I've had so much Stone beer lately that there was only one of their widely released beers left to try- the Smoked Porter. I hadn't heard much about this beer going in, but a few hours before I was going to drink it, my friend Brian told me that he had it a while back and it tasted like smoked meat. Great.
As it turns out, he wasn't far off. As soon as the beer is poured, a smoky smell erupts from the bottle. It's not completely overpowering and there was definitely something else in there, so I decided to try it.
The beer pours a heavy nearly black with hints of chestnut and ruby on the edges. The head is pretty decent and the retention was perfect. As the level in the glass got lower, the beer left behind a nice sticky lacing. So far so good.
The flavors in this beer definitely go beyond the smokiness I mentioned before. The taste starts off with a slight malty sweetness and then is completely overshadowed by bitter chocolate and coffee flavors. On the finish, there is a hint of hops and dark fruit. Oh, and smoke- lots of it. I saw a review of this beer that compared the taste to the smell of a campfire and I think this is a pretty good comparison. It reminded me of the way your hair smells the morning after you've spent an entire night around a fire. It's not a bad smoky flavor, it's just a little much.
Overall, this wasn't a bad beer. I liked the feel of it and I liked the look, I was just a little taken back by the smoke. So while I probably wouldn't go out of my way to try this beer again, it was a beer that was definitely worth a try.
Overall Grade: B+