Smoke Screens & Oil Slicks
Other Half Brewing Company

Smoke Screens & Oil SlicksSmoke Screens & Oil Slicks
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #658
Ranked #2,772
4.21 | pDev: 5.7%
Other Half Brewing Company
New York, United States
Smoke Screens & Oil SlicksSmoke Screens & Oil Slicks
Notes: Smoke Screens and Oil Slicks is a full bodied imperial stout with rich chocolate/coffee character, dark fruit and some light smoke.
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of npolachek
npolachek from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with thick mouthfeel. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, and some smokiness from the wheat and barley. Overall full bodied stout and very drinkable but not as memorable as some other brews from Other Half.

Feb 24, 2019
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dleurf from New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very true to its name. Loads of coffee, chocolate, and smoke. Mouthfeel? Like drinking tasty motor oil. Very thick and it coats your mouth and lingers leaving behind those coffee, chocolate, and smoke notes that I mentioned.

Nov 18, 2018
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, huge beer. Super oily black color, minimal head. The beer just coats your tongue and sticks around like a fresh layer of enamel paint. I think my teeth are brown now. Tons of roasty and dark fruit notes, bit of chocolate. Alcohol is warming but not burning in the mouth or detectable to the taste buds. Not surprisingly it sits heavy in the stomach like a large meal. 16oz would be too much of this so I'm glad I shared the other half (get it?) with a friend on this chilly night. Would love to try the variants of this and I'm definitely saving a can to give it about a year of age and see where it goes. Current can has nearly 6 months already. Cheers!

Mar 08, 2018
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jakenap from New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

backlog from untappd on 21 Jan 17. nice smokey finish. if you like even more jesus or other similar smokey stouts, you'll love this beer. 2017 vintage wasn't as good as the 2016 but still a good smokey stout

Dec 18, 2017
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Greywulfken from New York

4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil-like pour and appearance, with a thick finger of dark brown foam that left a smattering of lace behind... Rich roasted dark malt aromas predominate, like burnt espresso with something like cocoa woven in... Taste follows in kind - dark and rich black roast, rounded with smoky char and bittersweet chocolate... Full-bodied and smooth, leaves a light coat on the tongue and dries nicely on the finish. 10/21/16 canning...

Jul 04, 2017
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.14/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes taken in February 2015:

Served on-draught into an 8oz glass @ Blind Tiger Ale House, New York, NY. Cost was $7.50 per 12 oz pours.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers worth of head. Gorgeous tan colour. Creamy, thick, full. and robust, yet soft looking. Great complexion. Has a nice smooth even consistency. Light even lacing.

Great (~8 minute) retention.

BODY: Opaque black. No yeast or sediment is visible within.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special but overall appearance is nice for the style.

AROMA: Boasts a delightful sweet dark malt and specialty chocolate malt backbone with hints of malted milk balls/whoppers and lactose sugar. Cream, cocoa nibs.

No overt yeast, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Roasted barley is absent (sorely so), leaving on the sweeter side. Nevertheless, it's absolutely appealing.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

TASTE: Whoppers/malted milk balls, lactose sugar, heavy dark and specialty chocolate malt sweetness, creaminess, and still more malty sweetness. Too sweet, lacking any balancing roasted barley bitterness or coffee bitterness to help keep all that sweetness in check.

It's simplistic, even rudimentary for an imperial stout - but I do like it for what it is.

Depth of flavour is average. Flavour intensity and duration are also average.

There's no subtlety here whatsoever. It's a barebones build for an imperial stout.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, creamy, full-bodied, of moderate thickness, slightly overcarbonated, and a bit syrupy though not egregiously so.

Suits the taste decently, but fails to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific notes effectively.

OVERALL: It's pretty middle-of-the-road for an imperial stout. Not unique or special by any means, but I do like it. That said, I wouldn't get it again (especially at NYC bar prices). You could do worse, but this'll deservedly get lost amongst the myriad of superior (and often more widely available) expressions of the style.


Jul 01, 2017
Photo of agreenman19
agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L - pours a dark molasses black-brown. Frothy chocolate head with active volcano craters.

S - immediate aroma is fudge brownies. Brown sugar and decadent German chocolate cake. Spices a la cinnamon and nutmeg. Milk chocolate and then a hint of bacon. Maybe some chlorinated pool water in there as well. Huh.

T - now that is sinfully rich. Dark roast coffee beans and dark, bitter chocolate. Earthy cacao and chocolate malted grain. Has a potent bitterness, but not in the usual RIS vein. It's not grassy and hoppy, but you can feel the bite on your tongue and down your throat. Might be some booze too. Lactose sweetness briefly peeks through the clouds, only to be smothered by robust chocolate and coffee. A touch of smoke near the finish. It's subtle, but contributes beautifully to the end product. So often smokey flavors are a gimmick and unbalanced, but this pairs well and even enhances the underlying flavors. Well done.

F - sticky and rich. Low low carb, sugary, and just a dessert in a glass. You know it's the good shit when you're a few sips in and can feel that thin, disgustingly sticky layer forming on your lips. I need a toothbrush.

O - outstanding stout. Loads of commanding flavors all somehow working together in harmony. The smoke complements the roast which complements the brown sugar which complements the dark chocolate which complements fudge cake which complements- oh hell, I'm done writing shit. Time to really sink my teeth into this!

May 20, 2017
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can shared by Dave. Thanks man.

Viscous, near black body with a small, oily, beige collar. Aromas of rich, roasted malts. Light smoke character with a hint of coffee. Additional chocolaty notes. Full bodied with soft carbonation. Tasty.

Feb 02, 2017
Photo of Billolick
Billolick from New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tall friend purchased by a friend at the source....10/21/16 on the bottom

Super dark, super thick, super flavorful, super worth seeking out

Smoke on the nose, smells like a burned out capmfire, as another reviewer mentioned.

I get more smoke, dark chocolate and expresso beans on the palate.

Densly flavorful, over the top delicious...oooowweey-goooweey and worth savoring every sip

Nov 21, 2016
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MikeyMcD86 from New York

4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bought a four pack from the brewery but waited a month before trying it. I love OH's IPA's so I'm excited to have a stout from them.

Look: This thing pours jet black and thick, like motor oil. Pitch black in the glass with a thick deep brown head.

Aroma: Chocolate and Coffee on the nose with a distinct clove aroma as well. A little dried red fruit is trying to poke through but it's very subtle.

Taste: Huge chocolate flavor here. But not sweet chocolate, think unsweetened Baker's chocolate. No licorice on the back end. Flavor is lacking a bit in complexity but I still love it.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel dominates this beer. It is thick like drinking motor oil. Easily the fullest mouthfeel I can recall having in any beer. Definitely a sipper.

Overall(style points): Loving this stout right now. It has that awesome unsweetened chocolate flavor that I consider a marker of great stouts. The only thing that holds this beer back for me is the mouthfeel. While I can respect the supreme creaminess, I think they took it too far into straight up motor oil territory. Otherwise there's not much I'd change, 96 points!

Nov 16, 2016
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up at the brewery when it was released and finally got around to it this week. I pretty much love anything that these guys put out and this was no exception to that, even though this beer was quite potent! Dark, smooth, and just short of being "motor oil", this beer only had the faint whiff of smoke as the aspects of an American Double / Imperial Stout came through quite nicely!

Loved the pour to this as the beer was quite dark, but certainly *not* black as the head was a pure chocolate brown and offset the liquid quite nicely. Lots of bitter chocolate, coffee, toffee, and booze in the nose with even more in the taste. The mouthfeel had cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and bitterness in it as this straddled the line of a Porter. A very faint smokiness came through in the back, making me think of a good Rauchbier as there were traces of smoked sausage and spicy meats that emerged as this warmed up. There was a nice slickness to this as the carbonation was light, but sharp, as the viscosity that remained was very oily and incredibly smooth.

No doubt that this beer's a beast but with the range of flavors and full body present here, it's not as bad as the label would have led me to believe. One of the few smoked beers that didn't have that flavor overpower everything else - easily worth seeking out for those that love both Stouts and Porters!

Nov 10, 2016
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jason for the can!

This one pours a very dark black, looks oily and deep and thick, with a small dark brown head, and a little bit of sticky lacing.

Smells like slightly ashy campfire smoke, heavy duty earthy roast, milk and dark chocolate, and slight coffee.

This is pretty incredible. The "smokescreen" aspect of the beer is nice, but not overdone. Other Half describes this as lightly smoked, and I'd agree. The smoke is warm, inviting, and importantly, not dominant. It melds well the intense roast character here, and the creamy chocolate character. This is a really, really good rendition of a big and burly Imperial Stout. There's a slight bit of coffee, and very little sweetness.

This is very thick bodied, oil slick is an apt name- this is like motor oil. There's a good level of carbonation. It's definitely quite thick, but not syrupy, keeping it surprisingly drinkable. There's no overt alcohol character- but you can feel it sneak up to your head near the end of the can.

This is pretty wonderful. Other Half is pretty good at basically all styles, as we can see here.

Nov 03, 2016
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frozyn from New York

4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a frothy mocha head on a fairly aggressive pour. Not much lacing to speak of.

Tons of roasted malt -- coffee, a little toffee, coffee notes, as well as a nice hint of peaty smoke.

Flavor follows along aroma, adding a very nice sweetness that balances the bitter chocolate/coffee notes. Not a lot of smoke flavor until it gets a little warmer.

Really good representation of the style - pretty chewy, full mouthfeel.

This is just a damn solid all-around beer. I may have to grab 2 4-packs instead of my usual single dose when they (hopefully) can it again later this winter.

Oct 31, 2016
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Meyers1023 from New York

4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can poured into a snifter. Pitch black with very little brown head that disappears quickly. Smell is smoke with dark chocolate and coffee. More chocolate comes to the front of the taste with dark fruits, some roasted coffee, and slightly smokey. The feel is thick and syrupy. This is a great smoked stout. The flavors all go well together and unlike like most I've tried the smoke does not overpower.

Oct 27, 2016
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Peterock27 from New York

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can labeled "spy hunter 10/21/16" into a snifter. Picked this up during today's can release so this is as fresh as it gets. Pours a thick black with one finger tan head that dissipates quickly. Smell is malty and smoky (smoke screen) with a definite alcohol presence. One sip and this is a big beer...very thick, syrupy mouthfeel (oil slicks). This one is a sipper...a beer to let warm up as you drink it to taste the complexity. Very nice smoky aftertaste to this one. Overall, well done...the name says it all!
I'd like to see how this does aged...will wait another few weeks till I try it again.

Oct 23, 2016
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cosmicevan from New York

4.64/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

and the ticks are flowing...chilling with my brother from some ugly motha, imonhiatus. had to tick. gorgeous pour and great heavy campfire stout. damn son. this beer is me. I am smokescreen and oil slicks. big roast stout w some smoke. all those fools who say I don't like smoke beer well you missing out this is a killer. LOVED it. one of my favorite stouts from other half. the smokiness makes the beer on this one.

Mar 17, 2016
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AgentMunky from New York

4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the brewery. From notes. Reviewed 29 January 2016.
Incredible creamy dark head. Black.
Smells like roasted malt. And milk chocolate. Really strongly.
You don't get imperial stouts like this any more. Stern, strong, and classic. Smoky-malty, lightly boozy, lots of cream and chocolate and viscous-slick.
Impeccable. Flawless. Regal.

Mar 12, 2016
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32 oz growler into a snifter.

The pour is pure, unrelentingly dark with a 1 finger tan head. Not much retention but some spotty lacing.

The aroma is smokey, charred hickory with some roasted coffee and dark chocolate on the back end.

The flavor is a bit like burnt leather soaked in espresso and lathered in bitter chocolate. Surprisingly, this is not a bad flavor. My only issue is the alcohol is very much present and adds a burning, sticky sweetness. The smokiness that dominated the aroma is far more subdued on the taste, which is also a bit disappointing.

The feel is a bit light for an imperial stout, but has a smooth creaminess with relatively low carbonation.

Overall, for a brewery made famous (at least by BA standards) for their hoppy beers, this is a solid imperial stout offering. Not much else to say. Hopefully OH tries perfecting more of these styles of beer.

Mar 03, 2016
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PicoPapa from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler from the brewery. Pours a pitch black color with a thin layer of light brown head. Some lacing. Nice smokey, roasty aroma with some bitter dark chocolate, espresso and a hint of molasses. The taste is smokey with lots of charred wood, bitter dark chocolate, and espresso. Earthy notes as well as some leather and molasses. More espresso towards the end with a smokey finish. Not nearly as boozey tasting as I expected. Velvety mouthfeel. Overall, pretty solid Imperial Stout with a lot of smoke flavor.

Feb 25, 2016
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untitledeuphoria from New York

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank 5.8.15. On tap at Fools Gold on Houston.

A: Tall, dark, and handsome. Hard to get an accurate color read in a dimly lit bar, but the body was pitch black and the head was a deep chocolaty brown. Similar in color to FIS, but with much finer, quicker to dissipate, foam.

S: Oak smoke, chocolate, and a sticky molasses tinge.

T: Bakers chocolate, black coffee, oak smoke, and somewhere, somehow, a slight spice kick. Not dark and luscious like most of its peers, a little bit on the rebellious side.

M: A bit of a let down given the name, I was expecting motor oil, but got what amounted to a robust porter. Medium body, medium carbonation... but given the smell and taste, it actually melt much lighter and viscous.

O: My first Other Half brew, and definitely not my last. For a style that doesn't appear to be their bread and butter, this was an incredibly enjoyable beer.

May 09, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A fantastic imperial stout with an upfront strong smokiness, then umami, bitter chocolate, thick cocoa, and coffee bitterness.

A full mouthfeel.

A good balance of chunky imperial stout with smoke quality.

Feb 17, 2015
Smoke Screens & Oil Slicks from Other Half Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 123 ratings