Sap Sucker | Fernie Brewing Co.

very good
18 Reviews
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Sap SuckerSap Sucker

Brewed by:
Fernie Brewing Co.
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Since it set off on its maiden voyage from the brewery back early December 2010 - perfect timing for December festivities and those thirsty needs that generally accompany the season of good will, it hasn't stopped. Our deliciously dark & robust Porter, with a delicate but flavourful touch of maple syrup. Favoured by the educated craft beer drinker, looking for a uniquely rich & flavourful product, it’s popular with consumers, beer bloggers & judges!

Added by BDTyre on 12-20-2010

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 46
Photo of Bunman3
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a gorgeous, great looking, delicious beer. The maple is a wonderful accent on the roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee notes. I don't drink this often, but when I do, I imagine myself to be a sap vampire. Or a songbird of some description.

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Photo of PowerR
1.45/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm sorry Fernie, but I must have gotten a rotten one.
That bottle I had drooled over as I pulled it from my stocking on Christmas morning left me weeping bitter tears of shock and disappointment.

It poured up beautifully, very dark with three fingers of creamy, long lingering head.

The smell was a bit weak, brown sugar and a slight ethereal off note.

The taste was unexpected. Once again I must have hit a bad bottle because the first faint hits of anything resembling mapley sweetness or even of a porter were quickly obliterated by a screaming wall of sourness.
"Do I spit or do I swallow? "
The question asked by thousands of college girls rolled around in my mind briefly before I involuntarily gulped it down. Can I get a "That's what she said?"

The lingering after taste was reminiscent of vomit long gone.

I will probably try again, just to see what it actually tastes like but I have to admit to being a little gun shy now.

Assuming that this really was a bad bottle, I wasn't even going to review it, but Fernie quality control should know, dammit!

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Photo of souvenirs
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Why don't we have more maple beers? Now, I'm sure I won't like this one as much as Whislter's Chai Maple Ale, but it looks pretty good. Super dark with an inch of cocoa-coloured head. Aroma of cocoa, and only a hint of maple. Damn, I was hoping for more.

More importantly, how does it taste? Sweet, kind of smokey, nice roasted flavours, cocoa, sweet coffee... but I'm barely picking up any maple. Still, it's an enjoyable porter. If I want a beer that tastes like maple, I guess I'll stick to Whistler. Too bad it's not available all the time.

Very smooth. Easy to drink.

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Photo of Olek4374
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Back to the good stuff after my trip to the United States. Maybe it's just the stores I visited, but the beer selection is really, really awful. I wanted to go for something very Canadian, and what's a more Canadian thing to put in your beer than maple syrup? There is none. (by the way, it's fucking hard to find maple syrup in the US, the Denny's I went to didn't even have any even for a fee. Pity.

Well, the beer pours a tremendous head. I wasn't even pouring down the middle and I ended up with 4 full fingers of light brown head. The beer itself is pitch black - a very typical pour for a porter, but damn this one was especially foamy. After I topped it up when the head settled, it looked like an ice cream float - no joke. It's really neat.

I'm not getting much maple smell from the beer, which is a big letdown because I was really expecting it. It smells of strong coffee, much like any other porter. If you take a REALLY deep inhale you pick up some maple, but it is very faint at best.

The taste is where this beer hits a home run. The first thing I get is the coffee taste - but it really isn't overpowering. I've had some porters that just tasted like coffee and nothing else, but this one goes a lot deeper. There's a little bit of tartness to it that is really pleasant on the tongue - as if somebody squeezed some lemon juice into it. Not expected, but very nice. I must say that for a maple porter (especially one that lists maple syrup as an ingredient), there is nearly no maple taste to be found. This is bad for a flavoured beer when it doesn't taste like what is says, but when you just look at this as a straight-up porter, it is very tasty.

The feel is great, it is smooth as water going down with a lot of nice texture on the tongue and a smooth carbonation that doesn't itch your throat.

I'm curious to sample the Cannery Brewing maple stout that my store also carries, and see how it stands up to this. As it stands though, this is a very tasty beer.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fernie Brewing's 'Sap Sucker' @ 5.5% , an American Porter served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $6

A-pour is dark brown with some ruby red highlights along the glass edge which holds a good sized off white/tan head leaving a spotty lace in the pint glass

S-smells of burnt/smoked maple syrup

T-sweet tasting burnt/smoked maple syrup

MF-medium carbonation , medium body , tad thin , super sweet on the palate

Ov-one & done

prost LampertLand

 451 characters

Photo of timtwoface
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the first maple flavoured beer I can ever recall trying, and I only tried it last night.

I was disappointed.

Oh, the beer is delicious - all the rich, dark flavours I love in a porter/stout are here. No qualms with me. What I didn't like was how I couldn't define the maple flavours that should be the most notable here. I could smell them, but I couldn't really taste any...and on that fact alone is why I dropped the "taste" category, because to me, it didn't match what was advertised.

That said, it's delicious for all the other reasons you love a porter, at least for me, so I would have it again. I just don't expect it to fill me if I'm lookin' for a maple fix.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured a clear dark reddish brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, milk chocolate, light maple, light carmel and a hint of vanilla. Palate was medium bodie and smooth. Flavors of roasted malt, maple, cocoa and light carmel with a smooth lingering maple finish.

 283 characters

Photo of papat444
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle.

Appearance: Pours a cola brown with some deep cherry-red hues. Good sized ecru head that has some good lacing on it.

Smell: Maple sugar, dark syrup as it warms but that's pretty much it. The aroma hovers around and is a bit hard to grasp.

Taste: Underlying maple syrup. At first, a slight metallic tinge. Not really sweet. It's got a bit more maple as it warms but still find it a bit lacking.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth & creamy with just enough carbonation. Body is full but loses a bit as it warms.

Overall: Maple is there but carries a slight bitterness as opposed to being sweet. I'm on the fence with this one. I love my maple syrup and to me, this one didn't quite measure up.

 815 characters

Photo of CrazyMike
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black appearance with a reddish tinge to it and thick brown head that slowly settles down. This reminds me of a root beer float. Excellent lacing. Smell is very sweet with a hint of roasted nuts and coffee.

Maple syrup is very evident in the taste, picked up brown sugar, coffee, caramel and roasted nuts. Very dark and flavorful taste overall. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter with a lingering syrupy taste.

Very tasty and sweet porter, maple syrup porter is as good as it sounds and has my list of favorite porters. Highly recommend.

 564 characters

Photo of Dawkfan
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pour is a deep dark brown with red tinges. 2 fingers of a khaki colored head that drops a respectable amount of lace.

S- Roasted malt, brown sugar and molasses. The maple syrup is faint, but comes out the more it warms. Also some espresso in the mix.

T- I'd like this to be a little more robust. Follows the nose pretty good, but with some milk chocolate as well. There's some bitterness but it's got a nice clean finish.

M- A little thin for the style, but seems fitting with the milder flavors. Carbonation is low-medium, it manages to remain smooth.

O- I enjoyed this one, I'm not huge on maple syrup but it really added a nice touch.

 644 characters

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

Laughing as I purchased this...what's next...Tim Horton's Coffee Beer...

Nice and Dark...light has it's work cut out here to penetrate the blackness..Nice rich tan head, gobs of lacing..

I get more mocha coffee than maple, but there is a slight overhanging sweetness to the aroma.

Mocha coffee defintitely leads the pack, some slight sourness followed by a rather large blast of maple sugar sweetneess. There's enough bitterness from hops to keep it interesting and one dimensional.

Decent body for a porter, carbonation is well done

A bit on the sweet side, But still the best effort grom this brewer by far.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into pint glass mar2 2011

A looks like cola and I can just see the shitload of bubbles in the glass, a nice big tan head even after a gentle pour sits there forever and leaves lots of unorganized lace no complaints here

S subtle maple, faint raisin and coffee, pretty nice here too maybe even a little coco

T everything I smell but with some molasses, a little sweet but well within my level of enjoyment

M thin for the color but plenty of bubbles give it some life

D very easy too drink and great for this cold ass night in Calgary, nice flavors in a brew I could session

by far the best brew I've tried from Fernie Brewing, pick one up if you get the chance

 688 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber, a souvenir from lovely Invermere, BC's cute little gov't booze dispensary.

This beer pours a clear, deep, dark cola hue, the kind where the brown seems to only refract from the black - there are also dimly glowing bronze edges. A two finger, thickly foamy and bubbly pale beige head gives way to an uneven patchwork of splotchy lace as it slowly fades to (near) black.

It smells of roasted biscuit and slightly meaty caramel malt, maple sugar candies, dry coffee beans, and earthy, musty hops. The taste is semi-sweet, crackery caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, a further cafe au lait sweetness, mildly sugary maple, some leafy, weedy hops, and a rather slight alcohol twinge.

The carbonation is quite soft, just a trilling frothiness, the body medium-full in weight, fairly smooth, and even a tad creamy. It finishes still sweet, but in a reserved, non-diabetes-provoking manner, an edge of dry sap, hop, and booze warmth all aiding in the successful balancing effort.

A pristine, first run of the day analogue of a beer, for the style. With the hops and lactic sourness at a minimum, which usually means a cloying yard sale, this beer rises above such matters, leaving one with a sense of serene, recently tapped natural splendour. A bit wanky? Sure. Ever more tasty - you bet your sore ass and legs, it is.

 1,332 characters

Photo of spree92
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, what a great beer. Thanks to LazyL and Tammy for this one. Poured a very dark brown that lightened up with a deep red around the edges. Big, lightly looking head had the color of a weak espresso. Lacing on the tulip glass the whole way to the end.
Roasted malts and molasses hit the nose. coffee/espresso finishes the aroma. There is also a real buttery, creaminess on the smell.
What depth of flavors. At first, you think this is a plain porter, malts, creamy, smooth, then wham, sweet Canadian maple syrup. This runs in the blood of all Canadians. As it warms in the glass, the maple is slowly replaced by a light coffee bean,still quite pleasant.
This is a great feeling beer. No bad tastes are left behind and I just want to keep drinking. A little dry but that is just a typical porter talking to me.
5.5%. Keep bringing these! I am not a stout/porter guy but anything with maple syrup is a bonus. Not my favorite beer, but easily my favorite porter. I might have to track some more down.

 1,000 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - near pitch black, two fingers of mocha head that retained at one finger with consistent sticky lacing
S - very roasty malt, light maple, coffee, and black licorice
T - strong roasty malt dominates, sweet maple, light coffee bitterness and a light hop note
M - smooth and medium bodied with a lightly bitter finish
D - the maple is well balanced by the rich malty flavour, a great winter treat

 396 characters

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

Cheers again to joemcgrath27 for hooking me up with this from his BC haul.

A - Pours almost opaque with a dark, dark ruby red hue, finger of soapy mocha head with decent retention and some fine sticky mocha lacing.

S - Dark cocoa, sweet maple syrop, burnt sugar, and touch of espresso on the finish. Very delicious on the nose.

T - Very tasty maple porter. Sweet maple syrop and burnt sugar with dark cocoa and milk chocolate that linger on the finish with a touch of espresso. The maple flavour is not as strong as Cannery's offering, but is still detectable. Nice chocolate and espresso malts on this one, keeping true to the porter style. A light leafy hops flavour also peaks through as it warms.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that goes down smooth, though finishes a little too dry with a bit of a chalky feel.

D - Overall a very tasty porter. Not quite as flavourful as Cannery's Maple Porter, but the porter flavours on this one are nicely complemented by a hint of maple. Worthy offering to any porter fan, and I'm glad I was able to try this one.

 1,057 characters

Photo of Derek
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's not that long ago that maple syrup expensive around here, but now they're making beer out of it!

A: Black with a light tan head, good retention, excellent lacing.

S: Dark roasted coffee, roasted nut, brown sugar, hints of maple syrup.

T: This is a good robust porter, with some maple flavour. Very well done, plenty of flavour, and it works... but I'm not sure it's for me. Roasted coffee; very dark, almost burnt caramel; roasted nut; treacle; woody; hint of maple; good bitterness.

M: Well-attenuated, moderately full body has a light acidity.

D: A decent drinker.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had several Fernie beers before but for whatever reason I've never reviewed them.

Dark brown-ruby appearance with a thin, creamy tan head. As with all maple-based beers I've had, there is a slightly sour presence to it despite the maple sweetness. The malts balances out the sournesss.

Good sweet maple taste. Malts, caramel and a hint of coffee. Slight;y sour aftertaste. I figure this is from the maple; though this is probably one of the better maple beers I've had in terms of flavour.

Decent mouthfeel, maybe a bit on the thin side. A nice, sweet dessert beer and one to be sipped.

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Sap Sucker from Fernie Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 46 ratings.
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