Old Thunder Road | Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant

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Old Thunder RoadOld Thunder Road
63 Ratings
Old Thunder RoadOld Thunder Road

Brewed by:
Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
Tennessee, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-05-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by ChainGangGuy:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clearish, yellow-orange body with a modestly-sized, white head.

Smell: Grainy accented pilsener malt nose along with a zesty grated spice character from the German hops and some sweetish honey candy notes.

Taste: Grainy, lightly bready maltiness with a characteristic tang of pils malts. Honeyish sweetness. Follows through with a nice little pop of spicy hop character and bitterness. A bit more spiciness on the dry, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Just a good, balanced, tasty lager, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of markallmon
3.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of merlin48
2.03/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Label plainly states this is a "classic bohemian pilsner". Not quite.
This pours a cloudy orange body, with a skimpy, head that dropped so fast I could not identify the color. No lacing.
There is hardly any aroma. Vague, lager malt and a hint of euroskunk hops.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, with average carbonation.
The taste is all wrong. Old corn syrup, dishwater, a metallic note, and some skunky hops comprise the taste. This one almost got poured down the drain.
Smoky Mountain Brewery is almost my local brewery, so I wanted to like this one. The label is attractive, and evokes memories of the movie depicting the moonshine runners of the area, a couple of generations ago. This beer comes off as a poorly made, adjunct lager. I doubt this was a bad bottle, as I purchased it in Knoxville, at the Leaf and Ale store, where the owner knows how to store his products. I still plan to visit this brewery next month. After this unfortunate sampling, I plan to speak to the brewmaster.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.3/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at Calhoun's Bearden Hill location.

Bright golden in color with a thin white head and a sweet, lager-ish smell. Old Thunder Road is pretty sweet tasting, with some light fruity influences (peach maybe?) and honey throughout, as well as a good balance in flavors from the Saaz hops. It's not really bitter at all, and very easy to drink, but relatively uncomplex and a little plain. Still, a solid brew.

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Photo of GeoCait
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of austinhensley
3.26/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into glass. Not a fan of pilseners because of the sharpness, but this cheap, local beer may have changed my opinion significantly. Poured a rich, brown color with an 1/8in thick head. Pssh. Tasted more sweet than sharp. Surprised. Will definitely have another and maybe reaccess this review.

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Photo of 4Socialanxiety
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jaydoc
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
2.7/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

This was actually the second beer that I had tried from them, and glad it wasn't the first as I might have stopped there. But anyway, this one poured out a light golden yellow, not the straw color, a little darker. Lots of carbonation coming up and a quick hint at a half inch high head, which faded as quickly as it came up. No side glass lacing to speak of.

The aroma was rather bland. Light earthy hops, with a good dose of grain. Kind of light if I am being honest as it really did not have anything sticking out to me at all. The flavor was more of the same, highly carbonated with a moldy or stale bread taste that was slightly astringent and bitter, especially towards the end, and a non existent aftertaste. Decent light body for the style and the carbonation was good all around, not too crazy on drinking multiples of this one though, just not up my alley. Maybe as a macro replacement, but just not enough creativity here of me.

Overall this was a pretty bland and average beer for the style. Good have gotten a bit more creative with this one, but it just fell flat. Would really not seek this one out again as it would be wasting my time.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden honey color with hints of orange. Thin whispy head that's gone in an instant. Little lacing.
Smell? Not much going on.
Taste is a suprise. I had low expectations but this is very nice. I'm not much of a pilsner fan, although I am growing to appreciate them more. But this is good for a pils(IMHO). Doesn't taste much like any other pilsner I've had. Maybe that's why I like it so much. Has a very interesting hop flavor and even gives me hop burps. Yummm.
Mouthfeel is light, but that's what is expected.
Very drinkable summertime brew. So far Smokey Mtn Brewery has been hit or miss and this one is a hit for me.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.85/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like most folks found this to be an average brew. While I wouldn't call it earth-shattering, I clearly enjoyed it more than most.

It pours a nice, hearty (for a pilsener, that is) golden colour with a stronger than expected head. Nice stuff.

The smell is a combination of sweetness (juicy and a bit sugary), slight hop notes and some hay notes as well.

The flavour is pretty much the same with sweet and juicy hops dominating the malt, which is present and dulls the hop flavour a touch, but not by much.

I would have the carbonation level up a touch here, but it's still just about right.

Overall, this isn't really a favourite style of mine, so I wouldn't kick back with it all night, but it's still a nice stab at the style. Give it a whirl.

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Photo of Brent
3.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hard to peg a style for this one. Placemat blurb at the brewpub describes it as a "honey colored lager infused with the famous Czech Saaz hop. Full hop flavor and aroma while maintaining a balanced hop bitterness." My wife tried a sip first, and commented that she tasted coffee. I told her that is not a flavor I'd expect in the style, but, by golly, she was right. An unusual coffee/chocolate malt note hits right upfront. Hopping is present with slightly fruity notes, but the coffee malt flavors continue, with some nutty flavor at the finish. Blindfolded, I'd have said it was some funky brown ale hybred.

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Photo of barleyroad
4.08/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice medium gold in appearance. Smell is very much a Pilsener smell. The taste is that of a hoppy Pilsener, this is a good twist on the Pilsner style. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and dry. This changes the expectation on a Pilsner. Overall it is a good beer that leaves the drinker wanting more. This beer will go well with just about anyting.

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Photo of Volsdawg10
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of johnrobe
3.92/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having a lukewarm response to other Smoky Mountain brews, I was pleasantly surprised by this tasty quaffer. It pours a deep straw color with flecks of gold and a brilliantly white head that ultimately shrinks to a cap. Saaz hops come through in the nose along with some grain. Spicy Saaz come through immediately in the taste as well but there's a nice balance provided by some lightly kilned sweet malt. The finish is very clean. I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of mntlover
3.65/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden with a white head that falls no real lace. Aroma is malt slightly grainy with grassy hops. Smells nice and refreshing. Taste like it smells light and crisp grainy malt with some grassy hops adding some musty hay flavors that lead to light herbal like bitterness. Mouthfeel is true to style light and refreshing. Drinkability is good one of the better adjunct lagers I have had, passses for a decent pilsner.

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Photo of jimmyd8386
3.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of GreenWBush
3.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I liked this one.

Hazed copper in color, this beer pours with an active and vigourous head. Admirable amounts of skim and cling-brains are produced.

The nose is husky malts, honey, hay, dried bread, and vague hints of tea.

The taste of the beer is intensely bready, followed by a white-tea like earthen hop kick. Intense grain outro. Not at all shabby, especially in such a craft-beer world devoid of many pilsners.

Smooth on the mouth, this is at the perfect level of carbonation. Slight lingering metallic (quinine) aftertaste does lower the drinkability a touch, but i'd be happy to have this one after a hike in the mountains.

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Photo of meechum
3.6/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this as part of a sampler and then bought a six to take home.

This came to the table with a 1 finger white head that fell quickly enough and left just a little lace. The smell was very faint but had a hint of biscuit malt and just a hint of piney/grassy hops. The taste was very much like any other pils and was a clean, crisp taste that had a little bit more pronounced hop bite than say a BMC would but not much more.

This is very much like a upscale macro lager in my opinion. It's very non offensive but doesn't really challenge the palate either

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Enola
2.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light straw color with a thin head. The smell is of cheap grain. The taste is similer to a mass produced beer. The mouthfeel is ok, and drinkability is average. Par for the course. This beer would hit the spot on a hot afternoon. Drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of veech
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a middle of the road beer that offers nothing to really complain nor rave about. A: Darker than expected light amber color that has light carbonation and head. S: not really much to comment on besides some mild hops T: Very similar to the aroma not bad, not great. M: Thin D: Pretty good but I would prefer a little more hoppiness. Not my favorite style, but a decent offering from a good brewery. I mainly tried a different style for my growler refill as man cannot live by porter alone (or maybe he can).

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Photo of tfsimpkins
3/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Beeryce
2.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice dense white head with great stability and good lacing. Nice hay/herbal nose with light floralness. Rich golden color, more intense than traditional pilsner. Nice lively carbonation. Very well balanced and full of flavor. At the start a citrus hop tang takes over the sides of the tongue, then nice clean malt balances before an average, but agreeable finish covers the palate. The mouthfeel is slightly heavier than a normal pilsner as one would expect from the deeper color. Okay drinkability; not the best “Pilsner” I have had but better than Miller Lite!

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Old Thunder Road from Smoky Mountain Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 3.15 out of 5 with 63 ratings