Scruffy's Smoked Alt | Cedar Creek Brewery

BA SCORE
84
good
88 Ratings
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Scruffy's Smoked AltScruffy's Smoked Alt
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cedar Creek Brewery
Texas, United States
cedarcreekbrewery.com

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our goal is to have a very drinkable beer with a nice smoked quality that will pair well with food and be something a little different. We blend a good amount of German Rauch malt, that is smoked with beachwood, with a US two-row malt, Crystal 40, Crystal 120 and a bit of Pale Chocolate Malt. We use enough US Magnum & Willamette hops to balance the malty sweetness of the German Alt yeast used to ferment the beer. That leaves moderately smokey notes that comes through mostly in the flavor that is balanced with the slight fruity flavor that the Alt yeast will give you. A very session-able smoked ale with enough bitterness to balance the other flavors.

Added by Mora2000 on 10-13-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
88
Reviews:
19
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
17.07%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of Nick4202
1.24/5  rDev -66.9%

Photo of DrAnnaNemis
1.42/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Photo of ChrisBanks
1.98/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

If you like the taste of smoke, this beer is for you.

53 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
2/5  rDev -46.7%

Photo of Cjalbers
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of TX-Badger
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Michaeldmanley
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Can_has_beer
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Lance87
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of kojevergas
3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A smoked alt? Intriguing. Curious to see if this delivers. 16 fl oz silver aluminum can acquired at an HEB Grocery and served into a Spaten stange at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; the idea of a smoked altbier is appealing. IBU: 35. OG: 12.5 plato. SRM: 13. Reviewed as a smoked alt due to the name and label; I don't subscribe to the "smoked beer" classification currently ascribed by beeradvocate.

Served cold - straight from me fridge.

A: No bubble show forms.

Pours a 5 finger wide head of faint khaki colour. Okay thickness. Subpar cream. Uneven lacing clings to the glass' sides as it recedes; this has "legs." Head retention is good - ~ 5 minutes - though this may be explained by its overcarbonation.

Body colour is a clear somewhat dark copper. Transparent and translucent. Average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's within style conventions but far from unique or special. No obvious flaws. Darker than most altbiere I've seen.

Sm: Has a guiding, subtle beech smoke character that I'm really digging. Not overwhelmingly smokey, but not noncommittally so either. Lovely caramalt and beechwood notes. I do pick up some chocolate malt when I look for it. Amber/alt malts with a vague fruitiness - plum and dates. Cleanly fermented; I'd attribute that to the alt yeast. Hopping is minimal in presence and vaguely fruity in character.

No overt yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

An intriguing aroma of average strength.

The smokiness seems ideal for what they're going for and is definitely a highlight.

T: Smokiness is nuanced and well integrated, not overbearing or overwhelming; this isn't just a gimmick beer, it does hybridize smoked malt with the altbier style pretty well. The body is comprised of clean barley, German altbier malts, a dash of caramalt, and a hint of chocolate malt. Lightly nutty. The malty build overall is darker than you'd expect for an altbier. Lightly toasty and bready. Smokiness is present throughout, guiding the flavour profile and lending it a natural cohesion. The smokiness isn't meaty or pork-redolent like most rauchbiere; there're no bacon notes. It does evoke beechwood.

Too bitter, but I applaud the experimentation and consider this a minor success at hybridizing the two styles involved. It's decently balanced and has interesting complexity. Not the most subtle alt out there, but considering they used smoked malts it's pretty impressive. Above average intensity and slightly above average depth of flavour for the style. Average flavour duration.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.

It could really use some work in terms of the nut flavours; I want far more complexity.

Mf: Unrefreshing. A bit overcarbonated. Has an unnatural smoothness. Okay body and thickness. Wet. Suits the flavour profile well for the most part. Has an interesting presence on the palate for an alt.

Not oily, astringent, wet, gushed, hot, boozy, buttery, or harsh.

Dr: Certainly drinkable; I'll enjoy finishing this can. I always applaud experimentation, and while I do prefer traditional versions of the style, I was surprised how much I liked this. I'll have my eye on Cedar Creek in the future, and while I wouldn't recommend this to friends, I do think it's worth trying, if only because it's almost a unique beer. I dig the premise and expect to see more smoked altbiere going forward. It's easily an above average beer. Might be a good beer for newcomers to rauchbiere if they're trying to ease their way towards traditional examples of the style.

C+

*
01.31.15: Truncated 2nd impressions:

A: Healthy head takes up 80% of the glass. The colour is a conventional alt amber-copper, and has some appealing deep hues. Great retention.

Sm: Amber malt backbone is showcased well, but the smokiness is surprisingly restrained. Copper malts, light soapy hop notes, pine, biscuit malt, baked bread, and odd notes of cheese/cheese fermentables.

I like the subtle smokiness and concomitant spiciness (which almost evokes rye), but it doesn't seem like much of an altbier and this aroma doesn't suggest a clean drinkable crisp fresh beer. Suggests a dry brew via crackery malt/starchy saison-like notes.

T/Mf: Breadier than an alt should be, sans the crisp clean presentation it needs. A dragging scratchy feel on the palate coupled with a starchy taste and harsh smokiness makes it difficult to drink; each sip extinguishes the palate. It's not imbalanced, though, and I dig the toasty amber malt backbone. The premise of a smoked alt is a good one but the execution isn't there. Needs a deeper taste and more refreshing feel.

O: Not as drinkable as an alt should be, and by no means traditional, but nevertheless above average. It's nice to see more alts in the U.S., but I'll stick to traditional offerings. This does have nice toasted characteristics and employs smoke in any interesting way, but it's by no means a world-class example of the style.

C+

 4,998 characters

Photo of Wayne17
3.16/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Westyn
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Matt141
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of archero
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of Atlas1
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Honestly, I bought this four-pack solely because it was a style I'd never heard of before. Not many smoked alts on the market.

Poured into a large glass mug, Scruffy's is a nice copper color with a big two-finger head on top. NIce looking, but nothing special here. No lace to mention. The nose on this beer is huge, which is why I gave it high marks. I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Big and smoky, it's sort of like walking into a smokehouse or a barbeque pit. Very woody. There may be some other scents hidden in there as well, but they seem to be overpowered by the smoke. Taste follows suit, with lots of smokiness here too. Some hint of chocolate, dark cherry (unusual for an alt). It's fruitier than most alts I've had. Mouthfeel is crisp and thin.

This is an interesting beer. Rauchbier in style, but the alt partnership is a weird one. It's definitely more rauhbier than alt. I'm glad I've tried it, but unless I'm really in need of a smoky beer in the future, I can't see myself revisiting this too much very often. Not a bad fall/winter beer, though.

 1,079 characters

Photo of ritwingr
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Just a little bit thin. Pours an opaque, but fairly dark Brian with a nice head that leaves modest lacing. Smell is nice....just the right hint of smokiness and Carmel.

Falls a bit flat on taste fir me though. I expected something a little beefier and while the right notes were there, it was thin on feel and the promise of the nice aroma wasn't really fulfilled. Not horrible. Just a little thin and fizzy.

 415 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can poured into oversized tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark cloudy amber with a massive off white head. The head is coarse with lots of air pockets and recedes somewhat quickly. Very minimal lacing left behind.

S - Campfire aroma with lots of smoked beechwood. I get a little sweet malt along with this but not much else.

T - The taste is much the same as the aroma. Loads of smoked beechwood, semi-sweet malts, and a moderate bitterness. Slightly nutty but the smoke overpowers most flavors. Very reminiscent of a rauchbier.

M - Somewhat thin body with moderate carbonation. Nothing special, but nothing offputting.

O - I wasn't sure what to expect from a smoked alt, but this is decently good. It's pretty much a rauchbier with almost overpowering campfire smoke from the beechwood. More balance and a thicker mouthfeel would have made this a lot better.

 863 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Untapped Festival.

The beer pours an amber-brown color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of smoke in it, as well as a hint of toffee. The flavor is more of the same. The meaty smoke really comes through strongly, with some toffee and caramel, as well as some earth from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 342 characters

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of deac83
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of obrike
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

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Scruffy's Smoked Alt from Cedar Creek Brewery
3.75 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
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