Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series)
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series)Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series)
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,034
Ranked #36,459
3.68 | pDev: 11.68%
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States
Very Good
Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series)Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series)
Notes: Smaug Stout is styled after a classic Russian Imperial Stout, but with a subtle hint of Habanero chilis to remind you of the fire and danger awaiting you in your journey to The Lonely Mountain. Pronounced notes of Coffee and Chocolate balanced with Northwest Hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout, a worthy reward for your hard-fought journey.
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep brown with a reticent cocoa colored head that quickly retreats to a delicate ring. Very feeble lacing.
Smell is very much in the traditional Russian Imperial Stout vain. Malt is sweet but mostly roasted, peaty, with hints of leather and rich earth. No cloying sweetness here. Ever so faint hint at a spiciness.
Taste is not following the smell. The malt comes through tepid, frail. I'm really not getting any "chile" except for a slightly spicy, green, vegetal note. Not much more to say here.
Mouthfeel is rather thin. No play of carbonation to mention.
Overall, I'm somewhat disappointed. If it had a little more traditional flavor and mouthfeel I think this could be redeemed.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2014 Edition.

Bought at Total Wine & More in February 2015.

The beer pours black with a two finger high brown head that sinks down pretty fast with a fizzing noice.

Nose: Roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and dark fruit.
Taste: A lot of roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee grain. Here is also a distinct taste of habanero pepper. A bit of sweetness in the taste.
Mouth: Full body. Medium to light carbonation. Very dry ending with a nice bitterness.
The alcohol is in the background but is hidden well by the heavy roasted malt and the Habanero Chili.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black pour with small tan foam.

Smells of roasted malt, dark chocolate, light malty sweetness.

Tastes very roasty and the dark chocolate shines as well. A bit of a sweet note going on too. The finish has some chili pepper heat, but it's on the mild side.

Creamy body and very drinkable.

Quite a treat this is.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This stout is as black as Mordor. Pours dark from bomber to pint glass foaming up from the depths of hades. Head disapates into a ring resembling the ear of Sauran with thinkness at its edges and a thin film at the center. Smells of toasted barley, burnt coffee, and dark chocolate with some peppery smolderings at the backend of the smell. Tastes is imperial, coco, coffee, and habernero so subtle but present. Finishes bitter, burnt, with a touch of heat, albeit faint. Not a bad showing for old Smaug, but I will say the he wasn't as impressive as his legend suggests. Pretty good, but not grand and minicing as I had hoped for.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This beefy American stout pours a deep black with brown
highlights with a moderate head of light tan foam that dissipates to a thick ring, thin pool, and
decent lacing. Nose of hops and charred malt with a touch of coffee. Flavors lightly exceed the
nose with coffee char on the front and middle, subtle chocolate hits on the middle but is overcome
by the char and bittering hops and finishing with a bitter malt and hops aftertaste. Warmth from chili
peppers comes more into the picture with warmth....a lot of warmth. It is there but must be warm
although it is hard to discern at times between this and hop bitterness since it is so muted.
Decent mouth feel, low carbonation. Overall a decent brew but lacks finesse. It is not as balanced as
it should be. My second brew from this brewery that I was excited to try from the journey to Columbus.
While it is a double stout it is too hoppy for the style and reminiscent of night of the living stout with a touch
of peppers and a bit more alcohol kick.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black as ink. Has a slight tan head that sticks around and leaves light but persistent lacing. Alcohol legs on the glass when you swirl it.

Smell is of dark fruit, hops and cold coffee.

Taste is a roast bomb. And Malts! A sweetness, probably from maltiness. I get mushy plums and hoppy bitter. The malt is burnt rather than roasted, not sure I like it. Gets oily as it goes along and there's no heat from the habanero peppers to speak of. A smoky finish befitting the dragon tie-in. Almost ashy in fact.

Feels like a RIS for sure, with roastiness and burnt maltiness the predominant notes. It seems to lack nuance. A little heavy and blunt. I wanted peppers. Shrug. As the drink warms (about 30 minutes; I'm sipping it slowly) the taste opens up to predominantly dark fruit and malts. More balanced once I've had a chance to let it breath.

But the smoke and burnt seems to be blunting the promise. And hiding what little pepper they may be in here.

This beer is going for bargain prices lately, possibly past its "best by" date.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging. The head peaks at a finger's width and is cocoa powder in color. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds.

Smell - Smokey, charred aroma hits first, then subtle notes of chocolate peek through.

Taste - Follows the nose a bit. Definitely a smokey flavor throughout, but several notes add to the overall profile; Semi-sweet chocolate, and a hint of roasted coffee. A ghostly trace of black cherry. Mild heat from the chili peppers come through near the finish. A bit of that heat, along with sweet smoke character lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with moderate carbonation. Decent smoothness with a slightly dry finish.

Overal - Still drinking strong at about 18 months of age. Reminds me a bit of Grand Teton Black Cauldron. Man, I miss that beer. I love me some smokey, chocolatey stouts. Picked this up at the dollar store of all places. I remember seeing these a year ago for $8 a pop. Well worth the investment. I bought 8 of them and may go back for more!

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Photo of mactrail
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Pretty bizarre stuff. After a few sips, it seems a little scary. Sharp fruity taste that dives into some heat. It just keeps getting hotter. Dark brown color with adequate foam in the chalice. Mouthfeel is nicely sudsy. Then there's the bitter edge. Some sugary business but it finishes dry. Overall, it's harsh and unlikable. From the 22 oz bottle purchased in Palm Springs.

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Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of burnt and roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of roasted malts with notes of spicy chili peppers and hints of coffee beans and licorice.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The chili peppers lend a bit of dryness to the mouthfeel.
O: This stout does a good job at incorporating the chili peppers as they are not overly hot or spicy.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Briken
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Black and a brown head with decent retention. Chocolate and roasted aroma with slight heat. Flavor follows the aroma with lingering chili pepper. Sticky bittering and bell pepper with a moderate body.

Whatever heat from the pepper there is quickly fades and all that's left is the pepper skin tannins. Otherwise it's an ok gimmick stout.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque deep amber in color, with a large, chunky and coarse tan head, which retains quite well. Belgian-style lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Deep aroma of charred malt, cold coffee, bitter cocoa, and a fairly sharp hop presence that seems like Cascade. The fairly high ABV of 8.5% does not manifest in the aroma.

Taste: Cold coffee, charred malt, bitter cocoa, and leafy, somewhat sharp harbal hops dominate the beginning of the taste. As the taste rolls on, the cold coffee and bitter cocoa dominate. A little smoke is present as well. As the taste progresses, the hop presence turns more medicinal than herbal, somewhat like herbal bitters. Smoke and char finish out the taste.

Mouth feel: Soft and full, very soft, and quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: While this is a "novelty" beer, it doesn't present like one. I am sure it would attract attention even without the Hobbit connection.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: black with a thick khaki head. good lacing and retetnion

S: roasted malts, dark bakers chocolate, slight coffee, malty sweetness

T: nice chocolate. coffee, nice roasted malt presence. slight peppery heat. delicious

M: creamy, good carbonation

O: awesome beer.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: bold, spicy, malty, complex, notes of tobacco, molasses, and dry roasted beans.
Dark brown and mostly opaque.
Big malty alcohol nose.
Tan ring lace head, full body.
65 IBUs

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Photo of scottfrie
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle into tulip. Thanks for the present Matt.

A: Pours near black with a thick and dense light coffee colored head that slowly faded into a thick collar.
S: Nose is full of roasted and peppery smelling chipotle chilies mixed with rich chocolate. Pretty straightforward.
T: Follows the nose. Tons of chocolate and rich base stout flavors with a light zest of roasted and peppery spice. Stout is pretty straightforward with lightly bitter dark chocolate. Chili is mild and not really spicy, more just a roasted slight bell pepper taste. Slight caramel and char in the aftertaste.
M: Thick body, heavy mouth, low splashy carbonation, mildly astringent.
O: Rich and flavorful but plain and straight forward. Could use more kick.

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Photo of aoampm
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This one looks and smells good but the taste and feel really are lacking here. Some chile spice and some roasted malt flavor with a very thin mouthfeel but has a surprisingly good looking head when poured. Overall not a very good beer but not the worst either.

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Photo of EMV
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep black. Thin tannish head that retains pretty nicely.

S: Chocolate and coffee, roasted malts on the nose.

T/F: This is a pretty tasty brew. Nice Imperial Stout so lots of coffee and chocolates to go along with the roasted malts. Mild warmth from the chilis and mild smokiness. Subtle and very nice... not overdoing it here, and it goes nicely with the alcoholic warmth at the finish. A little sticky, full bodied and pretty smoth..

O: I really liked this beer... easy to drink, and much better than I expected (thinking it was more of a novelty beer). I was afraid they'd go bonkers with the smoke and chilies but they really made a nicely balanced brew. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smoky and dry, bittersweet char right off the bat. The chili pepper factor is mild, and comes across mostly on the finish. Full-bodied, smooth with some tickle; little bit of sticky residue left behind. Expected chocolate and coffee notes. Solid if unexceptional - noteworthy as being one the Hobbit series beers.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz poured into Speigelau glass

A: pitch black nice off white head that disappeared

S: smell a lot of bitter hops roasted malts lots of bitterness maybe a touch of bitter chocolate

T: lots of bitterness some nice tastes of roasted malt but not much else

M: nice richness but a just mediumish feel

O: It's not bad it's just a hoppy stout reminiscent of Old Rasputin it won't win any awards but it's drinkable

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Photo of BeerSnobBrianPharmD
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gentle pour resulted in subtle tan head. Subtle lacing as well. A nice dark beer in appearance. Smells of sweet roasted malts. Hops discernable upon tasting. Chili peppers do not seem to play as large of a role as I have experienced in other beers with peppers. I did not experience any prominent chili flavor or capsaicin burn. I am not entirely surprised though with the high ABV, IBU, and roasted character there is a lot of competition for the palate to sort out. A very nice stout overall, though. Hides it's 8.5% ABV dangerously well. My first brew from Fishtale. Cheers!

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Photo of hosehead83
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a goblet glass. Dark brown/black in color with a moderate head of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint dark malt, chocolate note.
Taste-Milk chocolate, light roasted coffee, subtle chili spice. Faintly warming heat and subtle char in the finish. Expecting more smoke and heat from a stout named "Smaug" but not a bad brew, just a bit too mild mannered for the name.

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Photo of MylesMac
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of off white head and good lacing

Smell: Roasted notes, coffee, burnt wood, rasin, vanilla, spicy pepper and a hint of alcohol. Very nice.

Taste: Vanilla, coffee, hot peppers, cola

Mouthfeel: Velvety, nice warming sensation from peppers, medium-full body, low carbonation

Overall: Really good beer. I was skeptical because of the label and marketing but I was impressed. Aroma is very complex and interesting but for me there was some complexity missing on the taste. The peppers provide a nice warming sensation that I enjoyed. Would have this one again, good job guys!

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter; no bottle date, but is a recent release. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, light smoke/char, pepper, pine, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, pepper, and herbal/pine hop notes; with great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, light smoke/char, pepper, pine, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roasted bitterness and pepper spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, toast, light smoke/char, pepper, pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very minimal heat from the peppers on the finish. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/roasted malt, pepper, and herbal/pine hop flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice spiced imperial stout style. All around good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, pepper, and herbal/pine hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark black with a little red brown when held up to the light. There is a mocha colored two finger head, some of which lasts as a collar until the end. Medium to heavy lacing.

The smell is strong with hops and roasted malt. There is a little chocolate.

The taste mostly follows the nose with roasted and sweet malts with a little chocolate and coffee. The hops are present throughout and dominate on the back end. The feel is thick and chewy.

Overall, this is a decent Imperial Stout; it is better than what I expected for a stout based on a movie. :)

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Photo of RyanK252
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours dark dark brown, pretty much no light passes through, with a creamy rich brown head that settles and laces well.

S: Dark roasted malt, a touch of vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee.

T: Dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, dark coffee, some smoke, pepper warmth, a touch of booze on the back end, and a kinda burnt bitterness.

M: Full body, lower carbonation, slight warmth from the peppers.

O: Interesting idea, gets better as it warms, but the back end can be a little off putting.

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Photo of DeepBrew
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into snifter. Unlike the BA description, my bottle shows only 8.5 ABV. I tried checking what the brewery's website says about this, but I couldn't find there any information on the Hobbit Series beers.

A: Pours black with medium tan foam, medium retention, leaving behind nice spotty lacing .

S: Caramel, malt, roasted coffee with a hint of booze. The roast smell stays on as the beer warms.

T: Dark chocolate and strong roasted coffee, the bitterness overpowers the malt and it lingers with some pleasant heat from the peppers. If you like high IBU beers, this one may be for you. I did not detect any change in taste as the beer warmed.

M: Creamy, with medium carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

O: A fairly well executed Imperial Stout, the peppers adding an interesting twist. I missed some caramel in the taste to balance the bitter roasted malt.

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Smaug Stout (Hobbit Series) from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 123 ratings