APPEARANCE: Very dark brown, nearly black but with enough amber highlights around the edge of the glass to reveal its true nature
HEAD: Tan-colored, big, frothy, and steadfast
LACING: Strong to quite strong
NOSE: Chocolate, coffee, and well-roasted malt. A very, very faint hint of grapefruit and tangerine from the hops. And a mild and very pleasant aroma of smoked hickory. If your nose blinks, you might even miss the latter.
TASTE: Stone suffers from a terrible case of Misnomer Syndrome. The Arrogant Bastard is far more accessible and smooth than the name implies. Ruination is remarkably hoppy, but hardly the palate-crusher Stone would like you to believe. And while the Smoked Porter certainly has a touch of smoked character, it’s really just the faintest hint in the background. In this case, the misnomer is a good thing. I’m not a Rauchbier fanatic. They’re interesting, but I find most of them to be novelty beers. Give me a beer like the Smoked Porter with a whiff of smokey goodness rather than a full-on bacon-brew any day of the week (and twice on Sunday). The Smoked Porter starts off with nice, dark chocolate and molasses up front that fades into a clean, bitter, and surprisingly citric finish. Throughout the drink there’s that backdrop of smokiness and charcoal. It accentuates the other flavors without overwhelming them. Like having a good sear on a steak that doesn’t compromise the flavor of the meat.
MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied and creamy, but not heavy or overly filling. Just right for a porter.
DRINKABILITY: I knock Stone a lot (I think they’re a touch over-rated), but this is a solid, highly drinkable porter with great character and balance.
RATING: 3.5 Hops
3 thoughts on “STONE SMOKED PORTER”
Couldn’t agree more. I’m not usually crazy about smoked beers, and I’m even less crazy about most offerings from Stone, but they really come through on this one. Hello rib roast and Yorkshire pudding – Meet your friend Stone Smoked Porter. Best…pairing…ever…
I can’t wait for Christmas.