I’ve been interested in trying this beer for sometime, especially since deciding that this winter was gonna focus on stouts and porters. After digging into the Mt. Carmel Porch Pack again then seeing this was on the Growler Station at the Whole Foods in Mason I decided it was time to try this beer. This is part of their “limited” series that is only available on draft and is supposedly temporary though this has been around for a long time.
I stopped by Rivertown earlier today to grab a pint of the Winter Ale (review here) while I was there I got my growler filled with their Roebling Imperial Porter off of the nitro tap. I did this because I’ve had a few Roeblings over the year and never given them a full review but also as part of the winter of my of dark content. I also scored 2 bottles of Gueuze, but more on that another day.
There are a number of bridges crossing the Ohio river in Cincinnati (or Covington/Newport if you wanna be a Kentuckian about it), one of which is a big yellow arch (the big mac), another purple one for people (cleverly named the purple people bridge), and another old fashioned looking one with 2 big towers and suspension cables. That last one is the John A. Roebling suspension bridge. Most notable for being the precursor to the Brooklyn bridge it’s also the oldest bridge in Cinci, and is a damn fine piece of construction that has been carrying traffic for almost 140 years! Ok.. honestly I never new any of that before having 2 pints of this beer and doing some Googling, it’s a pretty cool story and I suggest everyone check it out knowing being half the battle and all that. But you’re not here for history, so on to the beer!
The “winter” of my dark-content begins now, for more info on that see this post oh and keep the suggestions rolling in! I’m only starting now and with the Smoked Porter because they sent it to me free… well in exchange for a review, so I suppose it’s not REALLY free. From the book, the review of which will be finished soon, we learn this was their second beer brewed and originally released in December 1996 as Winter Stone. The plan was for it to be seasonal but it sold so well and everyone loved it so much they decided to make it year round. Right, enough of all that junk, time for my first serious review of a Porter (and only the 3rd porter I can ever remember having).
Beer: Smoked Porter
Style: American porter
Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%
Hops: Columbus & Mt. Hood
Yep… that’s dark. It looks pitch black until you hold it directly in front of a bright light when you can see it’s actually a nice dark mahogany shade of brown. The head is a thick light brown that is not going anywhere fast and is lingering on the side of the glass as it does go down. Definitely doesn’t look like my typical kind of beer, but that’s why I’m drinking it… breaking out into new styles!
Smells strongly of roasted malts, some coffee (I’m not a coffee drinker so I can’t nail that smell down to well), a fair amount of smoke and only a slight tinge of hops.
Normally I put the taste before the mouth feel, but this beer is something different so I’m switching it up. This is a heavier-medium bodied mouth feel that is smooth and creamy. There is also a dryness and a slightly unpleasant “coating” of the tongue.
OK, so back to the taste. First off there is almost no hop flavor and just the slightest balance of bitterness, which is a little weird for me. For anyone who doesn’t like smokey beers you can relax, the smoke flavor is present but it’s a small part of a complex palate. The roasted malt and coffee flavors take the lead along with some chocolate as well. It’s certainly an interesting taste, I’m not crazy about it but I have no issues with it.
Overall I’m not blown away or about to run out and buy every porter I see. Am I interested to try more? Certainly, but I was even before having this beer. I’d like it to be stronger but c’est la vie I’ll just have to wait till I hit the Imerpials. I like the Stone Smoked Porter, I’m not gonna pour it out, but I’m not gonna add it to my regular rotation anytime soon.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This beer was sent to me for free by Stone. To our readers, and any breweries interested in sending me stuff, giving me free beer impacts the review in only 1 way. That way is that I WILL review the beer and I WILL write a blog post about it. Giving me free beer does not guarantee you a favorable review or that I will tell everyone to go buy it or anything like that.