Robust Smoked Porter

Next up in the to style series was a beer brewed for the other smoked beer style category 22b. With this category you can basically brew any base style and add smoked malt. Judges are looking for a balance of smoke in the base style and how the smoke blends into the balance of the style. Now I enjoy the smokiest of beers ie: Schlenkerla where many of the beers have nearly one hundred percent smoked malt but many people don't enjoy drinking liquid bacon cooked in a campfire. This robust porter was brewed with only a modest amount of smoked malt accounting for 25% of the overall grist bill.

For the Tap Vermont tasting I presented this robust smoked porter as, "Test Batch #161- This robust porter brewed with traditional German smoked malt creates a background of, bacon. Before the advent of in-direct fire malting techniques all beer had a smokey character. Brewed with English barley malt, pale chocolate malt, crystal malt, and flaked barley this 19th century London inspired ale transports you to another time." People enjoyed this beer but didn't love it. Many had never had a smoked ale before and enjoyed the barbecue flavors blending with the roastiness of the robust porter.

     Robust Smoked Porter
Briess Two Row
Best Smoked Malt      25%
TF Roasted Barley      8%
TF Pale Chocolate       8%
TF Crystal 45              7%
Flaked Barley              7%

mash 152*f

Super Galena  :75   .7oz pellet
Delta              :5      1 oz pellet

15.2*P (1.061sg)
Safale US-05

#1-Very Roasty - coffee, dark chocolate followed by a noticeable but not excessive smokyness
#2-Heavy chocolate & roasted malt; smoke is present, layers in nose, no diacetyl

#1-Black nearly opaque, mahogany hues, thick tan head with good retention, legs, and lace work
#2-Black, opaque beer with nice clingy brown tan head

#1-Lots of roast malt flavor, coffee, and dark chocolate. Lingering hop flavor in finish and aftertaste.
#2-Very rich chocolate initially, then complemented by smokyness; hops hard to distinguish from overwhelming chocolate flavor. Heavily malt flavored with little yeast character; no diacetyl

#1-thin body, moderate carbonation level. Some warming from alcohol
#2-Creamy and full bodied beer with no astringency. Slight alcohol warmth.

Overall Impression
#1-Well made beer, the smoke is not excessive. The roast malt is a tad strong for me maybe reduce roast slightly or replace with chocolate or de-bittered black malt. Raise mash temp.
#2-Interesting beer, I enjoyed it. Beer would benefit from less extreme chocolate slant, unless you were looking to develop a chocolate porter. Probably needs a cooler mash temp to loosen that body some.

#1-Professional Brewer  31/50
#2-Recognized               31/50

Overall 31/50---Very Good (30-37)

2nd Place in Category 22

1 comment:

  1. sure, many people do not like the taste of liquid bacon on a campfire in their beer, but what of those of us who do, Joe? I crave a beer made with smoked malts, and bacon AND lapsang souchong in the secondary. How do you like them apples?