Big Black Smoke | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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42 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Smoke Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 12-16-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by Pdiddey3d:
Photo of Pdiddey3d
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stopped into Coles for a late night dinner with the wife to find this Great Lakes pub exclusive on tap. This was clearly destiny.

A: Dark, very dark, pitch black with a sliver of head.

S: Nice smokey malts, almost a savory quality. Also pick up some sweetness like that of chocolate and some coffee. Good stuff here.

T: Very close to the aroma. Nice balance of smoke and chocolatey malts. The smoke does not take away from this beer like some smoked beers. Solid porter flavors with a great layer of smoke.

M: SUPER smooth. Very silky. Nice balance in the carbonation. A tad light for a porter but at 6% its very forgivable.

O: This was a great smoked beer. Very well balanced and super drinkable, I would go as far as to say I could drink 2 or 3 of these and not get sick of it. Another excellent brew from Great Lakes, but I expect nothing less from them. Highly Recommended.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Alldayson734
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of spark3148857
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Bierguy5
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap for Great Lakes night at Spinoza's. Very dark brown, approaching black. Shades of chestnut around the edges. Poured with little head, but I will chalk that up to a poor pour.

Roasty aroma, with hints of chocolate and coffee. Smoke is subtle, even as it warms. A few darker fruity notes pop out as well.

Well rounded roasty flavors. Milk chocolate, but not too much sweetness. Not as sharp as Ed Fitz. Smoke again, is subtle, but adds a nice layer as it warms.

On the lighter shade of medium body, carbonation is soft. Alcohol is very much hidden. A nice beer. Smoke is not as heavy as I thought it could be, but adds a nice layer.

 643 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of athouve1
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of gdhawley
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of ItsBeer4Me
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of neenerzig
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is currently available at the Great Lakes Brewery as a pub exclusive. This beer is a very dark brown, almost black color. Mine had a decent sized head about 1/3 of an inch thick that left some nice lacing. Nice, roasty aromas of coffee and chocolate here. Flavors of roasted coffee and chocolate are present along with some malt and a hint of caramel as well. Has a medium bodied, smooth and creamy mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in the manner that beer like this should be! Get some of this at the brewery before its gone.


 575 characters

Photo of samie85
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at The Bad Apple, 05/07, reviewed from notes.

A-Served in a Southern Tier tulip glass. It's oil slick black with a finger light brown head.

S-I'm getting chocolate and roasted malts with a present but not overdone smoke note. Very nice.

T-I'm hit with a mild smokey character at first then some chocolate and roasted malt notes, finishing dry and smokey.

M-It's crisply carbonated with a medium body. It has a sort of dry and powdery mouthfeel which I'm not crazy about. I like my porters a little smoother feeling.

D-A pretty nice porter, although that powdery mouthfeel was hard to ignore. It hurts the drinkability on this beer for me.

 659 characters

Photo of purdueracer
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was hands down the best beer I have ever had in my life. The smoke flavor is not too strong but strong enough to make it unique. It has a strong roast flavor along with the smoke which compliments it well.

I really hope that they bottle this at some point. Unfortunately it is seasonal on tap at the brewery.

 314 characters

Photo of tctruffin
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at GLBC restaurant in a pint glass that left no room for any foam. Big Black Smoke is very, very dark. It was a bit cold on first arriving at the table, but as it warmed, the porter released a very nice roast chocolate aroma with just a hint of smoke. The full-bodied liquid has a satin finish. Flavors, like the aroma, are a complex balance of roast, chocolate fudge, and just a hint of smoke. This is a smoked ale that doesn't beat you over the head with the smoke but rather incorporates it into the unity of flavors. Because of that, it's a good drinker.

It matched amazingly well with GLBC's bread pudding!

 620 characters

Photo of hopdog
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler acquired in trade with goryshkewych (thanks!).

Poured a dark brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, a little earthy, light smoke, and nuts. Tastes of chocolate, lighter smoke, roast, and the same nuttiness. Smooth body. This one grew on me more and more as I drank it.

 310 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into some tall heavy Seas glass on 8/21/11

Thanks to nrbw23 by way of fiveo2270

Dark brown with mahogany highlights. One finger head; thin retention with good lace.

Smokey aroma to the max. Roasted coffee and bittersweet cocoa. Earthy. Tastes just as smokey. Moderately hoppy. Tangy roast. Coffee. Not much chocolate, though. Really nice blend between the base beer and smoke. Medium-full body. Carbonation keeps it moving.

This is a really good beer. An easy recommendation.

 494 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes : Big Black Smoke

Pours a midnight blackish brown with a small off white head. Aroma is smokey, with some chocolate malt notes. In the taste, very nice smoked flavor, subtle milk chocolate notes, like drinking a milkshake around a campfire. Definite char and roast notes, little hint of alcohol and big bacony smoke. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and quite smooth and creamy on the palate. Overall, this is a well crafted smoked beer, and aptly named since its big, black and smokey.

 501 characters

Photo of goblue3509
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mgbickel
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hopcat in Grand Rapids, MI. Reviewed from notes...

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown body allowing in some light around the edges. Creamy head that receded slowly, some trails of lace left behind.

Earthy aroma, peat, chocolate, campfire, coffee and honey all rolled into one.

The taste follows the nose...a little more subtle though. Nothing really jumps out at you...

Medium mouth feel, creamy with mild carbonation.

A very nice smoke beer...not quite on the level as Heritage, but worth a glass or three!

 526 characters

Photo of matthageman
2.25/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Inch tall light beige head on a brown body that is red around the edges. Cap and collar throughout, ridiculously great lacing.

Smoke, seemingly from a campfire. Woody.

Wood smoke. Leaves the mouth watering. May even guess a little higher than 6.2%abv just because this packs the flavor.

Smooth, medium carbonation. Low but adequate carbonation.

The tastig group and I really liked this Great Lakes offering. This smoke wasnt overpowering but definitely at the forefront. Recommended for any smoked beer/rauchbier fan. Thanks MaxSpang for picking this up for me!

 565 characters

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Arch578
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zip's in Cincinnati

Appearance: Arrives looking like the Fitz, with a dark liquid capped by a mocha head that leaves some drabs of lace

Smell: Charcoal, black bread and chocolate

Taste: Campfire smoke and black bread, up front, with a fruity/chocolate character developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruit and smoke predominate and linger in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another really well-balanced beer from Great Lakes; the smoke adds a campfire element but never dominates; the fruitiness is also a very nice touch

 584 characters

Photo of vinylrooster
3.75/5  rDev -9%

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Big Black Smoke from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 42 ratings