Wednesday, May 16, 2007

99 Bottles of Beer on the Blog - O'Fallon Smoked Porter

My favorite librarian dropped me an email earlier today and commented on my political overemphasis and my failure to write about beer recently. I have to admit, she had a point - when the political discussions are getting heated enough that Travelingal leaves them, it's time to sit back and mellow one's self with a good beer.

Fortunately, I had a beer in the refrigerator I've been wanting to try. So, tonight I've popped open a bottle of O'Fallon Smoked Porter that I picked up on a journey to Lucas Liquors on Sunday. I met the brewers a few weeks ago at a fundraiser in Blue Springs, pouring their tasty 5-Day IPA, and they seemed like fine people. O'Fallon Brewery is yet another fine Missouri brewery deserving of support.

I've not had many smoked beers before, and I haven't enjoyed those I've tried. They've been all smoke and not much beer - kind of like someone dumped a bottle of liquid smoke into a bottle of Budweiser.

Pouring the beer, you get a porter that looks like many others - a tan head on top of a deep, rich, opaque black beer. The aroma is malty and smokey - a blended smell where the smoke dominates, but the sweet smell of malt promises that the beer won't taste like licking the inside of a Weber kettle.

The taste lives up to the promise. Expecting a heavy dose of smoke, I was surprised to get a much more subtle smoke flavor balanced with a darned good chocolatey porter. It reminded me a lot of Rogue Brewery's Mocha Porter, but enhanced by a very nice smokey flavor. I love Rogue's Mocha Porter, so that is high praise.

Smoked chocolate is probably the best description of the flavor - good malt balancing the smoke, and no real hop flavor, though a proper dose of hop bitterness prevents the beer from being cloyingly sweet. There is a hint of coffee and caramel, as well.

If there is a flavor flaw in this beer, it comes in the aftertaste, which is slightly tart and acidic. After such a smooth and rich beer, it comes as a bit of a disappointment.

This is another excellent beer to add to the series on its way to 99. I look forward to trying it with barbecue, and see how the smoke flavors go together. I suspect it will be at its best on an autumn evening, though, with a good sharp cheddar and a few pretzels . . .



Anonymous mainstream said...

Smoked beer sounds scarey.


5/17/2007 7:50 AM  
Blogger les said...

This could get irritating; your enthusiasm and prose are getting me up for beers mixed with Forbidden Substances, and then I never find them in the stores...

5/17/2007 9:16 AM  
Blogger Waldo Oiseau said...

Never would have thought a smoked beer would sound good. I must try it.

Glad to know that you listen to Librarians who Give Good Advice.

5/19/2007 10:34 PM  
Blogger Spyder said...

I was bragging on your homebrew today. Hmm anything going to be ready one friday happy hour?

5/19/2007 11:32 PM  

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