Sixpoint Brewery – The Brunt – 2.5 out of 7 smokestacks

5158846891-e1495207629339.jpg

Quick story about Six Point, apparently we have some connection to each other. A friend of the Ministry from NYC mentioned a Madison, Wisconsin, connection to us in reference to Sixpoint’s founder/s, while we were in Houston, TX. Time will tell if worlds collide, and then it all blows up. But the real takeaway is that every time I see Sixpoint beers at the store, I stop and take special note of what’s on the shelf, and buy it with much more frequency than most other brands, all because Lauren from NYC tied this beer to a location that I used to live in, perhaps having met before. That’s clever marketing.

The Brunt, however, wasn’t so successful. Although listed as a Grodziskie, which is a lighter, wheat smokebeer, and Polish in origin, we would still expect distinguished notes and flavors indicating such. Not in this case. Very light flavor regardless of what we were looking for. Smoke smell and taste came in as if it were wafting in from a fireplace down the street. Arguments over “sausage, no sausage” ensued and there was only one person taking part in the argument, go figure. I’m still on board with Sixpoint, but have to hold them accountable with this number. Overall smokestack metric = 2.5 smokestacks.

Brewer Sixpoint Brewery
Beer Name The Brunt
Brewer’s Description The Brunt is a rotating series of NYC-only beers with a super local connection — each beer is a Red Hook small business collaboration. A take on the old school Polish Grodziskie, this beer is made with 100% oak smoked wheat malt. We teamed up with Hometown Bar-B-Que and smoked malt in their legendary kitchen. The beer’s lighter than you might think — soft, smooth mouthfeel with a smokey start up, and a little citrusy twist. INSANE pairing with authentic BBQ.
Food Pairings Authentic BBQ
Brewery Location Brooklyn, NY
Alcohol content by volume 4.3%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 26
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 1.75
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.5
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2.5
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2.5

It looks like we smoke our malts the same way. Learn more at:

http://sixpoint.com/beers/brunt/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Blind Pig Brewery- Smoked Rye Lager – 4.2 smokestacks (out of 7)

20170426_210331

Had to go on-site for this review. The Blind Pig brewery of Champaign, Illinois, made another smoked beer and I slipped in there to review it. And they delivered another positive experience no matter how you look at it. Smoked Rye Lager smells great from the start, indicating that Bamberg is near (spiritually). Using grown up smoked malts and letting them drive the flavor is winning half the battle right there. All too often brewers over analyze what might lose customers, and wind up delivering a flavorless and/or muddled beer that their mother-in-law would like in an attempt to please everyone with every beer. Well, that’s gutless. This beer has guts. And even to the slight detriment of the beer. Smoked Rye Lager tasted great at the start with a thirst quenching, smoky, ashy taste, but then bitterness cropped up after a few swigs, pulling a good deal of moisture from my mouth. I’d tone down the hops next go around Blind Pig. And as I got down further into the glass, the refreshing campfire-esque swallers moved into an even more burnt and bitter experience. Then this large group of dudes approached the bar for drinks all at the same time, totally crowding up my area. I like my space… I don’t really think they had too many options, however. This beer is 2 beers I tell you, one good one for a few gulps, and then the rest of the beer which may or may not come with distinct change in ambiance. All in all, Blind Pig is getting a 4.2 out of 7 smokestacks, just over the hump.

Brewer The Blind Pig
Beer Name Smoked Rye Lager
Brewer’s Description Our Smoked Rye is an unfiltered Bamberg-style amber lager. Made with 25% beechwood-smoked German barley malt, 25% malted rye, and Augustiner yeast. ABV 5.7%
Food Pairings Roast pig w/ apple in mouth
Brewery Location Champaign, IL
Alcohol content by volume 5.7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units)
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2.5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4.2

The website could use some work… whatev’

http://blindpigbrewery.com/brewery.html

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Country Boy Brewing – Barreled Jalapeño Smoked Porter – 3 out of 7 smokestacks

20170421_201102

This beer smells like peppers, bell peppers, green bell peppers. Taste = peppers, bell peppers, green bell peppers. There is a nice burn to it after a few seconds that helped me get the thought of stringent bell peppers off my mind, but the smell and taste are still there. Jalapeno Smoked Porter poured with just about no head at all, not too surprising after being in a barrel, but it also poured thin, which is a bit surprising given the increase in viscosity usually imparted. And is there supposed to be smoke in here? I’m trying way too hard to find it. I’m pulling out some caramel, maybe a fading memory of a barrel, and smoke may have wafted through the warehouse during storage. I’m kinda bummed about this one. I had higher expectations, which I know to keep subdued during a review, but the imbalance in this bottle is too far out of scope. Maybe switch this recipe to chipotle peppers (which are smoked jalapeños), use less of them, keep in the barrel longer or add staves to the barrel, and maybe add chocolate malt to the mix… just some thoughts, what do I know, I just drink the beer. Overall smokestack metric = a generous 3 out of 7.

This beer reminds me of the first pepper beer I ever had, which wasn’t a good one, and that experience ruined pepper beers for me for years. The same happened with barreled beers. But the last handful of beers reviewed were solid spicy beers, which makes this a bit more disappointing. And it may delay some poor bloke’s arrival to a smokebeer epiphany. For whom we will pray.

Brewer Country Boy Brewing
Beer Name Barreled Jalapeño Smoked Porter
Brewer’s Description The Jalapeño Smoked Porter, brewed every fall, strikes a wonderful balance between pepper bite, sweet honey and chocolate malt. What happens when bourbon barrel oak is thrown into the mix? This bottle is the answer to a question for the ages.
Food Pairings I’m craving a burger with egg
Brewery Location Lexington, KY
Alcohol content by volume 9.3% some say
IBU (International Bitterness Units) I refute IBUs
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.9
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4.5
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 1
Spiciness 1 – 7 (mild – painful) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3, a generous 3

Below average beer, below average website:

http://countryboybrewing.com/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

De Molen – Rook & Vuur – 4 out of 7

20170406_203150

De Molen’s Rook & Vuur is a smoked ale with chili peppers and as you can see here, I had to let this one settle down before I could even get the entire bottle poured, let alone start to drink it. This bottle is just 11.2 oz and I had to wait about 5 minutes to keep the foam from fizzing up and over the rim of my 06 over wavy line 13 circled glass which I am currently using for my tastings. But, during and after that whole process, the beer smelled fine, and figured that there was little to no risk of getting sick from drinking it. It smells of nice barley, hints of chocolate, a warm bowl of grape nuts, and a pinch of chili pepper. With the last two reviews having been smoked chili beers, and with a few more in the queue, I’m starting to grow an affinity for these, I even added a spicy heat metric to my chart. Speaking of, this beer rates low (only 2 smokestacks) on the heat metric, an envelope that I’m looking to push in the near future. And 11.2 oz, I wish this bottle was bigger, and the beer a bit thicker, and the smoke, smokier, and the heat, hotter; the 8.2% abv is cool however. This beer is okay. I taste a touch of ash on the tongue. Rook & Vuur is a good beer for those of us who are at a bar alone, staring at our phone, ignoring the tv, sipping from a snifter, and working up the courage to ask out the bartender, because this beer won’t challenge or intimidate you at all. All your muster will remain intact and available at your disposal, or maybe just have another beer. Lots of respect for De Molen, but I’m looking for more in the here and now. Overall smokestack rating = 4 smokestacks.

Brewer Brouwerij De Molen
Beer Name Rook & Vuur
Brewer’s Description Rook & Vuur is a subtle balance between smoke, chocolate and chili peppers. Although it has a large complexity it is still surprisingly easy to drink. Try combining this beer with a young Gouda cheese and treat yourself. Flavor indication: Chocolate, chili, smoke Translates as Smoke & Fire
Food Pairings Gouda, smoked gouda
Brewery Location Bodegraven, Netherlands
Alcohol content by volume 8.2%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 5
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.75
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Spiciness 1 – 7 (mild – painful) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Here’s a list of their beers… I’m pretty sure they know what they’re doing:

http://brouwerijdemolen.nl/beers

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Øl – Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye – 6 out of 7

20170405_202859

I poured the whole thing down in there, all 0.375 liters. To Øl’s Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye smelled malty-smoky, almost peaty, with a touch of chili in the nose. I took a sip and the first thing I noticed was the sweetness, a nice sweetness, a sweet porter daring me to tip it back and give it a big ole swaller. Then there was a little tingle on the back of my throat that slowly heated up into a definitive chili sensation, which made for one of the more interesting beers I’ve had. Rich porter and rye sugars swirling around in this spicy malty beer. There is a touch of ash and dryness to it on the exhale. I really wish this beer were twice the size. Bigger beer is better most of the time. There’s not so much lacing with the head after each sip, but there is a clean caramel colored beer film that covers the side of the glass and slides down onto the edge of the foam, rolling over and over it, elements of a lava lamp effect, which is way too captivating, looks neat… maybe this is just the right size given the 13.4% abv. Maybe there’s something to these spicy beers. Overall smokestack rating = 6 smokestacks.

Brewer To Øl
Beer Name Smoke on the Porter, Fire in the Rye
Brewer’s Description To the masters of Rock, and of Puns, we salute you. “Smoke On The Porter, Fire In The Rye” intends for you to strap on your leather trousers and denim vest, and Rock Out. A 13,2% Imperial Porter, using Rauch Malt for a depth of smoke, a selection of Chillies for subtle smoky flavours and designed to light the fire under you, and a mix of both roasted and regular Rye Malt to spice things up further.
Food Pairings serve as digestif
Brewery Location Copenhagen, Denmark
Alcohol content by volume 13.4%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 8
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.3
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3.8
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 6
Spiciness 1 – 7 (mild – painful) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 6

Never been to Copenhagen, but I’ll think about it…

http://to-ol.dk/home/about/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipeworks – Chipotle Smoked Porter – 5.5 out of 7

20170402_184645

If there ever was a chance for a Pipeworks success, this was it. After delivering 3 consecutive shelf turds, Pipeworks finally stumbles across a working recipe. And my state of mind was primed to like just about anything after 10 hours of digging in my backyard. No breaks, not even a lunch, just out there digging, trying to beat the rain, which never came. So after the sun set, to relax, I came in and got out this beer. It smelled of smoke as soon as I opened it. Along with nice malty smoked porter smells, chipotle notes wafted around in this dark and thin beer. Not much head rose to the top, which doesn’t bother me a bit, and not much sediment in the bottom which the back label had warned me about (I find that polite). This is a good chili spicy porter, but not too spicy. I’m not about to dump a gallon of milk over my face, not even close, but this is the hottest beer I’ve ever had. I’m glad I finally got a good beer from this company, I was preparing to banish them from the Ministry. I even added a heat metric on the chart. Now, if they could only make this beer twice… Overall smokestack metric = 5.5 smokestacks (out of 7). And one more thing, Happy Birthday Owen.

Brewer Pipeworks
Beer Name Chipotle Smoked Porter
Brewer’s Description For those crazy enough to think our smoked porter needed something more, we give you Chipotle Smoked Porter. In addition to the already bold character from the smoked malts, we bring the heat with a healthy dose of chipotle peppers to take this rich porter to the next level.
Food Pairings Giant hunk of smoked meat and a big ass bon fire on a cold night
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 7.75%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 20
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4.8
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Spiciness 1 – 7 (mild – painful) 5.8
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.5

And there’s this:

http://pdubs.net/beers

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marz Community Brewing Co. – marzcal kolsch – 3.8 smokestacks out of 7

20170329_204725.jpg

Gusher! This beer was a gusher. It foamed up and out of the bottle as soon as I opened it, and all over my wife’s library books, actually, I guess they are everybody’s library books. So that sucked. After half a box of Kleenex (hey, it was an emergency, I used what was nearby), I was able to pour it into a glass without too much more fuss, although, as you can see, there was quite the foamy head to contend with. Marzcal smelled fine to me, like a good beer; like a Marz beer, and not like mezcal, tequila, or smoke. Mezcal is a smoky tequila, and some still come with a worm in the bottle, which is what gave Marz the inspiration for this particular formula, the tequila, not the worm. Marzcal smelled like a Marz wheat beer almost, and looked like one too. Once I got the foam down to a manageable level, I took a big ole swaller, and I surprisingly found smoke, good smoke, and a ton of it. Sip after sip, however, it dissipated, down to nothing but a little acidic and bitter tingle on the tongue. The was a hint of lime in this beer, way in the back, and no trace of mezcal, which was fine. All in all, it was okay. The score comes out just a worm below average at 3.8 smokestacks.

Brewer Marz Community
Beer Name marzcal kolsch
Brewer’s Description Mezcal and agave inspired beer. Serve at 45°F
Food Pairings Chinga Quedito
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 7.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3.8

 

Not the most useful website:

http://marzbrewing.com/

Here’s something:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezcal_worm

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karben4 – Night Call : Smoked Porter (bottle) – 4 out of 7

20170322_194820.jpg

Smells like smoked malts. Cool looking bottle. No head, which may be hampering me from pulling out any other distinct flavors. It tastes like an okay porter. It’s as dark as all get out with my phone’s light barely able to peer inside, maybe 1/4 inch, however, the fluid is thinner than I would expect (viscosity metric of 3). It’s really giving my taste buds a beating though. Big chugs make my chest feel good. I had this on draft and reviewed it a few years back, don’t remember much. Final descriptor = muddled. Total smokestacks earned = 4 (out of 7).

Brewer Karben4
Beer Name Night Call : Smoked Porter (bottle)
Brewer’s Description Robust all day without dictating your life, this is the porter that other dark beers hang a poster of on their own bedroom wall. Malt sweetness is just present enough to enhance the dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors without destroying the drinkability. This brew provides a subtle smoke profile that simultaneously creates new fans of dark beer and tames the beast inside the bold-beer aficionado.
Food Pairings brats!
Brewery Location Madison, WI
Alcohol content by volume 6.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 34
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.3
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N No
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Loading yo! @

https://www.karben4.com/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipeworks – The Long Hair Affair – 1.8 smokestacks out of 7

20170310_211347.jpg

If you must put the word hair in the name of your beer, write it like Pipeworks has and make it illegible. The Long Hair Affair is a kolsch beer brewed with hemp seeds and mesquite honey, fermented in oak. I spotted the word mesquite on the side of this bottle and assumed it referred to mesquite smoked honey, and maybe it does; Pipeworks wrote “phantom note of smoke” on the label. And a phantom note is about all I could pull out of this beer, although honey and oak are clearly present, and unappealing. This beer is not good and its giving me a headache. Why did Freigeist get involved with this beer? I’ll just assume it is mesquite smoked honey, that was eaten by yeast, and pooped out alcohol. Congratulations, you took a long strange trip to a shit destination. Final smoke metric = 1.8 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Pipeworks
Beer Name The Long Hair Affair
Brewer’s Description In collaboration with Freigeist Bierkultur in Germany and Local Option, we’ve brewed a truly devastatingly psychedelic kolsch with a phantom note of smoke. Serve in your favorite stein while listening to Rammenstein, Bye, bye!
Food Pairings Advil
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 6.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.4
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.25
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2.2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 1.8

Here’s their stupid website:

http://pdubs.net/longhairaffair/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

XBeeriment – #44 Smoked Stout – 4.8 smokestacks out of 7

20170321_203920.jpg

XBeeriment’s #44 Smoked Stout, brewed to celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, is the non-barrel aged beer in the series. A few years back I reviewed the barrel aged edition, which you can read here, and derived much the same experience. However, I have noticed that barrel aging these robust beers seems to bump up the score, (brewers take note). This beer, the regular #44, smells rich and malty, like a good heavy beer, with notes of peat wafting around. Notes that wafted out of the 1/2 inch George Hamilton hue head which rose up and hung out for the rest of the beer. A bitterness also cropped up, which I kinda wish would leave a little sooner. And after about halfway through this beer, the alcohol showed up; such a good guy. Now that the gang is all here, and I can’t concentrate on anything, we just gonna get loud in here. I got my 33s out and found a copy of Apache! Overall smokestacks issued = 4.8 out of 7.

Brewer XBeeriment
Beer Name # 44 Smoked Stout
Brewer’s Description #44 is a full-bodied stout brewed with a varity of malts, including peat-smoked malt. Pitch black, smoky, and hoppy. Enjoy!
Food Pairings Comfort food
Brewery Location Kastrup, Denmark (by Amager Bryghus)
Alcohol content by volume 7.7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 38
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4.8

This is where I link the readers to the responsible party, but no one is taking ownership, NO ACCOUNTABILITY!

XBeeriment doesn’t have a website, or is still on MySpace.

Amager Bryghus has a website, but they aren’t talking about this beer:

http://www.amagerbryghus.dk/

And The Shelton Brothers imported this, along with all the other XBeeriment beers, but they aren’t saying anything either:

http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/

 

 

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Thorn Farm – Smoked Lager – 2 out of 7

20170216_152753.jpg

Watery. The kind of water without carbonation, you know, water. This beer smelled okay at first, but those hopes were quickly dashed by the taste. I thought that the keg was getting low and would have perhaps kicked myself for not getting out and drinking this beer sooner, but the bartender asserted that the keg was just hooked up, oh well for making up excuses for these guys. This one didn’t work out. This beer tastes like a wheat beer with some sour, more bitter, and lots of water. And its flat. I don’t like it. No good. It’s beer, tastes like bad beer. Score = 2 out of 7 smokestacks. End of review.

Brewer Big Thorn Farm
Beer Name Smoked Lager
Brewer’s Description Brewed with a touch of smoked malt, this pale-colored lager was aged on a smattering of roasted logs from our woods. Lager yeast makes for a clean, light body that accentuates fresh wood notes and a smooth, smoky finish.
Food Pairings I hear Georgetown has a Pizza Hut
Brewery Location Georgetown, IL
Alcohol content by volume 5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2

The website kinda sucks, but it doesn’t have one of those completely useless age verification gates, so that’s good:

https://www.bigthornfarm.com/beer-line-up

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Braustelle – Freigeist Pear Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer – 4 out of 7

20170310_195654.jpg

This review is the 5th and final part of the Freigeist Bierkultur beer reviews, where Eherenfeider, Hoppeditz, Apple, Pear, and regular Lichtenhainer, were all reviewed consecutively…

Good beer, but still of the same cut of wood as the Freigeist Apple beer. Pear? Smoke? I assign these flavors into the traces category, with concerns that someone may challenge me in a blind taste test, and assess my palate’s consistency. But really, concerns about consistency fall onto the brewer, where I am certain that consistently brewing the exact same beer, is an increasing shortfall in the industry. Braustelle may be an industry exception, but consistency is beyond the scope of this beer review site. At SmokeBeerMinistry we hone our profiles to 1) detect smoke, 2) decide if we like it, and 3) bask in whatever state of inebriation we find ourselves in. This pear beer is balanced, tasty, and light (which reflects the true nature of a lichtenhainer). Any flavors other than good beer flavor are so faint they lack worth mentioning. Still good though. Overall quality metric measured in smokestacks = 4 smokestacks.

Brewer Braustelle
Beer Name Freigeist Abraxxxas Pear Lichtenhainer
Brewer’s Description Based on Freigeist’s classic sour east-German wheat beer, Abraxxxas Apple Lichtenhainer and Pear Lichtenhainer feature all the complexity, funkiness, and drinkability of the original but go one step further by adding tart & flavorful real fruit during fermentation.  The resultant brews are incredibly lively, characterful, and thirst-quenching.
Food Pairings Wiener schnitzel w/ mustard
Brewery Location Brewed at Göller facility Germany
Alcohol content by volume 6.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 30
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.9
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.6
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Website, as best as I could tell:

http://www.braustelle.com/biere-vom-fass.html

Shelton Brothers:

http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/beers/freigeist-abraxxxas-pear-and-apple/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braustelle – Freigeist Abraxxxas Apple Lichtenhainer – 4 out of 7 smokestacks

20170308_215641.jpg

Apple? Apple lichtenhainer? Well, I guess so, but I hope you weren’t expecting something comparable to a cider, because I’m not getting much apple at all. And I’m barely getting any smoke for that matter, and I just had the regular Freigeist Abraxxxas Lichtenhainer to remind and review myself of the beer that this is based off of, and these are worlds apart. As for the regular lichtenhainer, I stand behind the original review found here that I wrote a few years ago. It was a solid 5. But this apple beer falls a bit short. Lichtenhainer beers are lightly smoked wheat beers historically from east Germany, which are virtually indistinguishable from gratzer beers, and no wonder, given the proximity to Poland and the gratzer history in Poland. Now that I’ve pointed out the differences and doled out some info, I admit that this beer isn’t bad. I could pass a glass boot of this beer around with my most respected beer mates, especially the Ministry, and not get a bit of push back, because those people like beer. As for the description, this beer tastes like beer. If I have to close my eyes and breathe deeply through my nose (which I do in all the reviews), sticking my nose repeatedly down into the glass, and still struggle to pull out distinct flavors that the average drinker can identify, then it’s really a miss. Today I choose to describe the beer with the words “just beer.” Overall smokestack metric = 4 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Braustelle
Beer Name Freigeist Apple Lichtenhainer
Brewer’s Description Based on Freigeist’s classic sour east-German wheat beer, Abraxxxas Apple Lichtenhainer and Pear Lichtenhainer feature all the complexity, funkiness, and drinkability of the original but go one step further by adding tart & flavorful real fruit during fermentation.  The resultant brews are incredibly lively, characterful, and thirst-quenching.
Food Pairings Wiener schnitzel w/ mustard
Brewery Location Brewed at Göller facility Germany
Alcohol content by volume 6.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 25
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.9
Sausage detection? Y or N No
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

As far as I can tell, this is their website…

http://www.braustelle.com/homeneuigkeiten.html

And then The Shelton Brothers (US distributors), once again, show a bit more interest in the products than the producers at:

http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/beers/freigeist-abraxxxas-pear-and-apple/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braustelle – Freigeist Hoppeditz – 4 out of 7

20170201_210638.jpg

Here’s part 2 of the 5 Freigeist reviews. Hoppeditz is another beer that has the word smoke printed on the label, and was therefore rightfully delivered straight to the Ministry officials at SmokeBeerMinistry for a proper smoke rating. And while Hoppeditz will get tagged and grouped with other beers in the not a smokebeer category, it still comes off as a nice German beer. Some sourish notes wafted out before any other distinct emanations, including smoke, which was virtually non-existent. And the taste came out a little bitter and hoppy, but tasty. This beer is well balanced with sweetness swirling around in the glass too. This beer is a deep brown color although my hoodoo altar lighting fails to draw out the elements of translucency. This is a good beer, but I have to take issue with the “subtly smokey” written on the back. Subtly is quite the overstatement. I’d like to drink this in the motherland. Overall score 4 out of 7.

Brewer Braustelle
Beer Name Freigeist Hoppeditz
Brewer’s Description Freigeist is the experimental offshoot of Cologne’s revolutionary small brewery, Braustelle. Here we strive to break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany’s unique, historical beer styles. Named after the traditional burning puppet at Dusseldorf’s Karneval, Hoppeditz is a subtly smoked extra hoppy version of the city’s classic “Special Old Ale.”
Food Pairings Wiener schnitzel w/ mustard
Brewery Location Brewed at Göller facility Germany
Alcohol content by volume 7.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 42
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N No
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Is that a diaeresis or an umlaut? Find out at:

http://www.braustelle.com/biere-vom-fass.html

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Braustelle – Freigeist Ehrenfelder – 4 out of 7 (not a smokebeer)

20170201_221419.jpg

Here’s the first installment of a 5 part series where Freigeist beers are reviewed. And this beer, Ehrenfeider, an unfiltered altbier, is oddly enough tagged in the not a smokebeer category. Why review it? Well, the description on the label states “with a hint of smokiness,” which is how these things get started, and I bought, drank, and took a picture of the damn thing, so I’m fucking doing it.

Ehrenfeider is slightly malty on the nose and palate. The words “another nice German beer” come to mind as the taste lingers, urging me to savor it in a Norm! kind of way. Maybe I’ve had too much to drink tonight. Drinking not only effects the tongue, but also the pen. End review. Final score 4 out of 7.

Brewer Braustelle
Beer Name Freigeist Ehrenfelder
Brewer’s Description Freigeist is the experimental offshoot of Cologne’s revolutionary small brewery, Braustelle. Here we strive to break the chains of industrial brewing by reviving and updating Germany’s unique, historical beer styles. Hoppy, rich, roasty, and with a hint of smokiness. Ehrenfelder is a unique unfiltered version of the classic “Altbier” of Düsseldorf.
Food Pairings Wiener schnitzel w/ mustard
Brewery Location Brewed at Göller facility Germany
Alcohol content by volume 4.8%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 30
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N No
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

I hope you know your umlaut from a diaeresis.

http://www.braustelle.com/biere-vom-fass.html

 

 

 

 

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Against the Grain – Mac Fanny Baw (bottle) – 3.8 smokestacks out of 7

20170203_232310.jpg

Against the Grain’s Mac Fanny Baw (bottle) ain’t so bad. A nice campfire smoke taste greets you at the first sip although the smoke smells are more hidden. Bitter flavors are in there too. Then, as I sat there watching TV, drinking this beer, and jotting down fleeting thoughts so I could right this review, I noticed that my hand was reaching for the beer less and less often. Barrel power in this beer is super low (a complete 180 from this beer back when I had it on tap) garnering only 2 barrel power points. This beer is dry. Good overall smell, which makes this a bit of an anomaly, why am I not more into you? There just isn’t enough going on in this one. And, now the booze is catching up. One more thing, the team at Against the Grain isn’t funny, they should just focus on beer. Overall, just below average at 3.8 smokestacks (out of 7).

Here’s the review for the one on draft: https://smokebeerministry.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/against-the-grain-louisville-ky-smoke-2-out-of-7/

They probably need to figure out why this beer tastes so different over the years.

Brewer Against The Grain
Beer Name Mac Fanny Baw
Brewer’s Description Truly a ground breaking beer, this Barrel aged Rauchbier was an attempt to replicate the flavors present in Islay Scotch Whiskey.  We used Munich malt as a base and added copious amounts of Beechwood and Peat smoked malt, which provides the intense smoky and earthy peat flavors found in Scotch.  Then the addition of Alderwood smoked salt lends a crisp brininess that is reminiscent of the sea air in the Islay region of Scotland.  Aged in used Angel’s Envy Bourbon Barrels to give an intense caramel, vanilla and whiskey flavor.
Food Pairings Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hot Browns, Derby pie
Brewery Location Louisville, KY (USA)
Alcohol content by volume 8.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 25
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.75
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4.9
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3.8

Their website is ok:

http://www.atgbrewery.com/Menu/Beer/2/Smoke/2/Mac-FannyBaw/315

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Stillwater Artisanal – Fear of Ghosts – 5 smokestacks (out of 7)

20170123_230908.jpg

Stillwater Artisanal’s Fear of Ghosts beer is a smoked sour farmhouse wheat ale, and that description written on the bottle is half of my review right there. Sour notes found their way to my olfactory glands seconds after popping the top. It smells like a good, interesting sour farmhouse ale. This beer reminds me of Marz Smoke Wheat Everyday and Stillwater’s Smoke Signals beers that have recently been through the Ministry. And the sour aspect is fairly pleasurable. The lighter abv (6%) makes me wish it was a warm spring weekend afternoon. This is good beer. Smoked sour farmhouse ales is a good little nook for breweries to explore. But just one suggestion: Use more smoke. Overall smokestack pleasure metric = 5 out of 7.

Brewer Stillwater Artisanal
Beer Name fear of ghosts
Brewer’s Description Smoked Sour Farmhouse Wheat Ale
Food Pairings crab cakes
Brewery Location Baltimore, MD
Alcohol content by volume 6%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 45
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2.3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5

I guess they’re minimalists, but then why the website?

http://www.stillwater-artisanal.com/fear_of_ghosts.html

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Glarus – Smoke on the Porter – 6.7 smokestacks out of 7

20170122_221130.jpg

People of Wisconsin speak highly with conviction of the great accolades of New Glarus Brewing. One thing that New Glarus does better than anyone is please the masses alongside the beer snobs (level 5 beer snobs). Spotted Cow, now available in cans, is a wheat beer and by far their biggest seller, and then there are beers like Smoke on the Porter for those of us in SmokeBeerMinistry. This company has expanded as fast as any other brewery over the last 10 years and still can’t manage to get their beers beyond the state line (demand is so high that they simply can’t justify having to leave WI). Technically, their beers do make it into public houses around the US via a few overly eager small business entrepreneurs, whom we hear about in news stories only after the ATF busts into their establishments and confiscate everything, but this is beyond the scope of responsibility of New Glarus quality control. It must be nice to be so loved that people risk jail time just to have a few extra beers in their bar. So, if you are ever in southern Wisconsin, do yourself a favor and visit New Glarus, the brewery and the village.

Smoke on the Porter is good. A strong campfire smoke bouquet wafts out from start to finish. It pours fine with no sediment in the bottom, always a welcomed happening. The aromas indicate that Bamberg is near (the smokebeer motherland), which happens to be a few hours away from Kanton Glarus, the Swiss town that New Glarus was named and architecturally modeled after. This beer conjures up memories of New Glarus’ Smoked Rye Ale that I happened to pick up in my smokebeer infancy about 10 years ago, and if it were the rye, it may very well get the perfect 7 out of 7 score, but the porter just misses with the slight dry ashy flavors buried inside. The cherry wood used in the smoking process could be swapped out with beechwood… just an idea. Later this year I’ll be in Bamberg, maybe I’ll swing by Glarus while I’m out there. I’ll tell them all about this place called New Glarus. Overall score = 6.7 out of 7.

Brewer New Glarus Brewing
Beer Name Smoke on the Porter
Brewer’s Description Smoke house aromas waft through our neighborhood creating a special kind of decadence that must be shared. Wisconsin barleys were generously cold smoked with Cherry Wood in Chilton by our friends at Briess Malting. Brewmaster Dan then harnessed dark malts to create a team that steps out as a creamy smooth black brew that will forever linger in your mind as Smoke on the Porter.
Food Pairings Beef Tenderloin, Steak, Gouda, Havarti Jalapeno, Cherry Pie, Vanilla Ice Cream
Brewery Location New Glarus Wisconsin
Alcohol content by volume 6.1%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 50
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.1
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 7
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 6.6
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4.8
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 6.7

Their website unwittingly doubles as the entire town’s visitors center website.

http://www.newglarusbrewing.com/index.cfm/beers/ourbeers/beer/smoke-on-the-porter

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

De Dochter van de Korenaar – Charbon smoked vanilla stout – 3 out of 7 smokestacks

20170112_211509.jpg

Charbon smells and pours fine, meaning nothing stood out as notable at the start. This beer tastes belgian, like a smoked belgian, with a funny vanilla in it, and do I detect juniper? And now that I have reviewed the label more closely, I see vanilla is in there as a main component. Also, I see the word Charbon, and without running a Google Translate on it, I assume it means charcoal, or charbroiled, and whatever it might mean doesn’t really matter at this point because the idea is already in my head and sure enough bitter charred tastes are now rising to the top of my pallet. You know, this beer reminds me of St0ne smoked vanilla porter, which I don’t really like, (although it plays well in crowds). And I have no interest in comparing the two in a side by side tasting. So anyway, I don’t like it. Final overall score = 3 smokestacks out of a total 7 smokestacks.

And one more thing, Charbon won an award in 2012, but not from us. Congrats.

Brewer De Dochter van de Korenaar
Beer Name Charbon smoked vanilla-stout
Brewer’s Description A classic dry stout of 7% vol alcohol, brewed with smoked wheat malt and flavored with fresh vanilla. Charbon is a beer with contradictions: the roasted flavors work together with the smoke flavor from oak-smoked wheat malt to give a good dose of pit with the beer. On the other hand the customized extract of fresh vanilla gives us a mild soft and subtle touch in the beer. The combination provides a thrilling Stout on which the antithetical taste nevertheless ensures a harmonious and balanced whole.
Food Pairings Creamy soft cheeses
Brewery Location Baarle-Hertog, Belgium
Alcohol content by volume 7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 46
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.6 (120 EBC)
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3

De Dochter needs to spend a week focused on revising their website and general web presence. I see potential here:

http://www.dedochtervandekorenaar.be/?lang=en#vastebierenCntr

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rogue – Fresh Roast – 4 out of 7 smokestacks

20161213_200148.jpg

Let’s start off with roasted DOES NOT EQUAL smoked, but, the image of flames and malts on the bottle incited too much curiosity to resist. Plus, for $5 or $6 it didn’t seem like too big of a risk. Therefore, this beer falls in the “not a smokebeer” category. Having said that, I won’t take up too much more of your time. This beer is malty. You won’t miss the roastyness in it. It tastes fine. And maybe it’s just me, but I swear a number of west coast breweries that all came of age in the late 90’s, share a common flavor, as does this beer. It must be the hops. Overall score – 4 smokestacks out of a total possible 7 smokestacks. Also, check out Rogue’s website when you get a chance. There’s a link at the bottom; it’s a top notch site.

Brewer Rogue Ales & Spirits
Beer Name French Roast
Brewer’s Description Rogue Fresh Roast is made with Rogue Farms barley fresh roasted at the brewery. The barley is taken directly out of the roaster and rushed 273 feet over to the brew kettle. We don’t think it gets much fresher than that, and we know you’ll taste the difference.
Food Pairings Biscotti
Brewery Location New Port, Oregon
Alcohol content by volume 5.7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 37
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Check out their website, which is the best brewery website I’ve ever seen. You can buy stuff too.

http://buy.rogue.com/fresh-roast-ale/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benford Brewing – Smoked O’Hickory – 3 out of 7 smokestacks

20161209_195514.jpg

Only the 5th smokebeer I’ve ever seen in a can (and 2nd this week). That’s unusual. It’s also unusual to see silt pour out of a can, but with beer companies throwing everything and the kitchen sink into the market, I guess I’m not too surprised. O’Hickory poured a little thin and wafted out nice smoke aromas which made the intense tart and bitter tastes so much more of an unpleasant surprise when they pulled all remnants of moisture out of my mouth. The smell and taste of this beer are two different beers. Then, after drinking past the halfway mark, the beer fails to get any better. Advice? Drink this one fast. That’s all I have. Overall score – a very generous 3 out of 7.

Brewer Benford Brewing
Beer Name Smoked O’Hickory Brown Ale
Brewer’s Description Brewed with on-site smoked grains utilizing the gifts of Pecan and Hickory wood, the beer pours a deep tobacco brown and hints of dark red tint with a light tan colored foam head. Toasty and Smokey up front with a hints of charred wood although subdued, allows earthy grains to reside on the tongue. Medium body and finish with smoke flavors that are not overbearing for a highly drinkable beer.
Food Pairings BBQ, pecan pie (puh-conn)
Brewery Location Lancaster, SC
Alcohol content by volume 5.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 33
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 3.75
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3

Benford put effort into their website; looks worth it.

http://www.benfordbrewing.com/home.html

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wild Heaven – Funkenrauch – 5.85 out of 7

20161221_204402.jpg

Funkenrauch is a smoked wild ale aged in bordeaux barrels which smells great with moderate notes of campfire wafting around; smells better than it tastes, not to take anything away from the taste (5.85 overall is a solid score, and is all too rare). Funkenrauch pours fine, frothy foam head fizzled fairly quickly, and got cloudy towards the end of the pour, so I left a half inch in the bottom of the bottle, although I haven’t had too many taste changing experiences when silt does get into my glass. It just gets in my mind. The taste really comes off as a sour more than anything, which fades away from your pallet after a few sips. This beer is a little dry, a little bitter (which can be avoided in sours), and has an ashy flavor to it. Funkenrauch kinda reminds me of the Jester King beer, Gotslanstricka, I had just a few weeks ago. Good beer. I’m glad I got this one.

Here’s another picture in different lighting, if that adds anything to this review.

20161221_204310.jpg

Brewer Wild Heaven Beer
Beer Name Funkenrauch
Brewer’s Description A truly new beer style is a rare thing. Funkenrauch is born of brewmaster Eric Johnsons’s obsession with understanding beer on a molecular level. A 100% smoked malt beer shouldn’t be so bright and light – but the addition of Drie Fonteinen brettanomyces eats up much of the smoky phenols that could have overwhelmed the palate, leaving behind a sour smoked ale that is unlike any we’ve ever tried.
Food Pairings Peach cobbler
Brewery Location Decatur, GA
Alcohol content by volume 7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 7 (disputed, closer to 40)
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 1.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2.8
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 5.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.85

They have a good website, feel free to learn more:

http://wildheavenbeer.com/our-beers/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Arrogant Brewing – 2016 Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut – 5.2 out of 7

20161225_204642.jpg

I liked this beer. I had to get that out of the way before I start insulting Stone Brewing, Arrogant Brewing, the person who named the beer, the graphic designer who isn’t pulling their weight. Hang on, I won’t insult them, I’m cool, I won’t lash out.

This beer smells good. I smelled the smoke right after opening it; a sweet peat smoke with those elements of whatever it is that you get in just about every Stone beer that they make (probably the hops). Upon the first taste, “Oh it burns, it burns, but it’s a good burn.” There’s something about scotch that has always made me think it was watery, and given the high degree of scotch flavors that are coming through as a result of the scotch barrel aging step in the production of this beer, that connection comes through here as well. This beer is filtered. This could, perhaps should, be poured into a snifter, but tonight I’m downing the whole 22oz’s of 13% all by my lonesome, which generates positive externalities. This beer could go one step further, though. I would like a few more darkening and viscosity agents added. That would create a really fearful beer that I could get into. Great effort here Stone, or Arrogant Brewing, or whoever you are. Overall Smokestack Rating = 5.2 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Arrogant Brewing
Beer Name 2016 Double Bastard Bigger Longer Uncut
Brewer’s Description My arrogance has metamorphosed into a peatier, haughtier, boozier, doubler, more “er” of everything version of itself. Unlike the malted substance, which abetted my materialization, you don’t have chiseled iceberg chunks or fizzy, sugary pop sugar crystals at your disposal to cut me or soften the unbridled intensity of my righteous state that is liquid arrogance. Go ahead. Try me. This Islay whisky barrel-infused ale could put a lion’s mane on a hairless cat.
Food Pairings Hamburgers
Brewery Location Escondido, CA
Alcohol content by volume 13% (says so on the bottle)
IBU (International Bitterness Units) classified
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 3
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 5.5, a peaty 5.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 6
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.2

I found this link to some company called Arrogant Brewing. I guess it’s like spin off company of Stone Brewing without any efforts made to differentiate the two companies, a new logo would be a good place to start. Whatever, everybody’s nuts over on the west coast.

http://www.arrogantbrewing.com/beer/special-releases/double-bastard-bigger-longer-uncut

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Burn’Em Brewing – Smoke That Shizz – 2.5 out of 7

20161224_231016.jpg

False advertisement I tell you. If you bought a BMW and brought it home to discover that you’d been given a Mercedes, you’d be a little bitter (like the beer). Both great cars, but not delivered as advertised. This is a good beer, but the word SMOKE in big bubbly letters indicates a flavor that just doesn’t materialize on the pallet. This beer pours nicely with a big frothy head, but there is no smoke to be found in the smell or taste. These should score a Zero, but my smokestack scale actually only goes down to One, so One it gets. This beer reminds me of those rich Belgian blondes that were everyone’s favorite a few years back; reminds me of Hoegaarden or Fin Du Monde. This beer makes me want to drink it from a little shallow, frilly looking champagne glass in some western European country. Smoke flavors would not make this beer taste better, however. So, why did they print the word smoke on the label several times? The brewers need to implement quality standards and focus on competency of their craft. Also, people still say shizz? Overall smokestack metric, a generous 2.5 out of 7.

Brewer Burn’em Brewing and Four Fathers Brewing
Beer Name Smoke That Shizz
Brewer’s Description Belgian Style Imperial Smoked Blonde Ale Over Fermented with Honey
Food Pairings Chicken wings
Brewery Location Burn’em – Michigan City, IN Four Fathers – Valparaiso, IN
Alcohol content by volume 8.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 25
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2.5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2.5

Check out these links if you want to check out the brewer, but don’t expect to learn anything about this beer.

http://burnembrewing.com/ (Burn’em has an image of their label, but that’s it.

http://fourfathersbrewing.com/ (this group doesn’t seem to know anything about Smoke That Shizz)

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Against the Grain – Bo & Luke – 4 out of 7

20161206_205838.jpg

For all the flack that the beer community gives Against the Grain, they are able to produce ok beers from time to time. Plus, they’ve been able to convince the team over at De Molen brewery to collaborate and produced Bo & Luke, an imperial smoked stout aged in bourbon barrels. And, AGT made the extra effort to use Pappy Van Winkle barrels at that (a bourbon that is nearly impossible to buy without $1500 and blind faith in the bourbon secondary market on Facebook and Craigslist). But about the beer, the proper efforts made on the barrel agenda are not lost. Bourbon barrel scent wafts out and with the added alcohol and hops, gives your nose a little burn, much like many other barrel aged beers. With moderate viscosity (5 out of 7) Bo & Luke produced a nice tan head that hunkered down for over half an hour. One thing that is lost, however, is the smoke. While barreling smoked beers is the best idea that I can come up with, the barrel oftentimes overpowers the smoke, as found here. Halfway through and the booze makes it’s presence known, which I like… it’s been a long week. In conclusion, I taste stout, musty soot, ash, barley, and a little bit of smoke. I feel great! Overall smokestack rating = 4 smokestacks out of 7. Middle of the country, middle of the road.

Brewer Against The Grain
Beer Name Bo & Luke
Brewer’s Description Originally an Against the Grain Brewery and Brouwerij De Molen collaboration beer.  For the first incarnation, De Molen head brewer Menno Oliver hopped in a muscle car and drove straight through from the Netherlands to Louisville, KY (that’s USA folks) to brew this bourbon inspired ale, and we liked it so much, we decided to do it again.  We took the ingredients in bourbon whiskey (Barley, Rye, Corn) and then smoked them with cherry wood and brewed a huge imperial stout with them.  Then to top it off we aged it in Pappy VanWinkle Bourbon Barrels.  The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.
Food Pairings Kentucky Fried Chicken
Brewery Location Louisville, KY (USA)
Alcohol content by volume 13% -ish
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 83
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 7
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

AGT’s website isn’t half bad:

http://www.atgbrewery.com/Menu/Beer/2/Dark/3/Bo-Luke/246

And here’s a link to De Molen’s website, with no mention of Bo & Luke:

http://brouwerijdemolen.nl/en/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HammerHeart Brewing Co. – Von Winterherz Verhasst (Oak Smoked Wheat Hefeweizen) – 4.5 out of 7 smokestacks

20161120_190252.jpg

SmokeBeerMinistry will visit HammerHeart soon… soon after winter. SBM stumbled across Von Winterherz Verhasst at HopCat in Lexington, KY and the real takeaway is HammerHeart has their eye on the prize. Seemingly half of everything HammerHeart makes is smoked, if not more, and We are going to attempt to try them all, and report back. Von Winterherz Verhasst is a great place to start with it’s high wheat content and moderate campfire notes (like a home coming). And as a hefeweizen, one can expect nothing offensive, brash, or outlandish was thrown into the formula. This beer would make a good daily drinker in the summer months, which is just about the only time one should visit Minnesota. Maybe I’m getting lazy here, but I don’t have much else to say. Smoked wheat beer. Nice smoke. Can’t wait to learn more about HammerHeart. Final overall smoke metric = an honest 4.5 out of 7 smokestacks.

Brewer HammerHeart Brewing Co.
Beer Name Von Winterherz Verhasst
Brewer’s Description oak smoked wheat hefeweizen. brewed by hammerheart. hated by winterheart.
Food Pairings Deer meat
Brewery Location Lino Lakes, MN
Alcohol content by volume 8.34%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 25
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4.5

Check out their website, and notice all the smokebeers they have. SmokeBeerMinistry is going to have to dive deep into this place.

http://hammerheartbrewing.com/

And HopCat @:

https://hopcat.com/lexington

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Terrapin Beer Co. – Smoke on the Porter – Overall score 2.5 smokestacks out of 7

20161129_204051.jpg

Thank you very much Terrapin for giving smoked beers a chance in your line up, now please get serious about making a good product. I don’t understand how any brewery can put out 60 plus beers (and 25 retired beers) and ever find the time to focus on refining any one of them into a great, desirable beer. The economist side of me understands all too well whats going on here, but I’m not drinking beer to better understand what a run on the bank looks like when a bunch of drinkers race to their liquor store. SmokeBeerMinistry is just looking for a smoky beer that reminds us of camping out in the home country.

Smoke on the Porter poured nicely, super dark (6 out of 7 smokestacks), with moderate viscosity, and a porter rich scent. But upon the first sip, this porter hits you with a fishy taste. This tastes ashy, malty, and yes again, fishy. The funkiness starts with the exhale and then lingers on the roof of your mouth. Funky. It has some bitterness to it too, enough to make your face scrunch up. It’s not good. Having said that, SBM would like to try Terrapin’s RoggenRauchBier (there’s always hope that something better is out there). Overall level of acceptance = a generous 2.5 out of 7 smokestacks.

Brewer Terrapin Beer Co.
Beer Name Smoke on the Porter
Brewer’s Description This October, Terrapin Beer Co releases the 28th installment of their side project series (and adds a nod to Deep Purple) with Smoke on the Porter. The beer is a Baltic Porter, brewed with smoked malt, and aged on French Oak Spirals. Subtle vanilla and chicory aromas give way to roasty flavors that highlight the dark malts in the beer. The smoke makes its largest contribution in a dry finish.
Food Pairings meat
Brewery Location Athens, GA USA
Alcohol content by volume 8.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 30
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6 (26 SRM)
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2.5

Learn more at:

Volume 28 – Smoke on the Porter

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jester King – Gotlandsdricka smoked farmhouse ale – 5.5 out of 7

20161116_195224.jpg

Gotlandstricka “Drink of the Land of Goths” or “Drink of the Good Lands” presents a beer inspired by the beer that the Vikings may have had. This beer is different, and good. Smoke smell wafts out upon opening the bottle and smoke taste greets your pallet up front as well. The tart flavor was a pleasant farmhouse surprise (not too surprising for farmhouse ales, but surprising due to the smokepower leading you off the trail a bit). This beer is dry, highly carbonated, but controlled. Gotslandsdricka is just a good, unique, squarely identified, smoked farmhouse ale with a touch of silt down in the bottle, so watch your pour. Overall score – a respectable 5.5 out of 7.

Brewer Jester King
Beer Name Gotlandsdricka
Brewer’s Description Trespasser! Blazing oath, burning ruin. Gasps for mercy denied, as you draw in the chocking smoke of your own smoldering flesh. Birchwood smoked Pilsner, beechwood smoked malts, Oak Smoked Wheat, Juniper berries.
Food Pairings I bet Vikings ate lots of fish
Brewery Location Austin, TX
Alcohol content by volume 6.6%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) reported at 19 (under dispute, suggested 40-50IBUs)
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5.5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.5

Learn more at:

http://jesterkingbrewery.com/jester-king-gotlandsdricka

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aecht Schlenkerla – Eiche 2010 – 6.5 out of 7

20161103_211118.jpg

Here’s a big deal in our world. The Schlenkerla team has stepped up and delivered a beer pre-aged. The Oak Smoked Eiche beer was bottled and stored in the rock cellars of Schlenkerla for 5 years before releasing this to the public.

With interest with every new smokebeer that is issued, especially from Schenkerla, this review not only looks at the Eiche 2010 as a beer new to the market, but also as a comparison review to a regular un-aged Eiche beer. And right off the bat pallets expressed, “This is damn near the exact same beer.” It was found to be mere chance that one could take a sip, and correctly claim the beer to be aged or not (even when comparing sip after sip). This is great news if you’re worried about shelf life and expiration dates, but not so exciting if you were looking for a magic transformation that only aging could deliver. Having said that, when tasting and comparing the two and pressed to draw out differences, the 2010 Eiche does come off as slightly nuttier and with more wood flavors. It was perhaps less sweet and held a dryer sensation on the tongue. It also appeared slightly darker (2010 seen below left) and one individual noted a peppery taste. And in this particular bottle, there was more sediment in the bottom. It was a fun experiment and the 2010 is definitely worth a try, but it doesn’t go far enough to distinguish itself from the regular Eiche. Aecht Schlenkerla 2010 Eiche beer still garners a very respectable 6.5 smokestacks out of 7 possible smokestacks.

On the topic of aging beers, SmokeBeerMinistry does not practice this intentionally, although periodically beers may sit in the queue for over a year before being reviewed. Also, SBM can’t recommend that the average consumer expend too much energy into this practice given the variability in brewers products, variability in storing facilities (temperature and lighting concerns), along with the increased transient nature of modern society (one day boxed up in a hot moving truck could turn the beer over, jeopardizing your intended outcome). There are plenty of great smokebeers out there and we would prefer to drink them as soon as we can.

Here’s an image of the two side by side (2010 on the left):

20160902_155831.jpg

Brewer Aecht Schlenkerla
Beer Name Eiche 2010
Brewer’s Description The 2010 vintage version of the Oak Smoke double bock has been bottled unfiltered and matured for 5 years in the historic rock cellars of “Stephansberg” under the Schlenkerla brewery.  General info on Eiche: Following century old recipes all malts made at the Schlenkerla brewery are dried by wood fire. While for the classic Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier traditionally beech has been ? and still is ? used, the malt for Schlenkerla Oak Smoke is kilned with oak wood. The resulting Oak Smoke Malt has a smoother and more multi layered smoky note than the intensely aromatic Beech Smoke Malt. The hence complex smokiness in Schlenkerla Oak Smoke is paired with the multifaceted bitterness of finest Hallertau aroma hops. With 8% alcohol and amber color it matures for months in the deep brewery cellars underneath Bamberg into a special treat for smoke beer lovers for Christmas.
Food Pairings A Christmas feast
Brewery Location Bamberg, Germany
Alcohol content by volume 8.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 3.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3.75
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 6.5

Here’s one way to buy this beer with a little bit of extra info:

https://shop.schlenkerla.de/Oak-Smoke-Vintage-2010

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jester King – Simple Means farmhouse altbier w/ smoked malt – 2.5 out of 7

20161027_204328.jpg

Dry, bitter, tart, with silt. Faint musty smoke smell way down in there. I wondered, “Is there any alcohol in here?” Apparently 5.6%. I like Jester King, they make a great product most of the time, but they didn’t get this one right. I don’t like this beer. Silver lining: If you drink the whole thing by yourself, the booze kicks in… at the very end. Also, there are other Jester King beers in the queue. Overall smokestack metric = 2.5 smokestacks out of a possible 7.

Brewer Jester King
Beer Name Simple Means
Brewer’s Description, or some kind of poem, I guess. We looked inward and begged for meaning. Perhaps our great ancestors would make themselves known from within to share their wisdom. Immediately, a guttural call emerged from the primal darkness in answer. It reverberated through our bodies. Embarrassed, we looked instead to history for our answer. Simple as it was, the inspiration we sought had been written in books all along.
Food Pairings Ribs, sausage, and brisket (the Texas Holy Trinity of BBQ)
Brewery Location Austin, TX
Alcohol content by volume 5.6%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 26
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2.5

Too many words can be found at:

http://jesterkingbrewery.com/introducing-jester-king-simple-means

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Evil Twin & BFB – From Tennessee With Smoke – 5.6 out of 7

20161014_221512.jpg

From Tennessee With Smoke is a collaboration beer courtesy of Blackberry Farm Brewery and Evil Twin Brewing. Labeled as a Smoked Farmhouse Ale this beer emits great campfire smell right off the bat. It pours like a thin, bright, blond beer… like a farmhouse ale oddly enough. This beer is just a touch bitter and dry. I’m also getting a little bit of ashyness in this beer, otherwise I might mistake this beer for Smoke Wheat Everyday, although the matching champagne bottle and similar labels are influencing that comparison for sure. Ashyness often detracts from the flavor, but not in this case. Today it takes a light and airy beer and rolls up the sleeves, it’s the 5 o’clock shadow, it’s the attitude that this Sunday afternoon beer needs. I feel better about myself now. I’m happy with this beer. Overall score = 5.6 smokestacks on a 1-7 smokestack scale.

Brewer Evil Twin and Blackberry Farm Brewery
Beer Name From Tennessee with Smoke
Brewer’s Description The creative energy at Blackberry Farm Brewery is driven by a deep passion for collaboration: Sharing knowledge, ideas, and passion to craft beers of the highest quality for the enjoyment of others. With this inspiration in mind, we were honored to welcome Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing to join us in early April for the brewing of our first collaborative beer. Our dear friend Allan Benton, of Benton’s Country Hams, graciously allowed us to age a portion of the malt and hops being used for this beer in his smoke house, permeating the grain with a rich, earthy hickory smoke character. With a wink and a nod to traditional European smoked beers, influenced and colored by the preservation heritage found in Southern smoke houses, and finished with a Belgian yeast strain, this beer straddles both the Old and New World as interpreted through inspired collaboration.
Food Pairings Smoked pork, grilled oysters, smoked onion jam, grilled peaches
Brewery Location Walland, TN
Alcohol content by volume 6.3%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 34
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5
Sausage detection? Y or N Yeah, maybe a little
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.6

The brewers:

http://www.blackberryfarm.com/brewery/beers/from-tennessee-with-smoke

http://eviltwin.dk/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pretty Things Beer -FUMAPAPA Smoked Imperial Russian Stout – 5.5 out of 7

20161008_211746.jpg

You can’t get this one anymore, these guys went under. This is the second time that SmokeBeerMinistry has reviewed a beer after the brewery has closed down which is both an indication of our backlog of beers to review, which keeps growing, and an indication of how finicky the beer industry can be. But from what we understand, there is plenty of room for growth in just about every corner of the US, and most of the western world too (apologies for SBM’s ignorance on beer culture beyond that horizon).

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project made this beer, FUMAPAPA in May of 2015 . This is a good beer; sweet, malty, slightly ashy, a little musty, and rich. The 12% abv is completely hidden in all the rich flavors. FUMAPAPA pours like Hershey’s syrup and looks like it too. And maybe because of its consistency, notes of chocolate were found wafting around. This is an adults beer that will soon find its way into a barrel I suspect, assuming that the recipe is out and about. About half way though and you discover the alcohol, but by means of inebriation and not taste. Great beer flavors in here, but could use more smoke. This is a pretty good beer. Overall score = a respectable 5.5 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer Name FUMAPAPA
Brewer’s Description A rare version of Barapapa that boasts a complexity of smoked barleys and a slightly sweeter finish.
Food Pairings Caledonian pies
Brewery Location Westport, MA (closed)
Alcohol content by volume 12%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 20
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 4.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 7
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.5

Keep checking back with Pretty Things to follow their hopeful return to beer making @:

http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Collins Brewery – Barrel Licked Bock – 4 out of 7 smokestacks

20160919_205743.jpg

The description on the side of the label reads “warm smoky flavor,” so SmokeBeerMinistry picked this one up. Plus we have a working relationship with Ft. Collins given that they are one of the few breweries who have demonstrated an in depth analysis of the smokebeer genre with Z Lagers and the Out of the Ashes series. In this case, Barrel Licked poured with virtually no head except for the thin line you see here in the illuminated from below photo (notice the new photo booth). Without much head, notes of smoke were limited from wafting around the glass and measured in at only 2 smokestacks. And the taste of smoke was limited to 3 smokestacks although barrel and oak flavors ranked in higher with the most pronounced flavor being what I call Fort Collins Flavor. Until you’ve had entirely too much beer, it’s hard for me to impress upon you the distinct flavor that Fort Collins has in all of their beers, which is rare to find elsewhere. SmokeBeerMinistry is indifferent to this Ft. Collins distinction (sorry Ft.C) and we, at best, describe it as weird. This beer has a slight sourness to it, probably from the barrel, and leaves the throat nice and warm. SBM would be open to Ft. C sending us a barrel of this beer to our next smokebeer tasting. Barrel Licked Bock isn’t bad. Overall score 4 out of 7 smokestacks.

Brewer Fort Collins Brewery
Beer Name Barrel Licked Bock
Brewer’s Description It took 14 months to get this bock just where we wanted it. A year of cellaring and eight weeks in oak barrels produced an impossibly smooth brew characterized by a hint of vanilla, ephemeral charred notes and a warm smoky flavor.
Food Pairings Rocky mountain oysters
Brewery Location Fort Collins , CO
Alcohol content by volume 6.4% or 10.2%, who knows
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 34
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 6
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Feel free to browse their site, although they’ve forgotten all about every beer I mentioned in this post, including Barrel Licked @:

Home

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Jack Brew – Red Herring Smoked Ale (draft) – 4 out of 7

20160930_221526.jpg

Red Herring beer by Green Jack Brew has been revived to little acclaim. Found at Sergio’s of Louisville, KY USA, this beer came off as a mildly smoky mildly sour beer. It was good smoke though. Nice campfire notes with solid beer malt tastes (as opposed to any number of non-traditional ingredients that only cloud and confuse the pallet without delivering any additional units of pleasure upon drinking). Red Herring is a good everyday drinker that could be slipped into someone’s glass without much fuss, regardless of their preference. This beer is not bad, and this beer is not great, just a middle of the road beer that doesn’t bother anybody and holds onto the minimum number of pieces of flair requested. Overall smokestacks of flair =4 smokestacks out of a possible 7 smokestacks.

Brewer Green Jack
Beer Name Red Herring
Brewer’s Description Red herring 5.0% abv Smoked Ale.  We had to brew a smoked beer because our brewery is built into an old Lowestoft smoke house. Red Herring is a rich fruity red ale brewed with Oak and Beech smoked malt giving the beer a subtle smokey flavor with a dry smokey finish.
Food Pairings Fish and Chips
Brewery Location Suffolk, United Kingdom
Alcohol content by volume 5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 55
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Learn more, and maybe even buy this beer at:

http://www.greenjackshop.co.uk/red-herring-50-abv-smoked-ale-35-c.asp

And the bar:

sergiosworldbeers.com

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brouwerij De Molen – Ball & Chain – 5.5 out of 7

20160930_224014.jpg

This De Molen beer was found at Sergio’s World Beers in Louisville, KY. The big surprise was Sergio’s where there was one of the most impressive selections of beer I’ve ever seen under one roof, and also the beer was available to drink or take home (you never know what ass backwards regulation may crop up when in Kentucky). It was a good time, I went with a bar regular who had a Norm!-sized bar tab running behind the bar, said he settles up at the end of each month (although I don’t think Norm! ever settled up). Enough of that though, about the beer…

Ball & Chain a collaboration beer by De Molen and Sound Brewery seen in both the glasses to the immediate left and right poured smoothly with moderate viscosity and minor fizzle. Smelled of campfire with hints of meat (a mental bait and switch observed in smokebeers, much to SmokeBeerMinistry’s amusement). Tastes go on from there where the 3 ministry officials present all felt positively without anything taking it over the edge (scored fives and sixes). The third beer in the picture farthest to the right, which was not a smokebeer, did incite a great deal of excitement, upstaging the tasting a little bit, but I can’t remember what that one was. And that’s about it. De Molen, neighbors of the smokebeer’s birthplace, seem to have delivered a beer that’s right next to where it needs to be. Overall approval metric lands at 5.5 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Brouwerij De Molen/ Sound Brewery
Beer Name Ball & Chain
Brewer’s Description A smoked double bock brewed in collaboration with Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, WA
Food Pairings Hamburgers
Brewery Location Bodegraven, Netherlands and Poulsbo, WA
Alcohol content by volume 7.1%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) about 25
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 5.5
Sausage detection? Y or N Y
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 6
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.5
  • Here’s their site:

http://brouwerijdemolen.nl/en/

  • and the other brewery:

http://www.soundbrewery.com/

  • Once again, the Shelton Brothers Importers does a better job informing the public about this beer than either brewery does:

http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/beers/de-molen-ball-chain/

  • And Sergio’s World Beers:

http://www.sergiosworldbeers.com/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moody Tongue – Applewood Gold – 2.5 smokestacks out of 7

moody-tongue-applewood-gold

Not much to say about Moody Tongue’s Applewood Gold smoked beer. It scored ones and twos across the board. It was really set up for a win having just stumbled across it at a cool BBQ joint in Louisville, KY. But there just wasn’t enough of anything to set this beer too far apart from regular old Budweiser. The smoke is detectable (good), decent hops seem to have been used and not over-used (good), low abv would allow one to down a few extra on a hot day (also good), but it just doesn’t measure up to someone I want on my starting line. Quit worrying about your moody tongue customers and give us something bold. Final overall (un)happiness factor – 2.5 out of 7.

Brewer Moody Tongue
Beer Name Applewood Gold
Brewer’s Description The Applewood Gold is a beer true to its name in both hue and excellence. Taste and smell are powerful tools for nostalgia and mood-setting, where certain flavors and aromas can bear the sensor to faraway memories or bring them closer to home. We crafted this beer with sunshine in our minds – making its body light and vibrant enough to enjoy throughout the night, and well balanced to pair with a wide variety of foods from smoked salmon to grilled sweet Midwest corn.
Food Pairings Kumamoto Oysters, Fried Chicken, lemon poppyseed donut
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 1
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2.5

Learn more at:

Our Beers

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yazoo Brewing – SUE – 6 out of 7 smokestacks

20160918_191247.jpg

Here’s an interesting review. Four ministers of the ministry were on hand for this tasting. Phrases overheard in the style of Gregorian chant were as follows:

“Smooth. Great label. Roasted. Soot. Mellow. The closest thing to the beer I had when I was in Ireland. Maybe not packed with flavor. Smoke. Malt. Reminds me of Smoke Jumper. Yazoo means River of Death.”

Given the cryptic embodiment this review took, I’d be more than happy to review this beer over and over for a more descriptive response for the readers, but the score (6 out of 7) says it all. I can’t wait to drink this beer again.

Brewer Yazoo Brewing
Beer Name SUE
Brewer’s Description The south is famous for smoking everything – so why not beer? Sue is a big, rich, smoky malt bomb of a beer, with mellow smokiness coming from barley malts smoked with cherrywood, and assertive bitterness from Galena and Perle hops to cleanse the finish.
Food Pairings SUE Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Brewery Location Nashville, TN
Alcohol content by volume 9.2%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 72
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6   (38.8 SRM)
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) n/a
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 6

Learn more at:

smokebeer – yazoobrew.com/sue

ice cream – jenis.com

The only bad thing I can say is that there have been multiple abv’s and IBU’s posted by Yazoo. And 72 IBU for this beer seems particularly high given what we tried. The SUE on shelves in September in 2016 seems to be the winning combination.

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Barleywine – 6 out of 7 (not a smokebeer)

20160922_203935.jpg

In my travels during smokebeer hunts, I stumble across some of the more highly sought after beers. SmokeBeerMinistry’s emphasis will stick with smokebeers, but periodic investigations into all the hubbub will materialize, as seen here.

This is an excellent barleywine. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Barleywine Ale has matched the only other time that SBM has had a great barleywine beer. The first time was around 2006 when a brewer at The Great Dane Pub in Madison, WI made a one-off special brew that had to sit in one of their brewing tanks for over a year to process properly (a great sacrifice for a small operation). I got to try that beer at the release where they only offered half snifters in the hopes of getting it out to as many people as possible. Ever since then I have sought out that taste never to find its equal, until now.

Bourbon County Barleywine smells very similar to the regular and much famed Bourbon County Brand Stout beer but with deep cherry notes more so than vanilla. I had them both on hand to help pull out similarities, of which there weren’t too many, and to add an element of regality and intoxication into my own life. This beer is sweet and tart. Flavorful robust stout notes make the beer’s time spent in a barrel value added. This beer is also helped along by the high booze count seemingly extracted from a fine wine. A cornucopia of dried fruits, coniferous rain forests, and leather furniture in a log cabin are included in this bottle. This is a good beer. I’m fairly drunk now.

Brewer Goose Island
Beer Name Bourbon County Barleywine Ale
Brewer’s Description Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.
Food Pairings deep dish pizza?
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 12.1%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 60
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 0.5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 0.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 6
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 6 (not a smokebeer points)

Here’s a better image of the two, BCBS and BCBW, side by side and underlit.

20160922_214423.jpg

Learn more at:

http://www.gooseisland.com/our-beers/bourbon-county-brand-barleywine

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipeworks – The Roister – 2 out of 7 (not a smokebeer)

20160909_214937.jpgFor starters, roasted does not = smoked. But plenty of good smokebeers come with full-on roasted tastes, plus I stumbled across the word smoke in reviews and descriptions of this beer, and even on The Roisters own label, so I brought it in for this review. So, if this review is a bit harsh and disagrees with your own personal preferences in beer, consider this review invalid and continue drinking whatever swill you are into.

Smells roasted and not smoked. Interesting beer. I’m not getting any strawberry flavors, or rhubarb, or lemon balm (whatever the hell that is), just flavors of a mildly different, bad beer. I’ll go along with lemon peel flavors… that has had all lemon flavor washed out and is left with pith and paraffin to taste. Smells a little like roasted ashy stomach acid. What’s the point of all these silly ingredients? At least at this point in time (mid 2016), these kinds of beers are selling like hotcakes, so I presume the risk is fairly low. But at some point (soon I hope) the consumer will demand something more than dry, bitter, acidic sensations draining your mouth of all moisture, and at that point I would like Pipeworks to deliver. One free point due to The Roister being in the category not a smokebeer. Overall score 2 out of 7.

Brewer Pipeworks
Beer Name The Roister
Brewer’s Description Beer made with rosated strawberries, rhubarb, and lemon balm.
Food Pairings pallet cleansers
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 6.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 60
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2.2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2

For a close up image of the label:

http://pdubs.net/roister/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Marz Brewing – Smoak Simcoe IPA- 3 out of 7

20160907_215337.jpg

Smoak Simcoe by Marz Brewing of Chicago is a slightly floral, slightly short on smoke smelling, mostly skunky, less than mediocre IPA beer. A nice frothy head arose which fizzled down to what you see here, which held on for the duration of the drink. The bright golden color was expected considering its an IPA with high wheat content (smoked wheat, ushering it into SmokeBeerMinistry’s tasting room), along with the citrusy and floral notes. But the dry, bitter, and skunk left this beer resembling a bastard child of Mikkeller Rauchpils. One minister was overheard saying “Who likes this shit?” Overall, the result wasn’t that damning with a total smoakstack rating of 3 smoakstacks out of a total possible of 7 smoakstacks.

The other Marz beer did much better,  https://smokebeerministry.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/marz-brewing-smoke-wheat-everyday-5-7-out-of-7-smokestacks-of-happiness/

Brewer Marz Community
Beer Name Smoak Simcoe
Brewer’s Description No info online. Stricken from the memory of Marz.
Food Pairings Publican Quality Meats
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 6.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 75
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3

And their website sucks, see for yourself:

http://marzbrewing.com/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Victory Brewing Co. – Earth & Flame smoked scotch ale – 5.5 out of 7

20160828_221339.jpg

Earth & Flame is Victory’s bourbon barrel aged smoked scotch-style ale. It poured nicely from this 1 pint plus 9.4 oz corked bottle and emitted big notes of barrel aging mimicking BCBS. Not too many scents of scotch ale, earth, or flame, and that follows through with the taste. This beer tastes like barrel aging that has been done right. Its a little tart, a lot boozy, and even though its a little thin for what I’d expect out of a barrel, the frothy head maintained its luster for the duration. I wonder what happens to other kinds of beers that are barrel aged? Because while drinking this I thought, “Is this a barreled scotch ale? Sure. A barrel aged lager? Maybe. A barrel aged pilsner? idunno.” My take away is that the barrel did such a number on this beer, that it’s hard to pick out much of anything else. Lucky for Victory that the final result is good. Final overall number of smokestacks awarded: a generous 5.5 out of 7.

Brewer Victory Brewing
Beer Name Earth & Flame
Brewer’s Description Earth & Flame was forged from the friendship of Victory Brewing and Earth-Bread+Brewery. With our shared passion for dark flavorful ales, we saw a great opportunity to collaborate on a scotch-style ale. Savor the rich flavors that emerge from the dark depths of this limited edition brew. With hints of sweet winter desserts and dark fruits, peat smoked malts, and fine bourbon barrel aging smooth the intensity of this complex ale.
Food Pairings Hamburgers
Brewery Location Downingtown, PA
Alcohol content by volume 11.7%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) maybe 20
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4.8
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 5
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 7
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.5

Learn more at

http://www.victorybeer.co

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipeworks – Kwingston’s Kitty Cat INA – 2 out of 7 smokestacks

20160818_211056.jpg

“Kwingston’s Kitty Cat-INA A meow-Gartita inspired pale ale brewed with agave nectar, smoked wheat, lime, orange zest, and salt” is just about the dumbest thing I’ve seen printed on a bottle since someone put an image of a guy shitting himself on their label. In this case, it is far less offensive. Maybe I’m being too hard on Pipeworks. I didn’t really read the bottle once I saw the word smoked printed on the side. And that includes a note which read’s “STOP – READ BEFORE OPENING…” and goes on to alert the consumer of sediment in the bottle (a kind gesture). And, I didn’t recognize a cat on the bottle until after I smelled it and detected notes of cat pee. I smelled smoke too, underneath the tangerine/grapefruit/cat pee. This beer tastes sweeter than it smells with citrus up and down in there. The margarita flavors come through in hints but not much more. This beer can easily classify as a beer, and not some off-putting carbonated Mexican imposter Zima drink. The more I drink it, the less I like it. Let’s hope the 7.2% abv kicks in pretty soon here or else I might pour this out. I wonder if Pipeworks smelled the ammonia and then thought it’d be funny to put a cat on the label? I wonder if they can make the same beer twice? Because their website shows hundreds of different beers including this very beer with 9% abv described, where my bottle states 7.2% abv. That’s not a good sign because even if the brewer stumbles upon a great recipe (and they did not in this case), they wouldn’t be able to replicate that even if they tried… mere speculation with the hope of being proven wrong. Overall (un)happiness metric – a stringent 2 out of 7 smokestacks. We wish you the best Pipeworks, give us a shout-out if you need some consulting.

Brewer Pipeworks
Beer Name Kwingston’s Kitty Cat-INA
Brewer’s Description A meow-garita inspired pale ale brewed with agave nectar, smoked wheat, lime, orange zest, & salt.
Food Pairings hand delivered fruit plate on a nice beach somewhere
Brewery Location Chicago, IL
Alcohol content by volume 7.2%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 40
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 1.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.25
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2

Pipeworks isn’t good with naming things, also noted in their web address:

http://pdubs.net/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evil Twin Brewing – The Cowboy smoked pilsner- 4.3 out of 7

20160815_201153.jpg

Floral hoppy notes on top of a nice frothy head. I smell an outdoor celebration beer. The taste jumps in with a bit too much bitterness that I was concerned about given the hops. There is smoke in there, deep, way deep down in there. The Cowboy smoked pilsner is a fair pilsner that could tone down the hops a bit, but an honest smoked pilsner that doesn’t get ridiculous with its ingredients, process, label, or name. This beer is a good beer for someone who wants something just a tad different from whatever they’re used to. Hopefully, this beer will persuade some to step into a bold, robust smokebeer. The Cowboy makes it just over the hump with an overall 4.3 smokestacks out of 7.

Brewer Evil Twin
Beer Name The Cowboy
Brewer’s Description I need to know what kind of beer cowboys drink, as I have recently become one. I want to be the best cowboy I can be, and I think drinking the correct beer is important. I already have a cowboy hat and a nice big shiny buckle?
Food Pairings Beans and jerky
Brewery Location Two Roads Brewing Co. CT
Alcohol content by volume 5.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) oh, 60, 70, something like that
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 2
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4.3

You folks know about gypsy brewers? Evil Twin is one of them:

http://eviltwin.dk/About

 

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

YO-HO Brewing – Tokyo Black – 4 out of 7 smokestacks

20160804_210947.jpg

Dark beer. The head fizzled quickly for me. Smoked malts smells rise up right away. Ashy notes. Hops are done just right, with limited range. This beer is malty, watery (which is fine, especially when you’re thirsty), carbonated. Charcoal flavors. Tokyo is a good porter… but not really a smokebeer, although the logo does offer some implications. This beer delivers smoky savoriness. Final overall rating = 4 out of a total of 7 possible smokestacks.

Brewer YO-HO Brewing
Beer Name Tokyo Black
Brewer’s Description Porter is an English traditional, dark-colored beer with roasted malt flavor. Beer of this style is popular not only in England but all over the world. We brew fresh and genuine Porter in Japan. Deep dark in color, Tokyo Black is a Porter with extremely rich taste and creamy top.
Food Pairings sushi
Brewery Location Saku City, Nagano, Japan
Alcohol content by volume 5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 34.5
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 5.9  (215 EBC)
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 2.5
Sausage detection? Y or N 4
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks N
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Learn more at:

http://yohobrewing.com/e/company.html

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Buffalo Bayou – Smoke on the Bayou (Bourbon Barrel) – 3 out of 7

20160715_212041.jpg

Buffalo Bayou Brewing’s (Houston, TX) Smoke on the Bayou review is a twofer tasting, 1) its a first look at the Smoke on the Bayou Bourbon Barrel Special Batch #1 variant and 2) its a do-over for the paltry score Smoke on the Bayou received a few years back.

First things first, Smoke on the Bayou offered two variants, one barreled in Knob Creek bourbon barrels with white wax (above), and another aged in Jack Daniels barrels with black wax. And as any level headed connoisseur would respond, I bought the Knob Creek version. Upon pouring this one into our glasses weak notes of a port wine arose, smokepower smell was negligible. With a hushed tone in the room, sipping commenced. Brows were furled. Words were mumbled. “Tart, sweet, port wine, not good, seems sour, lemon sorbet, sausage – no, I like it better than the regular.” And then one Ministry official said “I ate his liver with some fava beans,” and mimicked Hannibal Lecter’s weird excitement thing that he does. Another quipped, “The more I drink it, the more I like it… but its not a smokebeer” And the final quote from this unusual tasting is my favorite, “Originally I said ‘not good’ but its not ‘not good’.” So there you have it readers, Smoke on the Bayou is not not good. Final score rounds out to a generous 3 out of 7 smokestacks.

Now for the do-over for the regular Smoke on the Bayou… I’ll keep this brief. In 2014 this beer was marked at 8% abv, and in 2016 its noted at 9% abv. What changed? Don’t care. The overall score came out with the same 2 out of 7 smokestacks, with several individuals arguing that this is not a smokebeer (and they’re right). Below are their respective charts. Sorry Buffalo, Houston deserves better.

Brewer Buffalo Bayou Brewing
Beer Name Smoke on the Bayou (Knob Creek Barrel Batch)
Brewer’s Description We smoked our malt with Blood Brothers Barbecue, Goode Company and Rockwell’s Tavern. The blended malt was used as the base for a strong scotch ale. Houston’s BBQ scene is literally infused in the malt of this beer. In a more spirited conversation, you might say these bottles are a little jacked up. (In a very good way.)
Food Pairings Barbecue, Beef, Smoked Meat, Game, Grilled Meat
Brewery Location Houston, Texas
Alcohol content by volume 9.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 20
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 3.3
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1.5
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2.8
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 3
Brewer Buffalo Bayou Brewing
Beer Name Smoke on the Bayou 2016
Brewer’s Description We smoked our malt with Blood Brothers Barbecue, Goode Company and Rockwell’s Tavern. The blended malt was used as the base for a strong scotch ale.  Houston’s BBQ scene is literally infused in the malt of this beer.
Food Pairings Barbecue, Beef, Smoked Meat, Game, Grilled Meat
Brewery Location Houston, Texas
Alcohol content by volume 9.0%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 20
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 3.3
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1 (a tawny 1)
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1.5 (a winey 1.5)
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 2
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 2

Below is the original Smoke on the Bayou review from 2014, and a link to Buffalo Bayou’s website.

https://smokebeerministry.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/buffalo-bayou-brewing-smoke-on-the-bayou/

http://buffbrew.com/beers/secessionist

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Founders – KBS (2016) – 4 out of 7 (nonsmokebeer) smokestacks

20160513_185349.jpg

Here we are! The highly acclaimed Founders KBS. SmokeBeerMinistry is here to see what all the hubbub is about. We are fully prepared to view KBS from the ‘hey, I love beer’ standpoint, without even the slightest inclination to dock points due to a lack of smokepower. This review is also the third installment of SBM’s Founders Trifecta compare and contrast blog (Founders Dirty Bastard, Backwoods Bastard, and KBS).

Having not even read the label, I smelled chocolate right after opening this one. I feel tingling on my tongue from all the booze… and it lingers (kind of neat). Out of all the chocolate beers, this one does chocolate the best. That tingling is moving into an almost spicy sensation. Is there heat in this? I don’t know where it might come from, peppers, yeast, secret ingredient? Well, regardless of that mystery (which may be chemically induced on my end), I think KBS is a boozy beer from lesser used ingredients that don’t work as well together as one would expect from a well orchestrated symphony. I really only know about rare beers that nobody wants, but I stumbled across KBS and felt compelled to review it. I did the same for Bourbon County Barrel Stout which happened to score a good bit higher. I do understand those Facebook shit-shows where some goon fills a pitcher of whatever beer, and then slams it down with a few, fast, face drenching chugs. But not with this beer. KBS approaches deliciousness with their formula, but must rely on notoriety and low production volumes to excite their fan base into their own state of bliss. Final score 4 out of 7 non-smokebeer smokestacks.

20160520_212539.jpg20160511_200308.jpg20160513_185349.jpg

This review completes the trifecta with a sad trombone

Brewer Founders
Beer Name KBS
Brewer’s Description What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.
Food Pairings Fried chicken for breakfast
Brewery Location Grand Rapids, MI
Alcohol content by volume 12.4%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 70
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1 (but a 6 in chocolate smell)
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 1 (but a 5 in chocolate taste)
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3.3
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4

Learn more at:

foundersbrewing.com/our-beer/kbs/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Founders – Backwoods Bastard – 5.1 out of 7 (nonsmokebeer) smokestacks

20160511_200308.jpg

So this isn’t a smokebeer, but it is barrel aged Dirty Bastard, which notes “hints of smoke and peat,” and, Founders own description includes the word smoke, so here we are. Furthermore, having stumbled across and picking up a KBS this year, I thought this was a good time to compare the three, Dirty Bastard, Backwoods Bastard, and KBS. Backwoods Bastard in smokebeer metrics isn’t faring so well, and even in just beer metrics, I’m inclined keep the search going. I’m searching for a beer that I can unashamedly overpay for, over store (in my beer closet), over serve myself, and overemphasize its glory to my friends (my overweight friends). This beer is boozy (11.6%) without enough flavonoids to balance it out (meaning units of flavor, not actual flavonoids), and the barrel power, while flavorful, is not helping. It’s too thin to compel my pallet to keep drinking. I want a beer that tempts me to take chugs. I want to try KBS… its up next. Until then, Backwoods Bastard gets a VERY GENEROUS 5.1 out of a total 7 smokestacks of non-smokebeer units of happiness.

20160520_212539.jpg20160511_200308.jpg20160513_185349.jpg

Brewer Founders
Beer Name Backwoods Bastard
Brewer’s Description Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
Food Pairings Pub fare
Brewery Location Grand Rapids, MI
Alcohol content by volume 11.6%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 50
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3.5
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.1

Learn more at:

foundersbrewing.com/our-beer/backwoods-bastard

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Founders – Dirty Bastard – 5 out of 7 (non smokebeer smokestacks)

20160520_212539.jpg

Revisiting the first ever smokebeer tasting (as seen in “Madison photo and spreadsheet”) you’ll notice Dirty Bastard in the lineup. Reason being, the brewers description includes the phrase “hints of smoke and peat” which is often all it takes to get SBM to offer a smokestack rating. Furthermore, given how smokebeers can wash the taste buds right off your tongue, it’s good to start tastings with the lighter end of the spectrum before moving into the heavier stuff, which is what we did. And hints of smoke and peat is almost exactly right, although more so peat than smoke. Nice frothy head, sound viscosity, a bit too bitter for my pallet, but comes off as a well rounded scotch ale. The fleeting notes of smoke echo late night campfires, but still fall short of moving this beer into the smokebeer category. Having said that, the next 2 reviews will be for Backwoods Bastard (the barrel version of this very beer), and the elusive Founders KBS because, well, SmokeBeerMinistry wants to know just what all the kerfuffle is about. Overall impression of Dirty Bastard – 5 out of 7 non-smokebeer smokestacks. 

20160520_212539.jpg20160511_200308.jpg20160513_185349.jpg

Comparison trifecta shown above.

Brewer Founders
Beer Name Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale
Brewer’s Description So good it’s almost wrong. Dark ruby in color and brewed with seven varieties of imported malts. Complex in finish with hints of smoke and peat, paired with a malty richness and a right hook of hop power to give it the bad attitude that a beer named Dirty Bastard has to live up to. Ain’t for the wee lads’.
Food Pairings Pub fare
Brewery Location Grand Rapids, MI
Alcohol content by volume 8.5%
IBU (International Bitterness Units) 50
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 4
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 1
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 2
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 3
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5

Learn more at:

foundersbrewing.com

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

X Beeriment – Black Force One Smoked Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel Edition) – 5.9 out of 7

20160615_235026.jpg

I like this one better! (better than the Black Force One regular beer which I just reviewed, scroll down for that). That’s one difference I pulled out… the barreled beer is better. Another difference is the viscosity. It poured like syrup. Now, I’m no chemist with all the proper tools and gizmos, no, I just use the light on my phone, I hit it from the side. My light only penetrated at most one centimeter into the glass with the phone pressed up to the edge of the glass. This beer smells pretty much like the regular Black Force One with peaty note a bit more subdued (which is an improvement). Although peat flavors can be and have been done right, I’d rather avoid them altogether, like goat cheese… I’ve been conned too many times. Bourbon Barrel Edition is coming off sweeter, less bitter, both for the better. It seems like this one has more booze in it, but the labels read the same 10.4%. Maybe because I’ve had two the abv is catching up. In this beer, in this case, barrel aging makes it better. Overall happiness metric = 5.9 smokestacks, out of 7.

Brewer Xbeeriment
Beer Name Black Force One Bourbon Barrel Edition
Brewer’s Description Our basic idea with this beer originated while making Xbeeriment Barack. When we’d done that we thought “What if we took it further?” So we decided to go for it and create an Imperial Stout made with 5 different kinds of malt including substantial amounts of peat smoked malt, roasted barley and 3 different hop varieties. We then added a 4th variety for dry hopping. Finally it was bottled unfiltered, bottle conditioned and left to mature in the bottle for 2 months before release. Serve at 12-14 degrees Celcius (53-57 degrees Fahrenheit)… and then aged in a barrel SBM
Food Pairings Hamburgers
Brewery Location Roskilde, Denmark (by Herslev Bryghus)
Alcohol content by volume 10.4%
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6.5
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 3
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 3
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 6
Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose) 5
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 5.9

No links to the X Beeriment organization can be found at this time.

Black Force One non barrel edition review:

https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/smokebeerministry.wordpress.com

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

X Beeriment – Black Force One Smoked Imperial Stout – 4.8 out of 7

20160615_225149.jpg

I found a similar beer called #44 barrel edition from XBeeriment a while back, but wasn’t able to get the regular #44 to compare the two, which I even mentioned in the review. Well, persistence paid off because just 2 years later I was able to find Black Force One smoked imperial stout regular and the barrel edition. So be sure to check the variant review to see how barreling changes a beer.

This beer is dark, but not thick. Peaty, charred, and smoky notes waft around. Black Force One strikes me as a good drinking beer, but not a good savoring beer. Reminds me of a thin BCBS. It just occurred to me that this beer review started with a story, then I noticed peat, then I mentioned another beer, and now I find myself struggling to turn my head away from the TV. My takeaway is that this beer is not good enough to hold my attention as a great smokebeer often does. It’s not showcasing flavors from all over the spectrum that typically garners high marks. Final rating = 4.8 smokestacks out of a total possible 7 smokestacks.

Brewer Xbeeriment
Beer Name Black Force One
Brewer’s Description Our basic idea with this beer originated while making Xbeeriment Barack. When we’d done that we thought “What if we took it further?” So we decided to go for it and create an Imperial Stout made with 5 different kinds of malt including substantial amounts of peat smoked malt, roasted barley and 3 different hop varieties. We then added a 4th variety for dry hopping. Finally it was bottled unfiltered, bottle conditioned and left to mature in the bottle for 2 months before release. Serve at 12-14 degrees Celcius (53-57 degrees Fahrenheit).
Food Pairings Hamburgers
Brewery Location Roskilde, Denmark (by Herslev Bryghus)
Alcohol content by volume 10.4%
Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark) 6
Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns) 4
Sausage detection? Y or N N
Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks 5
Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil) 4
Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy) 4.8

I cannot find any trace of Xbeeriment on the interwebs, but I haven’t checked the darkweb yet, so you might want to try that if so inclined.

Also, compare and contrast this with Black Force One Bourbon Barrel Edition which you may not see depending on how you’ve stumbled across this post:

https://smokebeerministry.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/x-beeriment-black-force-one-bourbon-barrel-edition-5-9-out-of-7/

Posted in Beer, Educate, Enlighten, rauchbier, Smokebeer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment