Smoked & Oaked by JoKr Brewers, Porter, 6.5 % ABV, IBU 55.
This is how a label should be! The burning oak forest is a very fitting illustration for a smoked porter aged with oak chips from whisky barrels! The bottle even has a fire yellow bottle cap (ok, that is probably not intended, but just to prove that I’m a good-willed rater…).
The beer pours a close to black body with just a slight red tint. The head is creamy, light-brown and stays finger-thick for quite some time, before it settles as a layer and some additional foam along the walls of the glass. Good lacing.
The aroma is very nice, but not what I had expected. The smoke is very faint and I don’t get any oak/vanilla or whisky notes. It feels slightly sweet and vinous, and that might of course be partially due to the whisky barrel chip ageing. Most of all I find roasted notes with chocolate and coffee, dark fruits and liquorice. As the beer warms up the fruity part gets stronger and in come some some berries as well.
The taste is moderate to light sweet with a moderate bitter finish. If I’m not mistaken there are some faint traces of an unpleasant yeasty sourness as well. The flavours are what I usually detect in a porter, i.e. roasted notes, chocolate and coffee, although it might be a bit heavier roasted than many. When it comes to the smoke, oak and whisky, they are nowhere to be found. DISAPPOINTED! There is also a yeasty note that I don’t find that fitting, and this yeast also leads to a very dry, almost astringent finish. The alcohol is a bit too obvious, and that shouldn’t be necessary in a 6.5 % ABV beer. The flavour profile opens up when the beer gets warmer: when I took the first sip the bottle had been out of the fridge for 30 minutes, and that wasn’t enough. This beer needs 55 minutes in room temperature before the fruits and berries starts to creep out of the glass!
Conclusion: This beer should be called “Roasted Porter”, the present name is highly misleading! Misleading marketing claims put aside, I liked the aroma and flavours, but the sour notes and the yeasty astringency aren’t that pleasant. Still, a decent brew!
Ratebeer score: 3.2