Heavy Seas - Smoke On The Water | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Smoke On The WaterHeavy Seas - Smoke On The Water

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by on 06-20-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 143
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.7/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rich aroma is smoky with strong tones of sweet chocolate, molasses and quality coffee and hints of licorice and caramel. It pours a warm deep brown with a fairly thick fine-bubbled tan head. Delightful, smoky flavor has tones of caramel, chocolate, toffee and molasses with a bit of coffee. Texture is silky smooth and on the thick side, and leaves a nice tingle.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured pretty much to the rim with very little room for a small layer of coca foam.

S - Roasted malts with a hint of dark chocolates and mild coffee.

T - Wow I really expected something heavier for 8 percent! No real smoke on the palate just roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolates. Not bad but not really a "smoke" beer

M - Medium bodied and kind of watery but it was good.

D - I may have to get the bomber or at least try it again during the Library's happy hour. A truly good porter to have for 3 dollars a pint!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the trusty Devil's Backbone willibecher.

I can hear those crunching opening chords now... This guy pours a pretty much opaque black-brown topped by a nice finger of light tan foam. The nose has some light smokey notes, but mostly it's roasted malts. Not much else in there, really, though some light chocolate and caramel dart hither and yon like frightened hummingbirds. The taste is similarly dominated by the roasted malts, backed-up by some brown sugar, molasses, cocoa, and caramel. A lovely kiss of peat smoke comes in near the middle, surrounding the other flavors, cradling them all the way home. Lovely. The body is a nice medium, with a relatively light carbonation and a sliky smooth feel. One of the best Heavy Seas brews yet, and a very tasty smoked porter overall. Get some!

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Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt. 6oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

The color is a complete black with no highlights and a finger of foamy brownish/tan head ans some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a bit woody with a bit of a bready flavor. There is a definite smoked malt flavor that is unyielding and seems to be the main anchor in the aroma. There is a sweetness coming out in between the smoke flavor that is spicy things up in the background.

The taste is sweet and through back a bit. The smoke flavor comes right out and pronounces itself and reminds me of cigar smoke a bit. There is a bit of a tobacco flavor with the sweet malt flavor. There is a bit of a salty flavor as well that leaves a bit of the same kind of flavor on my tongue.

The feel of this beer is big but not too large. It puts ideas of food pairing that would go well with this beer. A good, flavorful beer that has a easy drinking feel and goes down smooth.

This would go well with a good cheese burger. A burger with some swiss cheese and some onions paired with this would match well with the smoky flavor. Don't forget the bacon as well. This would also be great with steak, even better with a steak that was marinated with bourbon.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'Smoke on the Water' is written by Deep Purple, and the beer by Heavy Seas Brewing is more like 'deep brown', if not black. The streaks of colour along its top and bottom edges give away that it's not entirely opaque and spoil the perception of this as one of those big, intimidating beers. It also doesn't help that the lacing it leaves is 'pretty'.

The smoke is definitely in there, but it plays nice with the other (even more prominent) note of bittersweet chocolate. What can be accomplished when the two work together - wow, this smells exquisite! And the whole bouquet is complimented by a rather genteel, very coffee-ish roast that is weaved in with swirling (and later more so with warming).

Full disclosure: I didn't expect the beer to have anywhere near this much flavour, so you'll excuse me if I get a little excited in listing everything I'm tasting. It's like a quality cappuccino, sweetened with cane sugar and real vanilla, with dark chocolate shavings on top and, almost as an afterthought, a slightly bacon-y smoke to boot. Molto bene!

I noticed a faint something in the aroma that I couldn't tell was either fruity or spicy. Now, in the mouthfeel, I note it again and I'm ready to accuse the 8% alcohol as the culprit. The taste of bruised dark fruit and the brief, zinging sensation of alcohol are each too delicate and short-lived so as to even be considered moderate, but they can be sensed.

The base porter actually resembles a foreign/export stout: it has a cane sugar-like sweetness and, on some sips, seems to have a distant lactose kind of twang about it. The brewer went light on the heavier malts and extracted all the delicious barley juice he could from a less meaty grist. A definite raw earthiness is gained from ample bittering hops.

Smoke on the Water is a great offering for anyone wanting to have a taste of smoked beer without traveling too far down that rabbit hole. I hesitate to consider it a 'training wheel' smoke beer, however, because the smoke is far from it's main or most marked feature, it's simply one of many (and probably the least appreciable at that). Still, this recipe has really brought out the best in both smoked-things and porters. Recommended.

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Photo of KajII
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

Bottle. Poured black with a brown/red hue with a small light brown creamy head that was fully diminishing and had poor lacing.

The aroma was of burnt dark chocolate malts and a doughy yeast with notes of licorice, coffee, and a smokey alcohol scent.

It tasted lightly sweet with hints of dark chocolate and licorice at the start then progressed into a smooth-bitter-smokey-coffee flavor that exploded on the tastebuds and stayed with you for a wonderfully long time.

Mouthfeel was full in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall an extremely tasty brew. If only all smoked beers tasted like this.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of hdofu
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting flavored beer. Poured grapeish black with a tan head. Smelled smokey, cocoaish taste sort of like a burnt brown ale, considering it was labled as a smoked porter I was expecting something more porterlike. It wasn't a bad flavor by any means but I it didn't knock my socks off either. Would have gone good with some sort of chocolate.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights and a white head. The aroma is heavy on the smoke, but I also get some roasted malt. Nice aroma, but not real complex. The flavor is better, with a lot of chocolate, roasted malt and smoke. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice smoked porter.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted malts with good amounts of smoked aromas. As it warms hints of dark chocolate waft out as well.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Muted roasted malt flavors are quickly joined by smoked malts to kick things off. Midway through the sip mild amounts of unsweetened chocolate flavors make an appearance, fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this was a smooth-drinking smoked porter and another solid beer from the Mutiny Fleet - well worth a shot.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of Hibernator
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Seas - Smoke On The Water
22 oz brown bomber
20 oz tulip glass

Pours a dark opaque black. I like the appearance from the start with a nice khaki colored head.

Interesting nose with some dark coffee notes, dairy and a strange powder whiff.

A nice porter that does a good job of having flavors of bitter chocolate and dark roasted malts. Not an overly heavy porter by any stretch. An easy drinking and super smokey porter with a well-hidden 8% ABV.

Thanks to my friend Larry for brining up this 22 oz surprise bomber. He described it well as a "summertime porter" and I fully agree. I like this true style porter with a significant smokey punch.


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Photo of Daktyls
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, opaque, but see-through when a small amount of the brew is held up to the light. Head is a nice smooth two finger head which dissipates to a fine lacing.

S: Smells a bit more roasted than smoked, but the aroma is there nonetheless. Coffee notes are present with a somewhat roasted maltiness.

T: Taste is very rich, the smokiness is definitely detectable. Starts somewhat mild with faint vanilla and milky tastes. Finishes very roasty with dark chocolate and coffee flavors.

M: Fairly carbonated which is noticeable immediately. A little more watery than most porters, but it does sit nicely on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable, enjoyable to drink with a quite delicious aftertaste.

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Photo of ElizabethCraig
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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 =)

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Photo of RickS95
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A cross between extremely dark brown and a mostly dark black. A nice thick tan head sits on top and keeps you company while you drink.

No surprise, there's a smoky scent; but also some bittersweet chocolate and some flowers play in the background. Actually has a slight cola smell to it.

Tastes like it smells, but I picked up some coffee notes as well. A gentle alcohol flavor is present too.

There's no sweetness like I was hoping for, but it's not exactly bitter either. It feels creamy in the mouth, but then finishes with just a bit of heat from the alcohol.

It's a pretty easy beer to drink if you're ok with smoke beers. It's high in alcohol, but it comes across gently with only a slight taste and just a hint of warming.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

High-ish pour yields a half-finger of tan head that dissipates into some surface memory. Body is opaque blackish-brown with some brown highlights.

Nose is quite nice for the style. Smoke and roasty cocoa, as well as campfire wood and a hint of raisin.

Taste is nice and potent, and quite representative of what I think a smoked porter should be. Good balance of malt, hops, and smoke, though it's really rather tilted in favor of malt. Pretty rich.

Mouthfeel is quite fine, and doesn't really steal from flavor.

Overall this is a good, malty porter with some smoke. I've tried several smoked porters; this one stacks up.

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Photo of eat
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin-looking on the pour. Opaque black body with a cover of large cream-white bubbles.

On the nose: minerals, dusty dark chocolate, subtle smoke, astringent grain. Caramel malt comes out more as it warms.

The smoke here is well-played; subtle and well-balanced. Dusty cocoa, light grain, caramel, coffee, minerals, soily hops and a little alcohol bite. Mildly drying finish. The flavour is light in the way a porter should be.

Nice silky medium body with a light carbonation. Fitting feel.

This is a very drinkable, delicious and balanced smoked porter. This would be a great place to start if you're just getting into smoky beers, the smoke here is just right.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of KAP1356
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bomber in a pint glass.
Black in color with a medium-sized tan head.
Chocolate, roasted malt aroma. I thought it smelled like a wood fire.
Sweet chocolate taste, very sweet. Smoke late and lingering.
Rich mouthfeel. Maybe a little on the too sweet side.
Enjoyed it.

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Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and decent lacing. The nose is attractive, though I can't say I get a whole lot of smoke. Otherwise, there's some coffee, light tobacco and light chocolate vanilla. On the palate, the beer is considerably more impressive, showing coffee, chocolate milkshake and vanilla. The beer is moderately sweet, but with enough hoppy bitterness to balance that sweetness. Mouthfeel is great, with the beer showing a long, soft, creamy finish. There's a hint of licorise in the finish as well, which enhances the beer's drinkability. Otherwise, drinkability is pretty good, though you can tell the alcohol is up there a bit.

At least on cask, I don't get more then a hint of smoke, but otherwise this is a pretty solid beer. Releasing an imperial porter in the middle of summer seems a bit odd, but otherwise, I thought this latest offering from Clipper City to be very enjoyable.

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Heavy Seas - Smoke On The Water from Heavy Seas Beer
3.69 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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