dsc01592There’s a few Surly offerings out there on draught that have been around a while, but for one reason or another I’ve yet to try (such as my recent sampling of Mild).

Walking in to The Blue Nile at the recent Surly Three release party, I was pleasantly surprised to see they had Smoke on tap, Surly’s version of a Baltic Porter. So in between delicious mugs of Three, I gave it a shot. 

Poured from the tap with a deep, inky coloring and very little head. First thing you notice in the aroma is a healthy dose of smoked malt, but not overpowering like some strong rauchbiers can be with that “beef jerky” quality. I’d say it’s more equivalent to a peaty scotch. Subtle and sophisticated. 

Taste is more of the smoked malt combined with rich coffee and molasses notes. Kind of like a nice imperial stout mixed with a well-balanced rauchbier. The hops don’t come through much in the nose, but you get a sense of them in the taste as there’s a definite bitterness toward the finish (45 IBUs), combined with more of the smoked maltiness. 

Drinkability is pretty good, you don’t even notice that the beer is 9% ABV. But the smokiness did sort of dull the senses after a couple glasses of the stuff. Not a knock, it’s just a very different type of beer that may not be for everyone (which is why they also brew the more approachable Bender and Mild, I suppose).  

Overall, another solid offering from Surly. I’d definitely try it again.

Rating: A-

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