Great Lakes Big Black Smoke | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Liked This Beer
4.12 w/ 42 ratings

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

Style: American 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
Photo of matthageman
2.25/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of mothman
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"It's big and black"

Half finger of creamy tan head. A nice amount of lace. Color is black.

Aroma: A little bit of smoke. Hint of bacon. Malty and chocolatey. Roasted with coffee notes. Caramel.

Taste: Bacon and smoke all the way. Chocolate and roast. Malty. No hops.

Mouthfeel: Very smokey. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit dry.

Overall, a decent smoked beer. Boardline Rauch. Easy to drink, but I wouldn't want too much of this.

 464 characters

Photo of vinylrooster
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of drseamus
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black both virtually no head. It almost looks like it has an oily surface.

S: Fairly tight nose. Some smokiness, roast malt, and a hint of sweetness.

T: Peaty smokiness right up front. Some light roast and a touch of caramel behind. Everything is surprisingly smooth.

M: Slightly light for the style. Very smooth.

D: Peat is blended nicely and not overpowering. Good balance. Could use a bit more intensity perhaps.

 432 characters

Photo of Lepley
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at GLBC in a pint glass.

A: Deep blackish brown with little-to-no head, probably from how the server poured it. It left a little lacing.
S: Maybe because I was sitting outside, but I didn't notice much in this department. Light roastiness and coffee.
T: Malt, coffee, chocolate, roastiness, smokey.
M: Smooth, really smooth.
D: Really good, well-balanced porter. Went well on a cool spring afternoon.

 415 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 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 Lillie1128
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black with a small mocha head

S - I couldn't detect much, a little smokey with some chocolate

T - Smokiness throughout, ends with a strong coffee bite and some molasses

M - Very smooth

D - medium

I really enjoyed this beer. Smoked beers are usually hit or miss for me, but I thought this one was really well balanced and tasty. Thanks MikeytotheB!

 367 characters

Photo of cynical1027
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of spark3148857
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of athouve1
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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 Adamostella
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of AHeaston8
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of jrallen34
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap into a pint glass at the Map Room.

The beer pours a nice dark brown with medium tan head, good retention and lacing.

The aroma is nice but on the lighter side, a nice note of smoke and coffee.

The taste is very similar to the aroma, a nice little smokiness but not enough to get tired of distract.

A very nice drinkable porter.

 351 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - dark black with a dark brown head

S - smoky as hell, smoked meats and dark fruits

T - bacon and smoky. Some dark fruits, dark roasted malts. Some chocolate

M - smooth and pretty big. Real good feel

O - not usually a fan of smoky beers but this one is real good. Nicely balanced smoke with dark malt flavors. A big porter with lots of well- incorporated smoke

 376 characters

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 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 klewis
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at GLBC, 12/16/06

A: Pours nearly black with some dark brown highlights. Moderate lacing.

S: Small but plesant aromas of chocolate and coffee. Average for the style.

T: Soft flavors of burnt chocolate and coffee mixed with a subtle, smooth smoked flavor. Very nice.

M: Medium-light bodied with light carbonation and a super creamy texture.

D: This one may be better than the Fitz and a must-try if you enjoy porters. Go get some when it's available.

 472 characters

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.

 885 characters

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 nrbw23
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with a light brown colored head. Head has pretty good retention and left very little spotty lacing.

S- Smells of smoke nothing over powering. Chocolate and coffee malts, very nice. Couldn't really pick up any hops here.

T- The taste was very solid. A great Porter with just a bit of smoke popping through.

M- The only thing this beer really lacked was in body. I thought this one was a tad watery and too light in body. Carbonation seemed to be right on.

D- This beer is really easy to drink and very enjoyable. Again my only complaint is that it is a little too light in body, but its top quality for sure.

 638 characters

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Great Lakes Big Black Smoke from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95.2% out of 100 with 42 ratings
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