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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stone Smoked Porter

Stone Smoked Porter is a Robust or American Porter by the Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, CA. Smoked Porters are an American take on the German rauch beers, one of which we reviewed recently. But the basic theory is to use malts that have been smoked. Homebrewers can smoke their own malts with the typical meat smoker.

The Alaskan Brewing Company probably brewed the first smoked porter in the US in 1989. Smoked Porters are not rare and in fact many breweries have their own version.

I got this at the Davis Bottle Shoppe. It has an ABV of 5.9%.

The beer pours a very dark reddish brown, with a sizeable, tan foamy head with big bubbles and sticky lacings. The aroma is roasted malts with notes of coco, coffee and even dark fruit. The taste is the sweet roasted and caramel malts with coco and hints of coffee, the finish is where the smokiness wafts in as the bitter balance to the malts. The smokiness is noticeable but not the feature, like in a rauch beer. It's medium to thick bodied and perfectly carbonated.

Overall I like the beer. The finish could be a bit smoother and the bitter smokiness could leave a bit sooner, but its enjoyable to drink and the first smoked porter I had. While its in the tradition of the rauch Beer, rauch beers tend feature the smokiness as the prominent. This smoked porter uses it to balance the beer as a whole and that balance is done well. I suggest you Try It.

This is a well made porter that is exactly what it intends to be. I did not give this a Must Have It, simply because there are so many good porters out there, that I couldn't say hands down to pick this one over another. But i highly recommend you get around to trying it.

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