Heavy Seas - Smoke On The Water
Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas - Smoke On The WaterHeavy Seas - Smoke On The Water
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Smoked Beer
3.71 | pDev: 10.78%
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Heavy Seas - Smoke On The WaterHeavy Seas - Smoke On The Water
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 143 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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AgentMunky from New York

3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared glass at Rapture. From notes. Reviewed 14 September 2011.

A: Thick, creamy head. Black-dark and nearly opaque. Dark for a porter. Great lacing.

S: Neutral. A trace of berries? Little to no smoke or roastiness.

T: Much sweeter than expected and less bitter than many porters. Vanilla/cream slinks though the maintaste. Only on the aftertaste does the roasted (hardly smoky) bitterness emerge.

M: Smooth, moderately substantial, and sometimes carbonated. Good.

O: Underwhelming and misnamed. Easily the least impressive of the Mutiny Fleet I've encountered (and the only one on-tap).

Dec 05, 2013
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FosterJM from California

3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1718th Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop Snifter

Shared at Brians Bday

App- Like a bit of oil in the glass with some chocolate syrup as well. A medium dense brown/black inky color. A little bit of lighter edges and then produced no head on it. A few bubbles around the edges.

Smell- When this first poured out, I got a bit of the smoked malts, a little dryness and some chocoalte. It was a bit better than most smoked beers but still what I was thinking. A bit whispy and clean.

Taste- I actually enjoyed this beer quite a bit. It was a nice porter to start, deep chocolate and roasted malts and then balanced out by a smoother smoke flavor and not overbearing. Smooth and creamy as well, with a bit of creamy lushness.

Mouth- A solid medium body with a bit of that residual porter thinness to it. A medium carbonation. A small amount of smoke remains on the finish.

Drink- I liked it. Def. above average but just need a bit more complexity to me.

Feb 08, 2013
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rajendra82 from Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body was dark brown and opaque like almost every other porter around, but this one had a pretty big tan colored head too. The smell was sweet chocolate, hints of coffee, and very mild smoke. The taste was fantastically smooth, with lots of vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and a smoky finish. The mouthfeel was velvet like, and soothing to the maximum. Very impressive offering from a brewery that usually does not entice me enough.

Jun 30, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Turns a Roosterfish pint glass black with a puffy, dense, creamy coffee head that slowly recedes from an inch and a half, leaving a webbed coating behind.

The aroma is prominently mixed with malted milk balls, milk chocolate and coffee. There is a light, roasted malt as well.

The flavors follow the nose, although quite sweet. The roasted malt lingers long into the finish. Unfortunately, I perceived no smoke or wood notes at all.

This one is full, almost dense, with a syrupy body and gentle carbonation. Alcohol is as expected.

Tasty and enjoyable, but lacking complexity and rather off style.

Feb 19, 2012
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dtivp from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black with ruby highlights, a one finger dark mocha head that fades slowly into a thin cap, very little lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and a very slight hint of smoke.

Taste of dark roasted malt, chard wood smoke, and a bitter dark coffee ending.

Mouth Feel was medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth with a slight bitter after taste.

Overall a good drinking beer, however, it was lacking the smoke for a smoked beer. Would go well with a little "Deep Purple" playing in the background.

Jan 30, 2012
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think I picked this up in North Carolina, These guys need to impress me, the last few heavy seas have left me wanting...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3+ fingers of brown head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Faint chocolate, not much smoke

T: Chocolate, leafy & woody hops, a touch of pine too, then some oaky smokeyness up front. Dark fruit, some oaky smoke notes, baker's chocolate as well once warm, faint booze warmth as well. Finishes dry, sweet, with oaky smoke & bit of pine

MF: Creamy carbonation, medium body, great balance

A fairly subtle smoked beer that grew on me. Not one I would seek out though...

Jan 15, 2012
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WMEugene from Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours black (one of the blackest beers I've seen) with a real thick khaki head, good lacing.

S - Smell of roasted chocolate, smoked malts, and hints of pepper and other spices.

T - Big chocolate malt flavors with big roast and smoke flavors. A little creamy as well. It's a little sweet as well. For all the things going on - it tastes good, but isn't the most balanced beer out there.

M - Thin on the mouth, ok carbonation. It is smooth and relatively drinkable. It does have sort of a slick, oily finish.

O - Smoke on the Water is an interesting beer, it is quite different from the other smoked porter I've had (Stone's) and is worth a taste for the curious. The smoke is present, but definitely not to the level one would think from the name and packaging. An enjoyable brew nonetheless!

Dec 11, 2011
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jjboesen from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This tasting is based on a snifter enjoyed at RFD in Washington DC - it was a Happy Hour Special - to be honest.

It boasts a body as black as the night. This body is crowned by a flimsy head of translucent foam; there is no lacing on the glassrim. Before you is a snifter of tar (not really, but let's make it visual, shall we?)

The nose emits an intense cocoa powder with subtle specks of pepper. As for the palate: well, first there is the molasses facade mortared with bricks of brown sugar, both of which end in a swift kick of syrupy malt that camoflogues a sharp snap of hoppiness. Despite all of these goings on, there is really nothing that suggests smoke. Not there, where is it?

Still, this is a nice little quaffer from Hugh of Halethorpe. Generally tasty, but lacking any complexity whatsover. And, really?, what's wrong with that. If you see it on the shelf ot the tap, check it ut for thine own self. Smoke onthe Water. The fire in the sky.

Dec 04, 2011
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Beer pours a rich cola brown color with minimal fizzy beige head that fades to nothing fairly quickly after the pour.
Aroma is sweet chocolate and some brown sugar mixing with a littel roasted malt, am I missing the smoke? I just dont find it anywhere :(
First sip slightly thicker than average body with silky texture and very gentle carbonation.
Flavor is sweet choclate and molasses then rolls to roasted malt and finally a little bit of campfire ash. Very little mind you. As a smoked porter this fails, but as a robust porter, I like it. Dont expect smoke but it is a solid malty big porter that isnt boozy but seems big on each sip.

Dec 03, 2011
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homebrew311 from Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into oversized snifter.

A: pours a opaque black, 1 finger of dark brown head initially, this reduces to a thin film quickly. No lacing.

S: rauch malt shows up in the front, smokey campfire quality this sits atop roasted barley, some sweet molasses in there as well

T: the taste is intensely roasted, the smoked malt gets muddle a bit by chocolate and coffee, some bitterness on the end. Things are a little lacking in the balance department.

MF: medium body, high carbonation

O: this brew is tasty, but kind of uninspired. The smoke doesn't really take center stage, much more of a subtlety than its namesake infers.

Nov 23, 2011
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CampusCrew from Florida

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: deep dark color with tan head retention

smell: chocolate, tad smoke

taste: more of a chocolate flavored beer than smoke. sublte smoke, heavy chocolate

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: good beer, just not a smokey as the title of the beer.

Nov 14, 2011
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DaveBlack from Virginia

3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Extraordinarily thick, totally opaque and black as midnight. The Head is small, brown, with a really long retention and a lot of lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S: Pretty disappointing aroma, mostly because there basically isn't one. Some darkly roasted malts, but I have to search to even find that.

T: The taste makes up for the nearly nonexistent smell. Big, sweet chocolate malts up front, which fade into a gentle oaky/smoky flavor. Fairly sweet, but not cloyingly so.

M: Thick, very heavy body and not much carbonation.

O: Pretty good beer. Not incredibly interesting or complex, but fairly solid. A little too sweet for my taste, but still good.

Nov 12, 2011
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Citadel82 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the little Market near the Gaylord National Harbor as well. A great find. I tend to like smokey aromas and tastes. This one is nice and not overwhelming in the smoke area and is aoverall a tasty balanced porter.

Pours an opaque black with a creamy tan head that left some nice lacing in my recently rinsed and dried glass. No way to get this glass truly clean as I would have like at the hotel but the fact that some lacing is sticking points to a measure of success.
Smell is slightly smokey, some coffee notes, some sour yeasty porter notes a nice clean balanced smell overall.

Taste is a complex mix of espresso, anise, some and some slight fruity sweetness with a long arid finish. Wow! Dry somehow seems inadequate arid is the only word that comes to mind. Like someone took a towel to mouth and dried it out...

Mouthfeel is substantial. At first oilly with tingly carbonation and a quickly drying finish that leaves a film on the tongue that lingers for quite sometime...

Overall a tasty warming porter. I think the smoke is an asset and not at all overwhelming.

Nov 06, 2011
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KAP1356 from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split with a buddy watching some hockey last night. Poured into a Hoppin' Frog pint glass...

A - Pours a pretty pitch black color that has an occasional brown hint when held to the light. A brownish head formas about 1 finger thick and retains nicely.

S - A nice smokey, leathery aroma right out front. Some slight roasted malt and chocolate aroma comes out, but burnt wood chips really take the stage in the aroma.

T - Smoke seems to be the name of the game here. All that really stands out is a rich, grilled BBQ flavor. Some roasted malt comesa through, but is really overshadowed by the smoked flavors.

M - Thinner feel than I was expecting. Light to medium bodied beer (on the border of medium) with a smooth carbonation.

O - Not bad. Not the best smoked porter I've ever had, but certainly not the worst. Delivers what it says it will.

Nov 06, 2011
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engagechad from Virginia

3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Station 2 in Richmond VA - pint

looks amazing, very dark with dark head, very generous foam. Smells nice a smokey like a barbeque. Taste is okay however the booze knocked my socks off in a bad way.. very solventy. Counldn't finish the beer.

Nov 04, 2011
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured on tap at Alewife in Baltimore into a mug.

A simple dark black/brown body in appearance poured and presented with perhaps a one finger head that is a light cocoa brown in color.

Nose is just a mild smoke, some small roast, but a big strange sweet smell of grape juice. What the heck is this? This is real odd.

Unfortunatly that grape smell was no lie. The palate is just filled and rolling with Welch's style sweet grape juice all over. I can litteraly taste barely anything else on this at all. Texture and feel is perfectly fine and decent, surprisingly not syrupy with all the sweetness present.

Overall this is far too sweet, far too strange tasting (sweet grape juice and smoke just don't mix), and not what I look for in this style at all. It's drinkable but also kind of gross, I won't be having this again.

Nov 02, 2011
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JayS2629 from Alabama

3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown/almost black with a thin white head that fades fast and left ok lacing.j

The aroma was of chocolate and smoke with woody elements and earty hops. Nice roasted edges with coffee hints and campfire.

The taste follows the nose. Nice, semi-sweet chocolate with roasted hints are accented with a faint smokey, woody, bitter finish that lingers.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated,

Overall, nice balance. Easy to drink. I enjoyed.

Oct 31, 2011
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Crossmd from Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at Jack Brown's Harrisonburg, VA probably 48 degrees Fahrenheit into a shaker pint.

Came an opaque black, dark brown reflections with a thin light brown cap. Thick, sticky lacing left on the inside rim of the glass.

Smelled of little more than a light tobacco smoke and some roasted malt. Not well projected.

Taste is a richly bitter, even slightly astringent chocolate drying down into a hint of smoke. Slick, oily mouthfeel dries down inside of a relatively effervescent carbonation that was a little bit more than expected.

Overall, I thought it okay, glad I visited it. Probably not really outstanding enough to have me coming back, but a solid offering nonetheless.


Oct 30, 2011
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Hopfenpeter from Maryland

4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a brown bubbly head building about one finger high. It dissipates fast and leaves good lacing.
Smell is not very dominant. Little malt and little smokey flavors.
The taste is that of a typical porter. Chocolate, coffee and malty flavors up front. In the middle a nicely measured smokey flavor gives the character to the beer. The end is a mellow combination of smoke bitter and sweet.
A nice medium bodied porter, very drinkable and definitely a must try for the beer advocate.

Oct 30, 2011
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gestyr from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a goblet.

A: Pours an opaque black with a minimal head that goes away fast

S: Rich. Chocolate, coffee, malt... and smoke. Nice blend of aromas

T: Malt, coffee, chocolate... all good porter flavors... then the smoke hits you. Very nice balance.

M: Medium bodied with a good level of carbonation for the style

O: A very likeable beer. I could see myself sipping this on a cold winter evening while sitting in front of the fire.

Oct 26, 2011
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Gosox8787 from New Hampshire

3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bomber bottle that I purchased about a year ago. Based on the smokey character of the beer and circumstance, I let this one sit for a while. I'm curious to see how this has held up.

Appearance: Ample carbonation and head on the initial pour. Almost black in color with a light brown head.

Aroma: Bittersweet chocolate, smoke, and some freshly ground coffee. Nicely balanced.

Taste: Big chocolate and smoke notes. Actually some nice sweetness throughout. Coffee beans are there as well. Not bad at all. Really nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Thinner mouthfeel, but there is some nice, smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice smoked porter that is a really solid portrayal of the style. I think the age of the beer actually was added to this rather than subtracted. Nothing outstanding but very solid.

Oct 23, 2011
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russwbeck from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Fall NoVA Brewfest.

Black pour with a nice brown head. Retention isn't great. Smoky smell, light chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is really smokey. Like the smell, there are hints of chocolate. Balanced taste, but a bit light and thin. Medium bodied. Carbonated well. Dry aftertaste and no hint of alcohol. Very tasty, very drinkable. Not a big taste, but it's put together very well.

Oct 22, 2011
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Chaney from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must have passed this one in the store about 100 times last season and never took the plunge... until now!

Poured into a pint glass, because... I'm a badass.

A: Pitch black.... like any smoked dark brew should be! The head was fairly dark and pepper, thick, and certainly glass coating.

S: It's not too potent, but what is there certainly lives up to its name. Smoked BBQ ribs with wood chips mixed in. Maybe a bit of cocoa, but the burnt charcoal is the main star here.

T: I dig it. Fairly one dimensional, but in terms of the smoke flavor, there is nothing fake about this. Authentic bitter burnt cinder block and then some. I didn't get much fruit, chocolate, or anything like that.

M: Fairly thick and gooey, with low carbonation that suited this beer just fine. The lacing was splotchy.

O: If you don't like smokey beers, please look elsewhere. As for me, I grill fish on cedar planks several times a month, maybe more, and I plan on getting a couple of bottles of this for those outings.

Oct 12, 2011
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BeerLover99 from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep black body, trace head, no lacing

S: big cocoa nibs, roasted malt, liquid smoke

T: sweet dark chocolate, roasted nuts, smoky alcohol finish

M: med body, creamy/smooth mouth

O: My 1st Heavy Seas offering. Not bad,
it has potential. Needs a little more body, but
nice aroma and flavors.

Oct 07, 2011
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ElizabethCraig from Indiana

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this with my husband on 10/5/2011.

I'm going to review this as a Porter. Because.. well, you'll see.

A very dark opaque brown with slight tan head, with a chocolate toasty malt scent. I was surprised that it had a coffee slightly sweet scent, I got no smoke off the scent whatsoever.

I was equal parts happy and disappointed by the taste as far as how this beer is described.

*I* got coffee and chocolate notes, to a very very slight smoke flavor, to a dark rich chocolate. Very slight smoked chocolate on the palate as the flavor faded. Actually fairly sweet, and the rich body didn't hurt either ;)

I love this beer as a porter - and I think it's an excellent example of what a 8% Porter can and should be.

I did not like this beer as a smoked beer. I'm sorry, I just didn't get much smoke from it at all. But I made appreciative "I really DO LOVE PORTER!" noises as I drank the rest of my share =)

Oct 06, 2011
Heavy Seas - Smoke On The Water from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 143 ratings