter. Batch # 001

A: Pours a dark black with dark brown edges. A one finger light tan head forms on the pour and recedes at moderate pace to a thin collar.

S: Light charred oak, some light bitter baker's chocolate with a hint of meat. There is a slight whiskey twinge on the back end.

T: The smokey flavors are upfront with a nice toasted oats and some general chocolate flavors. There is a slight charred oak with a little burnt meat skin. The Koval barrel shows its flavor in the finish with a combination of whiskey, light vanilla, woody oak and a caramel sweetness. The smokey flavors are carried throughout and integrate nicely with each one. That being said the flavors are a little light and I would love to have it amped up a little more.

M: Medium bodied with a slight chew to it. There is a very nice carbonation and the finish is smokey and sweet.

O: I liked the addition of the Koval barrel, but overall it didn't add a depth of flavor, rather just some outer lingering flavors. I think if it sat in the barrel a couple more month it would be great. As it stands I like the regular one a tad more due to the flavors being a little more strong, but this is a solid offering. Off to try the two beers!

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Photo of Agold
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer side by side with the regular smoked porter. It has a shorter head which recedes to a thin layer with a nice healthy ring around the outside of the glass. Not quite as much lacing as the regular one. Aroma is quite oaky, but definitely not overbearing. Less smoke or roast comes through in this beer than the regular, although I can pick up a bit of cocoa which is nice and I don't get any of the fruit that I get in the base beer. Aroma feels like it has a bit less depth and robustness, but not bad by any means. Flavor is smokey with a dry oak instead of a sweet caramel bourbon. The smoke blends with the barrel almost making this one seem peaty. Almost scotch like. I get smoke, cocoa, oak, some earthy notes, and a nice warming alcohol. Very scotchey to me. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, could have a bit more body, but the carbonation is nice and fine and creamy. Really nice. I am not sure which beer I like more, the regular or the barrel aging. You can definitely get a lot of the same notes in this beer that you get in the base, but they are completely different experiences.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!

Pours a very dark brown, not quite black. There was an almost finger of medium head.

Aroma is initially smokey, almost ham-like, but somewhat mellow. You can pick up that woodiness and light whiskey notes. It was slightly leathery with a hint of pipe tobacco.

The taste was a bit more meaty than the aroma, with a bit more of that rye whiskey oakiness. Some more leather, making it somewhat dry.

It had a nice solid medium feel too it, not to thick, not too thin. Overall pleasant on the palate.

A rather interesting and definitely tasty beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Darkness glass.

A - Finger-plus of late-rising dark tan foam that settles to a creamy cap, leaving ample lacing behind. Body is near-black and suggests a weightier beer.

S - Smoked meats, tobacco, hickory, charred wood, a bit of biscuit, vanilla, and milk chocolate sweetness, and some Koval whiskey bite that intensifies as the beer warms up.

T - The taste doesn't live up to the promise of the aroma. It's not bad, but it's a tad simplistic in comparison. The prevailing flavors are smoke and bread, with only the lightest vanilla sweetness in the finish. Not sure I would have picked up barrel presence from the taste alone to be honest.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium body, with active carbonation. Chewy, but not overly sticky, yet yielding some of that residual mouth-coating smokiness. A hint of oak dryness appears in the finish. No obvious alcohol presence.

D - It will be interesting to try the base, as I'm finding the barrel character here quite subtle and I'm not sure if that's due to the relatively short time in the barrels or something intrinsic to Koval. In any case, this is far superior to Finch's first barrel-aged offering, which used the same source for barrels. I think I would have preferred if this came in 12oz bottles.

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Photo of h4zel
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, one finger ivory head. Decent retention slight lacing

Roasted malt mmm. Burnt wood, tobacco, hint of pine. Booze.... I'm surprised at the degree of alcohol though, this only sits at 7%. The wood and malt blends well though, and invite you to take drink!

Up front, definitely malty, woody, nutty, roasty goodness. Smoked pork product in their as well though, I always attribute a smoked flavor with pork products :). Then there's that booze again, followed by slivers of toast and slight pine at the end.

Initially, fizzy and almost creamy, really nice. Let it sit a sec and you're left with an oily, resin coating on the roof of your mouth.

I was really excited at the pour. The smell was nice except for the heavy smell of alcohol. The booze, for me, really interrupted what was for the most part, a well balanced, smoky porter.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lacks the retention and thickness of head that I expect from a porter, the color of the head is tinged with cola at the base of the bubble collar but as it cascades up it appears like paper... off-white in coloration.

Just the right amount of BBQ and leather aromas. Smoked pork and a lightly toasted biscuit hint. Not too much barrel character though.

Flavors of... smoked leather, charred wood, crispy pork, sweet ending of mildly sweet malt character and what reminds me of fried rice.

Full bodied, very crisp ending of carbonation and alcohol slash. I think its also got a watery feel over the creamy silk lingering of other porters. Very great flavor retention for the pork. The appearance was such a let down, but the beer as a whole is quite nice... my only complaint. Wheres the barrel character other than the woodiness?

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, batch number 1, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black with mahogany edges, topped with a thin khaki head that fizzles away to a ring. Leaves some spots of lacing.

S- Very smoky aroma of dry, charred oak. Has some subtle notes of whiskey, tobacco and chocolate malt. Reminds me of whiskey and a BBQ campfire.

T- Similar to the nose, a very nice smoky and very woody barrel character, has a subtle chocolatey background with light whiskey and fruit.

M- Medium-bodied, carbonation is a touch high but is very smooth and drinkable.

O- A really interesting beer, Pipeworks is doing something with a barrel besides making a huge, sweet beer that knocks you over the head with bourbon, the dry, smoky rye whiskey flavor is very subtle and interesting. I'm a big fan of this one.

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Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown and nearly black in color, this beer pours placidly into a large mug, creating a finger of tan foam on the surface. It lasts for a good 5-10 minutes, leaving spotty lace around and a lasting skim also. It eventually parts, but a swirl slowly rekindles it.

Rich and woody barrel aroma, sweet notes of whiskey and maple, a light fruitiness and wisps of smoldering wood smoke. Vanilla, pipe tobacco, oatmeal raisin cookie.

Smoke and dried fruit sweetness upfront, dry woody oak traces in the finish, toasted barrel staves. It has a definite complexity due to the barrel blend, melding nicely with the mild smoke and roast from the base porter. Lingering traces of whiskey and wood minus the alcohol heat. Body is fairly light, and lightly carbonated. The flavors are bigger than it's body, but that's just fine. An interesting beer, and well balanced with unique flavors from the expressive barrel character.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, with red waxed cap, into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a nice black with a 2 finger beige head. Small lacing bubbles cling to the class but reside quickly.

S- smoke definitely dominates the aroma of this beer. Has some sweet chocolate and maybe a faint whiff of whiskey.

T- smoke right off the bat, with roasted malts and some chocolate. The barrel characteristics are almost void from the taste. Slight whiskey maybe that's about it.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slightly thin with some effervescence.

O- nice smoked beer, but was expecting a lot more from this beer. The barrel aging almost seems like a wasted effort. We will have to see how the non-barrel aged version compares before I can make a final decision.

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Photo of Listers
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost as black as can be with good head considering it is barrel aged. Smells of sweet toasted barley, oak barrel, smoke with none of the smells over powering the other; great balance in the nose. Taste is a little sweet up front with some vanilla. The smoke and roasted malt make up the body of the taste and the smoke lingers to the finish. The carbonation is more than what is expected from a BA beer. This beer is pretty easy to drink, compared to beers of a similar style.

Pipeworks is great at actually crafting beers with this being no exception. The whole smell and taste of this beer reminded me of BBQ food. Mostly because of the sweetness mixed with smoke. The barreling doesnt seem to be too obvious or prevalent in the beer but im sure it adds something great. I need to try the non-barreled version to compare.

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Barrel Aged Smoked Porter (20%) from Pipeworks Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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